Life, photos but not the universe

Frozen and rolled up with marmite

It’s a frozen waste here.  Last night there was moonlight shining on the snowy fields.   The roads have been fairly clear till now but this morning the drive is icy and I haven’t seen any cars go past.  And it’s rubbish collecting day!  I suspect we won’t see them – we didn’t get any post from Friday till yesterday and then we got a big bundle.  I suppose they didn’t do the wilder bits of their rounds, though our road isn’t particularly wild.  A lot of the traffic from Reading comes through as they can avoid the choke points of Thatcham and Newbury on the A4 and they’ve beaten the snow off the road with their big 4×4 tyres and their huge exhausts.

Barney’s truck is a four wheel drive which is entirely appropriate for driving in and out of muddy fields and up rutted tracks to thatched cottages in obscure villages on the Downs.  So you’d think he’d be out and about on the snowy roads but in fact the truck is very light which is good on mud but not at all good on ice and snow.   We took my car down for an MOT yesterday (it passed! Yay!) and the mechanic jokingly said “Oh he’ll be alright with his great big 4×4” as Barney skidded gently into place next to my car.

Well I shall have to go out – it’s GB minding day tomorrow and we’ll need some food for Barney to cook.  He hasn’t been to work since it started snowing – more joking from the mechanic but there really isn’t a lot you can do to a snow-covered, frozen roof.  Thatch is the best insulator.  The snow and ice stay up there for days after all the tiled roofs are melting.  Anyway since he can’t go to work he wants to do lots of cooking instead.  No complaints from me!

The other day when I went out on foot, I kept hearing heavy machinery somewhere along the road, just out of sight and saw coloured lights flashing through the bare trees and thought hopefully, gritting?  Salting even?  Wow!  How impressive.


But no.  It was the hedge trimmer.  Well certainly we don’t want the hedges overgrowing the roads as well as the ice and snow and no post or rubbish vans.


Moving right along, I don’t mind a sensible amount of leftover but I get fed up with 3/8ths of a portion or 2/5ths of a pie – they’re never going to be the right amount)  So some time ago I invented the following .*

How to make a nice snack which uses up leftover pastry and will get eaten almost immediately thus leaving no leftovers (except most of the pie as we’ll be too full to manage our carefully calculated portions)

Pre-heat the oven to about 190 ish – 200 ish, approximately.  (Not 220 like it says on the packet though because I have a note on my board which says 220 is too hot for puff pastry.  Who am I to argue with me?)

Make a very small chicken pie using a new packet of ready rolled puff pastry (my pastry is rubbish) and all the left over roast chicken except enough for His sandwiches.  Oh and the left over gravy.  (And some mushrooms quickly fried with a couple of rather old bits of smoked bacon)  Put it in a cool place for a while – start blogging before you forget what you’ve decided to do next.

Roll out the remaining pastry quite thin (probably – I haven’t put them in the oven yet and I’m not sure how thin I needed to make them) in a rectangle which will allow it to be rolled up along it’s long edge about four or five times.

Spread a very thin layer of marmite all over it.  (Yes that’s a joke. )  Ok, dab bits of marmite here and there and then try and spread them a bit without ripping the pastry to bits.

Have another glass of wine.  Oh and feed the cat!  She may have had lots of bits of chicken skin half an hour ago but that was just an appetiser.

Sprinkle the left over grated cheddar (or other leftover cheese) all over it.  There won’t be enough so grate a bit more straight on top of the pastry.  Oh, just lightly covered all over.

Roll the pastry along the long edge, five or six times.  Well, until it’s all rolled up.

Slice the roll of pastry into little rounds about 3/4 of an inch thick.

Put them, cut sides down, on a baking tray which has been lightly floured (or greased – I can’t remember which it should be but no doubt I’ll find out when they’re done).

Use the left over milk from brushing the top of the pie to brush the tops of the pastry rolls.  (Actually that’s really difficult.  I don’t think I can ever have done it before.  Don’t bother).

Put them in the oven for 10 minutes or so.  (I’m not sure about that but they’re done when they’re golden brown and puffed up and crispy-ish.  Getting on for 13 minutes now**).

Obviously they’e best when just out of the oven (cooling on a wire tray) and much too hot to eat but I think they just about stay edible till the next day.

Oh enough food.  More snow.

DSC_4679-CS52 DSC_4685-CS5

*I’m fairly sure I did invent it – however it’s such an obvious use of the main ingredients that I can’t believe several thousand other people haven’t invented it too?  You?

**Um.  maybe 12 minutes at 200C?  I did 13 minutes at 190C and I think it was a little bit slow.  They’re nice even at the experimental stage but obviously what you want is little puffy golden rounds oozing with cheese and delicately blackened with hot marmite.  

January 24, 2013 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , ,


  1. Jamie, Heston, Delia, Nigella, eat your hearts out!

    Comment by Tim | January 24, 2013 | Reply

  2. Can you cook those if you don’t have a cat?

    Our bin men turned up yesterday – heroes maintaining civilisation’s front line

    Comment by Rog | January 24, 2013 | Reply

  3. Hold on……they can’t pick up the trash, they can’t grit the road–but they can trim hedges?
    k……I don’t get that. *laughing* Bit of a mess on the priorities if you ask me, but what do I know?!

    Now, I gotta tell ya–EVERYthing about that dinner sounds wonderful! ‘Cept the marmite.

    Oh. And of course the pastry that’s made from wheat flour. *sigh*

    Ah, but how wonderful the snow really IS–it means Barney cooks!! Wooohoooo! That does mean you’re freed up to head out with the camera, right?
    AFTER the hedge trimmer passes, of course…….

    Comment by Mel | January 25, 2013 | Reply

  4. My lovely daughter wheb visiting makes a pastry pie thing and always leaves a tiny piece of carefully-wrapped-left-over pastry in the fridge. When she goes I throw it away. I’ll show her this and she might make them, sans marmite of course, what were you thinking?!

    They’ve cut all the hedges around the ponies field and now they are windswept as well as snowswept.

    Pictures beautiful as per, snow really does transform the landscape to something magical. Only for looking at mind, it can bugger off now.

    Be careful on the road Mig xx

    Comment by Linda | January 25, 2013 | Reply

  5. I’m expecting them all to start stalking me Tim.

    I think you could substitute a dog Rog as long as you have sufficient chicken skin for it (them). (Tibetan Terriers are of course a special case. A whole lot of special cases.) Our bins have been waiting for 4 days now.

    I hoped the chippings from the trimming would act like grit Mel but as the hedges were trimmed a couple of months ago there weren’t enough. Sadly, Barney cooking doesn’t actually give me free time – there are still ingredients and utensils to be found – it seems I am the only one who can do this!

    I was thinking marmite Linda – I do that a lot. You could substitute anchovy paste? Which would go very nicely with leftover cream cheese. (so would marmite of course).
    I am being ridiculously careful – there are times when it makes me feel about sixty! Oh – I am sixty (ish). Have to do something about that.

    Comment by Mig | January 25, 2013 | Reply

  6. ‘nother non-marmite person here.

    Snow would have cooled me(everyone here) , but the ferocious winds would have blown it all onto my front windows so maybe I should shut up and just be glad it wasn’t a full-blown (look what I did there!) cyclone…

    Comment by dinahmow | January 25, 2013 | Reply

  7. It’s very hard to imagine being hot Dinahmow! But blocked windows I can visualise. You could have written a book on them!

    Comment by Mig | January 26, 2013 | Reply

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