Yes, they have! The breakfast croissants that I prepare for the Mhinisteir when he has super busy mornings have shrunk in size. Why is that a big deal? It is a big deal because the price of the croissants have gone up while they have shrunk in size.
I buy these croissants from the online supermarket, Ocado. For several weeks now, I have been observing that once baked the croissants come out slightly smaller than usual. Initially I thought that my eyes were playing tricks but now I have concrete evidence that the croissants have indeed shrunk in size. Am I going to stop buying them? Absolutely not! According to the Mhinisteir they are the best he has tried so far so they are staying.
Have you heard of a Dorset Knob? I had never heard of it until 10 days ago when it was mentioned in a newspaper article. I had assumed that the writer was referring to a door knob that was made specially in Dorset!
The next day a letter was published with the person specifically mentioning how the Dorset knob should be eaten. Eaten??? A quick google search revealed that a Dorset knob is actually a biscuit!
I love bananas but by the time I try and go through the whole bunch, the last one or two becomes overly ripe. I usually pop them in the freezer to make banana cake at a later time but there is only so many bananas that you want to store in the freezer!
A few weeks ago, I accidentally invented a very simple dairy free banana smoothie and just loved it. I say accidentally because I didn’t know what I was doing and have never tried a smoothie.
Anyway, the recipe is below if you fancy having a go at it:-
Dairy Free Banana Smoothie
1 overly ripe banana
250ml cold dairy free milk (I used Alpro rice milk)
1.Put the banana and the dairy free milk in the blender, blitz well.
2.Pour it into a tall glass and enjoy.
*I have not added any sugar because banana when ripe is usually very sweet.
Well, that is the name of the eating establishment that the Mhinisteir took me to one fine day in May. I had actually come across this restaurant on one of our visits to the city and was quite taken by the name “Giggling Squid”. When I looked in through their big windows, I liked what I saw – their decor was classy but cheerful. I looked up the restaurant online and discovered that they have many branches across England.
I was very keen to visit them for the Mhinisteir’s sake but eating out is very tricky for me but I was determined. To my delight, I discovered that the branch that we were planning to visit had plenty of natural light flowing in and so I would just about manage if we went for lunch. For some reason, I prefer lunch to dinner. I don’t like going out in the dark.
Once inside, I was bowled over by the decor of the restaurant and we were informed by the waiting staff that the Thai owner herself had come up with the idea. It was just beautiful! We got to sit in a giant birdlike cage which was fun. The food was excellent too. I could only have the pad thai which was non spicy and so I decided to opt for the Giant prawn pad thai from the ala carte menu instead of their ordinary pad thai from their lunch menu. The Mhinisteir was able to have something with a bit more kick to it. Needless to say that all the dishes were beautifully presented.
We have been there twice so far and have not been disappointed. It might be the place for you if you like Thai food and beautiful restaurants.
Just a quick disclaimer…. I am not paid to promote Giggling squid. I enjoyed it very much and thought that someone else might too.
A few months back, I came across a blogger who does food review around our nearest city. I was very excited and started following them. One of the reviews that I really liked was that of a Japanese restaurant near the Cathedral. I told the Mhinisteir about it.
The first time that we tried to visit that restaurant was on our way to our holiday destination. The Mhinisteir rang them to make a reservation but there was no answer. We later found out that they were shut. It didn’t say on their website or anywhere else that they were shut. I wasn’t too keen to give them a second chance but the Mhinisteir thought that it was a bit harsh.
Anyway, some time in April, he managed to find some time around his busy schedule and took me to this Japanese restaurant for lunch. I was excited as the review was very positive.
Upon arrival, I realised that it wasn’t a restaurant but a tiny cafe! Photos can be so deceiving. The Mhinisteir had made a reservation but the waitress was oblivious to it and tried to sit us at the tiny bar. We don’t like sitting at the bar which is precisely why the Mhinisteir specified this when he made the booking.
Thankfully, the waitress managed to find us a tiny table by the window. I found her way too loud. She was heavily tattooed as well (Just saying 😊). The whole service was rushed like as if they were trying to get rid of us ASAP.
The food didn’t live up to the price that we paid. That was when I realised that I had been fooled by the review. It is not that the reviewer was untruthful but that we both have very different standards. Their idea of good food and what constitutes as a restaurant is most definitely different to mine!
Did you know that free range eggs are no longer available in the UK ? I didn’t. According to an article on the BBC website, the UK is experiencing its largest ever outbreak of avian flu and so hens are no longer able to roam around freely and have to be kept in doors. They will instead be labelled as barn eggs.
Am I the only one to have just read about the severity of the avian flu? I have been diligently listening to the news and reading the papers but I don’t seem to have seen/heard this anywhere.
Last week, I decided that the Mhinisteir and I needed a treat and decided to bake an indulgent chocolate fudge cake. I started work on the cake just after lunch so that we could have a slice with our afternoon cup of tea.
As I was putting away all the utensils, I realised that the dairy free butter remained untouched in the corner!!!! I had forgotten to add butter to my cake mixture!!!!!! How did I manage that? The cake was already in the oven!
Miraculously the cake turned out just fine. It tasted good but didn’t remain moist for too long. I have got no idea when happened but please don’t try this at home! 😁
On Sundays, the Mhinisteir has 2 warm croissants for breakfast instead of his usual soft boiled eggs and porridge.
Until a few weeks ago, his croissants came from Marks and Spencer via Ocado. All I had to do was to warm them up in the oven.
Unfortunately, the M&S croissants are often out of stock and so I have had to find an alternative; that is when I found Picard Frozen Croissants. At Ocado, it costs £3.99 for 8 frozen croissants. You put them in a hot oven at 180c for 18 minutes and voila! you have soft and buttery croissants to enjoy. The Mhinisteir tells me that these croissants taste much better than the M&S croissants. I can’t eat them due to my food intolerance.
As the weather gets colder, you might want to keep a bag in your freezer for that occasional treat.
On Sunday, we had pan fried wild Scottish venison haunch for lunch. As I was preparing the meal, I got transported to Scotland as it usually happens!!!
When we lived in Scotland, we ate a lot of venison as it is my favourite red meat. I prefer it to beef; I don’t like lamb as I find the flavour a bit too strong for me.
At least one of our parishioners was a ghillie (one who attends to deer stalking expeditions) which meant that we always had venison in our freezer! In bygone days when I was fighting fit, we used to entertain quite extensively but strangely, I have never ever served venison to any of my dinner guests.
As a host, I always like to ask guests before hand their likes and dislikes together with their dietary requirements and every single time, I was told that they don’t like to eat bambi!!!!
However, they had no trouble with the Scottish Salmon that I served which has made me wonder how is it that they had no trouble eating nemo but not bambi???😂😂😂
A few weeks ago, I got a reminder from Ocado, our online supermarket to book my slots for Christmas! Until then, I had not even thought about Christmas! In fact, it was just two days ago that the Mhinisteir asked me what day Christmas falls on this year and I hadn’t a clue! I have since discovered that Christmas this year is on a Saturday!
In the Vicarage, Christmas is a very very important religious festival. However, our celebrations are always subdued. It ever was thus!
Back to Ocado, I am not even sure what I am going to be doing next week let alone Christmas. I don’t want to book a slot and then realise nearer the time that I won’t be available to accept delivery. In any case, I prefer not to deprive someone else of a much wanted slot.