Tuesday, August 19, 2008

You may remember that I made lasagne last Thursday. I was a bit puzzled that the lasagne sheets were tearing well before they had got to the diaphanous stage which I expect them to tear at. I had a look of Friday morning to see what was what – and found that it was all clogged up with dried, ancient pasta. I set about cleaning it. Stuck my finger in underneath a little lip – and tore a flap off it :-( It’s bloody sharp under that little lip. …Took lots and lots of Mr Happy bandaids to make my poor finger happier!

I was a bit perplexed about how I was to get it (the pasta maker, not my finger) clean if I wasn’t supposed to immerse it in water. It says on the box that it’s easy to clean. Doesn’t look easy to me. Then I began to wonder why it couldn’t be immersed in water. It’s not electric. It doesn’t look as though it was likely to rust. I had a look at the instruction booklet. Doesn’t say anything at all about water. Nothing. I’ve washed it now in a basin of hot soapy water and it’s absolutely fine. And free of dried pasta. I made fettuccine with it on Saturday evening. We had it with a sauce made of peas, broad beans and runner beans from the garden, onions from the allotment and cream and bacon from Chatsworth. The pasta maker performed perfectly. The meal was DELICIOUS.

We had rather a nice weekend. It was nice and quiet. We stayed at home. At least, we didn’t go away for the weekend; we didn’t spend all weekend slavishly attached to the house. We went to the allotment and pollinated pumpkins. We went to Arnold Laver and ordered lots of wood. We went into Chesterfield and pottered around in the Chesterfield Department Store and in the Laneways shops. We went to Chatsworth and spent a scary amount on a piece of rib of beef and a less scary amount on various other things. We went home and podded peas and pootled about and gently passed into the evening and went to bed nice and early and went to sleep and slept and slept and slept and slept

Until 3:00 when the heavens opened and God tipped a waterfall over the house. And woke me up! It woke The Builder up too but he went back to sleep. I lay there and listened to the waterfall and to the radio and lay there and lay there. And at quarter to four gave in, got up and went down for a cup of tea and a play on the Internet. Nearly rang Mount Martha on Skype, where a substantial family gathering was underway. But decided that it would cause Alarm and Upset if I Skyped in quite so early in the morning!

Went back to bed at 5 and sort of dozed until 7 – just as well it was a Sunday. Normally we leave at 7 to head into Sheffield!

It was quite a pleasant Sunday too. I made another attempt at crumpets which was more successful than the first one – at least until I burned the bottom of one lot and thus the base of my brand new pancake skillet. I’m not sure that we have got it cleaned yet! We pottered off to the garden centre and ambled about and came home and I made cheese straws and The Builder pulled up the broad bean plants and then we unpacked the new mincer and minced up various bits of pork meat. The mincer is irritating in that it’s clamp is just THIS much too small to fit on the kitchen bench. We didn’t want to clamp it onto the very nice and still not quite a year old oak dining table. We ended up doing the mincing by attaching it to the middle sized coffee table and putting this on the kitchen bench. Which made it too tall for me to operate properly. The Builder had to help! Then I flavoured the meat mix and left it to sit for a bit. And then we made the sausages. It was lots of fun – once we worked out how to assemble the sausage filling bit. But it is definitely a two person job. Or it is until you become proficient at it. I suppose you might eventually work out how to do it on your own. And we now have 10 pork, apple and cider and 10 pork apricot and orange sausages in the freezer awaiting taste testing. We couldn’t have them yesterday – there was the rib of beef to deal with.

I am in trouble :-S We arranged at The Builder’s dad’s funeral for both his brothers, his sister, his son and his daughter, with all their accoutrements, to join us and his mum for a family lunch on the Sunday after Christmas. Gwen reported that she was being asked what the arrangements were (answer: there aren’t really any yet. It’s only August. But we do have a cottage booked to stay in). So I typed up a reminder and sent it to his brother Terry with his birthday card, to Marie and to Peter. All it said was that I was reminding them about the party and where the cottage was. It seems that Peter’s Barb took umbrage because she hadn’t been invited. But she has been invited. *All* the accoutrements have been invited. Ah yes. But her name wasn’t written on the invitation. But nobody’s name was written on. I just printed it out, put a copy of a photo of the Builder’s mum in the envelope with it and choofed them off in the post. Not the point. If she doesn’t get a personally addressed invitation she won’t come and then Peter won’t be able to come either. Sigh. Big, big sigh. So much easier with Hyde lunches. You select your venue, check that the owners of the venue are going to be At Home, announce your intention to come to lunch and then let the news percolate around and everyone who is free turns up. No formal invitations. No umbrage taking. Sigh. And THEN Gwen said that Marie wanted to know if it would be a sit down dinner or a buffet. I don't know. It's only August, for goodness sake. I haven't even thought about the menu. Sigh. Again (Actually, that's not true; I have been gently pondering it in idle moments. And I think it might have to be a buffet in a holiday cottage with all those people.).

Somebody has stolen the staff room at work. It's gone. I have taken in the travel kettle and will take a tiny, minute, microscopic two-beer-can fridge of The Builder's to keep the milk in.

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