Leftovers, Radio 4 and Expanding Horizons

A bear, no matter how hard he tries,
Gets tubby without exercise.
He gets what exercise he can,
By falling off the ottoman.
But generally seems to lack,
The energy to clamber back.

I
seem to have fallen into a bit of a trough of non-activity this month –
I know this is what January and February are all about, but it seems
that the less I do the more tired and listless I am.

I am
still walking in and out of work – but I think I’m making the mistake
of eating a corresponding amount of food to reward myself!

Anyway, last night I spent the whole night in the kitchen (apart from the obligatory half hour of Masterchef).

I needed to think of something inventive to do with left over ham and some very-nearly-past-it potatoes so I did this:

  • Sliced the boiled oak-smoked ham (has used the rest and the stock for a 4-day minestrone)
  • Sliced the potatoes long-ways and parboiled them
  • Greased an ovenproof dish
  • Sauteed ham fat, onions and smoked garlic in a tiny bit of olive oil
  • Added frozen spinach and defrosted and sweated it in the pan
  • Made a bechemal sauce
  • Layered the potatoes, spinach mixture, bechemal and more potatoes in the dish
  • Baked at 200 degrees for 20 minutes and finished it off under the grill

It wasn’t a thing of great beauty but it tasted fantastic,
not least because the spinach became silky and the two kinds of
potatoes (waxy and powdery) acted differently.

I knew Himself liked it because of the sheer speed with which it disappeared!

Added to that I made hummus from scatch (for tonight) and did a fair amount of washing up.

But while I was busying away I was listening to Radio 4, from the end of the Archers through to Midweek. (See yesterday’s listings)

There were lots of interesting programmes on last night which inspired me to do a few things…

I was particuarly struck by how strident Melanie Phillips sounded on the Moral Maze

In
the wake of the Palestinians democratically electing Hamas to lead
them, the Maze asks if this is the greatest ever chance for peace in
the Middle East – or if Jewish fears of intensified terrorism are
justified? What is the moral way forward – cutting off aid, or
welcoming Hamas to the negotiating table? Are there any lessons to be
learned from what happened in Northern Ireland?

So, before I sound off, I’m reading up.

* I’m thrilled to see that Scott Thomas is still at Bath

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