Saturday, February 22, 2014

I've Missed You

Our trip back to the states is over and we are back in England on the canal boat.  We have actually been here for 4 days but for the first 24 hours we were like zombies from the jet lag and the next 24 hours we weren't much better. :)  After that, the next two days I was busy being a domestic goddess working to get things back in "motion".  Today I decided I could take time and write a post without feeling too much guilt. :)

Every time I travel I promise myself I have learned my lesson and things will be different the next time.  They never are.  I cannot seem to stop myself from over packing and making the suitcases so heavy that lugging them brings out my ugly side.  This trip was no different, either coming or going.  I appear to be a slow learner.  I better get with the program soon before I run out of time. :)

While we were in the states (besides loving on the grandkids) I took advantage of having a UK mailing address for 3 weeks and ordered a couple of things to be there when I returned. 

The first was an order from a company called Approved Foods: think of it as an online UK salvage store.  This was my first order and so far I am quite impressed with the cost and the quality.  I ordered dry milk, bread and roll mix, cold cereal, corn tortillas (I have never even seen these in a regular grocery store, only the flour ones), and a mix to make a meatless chicken flavored loaf.  All told, including factoring in the delivery charge, I saved over 80% off suggested retail price!!  Love it.

As for the other item ordered, it came about because of my ongoing personality conflict with the oven on the boat.  Whatever I cook in there tends to burn since the gas flames that are in the back and heat the oven cavity are ALWAYS on and never even diminish in size.  One especially frustrating day I started researching for an alternative.

I am now the proud owner of a 7L halogen table top oven.  It runs on electricity (saving our needing to purchase propane as often) and cooks things about 1/3 to 1/2 faster than a "normal" oven:  win, win.  So far I have baked bread, butterscotch brownies, cinnamon sugar monkey bread, and coconut macaroons.  Each time I learn a little more about how it works and things are now turning out quite nice.  I store my new oven inside my old oven when not in use.  I didn't want the old oven to feel totally abandoned. :)

Tonight I am cooking Mike and I are delayed Valentine's dinner:  steak, sauted mushrooms, fried apple slices, garlic bread, and a vegetable mash of carrots, rutabaga and parsnips.  For dessert we will have Old Fashioned Whey Lemon Pudding and coconut macaroons.  Yum.

Well, the captain has just called down and it is time for me to open a swing bridge and a few locks.  I'll talk at you again soon.

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