Post 14: The Best Spaghetti Bolognese I Ever Had! REALLY! 108 to go!

Kat doodles about life and cooks:

As you may remember I have mentioned that one of the next lessons with my student-chef will be practical and we will be cooking the recipe for Spaghetti Bolognese according to the recipe he was solving as a quiz.  So on Thursday I made to it to his house and we got started. Apparently he was looking forward to it. For anyone, who is up for trying this recipe, I have taken the original from BBC Good Food website. I won’t bore you with the details, but I will tell you what we have changed or added. As soon as we started cooking and I was making him to tell me the right orders in English, he soon took the “make it up as you go along” approach. He does this for living, so he knows what he is doing, I thought.

Instead of 500g of minced beef we went for 700g and with the streaky bacon, not sure where he got it, but it looked beautiful like from the real butcher and not from the supermarket. It was just well thick and long. And definitely plenty. As he is still not very familiar with some of the items or supermarket aisles since he has been here only few months, he was trying to convince me that the local shop does not stock tins of plums tomatoes, so he replaced it with two good quality jars of pasta sauce with basil. We used about half of the punnet of cherry tomatoes to give it that little extra taste. When it comes to all the other ingredients we used extra celery sticks to make up the amount to feed everyone for dinner time, instead of one, we used two glasses of wine (and the rest for us) and instead of beef stock cube, real made chicken stock was used. I think probably around 1.5 litres. We managed to grate in the whole triangle of parmesan cheese and we skipped using the bay leaves. Everything was left to simmer and we got on with the rest of the lesson.

By the end I was proper hungry and when he served the sauce with freshly made pasta, I can tell you I was in food heaven. It was really nice to share the result of mutual effort. In the past I was lucky that my two previous boyfriends shared my passion for cooking, so we would either share the time cooking together or I would get surprised by them having cooked some lovely meals for me. ‘Love goes through the stomache’ as we say in Czech, it is certainly true in my case. So if you are man trying to seduce me, here is it the way. I am not a big fan of Spaghetti Bolognese as I was not really lucky to have them in places where a lot of herbs and spices are allowed, so usually it would taste really bland and mine are full of extra different things. However after having one bowl cooked according to this recipe, I am sure I could fit another one in without a doubt. After this amazing feast, I fancied more, so I thought, why don’t we extend the lesson and make a dessert.

I had a selection of Valentine’s recipes ready for him just in case he would need to prepare something for work, but they all needed good few hours of work, so I suddenly thought of a recent recipe LearnerMother posted and it was Banana and Blueberry pancakes. She shared it originally from the blog A Girl Called Jack and it is so simple anyone can do it in literally no time. So we popped in again to the shop (I showed him where the tins of plum tomatoes are) and got more ingredients like blueberries and bananas. Not sure how much is in the recipe for the blueberries, but we used the whole punnet again, and the same approach of ‘making it as you go’ when getting the right mixture, so probably more than the recipe is stating. Finally making about 10 mini pancakes. All finished with maple syrup and icing sugar on top. As soon as other members of his family arrived all the food was literally flying off the plate. We all then had a wonderful evening full of fun chatting about life, so I cannot wait to have another lesson like this.

I am sorry there are no pictures, we ate it too quickly before I realized I should have taken a photo.

Back soon Kat xx

Post 12: Where Has the Week Gone? 110 to go!

Kat doodles about life:

Hello everyone, I know I am few days late with posting, so I hope you can forgive me. I was hoping to enjoy my four days off, but instead I ended up running around doing way too many things as usual. Last night’s realization that it is Thursday already did not make me happy bunny thinking to myself where has the week gone?

So what I have been up to in the last few days? Since working full on last weekend I needed to catch up with my blog post number ten and the fact it was end of the month gave me perfect opportunity to review how I am doing with all the resolutions. It is really nice to see that I am progressing, no matter how little the steps are. Of course I know I can push myself lot harder, so the blog is perfect way of doing so and I am glad I am still going.

In the past few weeks design turned into a bit of a side line and my language jobs seem to be picking up lot more. I spent one evening going through list of vegetables and mushrooms, which I am sure have been mentioned already. Then on Thursday we kept working through the list with my student.  The second half of the lesson was dedicated to a quiz. I transcribed a recipe for Spaghetti Bolognese into simple list of ingredients and commands of how to make it. It got printed and cut into small pieces. I need to get him to start speaking more, so I told him once he solves the quiz, in next lesson he will be teaching me how to cook the dish. As you can guess, he was (not) amused and started to giggle fearing what will happen. I am sure he will be fine. Personally I prefer this practical way of learning the most as it makes the brain associate the words with certain actions or situations better. I reckon he was not happy with me either when we both went to the shop afterwards and I made him go and ask the member of staff where to find suet. Something we have talked about in the lesson and its use in British cuisine. Practice makes it perfect! 🙂

In one of the places I go to work they run a book club, where you can purchase books for discounted prices. Since teaching privately and not being very big fan of grammar myself I ended up flicking through a book Help Your Kids with Spelling and Grammar written by Carol Vorderman. I was very pleasantly surprised, not only by the price, but also by the way the book is written. I found it lot more user-friendly and certainly very different to all the actual language books we used to learn from at school back home. I understand they have to be different due to nature of the user , but certainly the grammar part looks lot more clearer. I only knew Carol from Loose Women until while ago I watched a program about her. I found out she also co-presented Countdown  in the past and has great knowledge of Maths. Plus she lives in Bristol, which means she is cool already!  Anyway jokes aside, I will see how I get on with book during the lessons and I guess even myself. As they say ‘ you learn something new every day’.

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On Wednesday I went to Gloucester to work as an interpreter, so there is not much I can tell you about apart from the fact I spent the day on buses, trains and nearly getting blown off by the wind. I had to dress smart so instead of my usual bike jacket with a hoodie I had to opt for a brolly. It was classic Charlie Chaplin comedy sketch. I know why I do not bother with umbrellas in this country. Some of my friends suggested to go and see the Docks and the Cathedral, where Harry Potter was filmed, but the assignment went on for hours, so when I got out I was not in a very cheery mood and it became so dark, I decided to return straight back home. Feeling optimistic on the day I took my driving theory book with me to see if I can do a bit of studying during the train journey, but I also decided to take the latest issues of World of Interiors and Elle Decoration, which arrived in  the post. After the day out and about there was a clear winner and I spent the journey looking at pretty images of furniture and fabrics. Who can blame me, right?

Have a lovely weekend! Back soon. Kat xx