Thursday 30 June 2016

Stockpile Dinner - Massaman Curry


On Saturday night the Posh Boy's boys, came over.  That made 6 for dinner as one of the usual Boarding School boys was at a wedding.  No matter, we werent expecting them, they had a hasty chat by email.  We have no roof, whahhh, the rain is coming in whahhhh...  And an hour later they poured in from 3 counties, with their sleeping bags in hand, to keep our spirits high.

Thankfully we still have power in the garage, meaning there was cold drinks in that fridge.  The boys all found it hilarious that we have hot water coming out of the cold tap and cold water from the hot taps, where the builders did something silly with the water pipes.  They will sort it, I need a roof more than I need that changing back.

What did I feed everyone, when I dont live near a shop and didnt want to go back out after a day in Stoud?  Store cupboard massaman curry.

Please excuse the builders tray.  Everything else is in a box somewhere...  Lets pretend this is a really gorgeous picture,  OK.  Hmm lets move on.

The massaman curry paste was on offer, 20p a packet, reduced to clear.  The tempura flour was 12p a bag, also on clearance.  Got to snap the bargains up.  On Saturday I used 2 packets of the curry paste, 2 cans of new potatoes, 3 cans of coconut milk, also on offer, 2 for £1.  And the star of the show?  Not chicken or beef or any meat.  Yep, you have guessed  it TOFU.  Also from the store cupboard.

We ate all the tofu in the store cupboard, 3 cubes to be exact.

Now I know what you are thinking...  Sol, you really use silken tofu?   Well yes I do.  Here is how.  

Break open the box with scissors, dont squeeze it out.  Cut open the other end.  Using a spatula push it gently out.  Leave it to drain for as long as you can.  Say, 20 minutes.  Then carefully cut it into nice cubes, think how you would cut chicken for a curry.  Now you are going to use the tempura batter.  You arent making batter.  You are going to use the tempura flour as a coating.  Lightly press the cubes into the flour.  And then fry gently in some oil.  Do this in small batches.  

To make the curry sauce up, follow the instructions.  Something like lightly fry the paste from the packets, and then add the coconut milk from the cans.  Whisk it in.  Heat through.  If you had it in your pantry roughly chop 2 big onions.  Heat in some oil on high in the pan you used for the tofu, burn some bits on it.  Then open the cans of potatoes, make them bite size.  Put the onions and the potatoes into the curry sauce and cook for a few minutes.    When you are ready to serve, add the tofu to the curry very carefully and bathe the cubes with the sauce and gently stir.

Serve with boil rice from your stock pile.

You can also make this with beef or chicken.  I have never tried fish but I am sure you can, if you can do it with tofu you can do it with anything.

Be careful, massaman curry can and will stain your clothes.

So much easier than pounding all of the ingredients like I did at Thai food cookery school.

Heres what it looked like in Thailand.  I forgot to take a picture before they ate it all.


One of the boys called it Zombie Apocalypse curry...  Not bad for everything coming out of pantry right?

Monday 27 June 2016

I Will Huff and Puff and Blow Your House Down

It show the new head height.  Our super duper heating system.  Picture to the North

Picture to the south where the old roof is still there.  You can see where the tiles are coming off already.  There will be another dormer that end.

Neighbour to the North .

Lets hope there is no more rain.   

P.S part of the bathroom ceiling has fallen down and it smashed part of the bath  Ho hum... They said they will replace it and fix the ceiling.

Some {Grand Designs music with a twist}.  You have got to laugh.  I love it, "your house looks like a TESCOOOOs"  LMAO  Dodgy sound but I love it!!!

Have a good day everyone!

Saturday 25 June 2016


I fancy some flashback music to perk us all up.  I am fed up with the news, the radio and the TV.

Therefore I give you 3 songs from the 1990s. to sway about to and twirl if you like, no one is looking let loose!

These arent my top 3 songs, but they all remind me of something good that happened at the time they were in the charts.  I wonder how many other people have songs, that transport them to the past.

The first song played on a nigh on loop on my first trip to France on a French exchange.  It reminds me of foreign food, foreign boys, art and stately homes - France style.

Have a fab weekend!

Be kind

Friday 24 June 2016

Whats been happening?

In door flooding. Thunder and lightning, meant that for a week the work men downed tools.  Bottom right is a paddling pool.  Best buy ever!

A huge wasps nest was found.  Its really well made, absolutely fascinating, all the swirly bits.  Can you see the cells inside?

This is the space where one dormer will go.

The massive skip.  The fence is just over 6 foot tall.

This green carpet was on the walls in the bedroom in the loft.  Yes on the wall.  Floor boards on the floor, carpet tiles on the walls?  And if you touched it, the fibres turned to green dust on your hand. 

Do you call it a loft or an attic?  Is it a loft until it is converted and then is it called an attic room?

This was in the storage in the eaves.  I believe it was an off cut of the carpet that was in the lounge.  It had faded so much in the sun, that it was white in front of the window and the french doors.

This is the insulation that has been put in over the old floor in what will be the master bedroom.  Its wool fibre.  I cant remember the name. 

Looks like an aquarium right?!?  This is the old velux in the front loft, over looking the back garden.  I cant see our of it as I am too short..  The blue is the tarps over the top as the weather isnt getting any better.

Part of the new roof and one of the front dormer openings.

Crawled under and out into the opening.  Left on the picture is the old roof.  Right is the new roof.  You can see the height we are gaining and it will make the useable room larger.

Wonky camera view here.  Horizontal, is the old roof and that is out into the sky. 

More leaks.

Ignore the bobbly ceiling, they are all over this house.  At least until the Plasterer does his job.  The picture is to show the water running from the light fitting.

The kitchen ceiling is falling down also, I dont have a picture of that yet, just imagine the ceiling a cupboard with the consumer unit in it and water pouring down the wall, out the bottom of the cupboard.

All go, here.

The builders will be here this weekend and are working through the rain.  'Apparently'.  I will believe that when I see it.  

These pictures will probably only make sense to Kev and Jam, and people who have built their own house or had this work done.  I can see it all in real life and I cant really see what is happening.

At the moment is like that part in Grand Designs when they play the gloomy music.  Lets hope we get the happy music that it is all finished at some point.  There has to be an end right?  LOL LOL *laughs manically*  *involuntary crazy eye movements*

This weekend, we are off to our old stomping ground, Stroud, where I will buy vegetables with dirt but no chemicals.  Yes, you can buy organic somewhere else, but we are going for lunch with friends.  I will go early to see what is good at the street market, buy some used paperbacks and some honey.

What are you up to?  

P.S.  Why do builders use so much toilet roll?  We are going through a roll and a half a day

Wednesday 22 June 2016

X Marks the Spot

Take your own pen to mark your ballot.  I am unsure why they supply only pencils in the polling booths.

Never voted before? - For more info go {here} and {here}

As the saying goes, "Your Vote is Your Voice!".

Tuesday 21 June 2016

Happy Solstice Everyone

Hello everyone, how are you?

I hope you all had a lovely Solstice.

Life carries on here.  The building work has started and we have gone mad and done a few things that really should have waited, but we are all OK.  Exhausted.  Work hussles on.

I will post some pictures of the progress another day, as they have been taken on a phone.

With the longest day now behind us, we will be pushing like crazy for as much to be done as possible. 

The builders had to down tools for a week, what with the scaffolding and the rain, thunder and lightning.  We had some flooding.  We have some ceilings that need repair and replastering, but really I am just happy for them to get on with it and for the house to be water tight before August.  They said nine weeks, with the lost week that makes 10 weeks.  Lets see how well they do, shall we?

Be happy everyone.

Be kind.

Sol xxx

Wednesday 1 June 2016

Liebster from Kymber

I think I may have been nominated for this previously and then like this, life got in the way and I lost the comment and who had given it to me.  Apologies to that person, I hope you still read the blog and dont think I am too much of a ding bat...  This therefore may be a little thrown together, I was hoping to have pictures but I still havent been home to get my charger for my camera.

Shall we get on with it?  OK, lets go.

{Kymber and Jam}, nominated me for this.   Thank you.

The idea of the Liebster Blog Awards is to discover new blogs and here's what you need to do to take part:

  • Ensure you thank the person who has nominated you and include links back to their blog, after all it's important you share their lovely blog too!
  • Include a photo/badge of the Liebster Blog Awards logo on your blog post to show you've taken part. 
  • Answer the 10 questions asked by the blogger who has nominated you
  • Nominate 5 bloggers that you want to share with your followers and blog viewers
  • Create 10 new questions to ask your nominees - have some fun!
  • Ensure you make your nominees aware that they have been nominated so they know to answer their questions!

1. what is your favourite thing to do when you have 2 free hours all to yourself?

I love reading.  Its something that people use to file in their CV/resume of what they like thinking it makes them look intelligent.  I dont claim to be intelligent.  I use books to escape for a while and give myself a break from the real world.  I just really like reading.  I think if you can read you can achieve most things just by following the instructions.

2. who is your favourite author and why?

Too many to list.  I am currently reading The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones by Cassandra Clare.  I am really enjoying it.  There was a film made of this book.

3. When it snows do you make snow angels or snowmen? (c'm PP - we all know that you do!)

There is never really enough here to make snow angels about 4 years ago we did have a little snowman.  Who we then made in to a snow lady with plant pots as a bikini.

4. do you ever walk through the mud and/or grass in bare feet?

Like in the film Pretty Woman, I like to wander (clean) grass with no shoes on.  'Cop a squat'.  I am not sure I could cope with mud between my toes.

5. do you love where you live?

This is a hard one.  I realised the other day that this house has become a refuge.  Do I love it?  It isnt finished, but I am starting to appreciate it.

6. what is the most exciting thing that you ever grew and were thoroughly pleased with yourself by?

A grape vine in a previous house.  It was amazing and prolific in 2 years.  People told me they wouldnt grow in clay soil.  I like proving people wrong!  lol 

7. what is your favourite house cleaning tip?

Ha Ha do it when angry or upset.  You will go at it like a crazy person and you will be calm after because you see results.  I am currently obsessed with my new Miele vacuum.  Vacuuming the rug, like a lawn, it now has stripes, very satisfying.  Although it will take some practice to get them all completely straight.

8. what is your favourite alcoholic drink?

I dont really drink alcohol that much, hard pushed I would say G&T in the summer.  Mead for Christmas and when we were once on holiday in Aubetterre sur Drone in the South of France I had a dessert wine that was Christmas in a glass.

9. Do you love swimming?

I swim 3 times a week for roughly 45 minutes.  

10. if someone got you a mermaid tail, would you wear it? in private and in public?

Ha Ha That would be telling! (of course I would!  ha ha I would love it!)

You cant help but be happy singing and twirling to that song.  

I am not going to nominate anyone but open it up to all.  Sometimes you cant think of anything to blog about, now you can do this MeMe.

What are my questions?

1. Where was your best holiday?
2. What is your 'Signature Dish', the one that everyone who comes to your house is wow'ed by and secretly wants to the recipe for...  if you fancy share the recipe!
3. What is your favourite food?
4. What 3 moments of your life, do you hope to flash before your eyes before you die?  
5. What is your favourite song?
6. What is your favourite film?
7. Did you have a favourite toy or blanket, as a child?
8. Where is your favourite place in your house?
9. What is your go to outfit?
10. If you could do any job, what would it be?

Ta DAAAHHHHHH!!!!! And its finished.  Your turn!