Saturday, 25 January 2014

Fish Pie and Knitted Socks

Yesterday was DD3's boyfriend's birthday so he got his favourite dinner of Fish Pie and an iced cake.

I must say, although I cheated a bit with the pie and used sachets of white sauce (courtesy of Approved Foods) instead of using double cream as I have done in the past, it was the best fish pie I ever made.

Its not a cheap dish, using a whole pack of frozen white fish fillets and a whole pack of smoked haddock, both £2.95 in FarmFoods, a packet of frozen cooked prawns from Morrisons at £2.49, an onion, a few frozen peas, milk and the sauce mixes, plus mashed spuds and a sprinkle of cheese for topping, and frozen country veg mix to serve.

The total cost was probably around £12 for 5 big servings (would easily serve 6 normal portions), so not too outrageous at around £2 - 2.40 per meal. I wouldn't normally spend that much but this was for a special occasion.

I didn't get pictures of the cake, but it was simply a version of Mary Berry's vanilla traybake that I divided between two tins, sandwiched together with raspberry jam and topped with water icing and chocolate buttons and a candle.

By contrast I didn't really bother cooking at all today, we just had beans on toast and DS1 and I had a cheese omelette each with ours and DH had sliced haslet as he doesn't like eggs except when they're in a cake. I'm not cooking tomorrow either as DH is making a vegetarian lasagne.

It was a horrible damp day today, a wet mist hanging in the air and totally obscuring the castle and the surrounding hills. Nevertheless, DH and I took a walk into town, did some business at the bank for his mum who's in a nursing home in Wales, went into the library to read the local papers and then into Wetherspoons for a coffee. At least we got out of the house for a couple of hours; I hate being forced to stay in. We've actually had thunder, lightening and a hail storm earlier this evening. The lights flickered a couple of times so I dug out the candles just in case but fortunately the storm passed over although it's still wet and windy out.

This afternoon we watched the episode of An Island Parish that we missed last evening (oh, to live somewhere like Sark with no traffic to worry about) and then enjoyed a few episodes of Rumpole of the Bailey from our dvd collection while I sat and did some knitting. I've nearly finished my second two-needle sock, the first came out enormous, far too big for even my size 8 plates of meat, so on the advice of Bridget over at I'm having another go and making the next size down, which is the largest child's size. With the first one I had a problem working out turning the heel, but since I've done it once this second sock went without a hitch.  I've been wanting to knit socks for ages but have never been able to work in the round either on 4 needles or circular needles so I was over the moon to find this pattern for working on 2 straight needles and with double knit yarn. I'll post pictures when I've finished the pair. I can see everyone getting at least one pair of hand knitted socks each this Christmas.

Well, this time next week DD3 and boyfriend (BF) will have moved out. In one way I can't wait for it all to be over, and in another I'm a bit worried about how empty the place will seem without them. Mind you, I won't miss having to do 2 loads of laundry nearly every day of the week, or making meals for 5 and then them deciding at the last minute to eat out or get their own dinner, or picking up after them, or the noise or...well, there are quite a few pluses, but still, she's my little girl and I'll miss her, and the BF has become a part of the family in the 6 years he's lived with us. I'm sure it will seem strange for a while. Mind you DS2 will be home for the Easter holidays and will probably also be back throughout the summer break, and if his girlfriend comes to stay for any length of time we'll be back up to 5 again.

I think that's all for now, nothing very exciting, just plodding on as usual.


  1. Your Fish Pie looks and sounds the business, as for excitement I get all that I can handle trying to get Ben into his harness while he is leaping about in his hurry to go for a walk.

    1. We only have cats now so don't get the same excitemet as you...ha. ha! Mind you, I think one of our cats has ADHD because he's certainly hyperactive from time ot time, not at all the calm, lazy temperament a British Shorthair should have. Keeping him from bouncing off the walls can be interesting.

  2. Fish pie looks lush. It's funny seeing that pattern on your blog. Get a couple more pairs under your belt and you'll be knitting them with your eyes closed! Looking forward to seeing the pictures x

    1. I've made a start on the second sock and I'm hoping to get the pair done by the end of the week, but obviously things are a bit hectic here with DD's move on the horizon. I don't seem to be able to make them as quickly as you do, but like you said, practice will make perfect and I did choose the ribbed pair to start with which takes a bit longer than stocking stitch. Pictures when the pair is complete.

  3. We also love fish pie in my house. I usually use basa fish from Aldi and some large prawns.
    I can understand you`re looking forward to your daughter finally moving out. I had to agree to stepson moving back in and the washing has been enormous since then. I`m also forever picking up after him, so I`m looking forward to him saving enough money for his own four walls, eventually.
    The weather has turned wet and windy here today, so we are having a lazy Sunday in. Couldn`t even be bothered to get dressed. I`m launching around in PJs and dressing gown for today. No point in wearing clothes if I`m not expecting visitors or intend to go anywhere. I`ve been busy this morning making a rabbit ragout for the freezer. And this evening we shall have a pork stroganoff, so plenty to keep me occupied indoors.

    1. I've had even more laundry to do than usual over the last few days as they clear out their room and want everything washed before they move. I feel for you over the extra work with your stepson. Its amazing how kids move back in after living independently and immediately revert back to expecting everything done for them. Its happened to me a couple of times when one of mine has come back from Uni. Its no good trying to reason with them, somehow home is the place where mum and dad do all the work and they get to enjoy being looked after. I wonder if there'll ever be a time I get looked after in return...actually, if it means I'll get to a stage where I have to rely on others to take care of me I think I'll pass on that one. Sounds like you had a good PJ day and Pork Stroganoff; I have some pork fillets in the freezer so that will have to go on my list of meals to make.