Wednesday, 18 July 2012

An aquired taste

Who would have thought that this colourful combination of delicious carrots, broad beans, lettuce, and seeds, could turn out..... this. Looks revolting doesn't it, well it didn't taste much better, ha ha. But not to worry, it has all gone down the hatch. I don't throw food away, even the mistakes get eaten.  It was an experiment, I fancied something raw but don't have anything green except the lettuce. It really needed some spinach or brocolli, but it is such a price, unless I can get it reduced it is off my shopping list at the moment.

I am happy to report that the black eyed bean thingy in the slow cooker turned out quite nice. The beans were cooked to perfection but the skins were still hard on the broad beans. To remedy that I zapped it with the blender, and it made a very nice thick soup. I think I will stick to the canned variety of beans though, much easier than soaking for hours, then boiling, then seven hours in the slow cooker. I don't want to start cooking my meals 24 hours before I plan to eat them.

I see there are some new followers, that's nice. Welcome to the mad house, I will have a nosey at your blogs when I have a minute.

A bit of news about Rocky, In case you were wondering why there has been no mention of him lately it's because I haven't seen him for about four weeks now. He hasn't been in his garden every time I go to look. I knocked on the door and asked his owner where he was, and if and when he might be returning. She told me he has gone to stay with her mother for a while, but seemed to be a bit vague as to when he might come back. There's nothing I can do except keep looking to see if he is back. I only hope he is being well cared for and taken for walks. I miss the little fella :o(

I'm gathering a few ideas for my forthcoming trip down south. More books and maps from the library, and looking at web sites. I have a lunch date booked at Banbury on my way down there. It will be nice to see an old friend again after about ten years. From there I might dilly dally around Oxfordshire. Some nice villages round there, I fancy Blenheim Palace. Also I want to go up that big tower in Portsmouth, might stay there for a couple of days, not up the tower for a couple of days, in Portsmouth, ha ha. All very exciting. I'm looking forward to the party on the Saturday, and camping :o)) You've probably guessed by now that it's at John's of Dont Unplug Your Hub, sorry I can't do the linky thing. It's his birthday you know. Catch you tomorrow, toodle pip.


  1. You are always welcome in cornwall xxxx

  2. Why would we have guessed that you're seeing John from 'Don't Unplug Your Hub'? Is there something that we should know! By the way I've seen that Frugal Queen has said that you're always welcome in Cornwall. Devon's on the way too! x

  3. You must mean the Spinnaker Tower in Southsea lovely views and it has a glass floor. Also HMS Victory. Gun Wharf is nice to visit - they have a Julian Graves there and I got a lot of reduced stuff when I was there (seeds and nuts). Blenheim Palace is pricey but worth it - nothing like it anywhere also the churchyard in Blaydon Church is were Churchhill is buried ? Woodstock is very pretty also.

  4. Soaking blackeye peas for hours is for the birds. I wash the bean, cook until they boil, then rinse and cook. I would never soak beans overnight. You are right about not wanting to start a meal 24 hours ahead of time. You only have to one or the other--soak overnight or boil three minutes. Either of those makes the beans less gassy in your intestines. You can put in a bit of baking soda and get the same good result. Google that for amount of baking soda. Did you make Hopping John?

    Beans can be cooked on the stove in about half the time of the slow cooker.

    When I cook blackeye peas, I cook enough to freeze in portions for one--pint size bags. Of course, that may last me two meals. So the eternal cooking of beans does not happen so often!

    Most dried beans cannot be salted until they are almost done. Otherwise, they will never get soft. I sure don't know how you can stomach beans from a can! But, things I will eat may not be palatable to you.

    I have a friend that runs a Food Not Bombs site. It is an organization the feeds the homeless or poor--right on the street. He puts all sorts of fresh or canned vegetables in the beans he feeds people. It all has to be vegetarian. I don't think I would like the way he cooks the beans, but maybe I have not been hungry enough.

  5. Should be "you only have to do one or the other.

    Three ways to avoid beans giving you gas:
    1)Soak over night, rinse beans, discard water, use new water and cook.

    2)Boil three minutes and let sit for an hour, rinse, drain, discard water and cook.

    3)Put baking soda in beans and cook.

    I have never used the baking soda, but may try it once, at least.

  6. Hi Ilona just a little tip for Blenheim Palace. It is quite expensive to get in. Concessions pay £8.50 just to get into the grounds. It is possible to get in for free though by using the public footpaths that cross the grounds. Here is a website that gives more details. Hope this helps and that you have a good trip and party. Fran

  7. Welcome to the madhouse .... I laughed when I saw that, it's what I say to new staff when they join us at work!

  8. I'll pass on the smoothie and beans however your trip down south sounds exciting we are hoping to go in that direction next year. Will you be camping or hosteling?
    We are coming to your neck of the woods soon, camping near Sleaford. Any recomendations for cheap and cheerful places to visit?

  9. never a dull moment with you Ilona :-)

  10. Yes that's right lizzie, the Spinnaker Tower. Thank you for the tip Anon, I'll check the map for a footpath into the grounds of the Palace.

    Sorry Carol, I can't help you with Sleaford, it's not a place I have been to.

    Thanks for the beans/peas info PP, but you haven't convinced me. I don't like planning my meals in advance, therefore I don't bulk cook and freeze. This method might be helpfull to a busy family, people can help themselves from the freezer if they come home late. I only freeze things if something needs eating and I havent't got time to eat it straight away.

    Thank you both for inviting me to call in if I am in the south west. Maybe one day but not this time, I am heading in a straight line to the south coast.

  11. The two main reasons for beans being still hard after cooking is that they are old and stale or salt has been added at the beginning of cooking.

    I think it's well worth while to cook and freeze a batch of beans because they are like an instant meal - defrost and add sauce. I also hate planning meals, so I look on my freezer as a fast food outlet. Take something out in the morning, heat it up for tea - no work, no pan, no mess, no washing up - easy peasy.

    You might be interested in this way to speed up the cooking of beans, it's all interesting, but particularly at 4:30

    I have looked at most of the videos in this series and found some money-saving ideas.

    I hope you enjoy your trip and I look forward to seeing the photos. Inspired by you, I am off on my travels on Monday - two days in Lancaster and Morcambe. It should be good, and the weather is forcast to perk up by then.

    1. Carrie, that is how I feel about the cooking in bulk for "fast food" in the freezer. Yes, very old beans can take longer to cook. I didn't think they could get stale.

      If I have frozen sweet potatoes and frozen beans and some leftover meat, I am happy. Of course, I have other variations. I even cook rice and freeze in pint bags.

  12. Why did you need to make a smoothie with those ingredients? They would have made a perfectly acceptable salad.

  13. Hi Mel. I fancied trying something new. Also the broad bean skins are so hard as are the carrots, it takes me ages to chew them. The blender does the job of my teeth, without any effort.

    1. Ilona,
      Your saliva involved in chewing is part of the digestive process. Also, the release of saliva causes the release of stomach digestive processes. So, I think (opinion from reading) that you should keep the smooth food in your mouth and pretend chew in order to prime your body processes. You will receive more of the nutritional benefits from the food you eat.

  14. Practical Parsimony sent the last Linda comment. I was not meaning to publish. I just wanted to ask is there any way you can improve your dental health. One of the main reason for people developing health problems is from poor dental health. You mentioned once you had a top denture. My mother had full dentures and could chew anything.

    A guy wanted a date and assured me he would take his dentures out and place them on the table when we ate in private or in public. I passed on his attitude and habit.

  15. For goodness sake, there is nothing wrong with my dental health. My teeth are fine as the dentist will no doubt confirm when I go for my check up on the 8th. I do know about chewing food and the fact that the digestive process begins in the mouth, so yes, I do mix my saliva with my food before I swallow it.

    Just to confirm, I have a full set of upper teeth, my rear molars on the bottom are missing. I do have a denture but don't wear it because food gets trapped underneath and makes it uncomfortable.

    Therefore it takes me ages to chew hard food. I can chew with my front teeth, but I would rather not put extra pressure on them because I want them to last me for the rest of my life. So, it is easier to use the blender on hard food, that way I still get the nutrients without my teeth having to work extra hard.

    I hope that answers your questions, and can you forget about my teeth, they are fine. Thank you.

  16. Ilona, if you are coming down to the magical world of Portsmouth for a few days drop me an email or a message on my blog. I would love to treat you to a coffee or something in return for the many many hours of entertainment you have given me through your bloggy adventures.
    Might even go mad and make it a posh branded one lol
    x x x


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