That was quite a pleasant four-day weekend...
On Friday we headed out to Bearwood to get ingredients for Mother's Day Dinner: Take Two. The menu changed slightly because originally our main course was going to be curried mutton with rice&peas, but as the starter and dessert were both French we decided to do the main course from the same region. So, the menu was as follows (read this in the style of Dave Lamb a la Come Dine With Me if you like):-
Crumble de tomate
Estouffade de boeuf a la Provençale
(Provençale Beef Stew)
The starter and main were both from my Bistro book (third time we've had the tomato crumble because it's amazing) and the creme brulée was from good old Mary Berry. The first time I made it, I managed to set fire to it (because I do not possess a blow-torch and my grill has two settings, namely "off" and "BURNINATE"). The second time I tried a different recipe from Rachel Khoo but my oven didn't go low enough, and as a result of my attempting to cobble timings it didn't set, and I basically ended up with very sweet warm custard. Which was nice, but... not creme brulée. This time around I managed to make five almost-perfect servings with a caramel topping that was (a) not burnt and (b) crackable with a spoon.
As for the main course... the recipe was supposed to serve four, so I increased ingredients to serve six (as there were five of us). The beef for that cost us £15 and we worked out that with the wine and other bits we had to pick up the meal came to roughly £6.00 per head. As it transpired, the beef stew made 11 portions (five at the meal plus two take-away boxes for two people, and the rest of it Paul and I had in a pie last night). So basically it was less than £3.00 per head for a three-course meal. Can't complain at that!
This was helped by the fact that we found a new mini market right by the bus stop opposite the Bear where they spoke very little English but were selling two big bowls of tomatoes for £1.50 (more tomatoes than we sensibly need, so we gave some to my mum), as well as a bowl of three aubergines for a quid, and two bottles of wine (for the gravy) in Aldi for about £4.00 each.
Anyway, everything was lovely; we had a mad two hours from 4.00pm of trying to finish the dessert and make the starter so I have no idea how Paul would have managed to make the entire thing on his own (as is traditional for Mother's Day, i.e. we alternate each year). He was prepping the starter whilst I was attempting not to incinerate the creme brulée!
Sunday and Monday were both quiet by comparison and mostly involved playing Assassins Creed (I've just finished the main plot of Black Flag and Paul is still working through Unity) and making a start on Mirror's Edge now that I have a version that works. I did intend to get some embroidery done but the backstitching is taking longer than I thought. More progress pics coming later. :)
I made some bread on Sunday (nom nom) and some shortbread biscuits on Monday for work, though as I'm at Margaret Street today they won't get them until tomorrow. :P I like having time off to do baking. :)
In health news, I have another kidney infection, and I'm still waiting on my hospital appointment. They're not as regular as they were prior to November but I suspect that's merely because I've gotten used to them and my pain threshold is through the roof. (Except for when the kidney decides to give me a kicking, of course; I am convinced Naproxen is magic.)
Nothing much else to say. I have a week off next week as it's our anniversary on the Thursday (ten years!) and even though we were hoping to get away somewhere, it's simply not possible, so instead we have a vague plan of having a day of haircuts and new tattoos. In my case this will hopefully be my long-overdue ouroborous / lightning bolt combination if I can throw a design together by then.
Also, if my hospital appointment comes through prior to the summer then we can always try to get a late deal for September, assuming we manage not to spend the money in the savings account by then. :P (At this rate I'll be happy to get some kind of result this year; as of the end of next month I'll have been plagued by kidney infections for a whole year.)
I am determined to get back to the gym some point this month; I'd like to think I'll manage it whilst I'm off but in all likelihood that won't happen, though I will definitely attempt to go swimming up the road at the very least. There's simply no excuse when it's only 5 minutes away. :P
Anyway. Next entry will be an embroidery update, and then hopefully tattoo pictures. :)