Day Off

I have a day off today.  Hurrah!!!   It’s about time I blogged but I really haven’t got anything constructive in mind to say.  That’s a great start isn’t it?  How to put readers off in two concise sentences.

But a day off, a proper day off when I can construct my own plan without recourse to anyone else is a joy and a blessing.

So I started by making Spanish chicken for the slow cooker – a great big recipe for eight which I will later freeze and inflict on son#1 and his girlfriend next week.

I’ve never made it before but it looks promising ; chicken thighs sauteed in bubbly olive oil, frying the garlic and onion, adding flour and loads of chopped tomatoes, then stock, new potatoes and olives and rosemary. The whole thing, the vivid red speckled with black olive and the green needles of rosemary looked beautifully vivid as I transferred it to the big cooker pot.  I was using the new Le Creuset frying pan, which I was afraid would be too big but is in fact, just lush because you can move the chicken about freely without worrying about it shooting out of the pan and into a waiting cat.

I like cooking generally but during Advent, with people due to call in,  some coming to stay and the whole Christmas food fest, it comes to a head.  It seems like a luxury being able to spend so much time preparing tasty stuff which people will enjoy.

This is probably the time of year when I am closest to the Mother Earth thing.  The boys always helped with some of the cooking at Christmas. I remember  the year I decided to make cookie decorations for the Christmas tree.  The boys were quite pleased with their efforts. Son #1 made star shaped cookies.  Son #2 made aliens with some kind of jammy blood effects.  We tied them with red ribbon to the branches of the tree and the boys, having had a taster, were looking forward to enjoying more on Christmas Day.

So first thing on Christmas morning, they opened the door to the living room (Santa always deals with the stockings etc in the living room) and ALL the biscuits had softened up and fallen on to the floor.

The dog rushed past like an Exocet missile and gobbled up every last one.   Happy days.

Must go. Have to paint walls, read a bit and go out on my bike. And make lists, and buy presents, and make festive music playlists and organise carol service attendance…

I got accosted by a suspiciously slim Father Christmas yesterday.  No idea why he’s lost so much weight but he kept asking if I’d been good.  I thought it was all a bit pervy, to be honest.  I can’t help thinking he must have been an impostor…


About janh1

Part-time hedonist.
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16 Responses to Day Off

  1. IsobelandCat says:

    To be fair, it was the chicken thighs that caused me to stop reading. That’s vegetarians for you! 🙂

  2. IsobelandCat says:

    Have a good day off. I am slowly working my way through a list that looks like it’s going to spill over into tomorrow. Good luck with your self-directed day.

    • janh1 says:

      As usual, only partially achieved. No bike ride due to persistent unremitting rain and only finishing off the painting as it was getting v gloomy. But tomorrow the tiler has cancelled in favour of Weds, which gives me more cooking time so hurrah! Good luck with your overspill, Isobel!

  3. Are you one of those people who have to decorate for Christmas? When we were young, my Mum used to like to emulsion the living room for Christmas. Sometimes she was a bit late doing it and it was definitely finished on Christmas Eve once.

    I hope you’ve had a lovely day 😀

    • janh1 says:

      Good grief, Sophie, decorating with a bit of holly and mistletoe and ribbon is about as far as things go here – plus the Christmas pylon and the tree. No, only painting because kitchen is close to being finished. My mum was a bit like that though – would get a sudden yen to change things. Thankfully emulsion dries really quickly – although the smell of Dulux is not one I’d want to associate with Yule!!

      Thanks, it was a lovely day, listening to my music player on shuffle turned up all sorts of stuff, including undiscovered tracks and painting is always relaxing. It’s the fiddly masking tape bit I don’t like – but ripping it off is satisfying at least! 😉

    • janh1 says:

      Yes, it’s a bamboo contraption studded with little lights. Looks more like a Christmas pylon than a Christmas tree. Always has. But it was a welcome change from the “candle bridge” that everyone else seemed to have in their windows around here years ago. Those have been discarded – the Pylon survives! Yay!

  4. valzone says:

    I needed this amusement Jan, thank you. My son has just decorated their dining room and kitchen, you can tell he’s done it, he’s got more paint on himself than the walls. My daughter-in-law asked why he chooses so close to Christmas to do these things, but he’s a man, they just do.
    I hope you’ve had a good day off, by the way, Spanish Chicken? mmmmmm, sound good to me.

    • janh1 says:

      Hi Val. Your son is a good boy. It may be close to Christmas but at least it’s done!
      Yes the dish turned out well, thanks – chorizo certainly asserts itself – and it filled the house with fragrance. I’m new to all this slow cooking malarkey but I can see why people rave about it.

  5. Lovely post, Jan, full of the joys of a day off. Loved the doggie-biscuit story…hope you enjoyed the chicken.

  6. janh1 says:

    Greetings Kate! I miss the dog terribly at Christmas. A dog really knows how to enjoy unwrapping a stocking – his own, hopefully! The kittens really didn’t want to know last year but this year they are enjoying the tree, without wrecking it. Leo sits on the arm of the sofa and gently bats one of the baubles until it falls off, then Lily bats it around a bit on the floor. No mayhem….yet! 😉
    I have bought them a remote-control mouse, which should be fun on Christmas morning….
    A bit ridiculous but I feel one has to do it. They are family, after all…

  7. valzone says:

    I recently bought myself a slow cooker, very useful item, I love it.

    • janh1 says:

      Hi Val, I poo-poohed the whole slow cooker concept for many years having heard a couple of people say that all slow-cooked food tended to taste like the same kind of stew. But my brother got one and started making incredibly fragrant dishes like slow cooked curries and tagines and gave me some recipes, so I had to get started!

  8. Pseu says:

    Lovely post as usual Jan!

    tell me which slow cooker did you get as my old one (about 1980) is on its last legs…..

  9. janh1 says:

    Hi Pseu, it’s this one

    It’s massive. You can cook for eight to ten people in it but as I want to cook to freeze, that’s fine. I’d rather go large and have a cookpot you could take to the table for people to serves themselves from.

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