It was absolutely glorious this morning so I got up full of beans leaving John to slumber after his disappointing evening - it is tough being a Sheffield United supporter at the best of times but an unnecessary penalty given away in added time to Man U (who he loathes in any case) was more than any man could or should stomach. I left him to a well earned lie-in.
I started the day with my new breakfast or actually pre-breakfast - this drink should be taken first thing on an empty stomach and then last thing at night and it is supposed to be good for all sorts of things. It is hot water with a teaspoon of honey and a shake of cinnamon and to ring the changes I sometimes dunk a lemon and ginger infusion bag into it! Not sure if it is doing any good but it sure as hell ain't doing any harm!
Apparently... The health benefits of honey and cinnamon include its ability to promote a stronger immune system, digestive system, increase the health of the heart, bones, skin, teeth, and hair, as well as stimulate weight loss. It also helps in relief from itching, and the improvement of arthritis symptoms.
Well that sounds good enough for me plus I love the taste of cinnamon and don't mind the honey and when I don't have it in a drink I have it in my porridge.
As I said it was a lovely day and the conservatory was really nice and warm - much warmer than the lounge so we decided to set up a table so that we could play our customary game of Noms or Crib in the light and warm and then eat our lunch there. It was a bit of a squeeze but we managed it and now John is thinking about how we can adapt one of our tables so that it can be used instead of having to bring in the outside table from the garden. Charlie seemed to approve of the change anyway!
It was my turn to cook this week and I know that my Dad likes a good steak pie and he has been a bit under the weather of late so I decided that we would have a good old steak pie today. We had been to Paps yesterday and the butcher had given me some really nice looking Flank which I had precooked in the pressure cooker with red wine and cranberry sauce and onions. I had drained off the meat and thickened some of the liquid to go into the pie and left the remainder for gravy. For the lid we were having puff pastry rather than shortcrust because I just fancied a bit of puff!
Here is the completed pie ready for the oven. I was serving it with hasselback roasties, creamed carrots and leeks, mashed butternut squash and cauliflower cheese and, if I do say so myself even I was looking forward to having that the eat!!! We were cheating a bit on the pudding as we had purchased a carrot cake from Paps - it is fantastic and I can't make it for the price they sell it plus if we get a whole one John can have some during the week with a cuppa.
I had plenty of help whilst I was in the kitchen, I always do - today it was from Boris who is in the dog-house (or should that be cat-house) for going AWOL yesterday afternoon/evening and causing John to search the neighbourhood for him. He eventually pitched up halfway to the village - god knows where he had been but he had, unusually, missed tea and that was a bit of a concern particularly as we had our Nicosian neighbours here and we are always worried that one or other of the cats is going to get shut into their house.
Anyway today he has been in for most of the day - interestingly they seem to wander off if we go out - if we are in all day they seem to stay around much more often.
Anyway Mum and Dad arrived at ours around midday and we managed to get in a game of Noms before lunch - there is clearly something going on as John (the scorer) hasn't won for a while and that is clearly not right as apparently the scorer should always win!!!
Anyway this is a very unflattering photograph of my family tucking into Sunday lunch with a cheeky little bottle of Agios Onoufrios to accompany it. This is what I love to see when I have been cooking - people enjoying the food I have prepared.
The downside to my cooking is that the kitchen looks like carnage thereafter! John cannot understand how I manage to get so many pots and pans dirty when they don't appear to have had anything to do with the cooking process!!! I got my good old hot tray out today - my £3.00 bargain from a car boot sale in Ilchester which has now travelled halfway round the world!!!
It was lovely in the conservatory after lunch - it was warm and we were well fed and had had a nice little glass of vino and we all had that nice after-lunch sleepy feeling so Boris flopped himself on Dad and the two of them took a little snooze in the afternoon sunshine before our second game of Noms and then their return home to Emba.
We settled down to a nice quiet evening in front of the fire (it turned really chilly this evening) and some crap TV - John's lap was in demand as both Boris and Chivers fought to get prime position. What a lovely day in all ways.