Archive | September, 2012

11 questions I have been asked to answer.

23 Sep

Cybele de Jong ( a lovely twitter friend) has nominated me for an award.  This one is the Liebster award and is given to blogs with 200 readers or fewer.

I have now to answer pre set questions and then in turn nominate 6 more bloggers to answer similar questions

I think I’ll have some trouble answering many of these!

1. If you could only read one author for the rest of your days, who would you read?

The truth is I don’t read books. I told someone recently that the last book I’d read was Rich Man Poor Man. I got the name wrong. It was Cane and Abel. Gosh how many years ago was that. I can’t remember. Probably almost 30!

I then thought again. I had read books since then. I did start to read the Harry Potter books and gave up half way through book 3. Rubbish aren’t I? ……so I can’t give an answer to the question.

2. If you were queen for the day, who would you knight.

I dont know.

3. What is your most memorable day?

As each memorable day passes by, the closest in time sticks in my mind.  Perhaps I will choose the birth of Evie. Closer in time and uppermost in my mind as it was only 3 yrs 6 months ago. I was at her birth and I found it a wonderful experience.

4. You are leaving town for ever and need to pack  your worldly goods in a backpack- what is the first thing you would reach for?

My handbag which in turn contains my mobile phone which contains contact numbers and photos. Perhaps thats all I need. This question should actually jog me into de cluttering some of my hoardings which I really dont need. My bag also contains, lip salve, indigestion tablets, nasal spray and money which I would want to take with me.

5. Where would you go if money wasn’t an object?

I’d like to have another look at Las Vegas. I’ve been 3 times and I could never re capture the moment but I’d like to see what changes has gone on since I was last there in 2003.

6.  Who would you take with you?

The family. Helen, Rod and Evie and baby bump (due imminently) and Richard and friend and any friends who wanted to come with us. If money is no object, everyone is welcome.

7. Are you a closet Star Trek fan?

I wouldn’t go so far as to say that. I don’t mind Star Trek. I watch the series when it was on for the first time round and wouldn’t miss it then.

I have watched many episodes of the new series too when my Son Richard was at home (he loves sci fi)

8. What is your favourite flower?

I love Orchids. I have four plants at the moment. One in flower and three others with new shoots on so hopefully they will flower soon too.

9. Where do you feel most at home

Here at home of course although everytime I go back to Ripon where I grew up I love it and feel comfortable being there. I’ve realised as I’ve got older that I could be at home anywhere. Anywhere that my possessions are about me (which obviously make me feels safe, as I’m such a hoarder
 Hoarding is my middle name ) and as long as my family are in near by or at least in contact with me.


10. How do you prefer to travel,  car, plane, train walking etc?

There is a time and place for them all. (For instance I would hate to walk to Spain!)

11. What did (do) you want to be when you grew up?

I had no idea.   I wrote a blog a while ago about this subject  Retirement is wonderful

Now I should nominate 6 bloggers but I’m not going to….

I’ve contributed to a similar tagging blog before, 10 things you didn’t know about me  but also I’ve turned down posts like this in the past. I decided to do it this time as Cybele seems such a lovely lady and I didn’t want to let her down.

I dont want to impose on anyone but on the other hand if  you read this and would like to contribute I should love to read your answers… its entirely up to you.

Quick (and healthier) steak pudding

20 Sep

In days gone by, to have a steak pudding would have involved long hours of steaming to cook both the meat and the pastry. Three hours at least. Over the years I have made this speedy much healthier version.

This is how I cooked the braising steak.

I fried the meat in a drop of vegetable oil and when brown, cooked it in the pressure cooker with a chopped onion and a beef stock cube and water to cover the meat by at least 2 inches, (the water always evaporates as steam, during cooking and I sometimes check after 45mins to make sure that the pressure cooker hasn’t dried out and if its looking likely,I top up with more hot water). Bring the pan to the boil, add the lid and put the weight on the lid and cook  for about 80 mins in total. Should the meat not be tender enough to your liking, pressure cook for a bit longer.

If more gravy is required ( and I always like lots of gravy- its the best bit!) add water till there is the amount you require, bring to boil and thicken  the gravy with a couple of spoonfuls of Bisto.

This braising steak was delicious when I had it a couple of days ago but I had leftovers so decided to make a pudding for today’s lunch.

I make my pudding pastry as follows:

5ozs Self Raising Flour

2ozs margarine or veg spread.

large pinch of salt.

Rub the fat into the flour and add approx 3 fluid ounces of cold water. Stir quickly and form the dough into a ball.

Take 2 thirds of this and place in a small basin, pushing it all around until it covers all the base and up the sides.

Add the meat and some gravy.

Flatten the last third of pastry between your hands until it is big enough to make a lid. Place on top of the pudding and seal the edges.

Cover with a large circle of baking parchment which you have folded a couple of creases across the top to allow for expansion of the pudding and tie on with string. Place on a plate to catch any overflowing gravy

Microwave on full power for 5 mins. The pudding with rise up under the baking parchment and sink back somewhat when steam is released.

This is the cooked pudding

Making the pastry with vegetable fat instead of suet is a far healthier option

I really enjoy it every time!