You’ll Never Know who You’ll Find in There!

Good Day Dear Readers!

Hope you all had a lovely weekend as we had a four-day weekend as Chef P took off on Friday and also yesterday.  We did the rounds of Thanet on Friday:  Cliftonville for the kitty food and litter, Ramsgate to the Asian store for noodles, the Green grocer for garlic and chili peppers and  Lidl for fresh veg, then to the farm shop for potatoes and cherries (for mum) and then to Tesco for the bulk of the shopping.

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We picked up our usual 12.5kg/27.5lb bag of potatoes (for a whopping £1.50/$2.27).  Chef P made shepherd’s pie on Sunday and as he was pulling potatoes out of the bag, look who was hiding inside…

It’s a Jimmy Durante Mr. Potato Head!

For you youngsters who don’t know who Mr. Durante is, here’s his picture…

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Hey, I’ve just recently joined Pinterest, so please click on my button over on the right to follow me!

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Chef P took the day off yesterday, so we headed over to Canterbury again.  This is the third time in about as many months.  We stopped for lunch at the Forge Restaurant in Nason’s Department Store and had quite a healthy lunch, although I didn’t take any pictures.  I had an open-faced sandwich of turkey, apple slices and cole slaw on whole wheat bread with a nice little side salad of lettuce, tomato and cucumber and a cup of green tea.

We also stopped in Whittard’s of Chelsea which are the purveyors of fine teas since around 1836 and got myself a box of Gunpowder Green Tea Leaves.

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And here’s a lovely shot of my beautiful lillies that I have out in the front of the house.  I’ve been quite lucky this year that the lily beetles didn’t get to them as badly as they have in the past.  I managed to squash a good many of them this year and I think all the rain kept them away too.

Lovely Lilies

Just a quiet day here at Terri’s Kitchen, so until next time…

♥ Terri  ♥♥

What Has….

…five racks, four doors, three glass panels, a glass cover and five gas burners?

My range!

The reflection on the floor is from the sky light

I decided to give my ovens (yes, that is plural) a good clean this morning.  Cleaning the oven(s) is just one of those jobs that you…or at least I…put off cleaning just because it’s a pain in the butt to do, especially since I have two (one is a fan oven-bottom, left).  It also has a separate broiler/grill (upper left) and a storage area, bottom, right.

I do have some great oven cleaner (Ovenmate) and it also works on the racks and the glass panels

The glass cover is up. There’s four burners plus a central wok burner and plate warmer on the right, which is also great for melting butter and chocolate.

without barely any effort.  You just brush it on and leave it be for anywhere from 3 minutes to 3 hours, depending on how bad the grease and grime is then wipe it off.  It’s a clear gel and doesn’t smell and has no fumes.  I’ve also got a huge plastic tray that’s big enough to put the racks in to give them a good soak.

Now that it’s all cleaned, I’m not going to want to mess it up later by cooking dinner, but alas, I shall.

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OTHER BITS AND BOBS….

I also picked out some potatoes that we had growing from a sprouting potato that I planted a few months back.  Guess what I’m making with the chicken tonight!

New potatoes

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On Saturday we headed to Ramsgate to the green grocer where we can get 12 bulbs of garlic for £3.99.  They also had boxes of mushrooms: 4 lbs. for £2.50 and these are HUGE mushrooms…bigger than Portobello!  When the girl rang them up, they came up at £1.99 (bargain #1).  We then stopped at a pet store as I needed some more bird seed and they had a 20kg bag sitting outside, but no price on it so I went in to ask how much it was.  The guy says £8.99, which is a really good price.  Chef P grabbed one off the shelf and as we left with the seed, Chef P notices that the priced marked on the bag was £10.99 (bargain #2).

We then headed to the farm shop and picked up four cauliflowers for £1.00 (bargain #3) - (One of the big stores here, the one that claims ‘every little helps’ sells cauliflower for £1.87…each!), a 20kg bag of large onions for £7.00 (bargain #4) and a 12.5kg bag of maris piper potatoes for £1.60 (bargain #5) (the same store sells maris pipers; a 2.5kg bag for £1.90)

I love saving money!

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This coming weekend, there are a couple of major events going on.  It’s the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II; the celebration of her being on the throne for 60 years.

Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip on the balcony at her Majesty’s Coronation

As this country will take any excuse for a party, it  has been gearing up for this over the past year, but even more so in the past couple of months.

Everywhere you look you see the Union Jack flag, crowns, red, white and blue, pictures of the queen and in all the magazines and newspapers, tips and recipes on how to celebrate the jubilee with parties and food.

This is such a big deal, they’ve even given an extra two bank holidays for the occasion, so next Monday and Tuesday, pretty much the whole country has off for the Diamond Jubilee.

Here’s a few facts about the Queen’s monarchy over the years:

1953 ~ The Coronation At 25, Elizabeth II was the youngest monarch to succeed to the throne since her great-great grandmother, the 18-year-old Princess Victoria, became Queen in 1837.  On June 2, 1953, the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II took place in Westminster Abbey, following a 900-year-old Royal tradition.

1955 ~ Portrait Sittings The Queen has been painted and drawn by more than 70 artists in the past six decades, giving a total of 712 sittings.

1970 ~ Gone Walkabout For the first 20 years of her reign, the queen was restricted by Royal protocol in who she met and talked to.  All that changed overnight on a state visit to new Zealand.  She had been on an engagement when she came across a group of young schoolchildren eagerly waiting to greet her.  Quite spontaneously, she departed from the original program and walked informally among the children, chatting, shaking hands and accepting their gifts of small bunches of flowers.

2011 ~ Royal wedding of William and Kate 2011 proved to be a red-letter year for the Queen.  The wedding of her grandson William to Catherine Middleton was a cause for nationwide celebrations and there was a groundswell of public affection towards the couple and towards the Queen and Prince Phillip, who were obviously delighted William had found such a beautiful bride.

So make some food, have a party, buy some souvenirs and celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee!

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Oh yes, I did say there were a couple of major events this weekend….Friday is…MY BIRTHDAY!  Chef P is taking the day off and we’ll be heading to Canterbury again.  Looking forward to it!

Have a nice day! :)

♥ Terri  ♥♥

Lunch at Fern’s in Canterbury

Chef P was on holiday from Good Friday until this past Monday and went back to work on Tuesday.  As you may know from reading some previous posts, we had been very busy.  On his last day off, we decided to head over to Canterbury, which we tend to visit about 3-4 times a year, even though we’re only a short distance away.  The last time we were there was around Christmas.

We took the train in, which is always so much easier than driving.  We strolled around and found that there was a Whittard’s and was finally able to find a tea infuser for my mother-in-law. :)  Don’t really know how long this store was there, but was glad to find it.  The last time I was at one of their stores was back in July when we were in London.  It just occurred to me; I’m in England where they drink tea like there’s no tomorrow and yet we had a hell of a time trying to find a tea infuser!  We looked in four other stores before I finally found one!

Around midday, we decided to get some lunch.  We don’t do fast food so had to find some place proper to eat.  We found a place that was actually hidden away as there’s really no storefront for it, just the entrance door with a sign pointing you upstairs.  We went to Fern’s Restaurant and Tearoom.  It’s a quaint little restaurant and as it was a weekday, it was rather quiet.  There was a woman dining alone at the table behind us and a couple who were sitting in one of the window seats having lunch.

The seats were leather with high backs and rather comfortable I might add.  The tables were a heavy wood (oak?) with cast iron pedestal bottoms.  Many of these places in Canterbury were once homes and it’s usually quite obvious.  There were two fireplaces (one in each corner) in the section of the room we were sat in with tiled edging.  Many homes back in the early times had more than one fireplace in a room just to get it warm enough.

Chef P ordered a vegetable quiche which came with fries(chips in the UK) and a cappuchino and I ordered a ham, cheese and tomato paninni which came with a small dressed salad and some potato chips(crisps in the UK) and a diet coke.

Now those of you who follow South Beach know that I shouldn’t have eaten some of what was placed in front of me.  The paninni bread alone is a no-no as it’s made with white flour and I really shouldn’t have eaten some all of the crisps.  Another thing that I never have anymore is soda, even diet soda, but I just felt like having it.  We never buy soda or potato chips and I very rarely eat them except in situations like this, so I really don’t feel guilty for having them.

It was a lovely relaxing lunch; something we don’t do often enough.  We’re heading up to Scotland at the end of June for a week, so we’ll get to do that quite a bit.  I’ll fill you in more on our upcoming trip as it gets closer.  Here’s one bit of info:  We’re taking a sleeper train up there!

Have a nice weekend!

♥ Terri  ♥♥

Foodie Gifts

So what kind of foodie gifts did you get for Christmas?  Yes, I know that Christmas was nearly two weeks ago, but I’m just getting around to this now.

Other than the wonderful box of fresh food from Italy, I also got some other great foodie items; some requested, some not.  I received a couple of cook books, some knives, a kitchen diary, cookie press and new salt & pepper grinders.

A few days prior to Christmas, Chef P and I took a day trip to Canterbury to do a bit of shopping.  I love going there because there are more stores than you can shake a stick at. (why anyone would want to shake a stick at anything is beyond me) Continue reading

Only 4 More Days!

I’ve been really busy these past few days as I’m sure all of you are, hence my lack of posting. I’ve made all the cookies and wrapped all the presents and the house is all decorated. Tomorrow Chef P and I are taking a little day trip to Canterbury to do a bit of shopping for ourselves and I’m sure even another Christmas gift or two!

Yesterday we received a lovely box of fresh foods from a company in Italy from my brother and sis-in-law including clementines, lemons, fennel, purple sprouting broccoli, mozzarella balls, giant garlic, talleggio cheese, exotic wild mushrooms, lots of fresh herbs and artichokes still on their stems. This is a foodie lover’s dream box!

I used some of the mushrooms and herbs and garlic last night in a creamed chicken dish and Chef P is using some of the herbs and garlic tonight. I even used some of the ‘shrooms and cheese this morning with my eggs. I’m thinking of making a lemon tart with the lemons!

I think I’ll go make myself a martini. I know it’s not Friday, but Chef P has off until after the holidays so it’s technically not a school night! And besides, Chef P got me a nice big bottle of Bombay Sapphire….

:)