Sunday, January 25, 2015

Apple and Blackberry Crumble

Dinner, 25/1/15: Roast Ham, potatoes, carrots

The ham I forgot to put in the slow-cooker yesterday, but done in the oven (since I wasn't out all day); plus there's lots more - a bit for lunch and the rest for soup later in the week. 

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Dinner, 24/1/15: Fish & Chips & Saveloy

I confess, I didn't cook this - we decided to get fish &chips on the way home after our day out at the theatre - it was late and although I had originally intended to put some ham in the slow-cooker, with all the chaos of moving children around from one place to another in time to make the theatre (and the added complication of no trains thrown in) I forgot.  It seemed like a nicer option than some sort of pasta dish, which is what I would have thrown together otherwise.  We don't get takeaway often, but it sure is nice from time to time!

Grimm Tales

Went to a really interesting theatre experience today, Grimm Tales at the Bargehouse, Oxo Tower Wharf. I'm very familiar with the area as I used to work right next to the Oxo Tower, but when I was there they were just beginning to redevelop the Tower and other buildings and I don't think the Bargehouse was in use yet.  It's an old warehouse (originally a bargehouse), and they have transformed the space into an immersive theatre set. There are a number of different large rooms, over 5 floors or so, connected by a large central hall with stairwell and two other stairwells - one  at either end of the building. The performance consists of six separate "tales" from the Philip Pullman re-telling of Grimm's Tales, of which you get to watch five.  There were three different groups of audience members watching at any one time, in the different spaces, and between the tales, you moved around through the building to the next space.  Some of the spaces were used more than once, with the set altered somewhat between. The players worked in groups of 5 or 6 per tale, sharing the narration and acting between them, sometimes with puppets as well.  No photography was allowed during the performances, but afterwards, they let everyone roam around and explore the whole space; if I'd known, I'd have taken my camera. Instead, some pretty bad photos from my phone. 

All of the spaces were pretty dimly lit - many with loads of dangly lightbulbs from the ceiling - but some with other things. Everything seemed only sort of half built, and the props were both really creative and quite minimal at the same time. 

This was taken in one of the stairwells, which was covered with different size mirrors - the dresses shown are reflected in the mirror, and are hanging in the centre well of the stairwell. 

There were several areas set up as bars, for the pre-show time and the interval, and they had lots of hidden goodies - like loads of these bright red apples hidden about. 

I quilt spotted a couple of pieces in one of the sets - you actually sat on benches along the sides of the rooms, but were very close to the action. 

Here's Alex having his picture taken in the cage from the Hansel and Gretel story...

...these bird cages, some with dolls in, were also from the Hansel and Gretel set. 

This picture frame was from the set of the one story we didn't get to see, but we did see a different story in this room, when the set was arranged a little differently. 

The moon and birch trees were in one of the bar areas. 

The stairwells were covered in interesting old pictures, many of them altered in some way, like the snake added into this drawing of two fashionable ladies.

We then walked back to Waterloo station along the river (we went to the matinee, but by the time it finished, it was full dark), admiring the London lights.

I do love London...

Friday, January 23, 2015

Book 8: A Monster Calls, Patrick Ness

Yes, I admit, I did read this in one afternoon/evening, but in addition to being a YA title, it's also more of a novella than a novel, so it's not too surprising. I've been meaning to check it out for a while, and happened to see it on the shelf in the library the other week, so grabbed it while I had the chance. I have to say, it was excellent. Compelling and affecting and with fabulous illustrations. They really add something - I won't go so far as to say they make the book, but they certainly take the story to a whole other level than the already excellent text does. Yes, it's dark and serious, but don't let that stop you.

Dinner, 23/1/15: Salmon with greens and creme fraiche, mashed potato

This is a little hard to see, but was a lovely dish of salmon fillets cooked with peas and broad beans in a creme-fraiche (and other things) sauce.  The salmon was moist and lovely, and the sauce was great over the mashed potatoes. We all liked this.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Book 7: Dead Reckoning

A quick read, nearing the end of this series (Sookie Stackhouse, Southern Vampire series).  It's not serious fiction perhaps, but it's quite a fun series (I don't really like the TV show which is based on it, though I know it's popular) when you want something light. I do think it needs to come to a resolution soon, though, or the charm will wear off!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Dinner, 21/1/15: Green Pesto Tagliatelle with courgettes and pancetta

This was great - the flavours worked really well together. You can see I used paparadelle instead of tagliatelle (I had some in the house), but that didn't matter - and anyway, we like the big, flat noodles. Definitely going into our quick weeknight pasta supper rotation.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Dinner, 20/1/15: Mexican Bean and Tortilla Bake, Salad

We had this before and really liked it, so here it is again. I altered the recipe a little - added a second tin of kidney beans, and this time, as I had some leftover cooked chicken in the fridge, threw that in as well. 

Monday, January 19, 2015

Book 6: Frankie & Stankie, Barbara Trapido

I've read a number of Barbara Trapido books before (Brother of the More Famous Jack, Travelling Horn Player, Noah's Ark to name a few) and this one is very different - it's a story of sisters growing up in South Africa, and while I enjoyed it (and learned lots about South Africa's history), I think I like the style of the other books of hers which I've read, better. This read more like a memoir, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, just different. 

Dinner, 19/1/15: Leek, Potato and Rocket Soup

Modified a little - I added the rest of the bag of rocket to the soup while cooking, so it was more rockety. And increased the quantities a bit. We had bread as well, of course...

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Dinner, 18/1/15: Macaroni Cheese & Salad

After a long day out up in town, we wanted something easy and tasty - mac and cheese it is!  And I made loads, so there should be some leftovers for lunch for at least one day - maybe two or three...

A Day in London with some friends

Friday, January 16, 2015

Dinner, 16/1/15: Baked Country Chicken, potatoes, courgettes

This was a nice, Indian flavoured chicken, though I'm not sure it was substantially better enough than regular baked chicken to make it worth the effort of making a marinade and remembering to use it the night before.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Dinner, 14/1/15: Sausage and Lentil Traybake

A very easy midweek supper - using the tinned lentils made it very quick and straightforward. I had some merguez sausages in the freezer from the farmers' market, so I used those. We had this with baguette and the only thing I would change is having more baguette so we could put more of the sausages in baguettes. Maybe serve with a green salad as well, just so there was a little more veg.