Sunday, 25 November 2012

Good Friends, Good Food

I'm back.  I took last week off as we didn't have a "blogworthy" weekend.  We took it easy, ran some errands and chauffeured the kids around.   We did see our first movie in some time:  Skyfall.  We enjoyed it.  It was neat to watch a James Bond movie in England.  We also enjoyed the scenery shots of London and Scotland of places that we have been.

No tourist activities again this week but we have had some good times.

On Saturday, we went to one of the better (best?) restaurants in Derby:  Darley's.  We shared the evening with our good friends Andrea and Derek (see photo above).  What a fantastic night.  The food and service were great and the evening flew by.   I had the pheasant with cranberry stuffing (fancy lad Thanksgiving meal, if you will).  Andrea had a nice steak and Kuk and Derek enjoyed the sea bass.  The starters and desserts were fantastic too.  The flavors were complex and well balanced.  Highly recommended.

On Sunday, we had a delayed Thanksgiving celebration of sorts.  Thanksgiving here, as you might expect, is quite underwhelming as it is of course, not a holiday here.  Quite a few folks at work asked if I was going to take the day off.  Why bother?  It's not the same with everyone else not having the day off (and family across the ocean).  I'll save those vacation days for better weather anyway.

Fortunately, my buddy Jay organized a rebel (ex-pat) dinner at another favorite of ours, the Bull's Head in Repton.  There were close to 30 of us including kids and spouses.  We were there for 4.5 hours and had a good time catching up with old friends and meeting new ones.  The food was good as was the service.  Well done, Jay!

Continuing of the food theme, I've been getting tired of the same-old meals every night so I bought a new cookbook and tried it out.  It's a Jamie Oliver book -- he's pretty big here.  The book is "15 Minute Meals".

My first 15 minute meal took 60 minutes.  :-)  Hopefully I can get my times down.  It helps to have someone come over and cut everything up for you, I imagine.  At any rate, it turned out well even if the photo above is a little, uh, brown.  The meal was "Beef Kofta Curry".  Very tasty.  The kids even liked it too.

My second meal was quite different:  smoked haddock frittata (eggs).  It was good though a little unusual to have on a regular basis.  This one was shorter, maybe 30-45 minutes.

I did have the fancy side salad to go with it as well (watercress, apples, walnuts, chives, Emmental cheese w/ olive oil).  So far, so good.  I'll have to try some more recipes and let you know.

Hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving.  We are on to the Christmas stretch now.  Have a good week everyone.

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