Monday, 22 January 2018

Happy Birthday to a very special guy!

Rosalie Gascoigne – Parrot Country

I just love the riot of colour in this work.  The work is inspired by Australia although the artist is a New Zealander.

This work is made up of four weathered painted wooden panels.  She uses panels from soft drink crates and reworks them.

The pic doesn't really do it justice.  The original can be found in the Te Papa collection in Wellington.

Inspirational, indeed!

Sunday, 21 January 2018


Potato Topped Chicken & Spinach Pie – Using Leftovers

Carole's Chatter: Potato Topped Chicken & Spinach Pie

I just hate throwing out good food.  So having lots of mashed potato after making Bangers & Mash, I decided to make a potato topped pie.  Then I remembered that I had quite a lot of cooked roast chicken in the freezer (leftover from Christmas Day when I overcatered).

So the Potato Topped Chicken & Spinach Pie came to be.


Leftover mashed potato
Leftover cooked chicken (bones removed and sliced)
2 blocks of frozen spinach
¼ onion (diced)
Grated cheese
Spoonful of flour
Salt & Pepper


Preheat your oven to moderate

Defrost your chicken and spinach

Grease your baking dish with oil

In a small pot melt a stick of butter and then stir in a spoonful of flour.  Add a little lemon juice and water and salt & pepper to your taste.  I didn't add too much water because I thought quite a bit would be created as the spinach cooked.

Put your chicken and spinach into the dish.  Pour the butter/flour etc mix over the top and stir gently.

Spoon the mashed potatoes onto the top of the pie – trying to get it reasonably even.  Sprinkle grated cheese on top along with a few knobs of butter.

Cook until the top is golden brown – about 30 minutes or so.  If your chicken was still really cold when you put it in then add another 10 minutes.

Carole's Chatter: Potato Topped Chicken & Spinach Pie

I didn't add a lot of extra spices etc because the chicken was lemon pepper flavoured so I knew that would come through.

This dish was a success.  But it hovered close to the line in saltiness – luckily just on the right side.

Saturday, 20 January 2018

Do you care about punctuation?

This Week In History

Births – Sophie , Countess of Wessex, Rasputin, Christian Dior, Jack Nicklaus,  Martin Shaw (aww… The Professionals), Geena Davis, Walter Raleigh, Warren Zevon, Virginia Woolf, Alicia Keys, Paul Newman, Lucinda Williams (1953)

Deaths – Audrey Hepburn, Peggy Lee, Queen Victoria, Anna Pavlova, Mary Tyler Moore,

Events – inaugurations of Presidents , Edward VIII became king, First Jumbo Jet goes into service (1970),  First female doctor in the US (1849), first woman Secretary of State (1997), Apple Mac goes on sale (1984), Henry VIII marries Anne Boleyn, Idi Amin becomes President of Uganda (1971)

Friday, 19 January 2018

Where did that come from? Some more odd sayings

Kangaroo Court – this one has its very own Wiki page!  Now you might think this one came from Australia – the only country as far as I know with kangaroos.  But no, the first recorded instance of it is American.  It means a judicial or court process that is not fair or well run.

Taking the Mickey  - if you are taking the Mickey out of someone you are making fun of them – not usually in a mean way.  Wiki thinks that Mickey is a reference to Michael Bliss  (and Bliss is cockney rhyming slang for a word starting with 'p'.  That seems a bit far-fetched to me – but who really knows.  One thing is certain – the Mickey is not a reference to the famous cartoon mouse.

Red Herring – this is a deliberate device by someone (maybe an author) to set a clue that is misleading and diverts you from the truth.  But why a herring and why red?  There is no  such fish as a red herring…  There is no real consensus about this.  Most theories seem to think that it is a reference to a strongly scented preserved fish or kipper.  It may have been used in training hounds to follow scents.

Saved by the Bell – this is used when a time comes up or something happens that means you don't have to do something disagreeable or won't be punished.  The saying originally almost certainly came from boxing – where someone is almost down and out but the bell rings for the end of the round.  There are other theories – one gruesome one is that in olden times they rigged up coffins with a bell that could be rung from inside in the event that the person woke up while being buried.

Straight from the Horse's Mouth – the meaning of this is straight forward – it is getting some information from the original source rather than from second hand sources.  I think it is a horse racing term in that punters (betters) believed that if they got a tip from someone in direct contact with the horse that it was more valuable.  But other than the adorable Mr Ed, horses don't talk.

Thursday, 18 January 2018