Cooking up the Perfect Storm (Thursday Update)

23 Dec

OK.  So far so good.

The cranberry and kumquat sauce worked a treat and is now in the back of the fridge with the ginger and chilli dressing for the melon.  That was last night’s efforts.

Tonight I have a spiced red cabbage and apple casserole dissolving away in the oven and have tidied and knife-crossed the sprouts.  Two necessary jobs out of the way.


Cap’n Jack (an expert on all things sprout) has suggested that the wee green balls that nobody ever wants to eat, should be halved, “wok-ed” with diced bacon and drizzled with walnut oil (as opposed to being boiled into oblivion).  I reckon this could be a winner so we’ll give it a go.

According to my type-written programme – tomorrow evening I have to make the gratin dauphinoise.  I also have to bake my tiny rounds of puff pastry which will be halved and filled with either black olive tapenade or Cap’n Jack’s smoked salmon pate the following day.  These will make a cracking nibble along with a glass of bubbly before we get down to some serious eating.  Tomorrow will also see the mass defrost of most of the main course accompaniments with J using her GPS to locate the kitchen to make the prawn cocktail sauce and stage 1 of the trifle.

It will come as no surprise to learn that I have a detailed programme on an excel spreadsheet for Christmas day with operations and timings at 10 minute intervals from 2pm onwards.

“What’s that?”

“Taking things a bit too far?”

I don’t think so!

(I’ve even worked out what dishes to serve up in  😳 )


Posted by on December 23, 2010 in General Drivel


20 responses to “Cooking up the Perfect Storm (Thursday Update)

  1. alan.sloman

    December 23, 2010 at 9:13 pm

    Cap’n Jack is telling you the cook’s truth. Absolutely the best way for the little buggers.

    Spread sheet, and pottery allocation – spot on. Only a bridge engineer…. (Used to design Bridges myself, as it happens…)

  2. Iain - down under

    December 23, 2010 at 10:07 pm

    Hi Ken,
    just wanted to say thank you for your blog and pics during the year, it never fails to grab my attention. I support Cap’n Jack about the sprouts too!

    Hope you, the Family and Maisie all have a Merry Chritmas and a Happy New Year.


  3. fatdogwalks

    December 23, 2010 at 10:27 pm

    Support for the sprouts! Excellent gentlemen,! Your comments have been taken on board…and guess whose fault it’s going to be if it all goes to hell? 😉

    Your previous profession explains our somewhat aligned sense of humour Alan. It’s having to deal with all that bloody boring concrete I reckon.


    Iain…many thanks for your kind words. The blog would be nothing if it wasn’t for the support of people like yourself who constantly drop in to see what we’ve been up to…it makes it all worthwhile.

    All the best to you and your family for Christmas and 2011 when it comes. Please tell me you’re doing the stereotypical Down Under “barbie” on the beach for Christmas Dinner.

  4. Florene

    December 23, 2010 at 10:29 pm

    Kinda belated to ask, but are you taking progress photos? Please do, if you can and want to.

    Also, I don’t use Excel, and am not sure if my Mac computer can read it, but I’d love to see your itinerary.

    This entire project of yours has me fascinated, and actually, wish I could be there watching….. not cooking, just observing. What you need is a webcam set up in your
    house and cameras in rooms with the most activity. That’s a bit much, isn’t it.


  5. Florene

    December 23, 2010 at 10:34 pm


    You’re doing just what you should be doing, and so many home cooks don’t!

  6. alan.sloman

    December 23, 2010 at 10:38 pm

    I want to see your programme, labour curves and risk assessment. The webcam sounds fun too. Can you pour me a glass of the good stuff down the cable? Are your subbies tied in to your programme?

    Have a great time Ken.

  7. fatdogwalks

    December 23, 2010 at 10:45 pm

    No progress photos I’m afraid Florene…just a lot of bad language. However I’ve a couple of things to do tomorrow night so I’ll get J to take a couple of photos for the blog.

    I think I can create a jpeg of the spreadsheet so that’ll go up as well…time permitting.

    I’m not sure if we could cope with producing a reality web-TV show. The Osbournes would be well upstaged though! 😆

  8. fatdogwalks

    December 23, 2010 at 10:52 pm

    The subbies are bringing the turkey Alan so if they’re not tied in they’ll be tied up!

    It’s only if you’re actually going to be eating it that you require a risk assessment.

    Sadly the “good stuff” is unable to travel by cable…not that I’ve tried…and strangely…not that I’m ever going to try. You may have gathered that we’re hogging the good stuff. 😉

  9. fourmenterian

    December 23, 2010 at 10:56 pm

    You don’t wanna do sprouts like that! You might as well take a phaser to them as criss-cross them. Leave them with some bite, laddie, though I can’t argue with the French theme of adding lardons and huile de noix – nice touch!

  10. fatdogwalks

    December 23, 2010 at 10:58 pm

    Noticed a comment pop up on my twitter talking about how to do the best roast potatoes. Assumed it was one of the outdoor bloggers.

    I was just about to tweet a wee modification which makes a huge improvement when I noticed something…just in time.

    I’d forgotten I’d subscribed to Michael Caines (michelin star chef) twitter page 😳


  11. fatdogwalks

    December 23, 2010 at 11:04 pm

    Don’t worry Ricky – it has already been decided that the French theme is the way forward…though I’ll be tossing in some chestnuts as well 😀

    What’s the traditional Christmas Dinner from the Loire region?

  12. fatdogwalks

    December 23, 2010 at 11:06 pm

    Thanks for the link Florene… 😀 .

    Yes, I am as perfectly organised as they suggest.


    OK, I fibbed.

  13. fourmenterian

    December 24, 2010 at 8:46 am

    Loire diet at this time seems to consist of fush, fush and yet more fush – the fish counter at the supermarket at this time of year is like being at the January sales in Blighty – not forgetting the cheese too, and my soul destroying wait at the cheese wagon at the market yesterday in a biting wind, cursing under my breath, as I could see lines and lines of scribbled soupcons de fromage on customers’ shopping lists. Shopping today consists of goose fat – apparently our seemingly everlasting tub of the stuff has expired its last.

  14. fatdogwalks

    December 24, 2010 at 10:23 am

    I realised fish played a big part in the Loire but not to that extent :shock; . Mind you I expect haddock and “french fries” play a big part in the Christmas celebrations in a few parts of Glasgow.
    I have to admit I enjoy French markets…especially the fish and cheese counters. It gives me a chance to see where all our fish, shellfish especially, ends up! Remembering how long it can take to be served and how long it takes to choose…I really don’t fancy it so much in our current temperatures where -5C is considered warm. Impressed with your perseverence…”Chapeau!”

  15. Simon

    December 24, 2010 at 1:01 pm

    It all makes me feel quite pleased that I shall be restricting myself to a turkey sandwich. I shall start work now on my Gantt chart for it.

  16. fatdogwalks

    December 24, 2010 at 6:32 pm

    Turkey sandwich…Mr “Ebenezer” Parkes! That’s just a tad “bah! humbug!” 😆 .

  17. Simon

    December 25, 2010 at 11:58 am

    Only “a tad”? I must try harder.

  18. fatdogwalks

    December 27, 2010 at 6:06 pm

    We’re all dying to hear Simon…how was the turkey sandwich? 😉

  19. Simon

    December 27, 2010 at 9:19 pm

    Not bad; actually tasted of turkey – obviously I’m improving. (That may be down to the Gantt chart.)

  20. fatdogwalks

    December 28, 2010 at 1:41 pm

    All in the planning MrP…even a turkey sandwich! 😀


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