166 Days ( early September 2020)

Iv’e just counted up! It is 166 days, since we were incarcerated! That is 166 x 3 equals 498 meals and for the most part meals for 2. Luckily it can be discounted a tad, as we don’t really “DO” lunch, but nonetheless it can be bread and cheese or a cup of soup ( homemade of course). It can also be discounted somewhat as we have dinner out, but just the once whilst in France ( thank you grandkids) and have had two Take Aways or rather called Take Ins! One a success from a Michelin starred Indian and one a disaster from a supposedly top Mexican Chef.

Otherwise it has been Dine at Home. And for the most part me. The exceptions being , Himself, once a week has created, very nicely done, thank you and whilst in France ( basically 5;weeks) we were 7, (and eldest daughter contributed ) and that equates to a lot of food !

When I think of grocery shopping, for me it has been easy, having cracked Waitrose booking system and now I have suppliers for Fish ( now three sources) fruit and vegetables several sources, wine a couple, and so on, but thinking back to my childhood, how did the housewives manage? Perhaps no refrigeration, no delivery service and a family to feed plus do all the housework, AND with no Mod Cons! How did my mother in law feed 5 growing boys? For that one has to admire her.

And so here we are, still at home and having taken much of the contents of my freezer to France this summer, I am in the process of restocking. I have tried an alternative fish company, as recommended by my neighbour Bob, Chapman’s. I would say about the same quality of fish and service as Ish Fish but with a better selection. In this latest delivery I was pleased to see that I could get skate wings, if you have never tried Skate, then for me it is a must. When we lived in Brussels I could get Skate wings from a Frozen food supplier and guess where they came from? The USA, Florida to be precise. I think Americans look upon Skate more as Sting Ray rather than a fish to eat.

This time around, from my new supplier I bought Hake, Skate and mackerel fillets ( for himself). Then from, Chalk Stream, trout farm I bought 12 trouts, all of which come vacuum packed ready to freeze and finally from Watts Farm, 2 large packs of fish pie mix, some of which I have already used to make fish curry.

This week, Himself had a birthday, and as were were not going out, I asked ( unusual for me) what he would like for his birthday dinner. The answer, Trout! As I has taken previously some trout to France, I had time to work out the best way to cook them on a Barbeque. The answer, actually was very simple. En papillote or rather fish wrapped in paper. This way the fish cooks beautifully, skin doesn’t stick, to grill or fish basket and little or no cleaning to do afterwards.

Very simply take a sheet of greaseproof paper, grease it with some olive oil, place the fish on it and make it like an envelope. Seal ( I stapled them shut). You could put some lemon or onion slices along with some dill in along with the trout. Place on a hot BQ grill and cook for about 10-15 mins. Do no turn over, all the juices will run out, but after 10 mins open the envelope a little and insert a fork or knife. If it slides in easily, then the fish is done.

Remove from the grill, and carefully tip put the fish onto a plate, then the underside will become the top, and it will be a really nice golden colour.

Serve with a salad or as I did, a mix of sautéed peppers, along with some anchovy butter.

As it was his birthday, Willowy Brunette had baked him a cake. A very moist Coconut cake with chocolate ganache icing.

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