Making : Slow Cooked Beef Brisket, recipe here except I added lashings of balsamic vinegar too. Cooked for 8 hours on medium, then sliced the beef and gently reheated it in the sauce, in a heavy based pan on the hob, the next day. I think slow cooked food is always better eaten the day after, to meld the flavours. I thickened the sauce with a tbsp of cornflour mixed into a little cold water. Delicious.
Cooking : the above to eat with potatoes, petit pois and kale
Drinking : lots of jasmine tea this morning, 2 x 1 pint mugs
Reading: I’ve just given up on the rather tedious The Old Curiosity Shop by Dickens. To be honest I had a sneaking suspicion I was going to do an Oscar Wilde. He reportedly said: ‘One would have to have a heart of stone to read the death of little Nell without dissolving into tears…of laughter.’
Wanting: to spend my Christmas gift cards, but still haven’t found anything apart from new socks at Fatface. These,these which I’m wearing now and this delicious pair
Looking: at these Dr Who props in the BBC lobby on Saturday. My friend and I walked past and went to peep in the windows. A security guard invited us to come in to look. We watched the last few minutes of the Winter Olympics curling on one of the huge screens. (We lost to Japan.)
Playing: my friend’s Adventure Bus Game on foot, my nifty adaption. You set off walking in a random direction, with no destination in mind and take turns to choose left, right or straight ahead at the next junction. We ended up in the BBC, then Regents Park. After 5 miles we went for a late lunch here.
Deciding: to go to the library for new books soon
Wishing: to meet the UK winner of Friday’s £78 million euro millions win. What did they decide to do first? I had a message when I was walking down Baker Street, London on Saturday morning – “Did you see this news article? (‘Massive Jackpot Split between one UK and one Spanish winner, £78 mil each’) Is it you?! Have you checked?”
Enjoying: lots of winter warmers featuring tasty sauces – lamb hot pot and that beef brisket last weekRegents Park croci
Waiting: for dried mealworms to arrive by post, the Blue Tits can’t get enough of them. The robin doesn’t use the stick on balcony window feeder here, but they do. You look up and see a little blue and yellow thing looking at you!
Liking: the bright blue skies and sunshine, although it’s very very cold. Currently we have wind blowing from Siberia, so on Saturday it was 5 degrees but with the wind chill factor felt like 1. Brrrrr. Also, really liked seeing the first blossom in Regents Park
Wondering: if the media are making a huge unnecessary OTT fuss about the ‘dire weather’ coming this week and next. My friend G just Whatsapped to say the news site is advising people to be home by 6pm tonight in her area. Woah!
Loving: my new slow start yeast, the bread is light and rises like a rocket
Pondering: which colours for the next strip, then realising my tension must have been way tighter so redoing the entire third strip
Considering: whether to sew or crochet the strips together, crochet usually wins hands down
Buying: lamb mince to make koftas
Watching: Grace and Frankie
Marvelling: at the ages of the four main characters, it’s excellent to see seniors leading a successful series
Hoping: I’m still as fit and able at Jane Fonda’s age
Cringing: at my renewed nail biting
Needing: a new book
Questioning: if any of you have read Apple Tree Yard by Louise Doughty? Good? Might have asked this before…
Smelling: Dry Roast Peanuts
Wearing: a head of Crystal Tipps (and Alastair) hair
Following: the dire water situation in Cape Town
Noticing: how dry my skin is in this weather Icicles on the water features at Waterperry Gardens shop
Knowing: there was no way Muller Light yoghurt can replicate raspberry doughnut flavour. Indeed, it’s horrid
Thinking: Ruby Wax’s analogy about thoughts being like leaves swirling past, along a pavement is very apt
Admiring: people’s openness in discussing tricky topics on IG and the respectful, often very supportive comments in reply
A rather deliciously wicked meeting place: Lola’s in Selfridge’s, Oxford Street London
Sorting: out which snowdrop pics to keep, so many taken at Waterperry Gardens yesterday
Getting: down to gently look at the insides of snowdrops. This is something I’ve copied from my Mum, it’s often surprising how much colour is inside these little white flowers
So many varieties: singles, doubles, dwarf, tall, big and plump, fine and delicate. Snowdrops are very special
Bookmarking: new recipes, any meatless recipes you enjoy and can recommend? Variety is good
Coveting: “What am I coveting at the moment?” “Other people’s gin.”
I’m doing Dry Lent once again….
Disliking: The taste of sweeteners
Opening: bird books and many websites, then putting a pic on my Instagram account to ask for help to identify a bird – the consensus was that it’s a female chaffinch
Giggling: at Barty apparently not deserving his new catnip toys. Sunday morning Mum was in her sitting room and noticed a sparrow walking across the carpet in front of the window!
Feeling: thirsty, I always seem to write that when TS
Snacking: on radishes
Helping: motivate a friend, but not taking my own advice
Hearing: an aeroplane
Mixing: tonic water with ice and lime, pretending it’s as good as a G&T
Worrying: well, there’s always something
Slicing: onions for virtually every recipe this time of year
Catkins and beautiful twisty trees at Waterperry Gardens
Celebrating: the busy garden birdlife, since I’ve been typing I’ve seen: a Robin, multiple Blue Tits, a Coal Tit, a couple of Great Tits, a male Blackbird and the female Chaffinch is back
Forgetting: what I need to add to the shopping list
Winning: at life? Urgh, smug expression
Sneaking: extra oddments of nibbed hazelnuts, flaked almonds and walnut pieces into the museli. It’s getting close to being an end of packet dust situation!
Embracing: brighter and longer days, it’s light at 520pm still
For the full list to fill in your own Taking Stock post visit Pip. It’s fun to do.