A sideline project for an IT guy who likes to cook

Month: June 2020

Fortnite

IMG_3879If we were having coffee it would be served with a huge slab of Chocolate birthday cake, a side of fresh Scottish strawberries and a dollop of Greek yoghurt.

The weekend is a busy one and I took Friday off work (which means trying not to log in, to not peak at the emails and to not worry about the issues that you know are building up).  Mainly to enjoy some family time as we celebrate a couple of anniversaries, ar year wiser for the boy and to acknowledge another year of marriage.  It all flies by so quickly.

As ever food has been a big feature.  At the request of the boy, there was breakfast pancakes and a Chinese take away for tea followed by a Fast and Furious film, I think it was number 8, they are very much blending into one!

The cake already mentioned baked and iced with a secret ingredient…..Condensed milk.  Which you wouldn’t believe how hard was to get in this current climate.   I turned it into a labor of love by drawing a Fortnite character on top using white chocolate.  Let’s just say there was room for improvement.  Fortunately though it didn’t stop it being eaten….and at time of writing there is only one slice left….which you are more than welcome to.

For some I’m sure your wondering if I’ve spelt Fortnite correctly.  It’s the name of an online shoot em-up, last man standing kind of thing.  You can play solo or in teams of up to 4 players.  Either Duos or Squads.  As a boy who’s games console was Astro Wars, and moved onto a second hand Spectrum 48k.   This is mind blowing with headsets to boot in order to talk to pals just round the corner, or around the world in New Zealand.  It’s been a god send during lockdown as the boys stay in touch with their pals over the power of broadband.

The best part is that I’ve been allowed to join in….I’m carried every step of the way, and they don’t seem to mind.  It just adds to being in the game for the boy and his pals.  It’s one of those if you can’t beat em join em moments and I’m really lucky to have this extra time with a teenage boy.

Saturday evening, In an effort to get sophisticated and have a more adult meal with the boss, I tried a new recipe where I discovered Freekeh.  Served with roasted butternut squash, a fillet of sea bream and a green salad.   Freekeh is an amazing grain, nutty, chewy and soft at the same time.

After the big cookbook sort out…..(Yes, I finally finished).  I bought a couple of new ones  (Don’t groan :)). Honestly, more went out than have come in!

  • Aran by Flora Sheddon,

Based around the startup of a village bakery cafe In Dunkeld, along with the ebb and flow of the daily life in a Scottish day.  I managed to grab 30 mins with a coffee, and I don’t know if was just peace for the self reflection, or the writing.  It took me back to my childhood, staying with my Gran at weekends, cricket teas and warmth of people.  This is a beautiful heart warming book about a bakery café.

  • 26 Grains by Alex Hell-Hutchinson

This I bought really for my wife, I’ve not had the time to delve deep yet.  It’s part of my journey into healthier eating.  It’s got the London vibe of another start up café.  Where the previous book is about old fashioned warmth…lets say Scottish Hygge.   This book is more akin to the new wave of modern eating, professing to be on trend and on message, the author having spent a year in Copenhagen as part of a degree, enjoying the scene and food so much that it translated into a new start-up café in London based around grains and good living.  This is where I plucked up the courage to tackle Freekeh from.

The battle bus is calling……I hope you have a great week.

The #WeekendCoffeeShare is an informal weekly link-up hosted by Eclectic Alli that serves as weekly heart beat and sort of of a mind-dump. Helps me reflect on my week, with a list of achievements, thoughts and rambles normally whilst drinking a beverage probably listening to music.

 

Fog

IMG_3836If we were having coffee we’d talk about the fog that seems to have enveloped the city.  The Meadows shrouded in an eerie cover of damp that sucks the warmth out of your bones.  Don’t hang around….who knows what’s lurking.

This morning’s walk took in the Saturday errands a good 8k including the local health foods store, the butcher, the fishmonger and a Boulanger I’ve been meaning to pop into for a while.  Greeted with a bonjour and thanked with a Merci.  It was a little bit disorientating but added to the experience.  Walking away with two sourdough loaves, a fig and a seeded.

LaBarantine_Bruntsfield

A smoked haddock risotto for tea with more of a nod to kedgeree than an authentic Italian dish.  Followed by a fruit salad, strawberries being in full swing at this time of the year.

Exercise wise, I’ve managed 4 runs.  Monday was really tough.  Thursday was a record breaker sub 30min for my 5k  route.  The last part is up hill, and at the end of it I barely had enough energy to stop the clock.

The cookbook sort out that started last weekend is thankfully coming to an end.  A good selection up for the charity book shop when it opens, some to go in a staging area (a cooling off period) essentially  hidden from being a distraction, some on my shelf next to me in my study, the diary and reference type idea.  The rest in the main hub, the kitchen for easy access…..and it opens a couple of spaces 🙂

Hopefully the week ahead sees the fog lifting with further restrictions from lock down eased.  Thank you for popping by and I hope that if you are surrounded by a fog in any form it lifts soon.

The #WeekendCoffeeShare is an informal weekly link-up hosted by Eclectic Alli that serves as weekly heart beat and sort of of a mind-dump. Helps me reflect on my week, with a list of achievements, thoughts and rambles normally whilst drinking a beverage probably listening to music.

 

 

 

Monday

Monday

Monday again, and all those thoughts come flooding in. The wheel starts turning again and I’m berating myself for the food choices I made over the weekend.

I weighed myself, and I’m further away from my target than when I set my target. Internally I’m groaning, and my whole demeanour is one of a depressed 47 year old wondering how to put this right. I’m fighting so many demons in my head right now.

I weighed myself as a kick up the backside, on the whole it’s my science barometer, it tells me what I already know….without allowing me to lie to myself.

By this time it’s 6:30, I’m awake, I’ve done a little bit of yoga/stretching in order to keep the back pain in check, and despite knowing that the run is going to be hard work I push through my negative thoughts and don the kit. It’s back to being cold again, the mini heat wave gone and I’m double layered, also back to wearing light weight joggers.

My pace is slow but persistent, initially laboured, a tune comes on and then another and I find myself half way without realising and then the hill approaches, which I manage half way. I decide to take the scenic route round the pond rather than the road and it makes for a much more pleasant experience passing folk who I saw on the other side doing a similar circuit but in reverse.

The final quarter is painful with a couple of uphills, really tests my ability to push through. Although door to door this particular route is 6k. I usually walk from 5 as part of the warm down (or so I tell myself)

Today I managed to do some post run stretching, despite this I still feel like I’ve stiffened up after breakfast.

My head though and the woes of 6:15 are slowly melting away……time to get on with the day ahead…the PC is calling…….Monday

Cookbook Sort

img_5059-1024x768If we were having coffee we’d be having it with a slice of Torta Caprese, a flour-less chocolate and almond cake. Served with a good dollop of Crème Fraiche and some fresh strawberries (it is the season so it would be rude not to).

Staying local, has forced us to appreciate what we have, cycling round Arthur’s seat more times in 10 weeks than in 20 years. So the search for a bit of variety has kicked in, sticking to our 5 mile radius this weekend has seen more exploration of our local cycle-ways, disused railways turned into cycle paths. Amazing bunch of inter connecting routes that are hidden away and have the ability to disorientate even though I know the city well. They are on the other side of the town to us, the side we typically drive through on the way to somewhere else. We incorporated it into a trip to the bakery we found last week with the addition of a couple of essentials that we didn’t manage to get in our click and collect shop.

 

Covered a good 10 miles in all, via a fairly circular route. Made a couple of mistakes as we popped up our heads which is a good learning for when we come out of this lockdown. More educated about the space we live in, which will also help me get about town in future as part of my weekend exercise and weekend shopping… ‘messages’ as they are affectionally known as in Scotland.

I’ve decided that the cookbook collection has got too big and it’s time, it’s out of hand and needs to be sorted. Which is easier said than done. The criteria for both discard or a keeper both fraught with nuances, was it a gift, how many recipes will we use again, will I need it in the future, as I flick through memories are evoked on the decisions on why I bought it in the first place. The books I’ve picked up at charity shops are easy to sift through and let go with my reasoning being that the charity made good money on my spend. It’s the new books that that coveted my attention at the time, I didn’t buy then lightly. Then there’s my favourite author from back in the day, his newer books not hitting the mark, or touching my needs of now. Do I really need to complete the range, they don’t match anyway.

What I do know though is that having too many on the go has caused me a bit of paralysis, too much choice and I’m finding that the books I want to enjoy and learn from can easily be deviated from. So the sort out is really a goal of trying to simplify and focus. Will let you know how I’m getting on next week….need to stay focused!

 

The #WeekendCoffeeShare is an informal weekly link-up hosted by Eclectic Alli that serves as weekly heart beat and sort of of a mind-dump. Helps me reflect on my week, with a list of achievements, thoughts and rambles normally whilst drinking a beverage probably listening to music.

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