I've not blogged much after a few weeks of social busyness.
I had my lovely friend Alan to stay, and cooked him shredded lamb shoulder in redcurrant and mint jus. Normally it's a dish I do with lamb shanks but since they've become fashionable they're really expensive, with two coming in at over £10. Shoulder is a much cheaper option (a less than £8 joint easily feeding 5) and works extremely well cooked over shallots, carrots in a very low oven or slow cooker. We're talking about 6 hours here, until it falls apart when you stick a fork in it.
The added benefit of this is once the meat is stripped from the bones, you can reduce the cooking sauces (containing mint sauce and redcurrant jelly) and have a delicious jus, which you can put the meat back into. At this point it can happily sit in the fridge and just needs warming through when you need it. It also freezes well (I had some this evening with rapid roastini and cauliflower).
We had some lovely drives out, including discovering a lovely beach in Shoeburyness where people were walking their dogs.
The halloween party was good, though exhausting. I was pleased with how it turned out and I made meatball eyeballs (went down very well), pumpkin cheese scones, cocktail sausages with a honey mustard dip, coffin chocolate cake, cheesecake dip with bagel chips, brazillian cheese balls, M&S party snack skewery things and nuts and crisps. There was some left over which meant that I didn't have to cook for a few days and I was very grateful for that.
Yesterday we took a trip out to Polhill Garden Centre at Badgers Mount. I was pleased to see they'd got some gluten free snacks this time in the cafe, last time they had nothing suitable. Lovely christmas displays finished off with a Toby Carvery with parsnips! Wahey!