Thursday, 22 August 2019

Little by little......

......the weather is improving as we head towards Show Day on Saturday.   There had been rain overnight and it was still raining when I went into town to the Hairdresser.   But now, mid afternoon, I have walked round the estate with Tess and there are just spits and spots.   It has almost cleared up.  The weather is following the pattern predicted by the forecasters and if it continues it should be Summer weather again by the week-end.

Slight hold-up while I answer the door and speak to a Solar Panel salesman!!   I do often think of having them;  we had them at the farm and I can see the benefits.   But is it worth it at my advanced age I ask myself?   Any thoughts on the matter gratefully received.

I have succumbed to temptation and bought myself yet another leather jacket - this time the colour is 'raspberry' - or as my son prefers to call it my 'Mrs Peel jacket'.   Believe me, if you don't already know it, a jacket, or any other piece of clothing you buy at my age which makes you feel good, is a real boost - particularly on a day when one's arthritis is really playing up.   All I really need now is my Harley Davidson to go with it.   (then it would be beware anyone travelling on the road anywhere in The Dales so perhaps it is as well it is not on my list of 'wants'.)

To change the subject completely - I am trying to perfect my technique on using a slow cooker.   I bought one last year but I can't say I have been over thrilled with the results so far.   This week's experiment - a sausage casserole - was an improvement but still not perfect.   But my hairdresser, who uses one almost every day, gave me a few tips this morning.   She tells me I need to start everything off in a pan so that things like the veg are browned and the meat is floured and then browned before all is put into the slow cooker.   I shall try that next and report back.   Meanwhile, if anyone has any more tips they will be gratefully received.

28 comments:

Derek Faulkner said...

Yes, I'm aware of the rain there. Baking hot and sunny here - sat down to enjoy the Test Match at Headingley and they keep going off for bloody rain.
I believe that solar panels for anybody over 70 is pushing it to be cost effective. It apparently takes a number of years to recoup the original costs.

hart said...

I think a raspberry leather jacket sounds like just what you need.
As for the solar panels, you could look on it as paying it forward.

the veg artist said...

I use my slow cooker in the winter for casseroles, buying ready cubed meat which I then brown in a frying pan first. Meat into slow cooker, then fry the onions a little, just a little colour to give a caramel taste, then onions in on top of the meat. I then fry the rest of any veg, just to get the last bit of flavour out of the frying pan. All in to the slow cooker with tinned tomtoes or red wine, herbs and seasoning. Good stir. (I put the cooker on to heat up just as I start the meat.) 6/7hrs later - just cook a few spuds to go with it. (My slow cooker makes 4 portions, so we eat 2 and freeze 2.)
Regarding solar panels, I don't doubt their efficiency, but I find them ugly, and I've noticed that houses with panels fitted take a long time to sell. I think people are wary of taking on contracts.

JayCee said...

Oh, a raspberry leather jacket - I want one!!!
I have tried a slow cooker in the past but find that, with the preparation and faff needed before starting it all off I am better off using my pressure cooker. It is just quicker and easier for me.
We still have rain and mist here today. The motorcycling race practices have been cancelled again and the organisers are hoping for it to clear sufficiently to allow at least one session to go ahead this evening.
Just our typical late August weather.

Derek Faulkner said...

hart makes a valid point re. the solar panels. I'm sure that I've seen somewhere that after installation the house roof belongs to the solar panel company, which complicates house sale.
And the players have gone off yet again for rain.

Heather said...

I am envious of your leather jacket, with or without the Harley Davidson. I will be attending a grandson's wedding in October and hate buying new clothes but am doubtful of putting together a suitable outfit for the occasion from the contents of my wardrobe. Mind you, maybe a raspberry coloured leather jacket wouldn't be quite right for a wedding.
Good luck with the slow cooker. I know several people who swear by them, and your hairdresser's tips sound very useful.

MelindaJ said...

I find the best results in my slow cooker come from cooking pieces of chicken for about four hours. I start the cooker warming up with about a centimetre of water or stock in the bottom while I cut up the meat, coat it with flour and fry it to brown. It goes first in the slow cooker as it needs most cooking. Follow the meat with veg, browned in the same pan, then make a sort of gravy with the remains in the pan plus seasonings and water or stock. Lid on the slow cooker (set on high for 30 mins, then low for rest of time) and leave untouched for four hours or so. Melt in the mouth dinner!

Gwil W said...

If you can't get a Harley you could try for a Triumph America. It's a good bike too.

Jennyff said...

Jacket sounds fab. I saw Hellen Mirren wearing a red leaker biker one and decided that’s just what I need too. How trendy are we.

Anonymous said...

Your new raspberry leather jacket sounds divine! Wear it in good health. About your slow cooker: I've used one, and was never really satisfied with the results. Now that I'm retired, I don't need the "start it before I go to work and come home to a nice stew" aspect, and the cooker recently went to the thrift shop with some other little-used kitchen paraphernalia. A reader in Philadelphia, PA

Jane said...

BBC food guide website have a 10 top tips for using a slow cooker !

bbcgoodfood.com

Think they come into their own during Autumn/winter

John "By Stargoose And Hanglands" said...

What is your hairdresser going to say when you pull on a crash-helmet after having your hair done?

Debbie said...

I have a brilliant little paperback book "Slow Cooking Properly Explained" by Dianne Page (£5.99 on Amazon) which has the basics of using a cooker and 100 recipes. Not only have I made casseroles and soups but also things like treacle sponge and yogurt in mine. I can highly recommend the book.

My best dish though is lamb shanks. Don't do anything to them (you can brown them first but I have stopped doing this as they do brown during cooking) - put in the cooker with nothing else (no liquid required). Leave to cook on high for about 3-4 hours ish until the meat is very tender - you can turn them halfway through if you want. The fat melts, the meat browns and falls off the bone. I prefer vegetables separate as they don't get too fatty which they would if they were cooked in there with the meat. I also cook hams and brisket joints this way.

Best Wishes - Debbie

DUTA said...

Solar panels and leather jackets are good aquisitions.
With the few sunny days a year in the UK, I'm not sure solar energy is worth much, but it's the future enegy, so investments in it are going to increase everywhere.

Sue said...

I love the sound of your leather jacket, I bet you look fab.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Thanks for the solar panels thoughts. Thanks also for the slow cooker advice - I shall sed for that bok from Amazon too. As for the leather jacket. If I like it when it arrives and decide to keep it, I will get my son to photograph me in it and put it on a post.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Sorry for the spelling mistakes - I tried to type the piece in the semi dark.

Anonymous said...

Solar panels, beware of where switches are place if the panels are on a roof,and Insist on EMF readings.
I can't sit for long on one side of living room near exterior large switch unit for solar panels due to Electromagnetic field sensitivity that causes me to feel aggitated, upset, on edge.

Joanne Noragon said...

A raspberry red leather jacket! I need one, too.

Cro Magnon said...

I know about slow cooking, but not about slow cookers. It probably needs practice; like most things!

Rachel Phillips said...

I cook when I want to eat.

Librarian said...

Yes, please, have your son take a picture of you in your new leather jacket! It sounds just like something my Mum would love, too.
I don't know enough about solar panels or slow cookers to be of any help there, sorry.

Frances said...

I could ask my husband to comment here on why NOT to have solar panels, but you would be here for hours reading it!

Kate said...

Since March 2019, solar energy no longer attracts a FiT (Feed in Tarrif) so while you still get paid about 5p for each unit you feed into the Grid (ie energy you make but don't use yourself) you will never make enough back to pay for the installation.

Lots of mis-information above - the schemes where companies own the panels and the FiT and you just get any energy you use while the panels are producing no longer exist as they were contrived to take advantage of the early-adopters 50p per unit FiT from the government; although panels make most energy when direct sunlight is falling on them, panels will make some energy through all daylight hours, even when it is raining.

The only reason to fit solar panels is now environmental. And you'd want associated battery storage (still very expensive) to make best use of the energy you produce in the day (a good system will make you self-sufficient in electricity in summer months, but is unlikely to cover all your needs in winter.

Robin Mac said...

I love the sound of your raspberry jacket. can't wait to see a photo!
I have a slow cooker and love it, but I never bother to brown my casseroles. I love making soup in it - I put everything in together and cook on low for about 8 hours, pea and ham, pumpkin, cauliflower are the soups I mostly make.
We live in the tropics and have solar panels, but I don't think they would be viable in your climate with all the rain your get.

thelma said...

All I can add about solar panels is that a bungalow up the road would not sell for ages because although it had solar panels on the roof, the old owner wanted to keep the cash coming from the panels. Can you imagine having a house you theoretically own but not the roof!

Tom Stephenson said...

Ah, Mrs Peel! It was a very clever ploy to never mention the existence of her husband. Very English. All I can say about slow cookers is the same as your hairdresser. If I were you, I would leave the solar panels to someone else if you can afford the electricity bills as they now are.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Such a lot of useful information to digest but thank you for it all. The only reason I want a slow cooker is because I go out a lot and it would be rather nice to come in and have a meal waiting, so I shall persevere until I get it right, hopefully.