Thursday, 23 October 2014

Stuffed squash and an update

Last weekend we had friends to stay, a lovely excuse to down tools and get out! And they brought a gift of some beautiful round squashes. I remembered a Hugh recipe and off I went - delicious.

Squash stuffed with leeks

Knob of butter
2 thinly sliced leeks
1 tsp. English mustard
4 tblsps. crème fraîche
125g Gruyère or similar cheese - finely grated
4 small squash (one each!)
Thyme sprigs
Salt & pepper

Ready for the oven
Melt the butter in a pan and add the leeks, cook until they start to sizzle then turn the heat down, cover and leave to sweat until very soft - about ten minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the mustard, crème fraîche and cheese. Season well.

If the squashes, wobble take a small slice off the base so they stand up. Carefully slice a lid and reserve. Scoop out all the seeds and fibres. Fill the squashes with the leek mixture - Hugh says two-thirds full but I added to the top (just greedy I guess). Tuck in a few thyme sprigs and put the lid back on. Pop into a preheated oven (190C/GM5) for about an hour, depending on the size of your squash. I served mine with rice and some left over leek mixture.

Squash stuffed with leeks
Now a quick Nelson House update. Andrew has managed to spend a bit of time on the downstairs bathroom. First was the plumbing. As it will be a wet room area we decided to go for some side body jets which have involved a lot of discussion over their positioning. Andrew is 6'2" and I'm 5'4" so we needed the jets in places which wouldn't do either of us any damage!

Wet room plumbing
It was then covered with Hardibacker cement board. Andrew always gets upset at this point as he says all his work gets covered up so I can't see how he's spent the day!

Meanwhile I was in the main bathroom. We'd finished this a couple of years ago but had never been happy with the wall paint. It was a special mix but had quite a lot of pigment streaks and patchy areas so I decided a repaint was in order. It's a very light room and although we kept to the same scheme, we went a little deeper in colour using Valspar's Safe Haven. The repaint also gave me the opportunity to hang the signed photograph I won last year. I managed to finish just in time for our guests.

New look for the bathroom
Photograph has pride of place
Now it's back to the kitchen as our neighbour has sent round a large carrier bag of green tomatoes - feels like chutney time to me.

Friday, 17 October 2014

Five good things this autumn

Long distance friends who stay in touch.

S.B in her 'back yard'. Envious? Me?
The twice daily hunt for walnuts.

We're up to a couple of kilos
Early morning mist over the fields.

Most mornings have been like this recently
Dog walking with friends.

Mortimer with Dexter & Hoby Hoy
Dusk at the beach.

Dusk at Old Hunstanton