Friday, 2 October 2015

Recipe - Lentil and Bacon Soup (and other shenanigans)

Well, October crept up on us all, didn't it?  Another lovely week of weather, blue skies, sunshine.  I still think it's cold though.

Mr G and I are on another health kick.  He has a GP referral to the gym, as the physio at the Pain Clinic felt that it could be beneficial in strenghtening the muscles in his back and his stomach, so he has been going there twice a week.  I have taken the world's most expensive coat hanger (the treadmill) out of retirement, in the back porch and have been attempting to walk an hour a day on it.  It means we have to duck and walk through it to get to the loo, the fridge (a good thing?), my saucepans etc.  Junk food is out.  Soup is firmly back in, for the the health benefits and to fill us up - as, before and in between meals.  Yesterday I made a big pan of one of my recent new favourites, Lentil and Bacon soup.  But before that, let me just give you this little nugget...

Mr G: (Coming home after gym session, looking a tad sheepish) Sam weighed me and I've put on 3 kilo in a fortnight...
Me: Oh dear.  That's not very good.
Mr G: I told her you were a feeder...
Me: You said what???

A feeder?  Honestly, this man, I don't know whether to laugh or cry with him.  That's not even taking into account his thoughts on my periods.  Or, where he's allowed to poo.  Which I'll give you after the recipe, just in case you really don't want to know. 

Soup - this recipe is taken from the BBC Good Food website,  but I adapted it slightly to use what I had in.

Olive oil
4 rashers lean back bacon, fat trimmed and snipped into pieces
1 large onion, diced
1 large carrot, diced
250g red lentils, rinsed
1300ml chicken stock
1 tsp garlic paste
1/2 tsp lazy chilli
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp turmeric

Heat the oil in the pan and add the onion, bacon and carrot, and cook for about 10 minutes on a low to medium heat until the onions are soft.

Add the spices, garlic and chilli and cook for a further 1-2 minutes.  Pour in the stock, and add the lentils. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally to ensure the lentils don't stick.

You can eat this as is, but I did give it a slight blast with the stick blender for a few seconds.  I only had to season this with ground black pepper as - holy shitballs - Tesco chicken stock cubes are salty.  Sheesh.  I served mine with a toasted wholemeal pitta bread cut into fingers.  And a gallon of water, because of the saltiness.  Lush.

Mr G has had his (my) Maneki Neko tattoo done.  He was meant to be having it done on his arm, but he had the portrait of The Pierces done there instead.  Paul was really eager to do this cat after designing it, so he managed to slot Mr G in despite being really busy.  I think it's a work of art myself, the photo doesn't do it justice.  I never thought I would be a fan of tattoos, but I'm as addicted to seeing them on him as he is getting inked himself.  To think he was nearly 40 when he had his first one!  This is a cheaper midlife crisis than an open top sportscar and a messy divorce citing a 20 year old beautiful, skinny blonde, I guess?  Although he is making noises about buying a campervan *facepalm*.  Mr G also thinks I should get a tattoo as part of my 40/40 list, but I don't want to.  Just my personal opinion, I don't like tattoos on women.  I have female friends who are covered in them, or in the process of getting sleeves done, those who have hidden ones, or little ones on display - and even though they're nice, each to their own.  I just don't like them on women. 

Another Maneki Neko for my collection

Lying in bed...
Mr G:  You know when I get older...
Me: Yes...
Mr G:  And if I die before you...
Me: (*thinks* Where is this going?  Please don't grieve me forever? Don't spend the rest of your life alone?  It's ok to love again?  Er... no...)
Mr G: Make sure you bury me in shorts and a vest, because I'm getting my money's worth out of these tattoos...

My friend Shelly from Manchester messaged me last week to ask if she could come down and stay this weekend.  We were school friends, and when she moved back to Manchester, and I moved there too a few months later we remained friends but lost touch when I moved back to Wales.  I'm so looking forward to seeing her again, but on the Saturday night we're going out around Bangor.  Ye Gods.  I don't know if after 24 years she thinks that it's going to be a trip down memory lane.  Half the pubs we used to frequent are closed down.  The ones that aren't, and the new ones that have sprung up in the meantime are rammed with students and pretty young skinny things, which I certainly am not, and even though she is stunning and can pass for a good ten years younger than what she is, the fact remains we are both knocking on 40.  There's still only one bloody nightclub here, after nearly quarter of a century has elapsed, and you know what?  It's still crap and your feet still stick to the carpet.  The only thing that has changed is its name.  She lives in Manchester, host to a multitude of clubs.  She likes dancing, whereas I can barely co-ordinate my hands and feet to work simultaneously in order to walk.  I.  Don't.  Dance.  I'm kind of hoping she'll say 'Ah Shell, you know what?  Let's just get a Chinese and a box of wine and watch X Factor'.  But it's not going to happen.  Is it?

I've been busying myself making some new tree decorations.  Made the mistake of posting my first little bear on Facebook, now I have to make loads for friends and family.  The little blue bear in the Wigan Warriors kit is for my great nephew.  They're so easy to knit, the time consuming part is the assembly and making up.  I love the little stockings too, some people use them as advent calendars, hang them up with little pegs, and put a little gift or chocolate in each day?  I guess that's fine if you only have one child I guess, but not practical for me with four.  Awwwww, three now :-( 

 In bed.  Don't ask where this came from. Drifting off to sleep...

Mr G:  I'm not allowed ANYTHING...
Me: *jumps out of skin* WHAT????
Mr G:  I'm not allowed a campervan.  I'm not allowed to poo downstairs...
Me:  *bewildered*  No, you're not!  You take 30 minutes per crap, there's no window or extractor fan in there, it's next to the kitchen and there's gaps in the doors.  You're only allowed to poo in there when you've been operated on and can't walk far.  But where the hell did that come from?  Do you want to poo downstairs or something?
Mr G:  Even if I wanted to, I can't now because of the treadmill.  I can't luigi under it.
Me:  What????
Mr G:  I can't luigi under it.
Me:  I still don't know what you mean, just go to sleep...
Mr G: That thing with the stick and you go under it.
Me:  Limbo?

I couldn't sleep for about twenty minutes for laughing.  And then there was his take on my periods, of course...

Me:  (Looking for pity) I'm bleeding heavy...
Mr G: *sniggers*  I know.  You might want to stick a comma or full stop in that sentence.
Me:  It's not funny, it hurts.
Mr G:  No, I'm not having that.  Look at that woman in that advert earlier.  Clubbing til 5 am in the morning in white jeans.  WHITE jeans?  She didn't look in pain.  And then the other one on the horse.
Me:  Bollocks.  I bet a man wrote that advert.  There's no woman in their right mind would wear white jeans while on their period.  And no sanitary towel on this planet worthy of that level of trust.
Five minutes elapse...
Mr G:  If I buy you a pair of white jeans and a pony, will you stop moaning about your period every month?

Ladies and gentlemen, my husband.  The one I have nursed back to health, or - just nursed let's say, because there's no health there - for seven years now.  THAT is the height of his sympathy for me.  He's neither use nor ornament, really... :-)

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