Cool Britannia (sort of): the British thread 2019

PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
It's now late-ish evening on 1st January in Blighty, so time for a shiny new thread.

I did something I've never done before on New Year's Day* - I went to church. There was a communion service celebrated by the Bishop, followed by rather good nibbles; although the choir wasn't needed, D. had to play for it, and I thought, why shouldn't I go along? I really quite enjoyed it, even though it was from the BAS (modern words, which I don't like), and I was glad I went.

After some napping, I made a casserole of lamb chops, which we've just eaten, so I think some more napping might be in order.

Hope you all had a good New Year. :smiley:

* except when New Year's Day has fallen on a Sunday
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Comments

  • HeavenlyannieHeavenlyannie Shipmate
    edited January 1
    Sounds like a lovely day, Piglet. Thanks for the thread.
    We’ve had a lazy day in front of the television, though I did sort out my eldest’s clothes and bagged items for the charity collection.
    I’m quite looking forward to doing some work tomorrow (I’m officially not back til Saturday but I’m teaching Saturday morning so need to prep for that). I need to write my university blog, reflecting on the past year, which I’m looking forward to as I decided 2018 was the year I would take my first steps to become a serious academic. Obviously at 49 years I left it a bit late :) I want to spend tomorrow making plans for the coming year.
  • I’ve had a productive day, hopefully setting the theme for the rest of the year: I started by pruning my grape vine and blackcurrant bush, and harvesting and cleaning 2 buckets full of Jerusalem Artichokes (not quite sure what I’ll do with so much).

    In the afternoon I continued stripping down my utility room getting ready to move things around in it before getting quotes for installing a downstairs loo - I don’t plan on needing it for many years but last year (oh so good to write”last year”) I realised how useful it would have been.

    All of that interspersed with frequent visits to a box of chocolates - after all, it is New Year’s Day.
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    There's a decided dearth of CHOCOLATE chez Piglet; we got some nice CAKE for Christmas, but the other comestibles were mostly of the shortbread/tray-bake variety (but we did get some interesting-looking CHEESE and Orkney oatcakes* from a lady in the choir).

    * There's a wonderful shop here that sells all sorts of foodie things that other places don't, and Stockan's oatcakes are one of them. They're also a scoop shop, and from what we've observed, much cheaper than the Bulk Barn (the chain-store scoop shop over here).
  • I’m looking forward to a scoop shop opening soon near me - at the moment the nearest is in the Big City.
  • I got out for a walk this afternoon - rather than getting to the Nutcracker, which I had a ticket to see. I had rather hoped third time lucky. We've both had the lurgy that's doing the rounds and matinee tickets clash badly with two of the 6 hourly meal and meds regime. At least 2½ hours performance and 3 hours minimum travel. It was a glorious afternoon for a walk.
  • MMMMMM Shipmate
    We had friends over for dinner on New Year’s Eve, so had a bit of a late start and lazy day yesterday, except for the clearing up.

    Our washing machine decided to go on strike just before Christmas, just about the most inconvenient time possible. We’ve a new one coming today and a backlog of stuff to wash. So that’s our day sorted.

    Which Nutcracker was it you didn’t manage to see, CK? We saw the one at the Coliseum, very good.

    MMM
  • We celebrated New Year's Day by applying a coat of emulsion to a newly-plastered wall in the sitting room. It covered really well, but Mrs. S wasn't happy that it had dried thoroughly as some parts of the wall looked darker than others. It was only after we'd decided to leave it till tomorrow (today) to recoat, put everything away and washed the rollers, that he realised the dark marks were shadows from the light-fitting! (where's the <killing me> emoji?!)

    Mrs. S, who got on with finishing Miss S's fox apron instead
  • Piglet wrote: »
    There's a wonderful shop here that sells all sorts of foodie things that other places don't, and Stockan's oatcaks are one of them.
    We had, as a starter before our Nrew Year ham (bog-standard supermarket one!) some very nice smoked scallops from North Uist, together with Stockan's coarse oatcakes. Yummy!

  • I hope one day you manage to get to the Nutcracker, CK. but I’m glad you enjoyed the walk. Walking is one of the ways I keep my mental health together.
    Lurgy still here and my eyes are sore as well as my throat. So a light day of working for me. Coffee and a browse first.
  • MrsBeakyMrsBeaky Shipmate
    I spent the day cleaning the house as our family return tomorrow for the funeral of Tom (son in law's best man ) who died from cancer just before Christmas. Son in law is singing at the funeral. Wonderful news is our daughter and family have decided to move back here from Kent. Bereavement is hideous but in this instance has been the final spur to a decision they have been debating for two years.

    I'm off to the sales now. I have seen a couple of lovely things for less than half price which will be perfect for family members with big birthdays this year.
  • Son #1 celebrated the dawn of 2019 by coming down with a vomiting bug - high temperature, chills, the lot.
    Son #2 marked the start of the year with a walk with friends, tripping over someone else's small dog and landing in a drainage ditch.
    Ancient Parent therefore has marked the start of 2019 with a particularly fine demonstration of laundering efficiency, capability with the wet-dry vaccuum cleaner and the wide variety of pre-cooked meals from the freezer. :grimace:
  • There is much food in the rouge household at present. On New Year’s eve, it was a sort of buffet effort. There was smoked salmon, and scallops, and caviar butter and man that stuff is delicious. There was also foie gras, and… so much other stuff I’ve forgotten. The leftovers crowd our fridge.

    Yesterday, husband en rouge put together a venison casserole, served with a very nice Châteauneuf du Pape. (The Difficult Relatives currently staying with us only ate half the plate, but that’s a subject for a hotter place.)
  • FirenzeFirenze Shipmate, Host Emeritus
    Having spent most of NYE at a party that started at one and finished at one (ish), not up terribly early. Breakfast in hotel and a totter round the Botanic Gardens. Lunch. Nap. Call on friends and eat ex-party fairy cakes. Dine out with rellie. Early night.
  • It was the Royal Ballet Nutcracker at the ROH - tickets bought months ago, when they came out, up in the slips*, and although 10% the cost of the seats in the auditorium, still not cheap†. Slightly more than I paid a ticket in the centre front of the upper circle at the Coliseum to see Iolanthe last year, and didn't get to either (Smudgie got those as they were pdf tickets I could send on a short notice.)

    * the slips are at the top of the building, along the side, and in some cases the side of the stage, pretty vertiginous, but the right slip tickets mean you can lean over the rail slightly and get a good, albeit slanted, view.
    † slips tickets vary in price from £4 to £20 odd, depending on production, and so far I've missed Carmen, Hansel & Gretel and Nutcracker.
  • MMMMMM Shipmate
    I think the Royal Ballet Nutcracker had better reviews than the Coliseum one, but we enjoyed it very much.

    Such a shame you’ve had to miss all those wonderful things, CK.

    MMM
  • sionisaissionisais Shipmate
    We disposed of the Christmas Eve gammon and the statutory turkey when the roast leg of lamb (a half-price bargain!) and chicken from Sunday last put in their appearance. I had forgotten how much meat one can get off a leg of lamb! It just keeps carving and carving away. Pretty good in sandwiches but excellent with bubble'n'squeak.

    Back to w*rk today.
  • daisydaisy wrote: »
    I’m looking forward to a scoop shop opening soon near me - at the moment the nearest is in the Big City.

    Is that a Scoop shop as in one that sells dry foodstuffs by the pound (or kilo these days)?

    I haven't seen one of those since I was arrested for being in possession of a bag full of white powder in Sheffield in the 90s. The drug squad didn't have to buy their own coffee-mate that week.
  • BroJamesBroJames Purgatory Host
    edited January 2
    daisydaisy wrote: »
    I’ve had a productive day, hopefully setting the theme for the rest of the year: I started by pruning my grape vine and blackcurrant bush, and harvesting and cleaning 2 buckets full of Jerusalem Artichokes (not quite sure what I’ll do with so much.
    Cream of artichoke soup is nice, not too hard to make, and freezes well.
  • daisydaisy wrote: »
    I’m looking forward to a scoop shop opening soon near me - at the moment the nearest is in the Big City.

    Is that a Scoop shop as in one that sells dry foodstuffs by the pound (or kilo these days)?

    I haven't seen one of those since I was arrested for being in possession of a bag full of white powder in Sheffield in the 90s. The drug squad didn't have to buy their own coffee-mate that week.

    Did you get put in stir?

    (I'll get me coat......)

  • O, BTW - Hippo Near You! As they say....
  • :killing me:
  • BoogieBoogie Shipmate
    Happy New Year!

    Happy New Thread!

    :mrgreen:
  • BoogieBoogie Shipmate
    daisydaisy wrote: »
    I’m looking forward to a scoop shop opening soon near me - at the moment the nearest is in the Big City.

    My DIL uses one all the time - it is walking distance from her.

    We have one half an hour’s drive away. Do I use petrol to save plastic? 🤔

  • Good question!

    How many scoop shops are there in Ukland? Can't say I've come across any, but then, I've not looked....
  • I think we call them "bulk" shops around here. When I first read "Scoop shop" I thought it referred to an ice cream shop.
  • PriscillaPriscilla Shipmate
    We've developed a tradition of going to the cinema on New Year's Day, and so we went to see Mary Poppins Returns - great fun. We then had a meal at the Franky and Benny's across the way from the cinema. Very nice!
  • I was going to say Happy New Year but I was temporarily stunned by Bishops Finger's groaner!
  • Still on left overs here, gammon and potato curry with rice for tea, followed by mince pies and brandy sauce.
    I’ve had a productive day, caught up on a couple of emails (not many as the university is still on holiday) and did some writing and studying, which I normally don’t get much time for.
  • SmudgieSmudgie Shipmate
    The man and I were only saying yesterday how much we loved Iolanthe, CK. Obviously it would have been so much nicer for you to be able to go yourself, but the tickets were very very much appreciated.

    I've had a profitable first day back at work. Our building is closed for emergency building works at the moment so we're all working from home for the next week and a half. I love it (though I seriously miss the gossip and chat) as I get up early, work industriously in my PJs for my seven and a half hours up to my lunch break, then stop and have the rest of the afternoon and evening to myself instead of spending more than two hours a day battling with SWR and London traffic.

    Straight after lunch I started on the housework: the next phase of a total reorganisation of the furniture in the flat and an earnest attempt to declutter a bit. Now I am sitting drawing breath, playing with Lego (my Christmas present from himself was a general Lego set and a series of challenges for my creativity: the first being to construct a recognisable landmark for which I chose the Angel of the North!), and contemplating whether it would be too wicked to indulge in another slice of Christmas cake.
  • SarasaSarasa Shipmate
    We've been using left overs in soup the last couple of days. I must say I like thing getting back to 'normal'. It's my Zumba and Pilates classes tomorrow, followed by coffee, a knit and a chat with some friends from the classes. It'll be good to catch up with everyone. Then on Friday husband is back to work so that really will feel like the holiday is over.
  • ferijenferijen Shipmate
    Normal is still somewhat of a way off in the New Chez Ferijen. We moved two weeks ago and most things are unpacked but we have about twice as much space as before and making long term decisions about where to put things is still a work in progress. And for anyone who listens to The Archers, this Jennifer has a very similar set of histrionics to that Jennifer when I realised that although our kitchen is much larger, it was designed by someone who has apparently never used a kitchen, and has less storage space than my old one.

    The littlest ferijenette, at not quite three months, has her second set of vaccinations tomorrow, so we’re in for a particularly fun 24 hours.
  • NenyaNenya Shipmate
    There is much food in the rouge household at present.

    *Prepares to move in chez rouge*. Because virtual food contains no calories, right?

    I've managed not to have a huge amount of leftovers, by not buying Christmas cake or mince pies, having a turkey crown that was used up over just two days of meals, not having a ham or vast quantities of cheese (though we did have some) and by taking my last remaining box of chocolate shells to the people we spent New Year's Eve with and leaving it there. That was quite difficult... but it's all in aid of reducing the Nen waistline.

    The decorations came down yesterday and I was back to work today. As I only work part time that's me finished until Monday. I could get used to swinging by work just once a week. :smile:

    Tomorrow is meeting a couple of friends for coffee, Friday is back to the Zumba class (the only one that's running this week). I love the out-of-routineness of the festive season; I also love getting back to routine.
  • BroJames wrote: »
    ....Cream of artichoke soup is nice, not too hard to make, and freezes well.
    I’ve already begun making roasted JA soup, to join the regular JA soup already made, but I’m not sure my freezer is big enough for the gallons I could make with what’s left. I might resort to leaving JAs on doorsteps, ringing the bell and running.

    Am beginning to feel chocolated out (impossible, I thought) and am craving cucumber.
  • You can freeze slices of Jerusalem artichokes - which you can use as oven chips or use to make potato recipes various.
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    Is that a Scoop shop as in one that sells dry foodstuffs by the pound (or kilo these days)?
    Yes. There's a chain over here called the Bulk Barn, which is very useful, but this place has so much more than just bulk dry goods - it's a veritable emporium!
    I haven't seen one of those since I was arrested for being in possession of a bag full of white powder in Sheffield in the 90s. The drug squad didn't have to buy their own coffee-mate that week.
    I need the "killingme" smiley!!! :mrgreen:

    I've had a lazy, quiet day; we had leftover SOUP for lunch, with breadsticks, pâtė and ham (cut in cubes and dipped in crab-apple jelly), and some CHEESE and grapes - just my sort of feast! Have done bugger-all since except a fairly long phone-call to my sister.

    The fridge is still reasonably well-stocked - we've got most of a chicken and the veggies needed to turn it into a casserole, curry or whatever. Not really post-Christmas stuff any more - just enough that we don't really need to think about making anything except bread for the next few days.

  • Nenya wrote: »
    I love the out-of-routineness of the festive season; I also love getting back to routine.

    This!

    We still have the decorations up - my brother's birthday used to fall on the 5th, so we always kept them up for that, but this year my daughter's mother-in-law and stepfather-in-law (I do wish there was a less cumbersome way to describe them!) are coming, with Miss S, SiL and The Intrepid Grandson, for dinner on Saturday, so I've persuaded Mr. S to leave the trees till then. I did observe yesterday that I'd never had to emulsion round strings of cards before! :lol:

    I'm cooking Hairy Dieters' cassoulet, which I suspect @la vie en rouge would refuse to recognise, but everyone seems to be dieting this year!

    Mrs. S, mercifully free of chocolate seashells ( @Nenya , how can you!)


  • FirenzeFirenze Shipmate, Host Emeritus
    I have a whole cooked lobster in my fridge - £3.50 in Morrisons how could I not?

    I would like to convert it to a hot meal - but the only recipes I have on hand are Thermidor or Newburg which seem to involve cream, eggs, cheese, more cream etc.

    Anyone know any others? Preferably with lemons. Mr F just bought 5 because he ‘couldn’t find’ the 6 we already had.
  • I need to pop to the shops and then do a tidy as we are unexpectedly hosting a church group pizza party this evening (last minute change of venue).
  • @Firenze, I've made delicious chilled lobster with a fresh lemon and chive mayo, but that is more for summer. In colder months, I've extended lobstermeat in a spicy bisque or a lobster and lemon-herb risotto. A friend once served up seafood tacos with diced lobster and a salsa.

    Out here fresh lobster is Jasus lalandii, rock crayfish without claws, rare and a threatened species in many places, so I treat it as a luxury when legally obtained.

  • I'm cooking Hairy Dieters' cassoulet, which I suspect @la vie en rouge would refuse to recognise, but everyone seems to be dieting this year!

    Well at provocation like that, I clearly had to go and look up said recipe.

    And you’re quite right… It is Not A Cassoulet. Where is the duck? And the duck fat? Duck fat is the sine qua non of the whole thing and the major element that makes it worth eating. And why is there chicken in it? What Proper Cassoulet ever contained chicken? Is Outrage!!

    It is also doesn’t take half a day to cook, which proves it isn’t a Proper Cassoulet (seriously, the real thing takes about six hours, which is why very few people make it at home these days). TBH, a “diet cassoulet” is a bit of a contradiction in terms. It’s meant to be solid, calorific, half-way-up-a-mountain food, like much South-Western cuisine. While the South-West mostly has fairly mild winters, you’re not very far from the snowy Pyrenees, and most of the traditional cooking is hefty. My personal favourite is aligot, a stodgy artery-hardening concoction of potato and Cantal cheese.

    To be fair, Not A Cassoulet does like quite a pleasant dish, though.
  • Firenze wrote: »
    I have a whole cooked lobster in my fridge - £3.50 in Morrisons how could I not?

    I would like to convert it to a hot meal - but the only recipes I have on hand are Thermidor or Newburg which seem to involve cream, eggs, cheese, more cream etc.

    Anyone know any others? Preferably with lemons. Mr F just bought 5 because he ‘couldn’t find’ the 6 we already had.

    :lol:
    Pick out the lobster flesh and use in a luxurious pasta sauce. Alternatively, serve on simply on a bed of either wilted or uncooked baby spinach with crusty bread and some straight mayonnaise or aioli.

    The lemons? Slice, de-pip and tray freeze: when solid, put in a box. Use them instead of ice cubes for G&T - much better since you don't end up diluting your drink.

    Of course, you could do the really virtuous thing and make proper lemon meringue pie...
  • FirenzeFirenze Shipmate, Host Emeritus
    Thanks all. A pasta or rissotto with lemon/ creme fraiche/fresh majoram sounds a definite goer. That’s Friday sorted.

    Tonight I feel a lamb vindaloo coming on - the better to chase a lingering cold.

  • Golly - I thought I'd strayed onto the Cookery thread for a moment there...

    Just wandering in to say "Happy New Year" to anyone who happens to be here.

    Now going to get the kettle on for a cup of tea before tackling one of those work related chores that make life less than stress free at this time of year.
  • O! O! O!

    Woe, Woe, and thrice Woe!

    South-East Ukland is threatened with temperatures of just below freezing tonight! THE GRITTERS ARE OUT!!!!!!!

    There will be Ice! And Frost!

    O! O! O!

    Is The End Of The World now nigh?
    :grimace: :grimace:
  • We've had frost almost every morning for the past week or so here in the sunny(?) Phoenix area. So obviously Hell is freezing over (as well as South-East Ukland).
    :fearful:
  • NenyaNenya Shipmate
    I'm cooking Hairy Dieters' cassoulet, which I suspect @la vie en rouge would refuse to recognise, but everyone seems to be dieting this year!

    I've just been watching the Hairy Bikers on TV and I know their diet books have some good recipes but there wasn't much calorie conscious stuff in what they were serving up for the Henley Regatta!

    I was given a huge box of chocolate seashells for my birthday and am still finishing them. I really didn't need another boxful, much as it pained me to give them away. Or it that you don't like them, Mrs S?

    Salmon and roast vegetables with cider and mustard sauce is on the menu here this evening. I may then treat myself to a couple of chocolates.
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    Firenze, lobster risotto sounds rather heavenly, especially with plenty of lemon to cut into the richness. And a nice glass of Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc to go with it.
    O! O! O!

    Woe, Woe, and thrice Woe!

    South-East Ukland is threatened with temperatures of just below freezing tonight! THE GRITTERS ARE OUT!!!!!!

    Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ... :mrgreen:

    It was minus 22° here last night, so I think I can safely say that "just below freezing" would be positively balmy.

    It could be worse though - St. John's (where we used to live) got about a foot and a half of snow yesterday. :grimace:

    Now I'm off to look for Mrs. S's not-quite-cassoulet recipe.
  • @Nenya I find chocolate seashells much too sweet for my taste :cry: Luckily we don't all like the same thing or we'd never be able to swap them after Christmas!

    LVER, in my defence I am cooking it with les saucisses sanglier* which will add a much-needed touch of verisimilitude. I just had a wicked thought - you should get Husband en Rouge to serve it to your DRs, that would shut them up about food that was too rich and with luck they'd be so disgusted they'd never return <snigger>

    * the famous Wild Boar Sausages!

    I also like Delia's Poor Man's Cassoulet, which has no duck, only bacon and sausages, but seems heftier than the Hairy Bikers'.

    Mrs. S, who could never be a French domestic goddess
  • I’d love lobster lemon risotto and a glass of Pinot Grigio, please!
    Table ready, salads prepared and pizzas ready for the oven when the guests arrive (our old bible study group, church changed how groups were arranged 18 months ago but we still have regular get togethers).
  • NenyaNenya Shipmate
    @Nenya I find chocolate seashells much too sweet for my taste :cry:

    Too. Sweet. Do those words even belong in the same sentence?

    I'm really hungry and Mr Nen isn't going to be home for another hour! Still, I'm sure being hungry means that pounds are dropping off me. :wink:

    And it's freezing cold here.
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