Hello again! This week started with a lot of promise of getting stuff done, and then on Wednesday morning I twisted my ankle and getting stuff done was restricted to what I could do sitting on my bum with my foot up. I don’t think I’ve done any serious damage, a bit of swelling is all I really have to show for it and painkillers keep most of the discomfort at bay. It has meant though that dog walks have been shorter or limited to the garden and I wasn’t able to drive for a few days.
It also meant that I spent one afternoon playing around with some watercolours. I doubt that I’m going to be a famous artist any time soon, but I did find it very relaxing and with no pressure or expectations it was nice to experiment.
I’ve continued with AudioMo throughout this month, some of the posts are just short snippets, others are longer recordings. Those that I haven’t listed in a previous post are linked below if you’re interested.
AudioMo will be over in just a couple of days and I’ve really enjoyed this years. The discipline of making myself record something everyday and discovering new voices and acquaintances along the way has been fun, and thought provoking.
AudioMo Day 15 – Currently Reading, Day 16 – A Lockdown Problem, Day 17 – To The Woods, Day 18 – Online Voting, Day 19 – Buffering, Day 20 – Buffering, Day 21 Harvesting After The Rain and Allotment Audio Tour, Day 22 – Woodland Ramblings, Day 23 – Lockdown Reading, Day 24 – A Touch of the Ouchies, Day 25 – Not at the #1984symposium, Day 26 – Reimagining Ansel Adams, Day 27 – Reflecting on AudioMo 2020, Day 28 – The Week Ahead
Work has been very quiet this week, which in some ways has been a blessing. I’ve been able to do some sorting of my Mum’s stuff and then being laid up with a twisted ankle hasn’t had the impact it might otherwise have done.
The Committee on Climate Change produced it’s annual report to government this week, it has recommendations for every government department. If you want to read the whole thing you can find it here or this Guardian piece is a good summary. I’ve been working my way through it slowly but my fear is that government will do little or nothing about it.
I read another Brother Cadfael this week – Dead Man’s Ransom, although these have kind of become my fall back when I don’t feel like reading anything else I found this one a little bit disappointing. Won’t stop me reading the next one though.
My friend David also published some poetry recently, it’s really good and you can read it here.
One thing that I didn’t do this week was visit the grave of George Orwell on his birthday (25th June). I’ve done this a few times but this year with coronavirus and a twisted ankle it wasn’t to be. These events are “organised” by my friend @documentally, and he wrote about it in his newsletter this week. If you don’t already subscribe to his newsletter you should, it’s free every other week or for the cost of a cup of coffee each month you can pay for the full weekly experience.
Lockdown seems to be completely over now, although we’re still broadly avoiding anything other than essential stuff here. Half-a-million beachgoers in Bournemouth had other ideas.
I haven’t been able to get much done on the allotment this week either, fortunately despite us having the hottest day of the year, we also had some rain so I didn’t have to worry about trying to get any watering done.
One of my minor successes this week was cooking a feta and spinach puff pastry roll. I’ve made this a few times and it’s really straightforward. You’ll need: a sheet of ready made puff pastry, a packet of feta cheese, a big handful of spinach, a bunch of parsley, some dried oregano, 2 eggs, some extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper to taste.
- Take the pastry out of the fridge and allow to come up to room temperature to make it easier to handle.
- Preheat the oven to gas 6 or equivalent.
- Get a baking sheet big enough to accomodate the puff pastry sheet and grease or line with baking paper to prevent the puff pastry sticking (baking paper also helps with one of the later actions, and is my preferred method)
- Wash, drain and dry the parsley and spinach and then roughly chop and place in a mixing bowl.
- Chop the feta into cubes and add to the spinach and parsley.
- Sprinkle oregano over the top (about 1 to 2 teaspoons) and salt and pepper (don’t be too heavy handed with the salt as feta is already quite salty).
- Add one of the eggs and about a tablespoon of olive oil, and mix everything together to combine.
- Next place the puff pastry on the greased / papered baking tray.
- Lengthways down the centre of the pastry place the spinach / feta mix. You don’t want to overload the pastry or you won’t be able to seal the roll but make sure it is evenly spread.
- Beat the other egg to combine the white and yolk.
- If you are using baking paper now lift the bottom edge of paper to make the bottom part of the pastry sheet fold over the spinach mix. Brush the egg mix of the exposed pastry atop the spinach mix and the exposed pastry above the mix. Then use the top part of the baking paper to fold the pastry down to cover the mix and overlap the pastry. Press down gently to seal, and seal the ends by pinching with your fingertips.
- Carefully cut three or four slices in the pastry to allow the mix to breath in the oven, and brush the whole thing with the remaining egg.
- Cook in the oven for around 30 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown.
Serves 4 to 6. Works well with veg or salad or baked beans and chips if you want a trashy tea. Will keep in the fridge once cool if you can’t manage the whole thing in one sitting. Reheat in the oven at the same temperature / time; but cover with foil to prevent the pastry burning.
That’s it for this week – ankle permitting I’m going to be doing some more sorting of things for Mum in the week ahead but otherwise I don’t have any specific plans.