Rebooting

Between the celebratory bookends of Christmas Day/Boxing Day and Hogmanay/New Year’s Day I have successfully rebooted the Ruthven system by switching myself off and then on again.

Several days of barely cooking have passed and, somewhat astonishingly, the leftovers from the gargantuan turkey and slightly more reasonably sized ham are largely all used up. Aside from the bubble and squeak and cold meat on boxing day and various turkey sandwich breakfasts/snacks we mustered:

  • Thai green curry (turkey and mushroom variant)
  • Thai spiced stuffing kebabs
  • Turkey broth
  • Macaroni cheese with extra ham and turkey bits within and stuffing balls/pigs in blankets on the side
  • Turkey rillettes (now in the freezer)

I did, however, manage to cure two sides of salmon into gravadlax (one beetroot and one pine needle and juniper). The ends, which were a bit salty, went into a rather good pasta sauce but the thick middles are slicing very nicely. I’ll keep a bit for munching now and I think the rest will be parcelled into packs and frozen. I have also, today, confronted the vast ox tongue Keith bestowed on me. It was brined overnight and is now simmering away in a spiced mix with a view to turning into pastrami. Well it might work. You never know.

The remains of Lachlan’s Christmas jumper wool has been fashioned into a matching hat for his girlfriend who had a birthday yesterday and I have tentatively commenced something plain and straightforward for myself, with no stripes or fairisle (well yet – I am still mulling over a few elements). Two audio books have been consumed. There is a recurring plague theme running through them which was not apparent from the “blurb” but seems strangely apt.

I have consumed the best part of a box of marzipan plums, a large bar of clementine chocolate and a box of twiglets (so all major food groups from marmite to marzipan were covered), gained an improbable amount of weight thereby and stirred from the sofa but rarely. We did, however, manage a swing by the beach at Cocklawburn one freezing old afternoon and I was aghast to see surfers out. Maniacs each and every one. A couple of frosty days set an attractive rime on the hedges and seed heads in the garden and made the “decision” not to get around to cutting everything back an excellent one. The orchard is positively awash with birds enjoying the last of the windfalls and this has justified much time idling on the window seat failing to identify them.

Yesterday I had a bath and used one of the bath bombs from my Santa stocking. It turned the water biliously orange and smelled of “fizzy”. The effect was strangely like bathing in Berocca. As Berocca is my hangover remedy of choice, this seemed a wise anticipatory move for Hogmanay. The gods, however, had a few nasty surprises in store for the morning when, aside from finding a sink of pots to wash, I also discovered that the dog’s dinner had emphatically not agreed with her. She is back on the science diet for the foreseeable…..

Having tackled the pots and mopped and disinfected everything, dog included, Lyra and I bade the coos a happy new year and took to the fields for a vigorous New Year’s walk. Once suitably mud encrusted, we swung by Butterlaw to first foot the sheep and returned to find Keith cycling away like billyo on the exercise bike and the dishwasher humming.

Normal service has been resumed. Happy New Year everyone.

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