Sunset from Hill House, Mount Helen. February 2024

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Japanese style curry

There's an oriental supermarket in Sheffield, which I went to on Thursday for some panko break crumbs (which you can't get in the mainstream supermarkets in either Sheffield or Chesterfield). Since I was last there, they have expanded and reorganised - so, of course, I had a proper look around.

They now sell a variety of curry sauces and pastes, including curry pastes from Japan. I like Japanese curry. I am not a big fan of chilli and you can get Japanese curries that are pretty much chilli-free but with a nice, spicy flavour. So I bought a packet of Vermont mild Apple and Honey curry paste.

I have to admit that I ignored the cooking instructions, pretty much. I took some chicken stock and dissolved half of the paste in it, then simmered it gently for about half an hour until it had thickened and was nice and glossy. When it was almost ready I stir fried a packet of mixed stir fry vegetables and then added them to the sauce for a few minutes. I served it poured over Japanese style rice and sliced crumbed chicken fillets (so pretty much a chicken katsu). The Builder, who is a big fan of chilli, had his with some hot chilli sauce drizzled over it. I had mine unadorned.

It was extremely delicious. And would be very easy to make vegetarian. The Builder had the left over sauce and rice heated in the oven for lunch on Friday. There was no left over chicken so he had it on its own and said it was more than satisfactory. Would have been just as easy to make the sauce with vegetable stock for any passing vegetarians.

I'm going to go back and get some of the other sauces on offer. Might even go really rash and buy a medium curry paste and see how I get on with that. And there is, of course, the remaining half of the apple and honey curry paste left to play with

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Bishops' Coffee House and Bistro

We were looking for somewhere to eat early on Friday evening and found ourselves up at the top of Meersbrook Park, near the Bishops' House Museum in Sheffield.  I knew that there was a cafe not far from the museum - I have looked at its menus in the window a couple of times but not been in.
Braised steak and rice
They are open for breakfast, morning tea , lunch and afternoon tea every day except Tuesday.  On Thursdays they are open in the evening, serving burgers.  On Sundays they do a traditional Sunday lunch.  And on Friday evenings they are open in the evening serving Caribbean food.

Fish curry
The menu isn't extensive on Friday evenings.  We had a choice of chicken curry, fish curry, braised steak or vegetable curry.  So The Builder had fish curry, made with hake, and I had the braised steak.  The proprietor said that the steak had been slowly braising for around 5 hours - and you could tell.  It was succulent and tender and melting.  It had been seasoned well with spices, but no chilli, so no great heat.  If you wanted heat, they provided a bottle of hot pepper sauce, which I didn't use and The Builder did. He reported that his fish curry was absolutely delicious.  Both dishes came with rice.  Mine had a few chickpeas scattered through - little pea surprises as I was eating.  They also served us flat breads made with lentil flour on the side.  It was all absolutely delicious - and rather unexpected.  We had been thinking pub food, not a Caribbean bistro!  We are planning to go back and road test the burgers one Thursday evening.  And I think we'll definitely go there for lunch after our volunteer sessions at Bishops' House.

Bishops' Coffee House doesn't take plastic, but the Co-op next door has a cash machine.  They also don't have a liquor licence.  But they don't charge corkage on BYO bottles - and the co-op next door sells plenty of wine

Food, Wine and Merriment

There was a meeting on Friday evening of the volunteers and committee for Bishops' House. It started at 7:30 and it hardly seemed worth my while going home to Tupton, just to turn around and head straight back to Sheffield.  So I suggested to The Builder that he come into Sheffield at around 6pm, meet me and we could go somewhere for an early bite to eat before the meeting.  He thought this was a good idea.

So we thought we would go to the Rutland Arms, which isn't far from where I work and does nice pub grub.  Alas, when we got there it was absolutely chockers full (mostly of students, I think - which surprised me because it has never been a student pub and I would have thought it was slightly off the student track).  No chance of getting a meal there then. 

So we headed up towards Bishops' House and stopped at a pub along the way.  No food there at all. 

Then I remembered that there is a cafe not far from BH and as far as I remembered they were open on Friday evenings.  So we went there. And they are open on Friday evenings.  And on Fridays they do Caribbean food.  So we had an unexpected delightful Caribbean meal and shared a bottle of wine and headed off to the meeting feeling full and replete.

We didn't stay long after the meeting, when there was cake and wine and chatter.  I had been awake for the better part of the previous night and was feeling exceptionally sleepy.

Saturday was a relatively lazy day.  No unexpected food adventures, but we did replenish the cat food supplies, to the great relief of the cat, and we replenished the wine supplies and generally pottered about.

Sunday was much more engaging.

Raspberry and white chocolate tart for dessert
You may remember that a little over a year ago, Julia and Timon called by for lunch with Freyja on their way to New York (not Freyja, she was just accompanying them to our place - no exciting New York adventures for her!).  Well, it's nearly time for them to return to Australia and they decided to pay a visit to Western Europe before heading back to the Antipodes.  I have been following Julia's NYC blog with interest while they've been there and have noted that one of the things she has really missed has been roast lamb. Or, indeed, any lamb. I don't think the denizens of NYC eat a great deal of sheep.  So I said that if she came unto Tupton I would provide roast lamb for her.  So she and Timon and Freyja and Simon trundled to Chesterfield on the train on Sunday and I provided the promised roast lamb (veggie alternatives available on request).  With Yorkshire puddings.  Julia is also rather partial to Yorkshire Puddings and I rather suspect they are almost as often on the New York menus as roast lamb appears to be.  We had a lovely afternoon eating and chatting - but not drinking a great deal.  Freyja thought it highly likely that I would start be reporting that they had all headed out on the razzle the previous evening and had had the temerity to turn up to my Sunday feast remarkably hungover and sleep deprived.  In fact, I had intended to gloss over this.  But I think I might, perhaps, just mention it in passing since Freyja had raised it :-D  The Builder and I had not been razzling and thus were not hung over or sleep deprived.  The Builder, alas, was taking the visitors back to the station when they left so couldn't indulge much over lunch (he caught up when he got home).  But I could. So while everyone was partaking of the non-alcoholic cocktails I had found for non-drinkers, I got to drink the wine.

Julia and Timon head back to New York for a final month next week.  Freyja and Simon are heading over for a few days just before Julia and Timon go home.  The Builder and I have no New York Plans.  But I think I have enough now in the Grand World Tour account to get us as far as Athens, possibly even a little further, depending on which deals I could find.  Not that Athens figures in my plans, but I like to know how far I could get if I wanted to. The Grand World Tour at the moment features SE Asia, Australasia and the Far East.  Europe doesn't, as yet, get a look in!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Day Off

I had a remarkably long day at work on Tuesday.  I had a 2 hour meeting in the morning that required a fair level of concentration.  I had a 1.5 hour meeting in the afternoon that also required concentration. Then I was on the desk from 5-9 - which required considerable concentration to keep me awake!!!

I decided to take Wednesday off.  I declared it to be a Saturday.  A supplementary Saturday, sat in the middle of the week :-)

And I really enjoyed it.  We got up spectacularly late by our standards (I somehow managed to sleep through the radio coming on and both of my alarm calls going off).  We pottered about in a leisurely sort of a way.  We went to Sainsbury's (for not only was it a day off, but it was also payday for me, so I did a few payday bits of shopping) and to the Garden Centre for some bird food supplies.  We drove out to Chatsworth in a backwards rotation from our point of view (usually we go to Chatsworth then to Sainsbury's for mop up shopping) and thence on to The Nettle for a truly lovely chicken and leek pie (well, I had a chicken and leek pie. The Builder had gammon and egg and chips). And then we went home and watched television and read books and played games on the Internet.  It was a lovely, lovely day.

And the weather was proper English weather.  Misty and cloudy and damp - which sounds very dreary (and is, when it goes on day after day after day).  But it is evocative and very atmospheric when you are out driving over the moors and in the countryside.  The trees are beautiful and dark and sometimes twisted, and the mist curls and furls and unfurls. And sometimes it turns into tendrils of fog.  And the frost and ice had gone and the temperature had once again turned quite mild.

It came as something of a shock to the system to wake up this morning and find that it wasn't Sunday, but Thursday.  But I could easily get used to having a second Saturday on a Wednesday!

I have been working on the Grand World Tour savings account.  So far I think I have enough to get us to Rome :-D

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Finally, Winter has found us

We woke up at the weekend to find that winter had finally managed to make its presence felt.  Apart from a sprinkling of snow weather around my birthday, this winter has been by and large mild, grey and windy. Very, very windy!  So it was rather nice to have a few days of cold, frosty, sunny and above all - still weather!

I'm not sure the chickens agreed with me though.  They don't like the ice and the frost.  And their water hopper froze :-S (We've bought another one so that there is at least one unfrozen hopper on the go!!)  But they were quite happy with the warmed vegetable peelings or bread soaked in hot water that were on offer during the cold snap.

Sometimes where we live is beautiful in the winter, especially when the sun, which is low in the sky in January, catches the trees and hills as it passes by

The view from the bathroom on Sunday morning

We were scheduled to open Bishops' House on Saturday.  I have to say I wasn't really expecting many visitors, if indeed any visitors.  But I announced on Facebook that we were going and we took books and my laptop and the makings of tea and sandwiches.  It was a stunning morning in Meersbrook Park, but most of the people out walking were with their dogs and they don't tend to come in.

My Facebook announcement drew out our friend Alex and his not quite 2 year old son. Neither of them had ever been inside and they only live around the corner!  We were visited by someone wanting to know where the Weston Park Museum was (I felt that respondiong with: In Weston Park might not be entirely helpful!!!!!). His sat nav had brought him to us, instead.  This seemed a bit strange - until when consulting my Very Useful Laptop, I discovered that the top entry on Google gave our address and post code and not the one that Weston Park actually has!!!  And then we had a group of Greek people come to visit us. That was very exciting. We don't get many international visitors in the winter :-)  Plus there were a couple of random people who popped in.  And then suddenly it was time to hand the house over to the afternoon volunteers and go home

Click on the house to see the whole album
We will be back at Bishops' house from 10 - 1 on February 4th and March 10th if you fancy coming to say hello.  On March 10th they're doing a Wartime Home reenactment from 10-4 (and a local heritage event on Saturday March 3rd as well). Entrance is free

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

2012 - the year of austerity

And so I have, belatedly, joined the rest of the world in 2012.  After a pleasant week sitting at home in my armchair, doing very little, I bounced back into the real world on Monday, ready to start the year, filled with resolutions, good intentions and New Year Plans.  Just a week later than everyone else :-D

So this is to be the Year of Austerity.  The Prime Minister says so.  The Chancellor of the Exchequer says so. The Pundits all say so.  If we are to rescue Capitalism from a moribund future and release it into a bouncing and revivified future, then austerity is definitely what is called for.  (Although the sharp intakes of breath that followed the Prime Minister's strong suggestions that the nation should all of us tighten our belts and dramatically cut our household spending in order to reduce our household debts and clear our credit cards were clearly audible nationally when he made this proposal a few months ago.  Small and large businesses all around the country seemed to think this was a recipe for catastrophic economic disaster.  And you can see their point.)

Anyway.  All that aside.  I have been listening intently to the PM and his Chancellor and have agreed that austerity is the way to go for 2012.  This will be something of a challenge.  I am not very good at austere.  I am hopeless when it comes to self restraint.  Pathetic when it comes to self denial. Useless when it comes to pleasure deferred.  More to the point - I am not very interested in economics, can't abide the PM or his Chancellor and their interference in matters that are none of their business (every time they opine that we should stop drinking, eating, breathing, I determine to go out and drink, eat and breathe even more!) and simply can't see how me spending much less will improve things one iota.

But I do have a personal carrot dangling in front of my nose.  I am in the early stages of planning a Grand World Tour at the end of the year.  And for that I will need a large injection of pennies.  And this will require considerable scrimping, saving and definite austerity - at the moment I have precisely enough money for the train fares to and from work between now and the next payday!!

Oh - and I will need a house-sitter, if you know anyone who fancies a winter break in rural Derbyshire next December/January

Friday, January 06, 2012

It's funny how it's always the food

I've been feeling quite homesick lately.  It's not, as some have suggested, because of the short days and long nights.  I don't mind those.  You are more than compensated in the summer, when it hardly goes dark at all, or not when I'm up to see it.  And there are somethings which, in my view, are primarily winter activities.  Doctor Who is best watched when it is dark and cold outside!!

No. It has been because of people telling me about the crayfish they have been eating (I lerv crayfish) and the proper meat pies they've been having for brunch and numerous other foodie tales coming from South Australia, Victoria and (oddly enough) Queensland.

It does tend to be the food that people miss most.  The British travel the world and crave marmite; Australians Vegemite. The British miss twiglets, the Australians twisties. For some it's penguin biscuits, for others it's timtams.  I miss Australian meat pies (British meat pies simply don't cut it), coffee scrolls (Chelsea buns are pleasant, but not the same) and vanilla slices (millefeuilles are not even close).  Amongst other things!

I have learned to make meat pies which are very close to Australian ones.  I can make something very similar to coffee scrolls. I have almost perfected vanilla slices (and apple slices).  Although sometimes it would be nice to be able to buy them.  What I can't do, though, is flake fried in an Australian style batter.  You can't get flake. I can't figure out the batter.  And you can't buy calamari rings and scallops and dimsims in British fish and chip shops.

I can't do flake.  But I can do calamari rings.  So calamari and chips is what we had for lunch yesterday.

I read in a magazine (I think it was the BBC's Good food, but I might be wrong about that) a while back, instructions on how to do once fried chips.  They put the chipped potatoes in a pot of cold oil then slowly brought them to a simmer and then to a boil and fried them until they were crisp.  I was a bit suspicious about this but decided to give it a go - and found that it made lovely chips, nothing like as oily as I had been expecting.  I also found that they needed a second fry to make them properly crisp - and have made them this way ever since.

Yesterday I used Highland Burgundy Red potatoes, which are quite floury and make lovely chips.  I fried them in the cold oil, bringing it up to a nice hot boil.  I sliced the squid into rings and dipped them in flour,  egg and breadcrumbs to which I had added black pepper and lemon juice and once the chips were cooked I put them in the oil and fried them until they were crispy.  Then the chips went back in for a final fry. We had them not with salad, for it is the middle of winter here and a green salad is not, in my opinion, a winter food, but with garden peas (really from the garden, but via the freezer).

It was a delicious lunch.  (But it would be nice, sometimes, to be able to buy calamari rings)

Thursday, January 05, 2012


The Builder gave me for Christmas a copy of  Short and sweet: the best of home baking by Dan Lepard.  In it he describes a method of bread making which uses a wetter dough than I would ordinarily make, and a short, gentle but frequent kneading method.  He applies this method to making pizza dough as well and when I had occasion to make pizzas yesterday I decided to give it a try.

He recommends using pasta flour, where usually I use bread flour.  But I had some pasta flour and so used that.  The dough was a very wet, sticky dough. So much so that I wondered if I had misread the quantities.  But I hadn't.  Anyway, I left it for the suggested ten minutes, then tried to knead it on an oiled board for the recommended 10 seconds.  It was VERY sticky.  I left it for another ten minutes and when it was time for its second 10 second knead  I decided to flour my hands - if only because the dough had been so sticky the first time that it was almost impossible to knead, no matter how gently.  Back for another ten minute rest, then another knead. The dough was a little less sticky.  Another ten minutes, another knead and the dough was less sticky still.  Then it went to rise in a warm place for about an hour. By the end of that time the dough had risen by about half and was considerably less sticky.  So much so that it was possible to roll it out and stretch it to make my pizza bases.

I put the pizzas into a pre-heated very hot oven and baked them for about 30 minutes.  My oven isn't big enough to fit two pizzas on the top, so I rotated them after 15 minutes and put the one that had originally been in the top back there for another minute or two before serving them.

I have to say that the bases were really lovely, although the crusts were a little hard.  I prefer a soft crust if it can be managed.  But Mr Lepard has instructions for soft crusts so I'll give them a go one day. And I must see if I can persuade The Builder to build me a brick pizza/bread oven in the garden!!!

The quantities given in the book (600g flour, 1 tsp dried yeast, 400 ml warm water, 2 tbs olive oil) make more dough than I really needed but I can't work out how to conveniently reduce them.  I might make extra pizzas next time and freeze them (or eat them!!)

Pizza Napoletana with olives, waiting to be baked

Ready to eat
Pizza marinara ready for the oven

And cooked

Not planning to retire yet

In the (highly unlikely) event that I can ever afford to retire I am going to have to be very careful not to fall into bad habits.  Here it is, after 9:00 in the morning, and I am still sitting around in my night attire and fluffy dressing gown.  Mind you - it is extremely windy and still rather wet outside so there is no absolute imperative to do anything.  I was woken at 4:30 (you could learn to dislike intensely a time like 04:30 when you are greeted by it pretty much every morning and when there is no need to be awake - not that there often is need to be awake at 04:30!!) by a howling gale and squally but very heavy rain.  To my surprise I went back to sleep and didn't wake up again until 07:30. And have only just got up.  Doesn't augur well for an active life of retirement!!!

The other thing I will need to be careful about is noting the days of the week.  I haven't even been off work for two weeks yet and I am chronically confused by what day it is.  Fortunately my computer knows!  But that really doesn't augur well for retirement.

So it is probably just as well that there is absolutely no prospect of an ongoing idle life in the foreseeable future.  I go back to work on Monday with no plans for any time off after that until Easter (well, apart from the odd day here and there).

It crossed Freyja's mind on Tuesday that Wednesday would, most unusually, see The Builder, me, Tabitha, Cally and her all off work and all, more or less, in the same place.  Did The Builder and I fancy going into Sheffield and all meeting somewhere for lunch.  Now I find this very hard to explain, but I am always deeply reluctant to go into Sheffield on days when I am not at work or don't have pre-arranged things to do. It's not that I don't like Sheffield. It's not even that it's particularly far away or onerous to get to.  Can't explain it at all. But my practically instant reaction to "Why don't you come into Sheffield and we'll ..." is nearly always "Bleurgh.  Yet ANOTHER trip to Sheffield".  And yet, when I go, I always enjoy whatever it is we've gone to do.  On this occasion, however, I counter- suggested that she, Tabitha and Cally could perhaps come to us, on the bus which passes right by the bottom of Tabitha's road. So no need for me to go to Sheffield and they don't mind pottering about on the bus.

So The Builder went to collect them from the bus station, and I made pizzas and we all had a merry afternoon - except perhaps Marlo who was a bit disconcerted to find a small, rapidly moving creature running around in his lounge room (not that she can run, but she can crawl very quickly and can walk around with alacrity as long as she's hanging on to something - won't be long!!!)  Gareth missed out on the pizzas and merriment, given that he actually was doing something useful and was at work.  Then Tabitha, Cally and Freyja went back to Sheffield on the bus and The Builder and I settled in for a lazy evening.

Looks as though today is going to be a lazy day as well.  No plans.  And I'm *still* not dressed!!!

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

December review of 2011

It's been a funny year in the garden and on the allotment.  Some things have done really well and others not at all well.

For example, the potatoes really suffered with the lack of rain in the summer.  They set lots of tubers but there wasn't enough water to fill them out, so we got lots of small potatoes. We are nearly out - which is most unusual for us. We usually get enough to keep us going through to March or so.  We are out of garlic. The garlic this year was awful - yet the onions did quite well. They also didn't get enough water to get really big, but we have loads of onions still in the freezer.  The runner beans suffered from us being away for a fortnight in August, during which time no one picked them so they set fruit and happily grew lots of beans.  Mostly, of course, you grow runner beans for the pods, which were too tough when we got back.  Still - the beans themselves are very tasty.

The sweet corn, peas and broad beans did very well. So did the asparagus if you count the plants that have been in for some time.  The crowns we planted in the spring appear to have completely vanished.  Not one has produced a spear!  The tomatoes in the greenhouse were amazing, the zucchinis not too bad, the pumpkins OK, but would clearly have benefited from more water and more heat.

If we think about the fruit we also had a very mixed year.  Somethings did really well (currants of all hues, gooseberries, plums, bramley apples) others not so well (raspberries, cherries, other apples) and there was no real accounting for why.

The weather was odd.  Cool and extremely dry in the summer. And now it's a mostly mild winter, although we have finally had some proper rain.  But the little cabbages, the winter broccoli and the brussels sprouts are clearly thoroughly enjoying the mild weather, and the sprouting broccoli plants are positively thriving.  The rainbow chard (silver beet) is still going strong.

And we are beginning to look towards the next growing season. The garlic and white onions are overwintering happily. The red onion set didn't ever come up. If they don't emerge in the spring then we will replace them.  But in any case we'll plant spring sets as well. You can't have too many onions in my view! And we must get some more asparagus crowns and hope that this time they do settle in and thrive.

Click on the photo to reach the winter solstice album

Welcome, 2012

The Builder and I retired to bed nice and early on New Year's Eve, so that we would be refreshed and eager to greet 2012 with enthusiasm and vigour.

We were woken at 23:45 by The Builder's mobile phone excitedly receiving a text message.  It doesn't get many text messages so is always keen to tell us when it does.  We were woken again at 00:15 by what I think might have been the new people in the last house at the end of the terrace.  Whoever it was, they were having a long, loud and cheery fireworks party.  I woke up at 03:00 or so because I was a bit hot and a bit thirsty.  We were woken after 04:00 by Daniel-next-door, who is in the army and stationed in Germany but is home for the holidays, having a happy, drunken and LOUD conversation on his mobile phone, until hustled inside by his father.  At 05:15 I gave up and dispatched The Builder to make us a cup of tea.  2012 was clearly determined that we were going to note its arrival as soon as it could attract our attention!!

In fact, it is usually quite quiet in Tupton and it's unusual for us to be woken by noise at all.  It was very exciting to had so many noise interruptions in one night!!!

This all had the effect that I was more than ready for Bea and Steve to come to lunch at 13:00.  I had taken the giblets and neck  from the lunchtime goose and made a stock.  I had tidied up. I had set the table and made a table decoration.  We had been out a-hunting and a-gathering in the garden and returned with a trug of vegetables (although it was a bit weird to be wandering around in the garden on New Year's Day wearing nothing but a cardigan. Well yes, and clothes - but no winter weight coat or scarf). The goose had gone into the oven on time.  All was good!  Although it is always a bit disconcerting when we are having a luncheon party and I am ready ahead of time. I always worry that I have forgotten something.  But on this occasion, I hadn't.

And it was a very jolly luncheon party. And the roast goose was lovely. It was wet and very windy outside, but warm and cosy and festive inside.  I think we all had a good time.

Today the sun has come out and it's a beautiful day. The temperature is much closer to the January average, so no wandering around outside without a jacket on. It's still nice and cosy in the house though.

It's a Bank Holiday today in the UK, and then most of the rest of the country gets back to normal tomorrow. Not Scotland, which I think is largely closed tomorrow.  And not me.  I have the rest of the week off :-)

Happy New Year
(Click on the photo to reach the food blog, to read all about the roast goose)

Monday, January 02, 2012

A New Year's Day Feast

Some weeks ago Tabitha, who works for a large supermarket branch, rang me up to tell me that they had frozen geese in their store freezer which had been reduced to £10 for a quick sale and did I want one?

Fresh winter vegetables for the feast
Well - of course I want one, especially at that price.  So Tabitha acquired it for me and it came to live in our freezer while I pondered what to do with it.

I decided to have it for New Year's Day lunch and invited some Foodie Friends to join us in what I had, in all honesty, to describe as a Food Adventure.

Make sure you sit the goose on a rack. It will create huge quantities of fat which you don't want it sitting in
I had never previously roasted a whole goose.  I had eaten roast goose, many years ago when I first moved to Sheffield and joined my cousin and her family for Christmas.  I have cooked a goose fillet which, whilst very tasty, was very tough.  I have hot potted a goose fillet, which was extremely delicious. But not actually roasted a whole one.  So I consulted my cookbooks and various websites and eventually decided to follow these instructions from the Donald Russell website.  The only variation I made was to reduce the oven temperature to 170d for the final hour. The goose took about 3 hours to cook, and I left it to rest on its roasting rack and tray, covered in foil, for about 45 minutes.

While we were waiting for the goose to roast, I set the table

We had the goose with roasted Highland Burgundy Red potatoes and with a selection of vegetables which we gathered from the garden in the morning - tiny brussells sprouts, which were delightfully sweet, cabbage, broccoli, rainbow chard - and some carrots which we did not grow ourselves.  I made a gravy with stock I had made with the giblets and neck. And we had it with a little pot of red and white currants which I had simmered with a little demerara sugar.  It was all extremely delicious

It's ready to rest now
Mind you, when they say that roast goose is very nice but that it does generate a rather large quantity of fat - roast goose is extremely nice but it generates the most ENORMOUS quantity of fat.  I am planning to strain it through muslin today and freeze it in portions.  We're going to be eating goose fat roasted potatoes almost for ever by the look of it!!!!!

Condiments: stewed red and white currants and goose gravy

We had a steamed pudding for dessert, into which I had stirred a generous quantity of mixed dried fruit which had been soaking in brandy for a week.  We had it with custard.  That too was very nice.  Nothing like as heavy as a proper Christmas pudding, but every bit as festive.

Ready to serve

My New Year's Day feast