I know, I know, a strange mistake to make, but I have a pair of those huge wooden condiments and the letters P and S are difficult to read without my specs on!Suffice to say I spooned off the ground peppercorns and ate it anyway – waste not want not!
Oh and for those of you who prefer sugar/jam/honey/golden syrup on your porridge, try it with salt and cream (used to be top of the milk years ago) – it's lovely!
How lovely for me to read all about your Christmas and New Year celebrations, and thank you very much for writing to me. So good to know that you managed to spend either Christmas or New Year (and in some cases both!) with your family and friends – it makes all the difference
Colin and I have settled into our new home really quickly, and I have to say that the reduced journey time to work makes such a difference. I think if I'd have every actually tallied up how many hours I'd spent driving to and from QVC, it would have come to probably nine months in the car!!! Far better things to do with my time me thinks
Something I have been doing is washing all the paintwork down – my nails have really suffered as you may have seen! – but everywhere looks a lot less grubby. I used the 'It Works' blocks and they really do! No cleaning solution required just rub away, and hey presto! Clean paint. Don't rub too hard on emulsioned walls or you'll get through to the plaster or previous colour of paint – in our kitchen it was Robin of Sherwood green – as in the colour of his tights! EEEEK!
We do have some great ideas on how to change the layout of the place, but these will require architect's drawings and planning permission, so for the moment we're making do with tarting up and tidying – oh and trying to fix the leaking roof and work out why there's STILL no hot water in the ensuite!
We do have a pretty good shower though that now works, although you need to switch a pump on that's in the room next door to get any pressure. Ros and Chris came to stay just after Christmas and got up before we did and apparently they were trying to shower by cupping the trickle of luke warm water in their hands!!!!
Chris is somewhat hirsute so it must have been a nightmare, but he didn't let on, unlike Colin, who having completely covered himself in soap and shampoo, was victim to a complete change in water temperature! Lucy could hear him down the corridoor as he was showered with freezing cold water, so I'm rather glad our neighbours live a little distance away
Another situation that could have caused an upset was luckily averted by my eagle eye! Colin was changing the CD over and forgot the naked flame – never mind warming your cockles!!!
Luckily most of our furniture fits in perfectly here, but we only had one sofa and chair so we needed to find something else that would work in the sitting room.
My friend Jo remembered a place in Surrey that provides everything you can imagine for Show Homes, and we found this huge armchair which seats two narrow bottomed adults or one normal person very comfortably!
It was like an Aladdins' cave in there, and I will definitely be going back when we next need something.
I have to mention, but sadly don't have photos of, our lovely Sunday lunch with Kathy, Olly, Claire, her Dan and their three unbelievably well behaved children, Debbie G and Miceal.
It's the first of many social gatherings we hope to have, and it was lovely to have some relaxed and unhurried time together.
I made Asparagus and anchovy parcels for the starter, Nigella Lawson's Lamb Tagine for the main course (cooked to perfection in my Morphy Richards slow cooker!) and then created my own version of Italian Bread and Butter pudding for dessert which went down a storm..!
I brought a little piece of it in for my lovely editor, and she loved it so much that I thought I'd share it with you. It's a real rib sticker, and great for these cold days as a comfort food.
Slice one large Panetone Loaf/Cake, and fill bottom of baking dish. Pour over Baileys or Amaretto and then fresh custard (or tinned/carton) Add a few Baileys chocolates or those dark chocolate cherry liquer chocs are good too, and then layer more of the Panetone. Repeat until you have filled the dish and then sprinkle with Muscavado sugar. Bake in medium oven for around 35 mins or until golden brown! Serve with cream or more custard – Enjoy!
Tell you what, that's my recipe, so how about sharing yours?
I remember working years ago with This Morning's chef Brian Turner and he used to make a bread and butter pud with tea bread and jam – delicious! Let's see how many variations on a theme we can get?
I hope that wherever you are that you're safe, warm and not snowed in!
Still nothing here, but we are forecast a heavy fall on Friday!
Sending my love as always, Ali xx