A sideline project for an IT guy who likes to cook

Month: March 2022

Dust & Pesto

Everywhere we look there is a thin layer of dust, barely visible in the air but I can feel it.  I lift the coffee pot off the ceramic hob, its been sat there patiently since breakfast to be included in the evenings washing up.  There is a ring, a nice clean circle surrounded by dust.  It confirms what we are feeling and seeing.  My wife has that habit of running a finger along something to call out how dusty things are.  I just nod, it’s annoying me just as much.  I’m in that place of acceptance that this is what comes with having a bathroom re-fitted and trades in the house.

We mop and sweep at the end of each night just in an effort to create a sense of normality.  To be able to walk through the hall without kicking up more dust and transporting it to the rest of the house.  However, I know it’s made it up the stairs, into the study, where I’ve been hiding whilst the drilling, bashing, crashing has been going on.  The tell tale signs are there when the monitors go dark, the dust staring at me, taunting me.  I swear this is the last big thing we are going to do in this big old house!

Wild garlic and fresh oregano appeared in the veg box this week.  I feel a pesto and some sort of tomato sauce coming on in my head.

The pesto was easy to make, and now I’m left thinking what to serve it with.  A Brie and Bacon style toastie or perhaps a nice slice of Cod with a drizzle of the pesto.  I feel I now need to do some shopping!

Another Celeriac, big and gnarly is also there.  A small red cabbage, sweet potatoes and a cauliflower….the mind teasers for the weekend of what to do ever present, forcing me to think out the box.  It’s a nice problem to have.

Made a trip to the Osteo this week, which gave me the final push to track down the MRI scan on my hip from last year.  No back cracking until I produce the paperwork.  Still it was another step into trying to stop the decay on this aching desk constrained IT manager.

The weekend looks bright and sunny, but still a nip in the air….the mountains are calling but we aren’t quite there yet, it’s coming and I’ve already got my sights on the first Munro’s of the season.  Ben Wyvis and Gael Charn for when the time comes.

Time is short this week, I’m determined to make the rounds though to check in with the other shares and apologies for missing you last week.

The #WeekendCoffeeShare is an informal weekly link-up hosted by Natalie the Explorer 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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Wild Garlic Leaf Pesto


An experiment on my part, the veggie box came with a bag of leaves and I think they were wild garlic. Probably could have picked a smaller jar or froze into ice cubes.

Really quick and simple to make:


  • 30g Walnuts, briefly toasted in a frying pan
  • 80g Wild garlic leaves, washed, any strays removed
  • 30g Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
  • 50ml – 80ml olive oil, plus extra to cover
  • Sea Salt and freshly ground black pepper

I started this off by trying to do this by hand using the pestle and mortar to find I’d overestimated the size of the mortar required.  Room to move is the key so I ended up with mini chopper.

In a mini blender, pulse the ingredients until you get the consistency you require.

Use as a filling on a brie and bacon toastie, or as a pasta sauce.

Yo Yo

The broadband has been up and down like a yo-yo today, lots of frustration and context switching working from home trying to rapidly respond to instant messages and email in the small window that seems to appear where normality resumes.  It felt like there was a pattern, and I was able to navigate my productivity in four minute chunks before swearing profusely at the ceiling.  Waiting for the next cycle to appear, the Cytrix countdown clock becoming my friend for the day.

It’s been a strange week weather wise, extremely cold from a wind chill point of view but full of light and sunshine like a corner has turned.  The sunrise, is welcome in the mornings casting strange light across the house. I’m desperately trying to become active again.  Cycling and Walking into work for the odd day and as a consequence my hip and back remind me of all the time I’ve spent sat down.  I just can’t jump to it like I used to.  I’m trying to form a daily habit of 15 mins of yoga which I genuinely think helps.

Despite the cold, I’ve had the BBQ on with a view to quickly cooking Aubergine, Courgette and Peppers rapidly for the week ahead.  An attempt at getting a more Mediterranean diet on the go.   Soft and velvety aubergine mixed through a bag of salad is the way to go and very comforting.

I’m late again to the share, consequence of the yo yo on Friday and trying to pack so much in.  I’d tell you about the Batman, but if like me you don’t want to  hear or see a thing until you’ve seen it then I’ll stay stum and just tell you I had an enjoyable day across in Glasgow with both my sons.  We went to the cinema and saw a very long, dark, film, which we all enjoyed.  Followed by a coffee and a chat in Starbucks.

The Batman Trailer

Today has seen us clear the hall down so the bathroom fitters can get through without catching something.  Amazing how books on a bookshelf can catch dust, so they have also had a light touch with the hoover.   The boy has gone up to the dry ski slope with some pals meantime.  It will be a relief to know he’s done ok as I think he’s got a shock coming about the difference from real snow.   Meanwhile we are in the garden, trying to remove the signs of winter, sweeping and weeding.

The #WeekendCoffeeShare is an informal weekly link-up hosted by Natalie the Explorer 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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Coffee and a Scone

Sunday already and I’m wondering how the weekend is flying by so quickly.  So we are going to take the post in reverse order whilst we have our coffee.

Nice little piece in the paper this morning about Delia (the queen of cookery books here in the UK).  She is obviously promoting a book and it’s not a cookery one, going all philosophical on why we matter and I can’t wait to read it.  I mention this not about the book, more because of one of the journalists shares on the interview and what Delia said to her.

Cooking isn’t about perfection, she tells me; it’s about achievability. “I once went to a Women’s Institute thing, and I remember thinking: I’m not at all sure my jam would pass muster here.”.  Delia/Rachel Cooke – the guardian

Essentially the ethos of why I love cooking, it helps me achieve and create.  I’ve been watching the great cookery book challenge in association with Jamie Oliver and Penguin.  I’ve found it fascinating and depressing in equal measure.  As folks recipe books get rejected or accepted in a highlander style there can be only one.  It’s a tried and tested TV formula and I’ve fallen for this series.  It’s not as brutal as some.  These cooks/chefs are good, their ideas great and it can make one wonder what is the point about my side project.

That said my side project is for me not and not TV, it’s maybe something I’ll pass on at some point.  I’ve set myself a challenge of ten transcriptions from the black box with two in the bag this week. At some point I will get around to cooking them!

For the rest of the day, got an experimental soup to have a go with.  The bag of kale that came in the veg box is calling and I thought I’d have a go with the pressure cooker.  I forgot to soak any beans last night and there are enough odds and ends in the fridge to cobble something together.

The hoover has started making strange noise, some kind of blockage.  Will disassemble and try and rescue it.  The toaster has a fault, so will try take a look at that and generally keep myself out of mischief!

Saturday (I know confusing, I wanted to lead with Delia!) morning and I was greeted with the words that will strike fear into a mans heart.  ’We need to take a trip to the bathroom showroom!’ The time has come where the arrival of the plumber/bathroom fitter that we booked six months ago is looming on the horizon.  I’ve been in denial, it’s functioned well since we moved in a good five years ago.  Deep down I agree it needs to change and long over due on the projects.  A cycle and a coffee out as part of the process, making our way back along the canal armed with a phone full of photo’s of toilets and sinks for a post match reflection.

In amongst the usual I’m now watching Reacher on Prime.  It’s very good and for those in the know, nothing like watching a side shoot of a Mission Impossible film.  I’ve also spotted Picard is back, every Friday.  I’m not sure I can take another weekly series as we sit patiently for ‘This is Us’ to appear every Thursday.  However it seems hit and miss on whether it’s going to appear.  So Picard needs to build up for now, before temptation takes over!

The #WeekendCoffeeShare is an informal weekly link-up hosted by Natalie the Explorer 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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