Crock Pot-ting it up…

Last Sunday it was suggested that I should get a slow cooker. Nanna’s fed me so many meals from the slow cooker, so appreciate that a slow cooker is an appliance that I will greatly benefit from – especially as I’m only cooking for myself. In these last two months I have found cooking to be quite a chore! I was beginning to get a bit lazy with the whole dinner experience by coming home from work and whacking anything into the oven. It was easier for me than worrying about pots and pans and timings of things that need to be put on and looked after.

Knowing that a slow cooker is going to be a benefit to my life, I planned to get one at the end of June. After chatting to two friends I began searching the Internet for recipes and got quite excited about my pending investment. I messaged one of my friends and told her that I was definitely going to buy one.

No! She suggested that I don’t rush out to buy one. I need to do my research. I need to compare the bowls and the settings. Which, I did. I couldn’t make head nor tail of all the reviews of a slow cooker. They all appeared to do the same thing. But I carried on with my research because I didn’t want to waste money on something that was going to be rubbish!

Two days later, my friend’s house warming present arrived – a Crock Pot.

I was super excited! I had a quick look on the Internet and found that I could wrap a potato in foil and bake it in there on high for 4-5 hours. I did that. It came out as though it had been cooking on a BBQ! It was delicious. So, on Wednesday I went a bit more ambitious.

Into my Crock Pot I added tinned tomatoes, onions, peas, rice (with water), sausages and bacon. I trotted off to work with my Crock Pot on high and spent the entire afternoon looking forward to my dinner.

I came home to something that resembled a risotto with a charcoal crust. I ate around the burnt bits and it was quite tasty – like a smokey bacon and sausage risotto. It was nice. I would eat it again – but there was so much burnt stuff that it has taken me 24 hours to get rid of the burnt bits! My lesson has been learnt though – I’m to leave it on low!!!

This morning I refilled my Crock Pot – I added chicken, a jar of curry sauce, onions, peas and broccoli and left it cooking on the low setting, after using the instruction book to convert the cooking times. Tonight I came home from work to a yummy curry with no charcoal! Mission accomplished – I now have 2 pots of curry ready to put in the freezer.

Tomorrow I plan to make soup………

Living alone

I’ve been living alone for nearly seven weeks now. It feels longer sometimes. Other times it doesn’t feel as long. Thankfully I have the support of my family in this endeavour because it’s been a rocky start for me. The job that I took to move here was not how it was portrayed in the interview (that was clear from the induction). However, yesterday I started in a new job, and so far, I like it very much. It’s a huge contrast to my first day in the job I moved with!

I’m enjoying living alone. I have independence and freedom. I can have music on loud-ish (not disturbing my neighbours!) and I can stay in bed for as long as I want without being disturbed by others. I don’t have to be considerate of others being asleep when I get up to go to work. I don’t have to tell anyone that I’m going out. I don’t have to tell anyone when I’ll be home. I’m loving that part.

What I love the most is that I can come home and go straight upstairs to the toilet! When I was living at home, as soon as I came in it felt as though I was being fed a million pieces of information about stuff that either doesn’t interest me, has no relevance to my life, or something that I needed to know but I’m not listening properly (because I really want to wee). I love this part the most. But, in a strange way, I also miss this part!

It does sometimes get lonely, but I’m learning to live with that. I put on a DVD, put on my Kindle, look on Facebook, sign into Skype, or go outside. It’s not a sad lonely – I’m past that. But it’s nice that I’m not being taken for granted…

Rainbow 

I was sitting in this front room when it was drawn to my attention that there was a very vibrant rainbow. Stupidly, I’d left my camera in the car overnight so I had a misty lens. But I took a photo with my phone.

  

I wonder what is at the bottom of the rainbow for me? A pot of gold would be nice…

Hot chocolate when out and about…

On Saturday I went for a walk with my friend’s brother to a local Nature Reserve. I had sent him a text telling him that I would be taking 2 L of hot chocolate in my flask and for him to bring himself a cup. 

I was almost speechless when he took from his bag a can of squirty cream and a packet of wafer straws. If you’re going to have a hot chocolate when in the wilderness, you really ought to do it properly! There really are no excuses…

  

A snapshot of my day

Today was my Biochemistry of Cell Function exam. I won’t lie – I know that I haven’t done particularly well but I’m hopeful to have done enough.

I got back to Reading train station and I had 50 minutes to spare before my train back to Farnborough North. I asked the guard if I could go through the gates and look in the shops for some food. He let me through.

Maybe I have seen these before but I’ve never taken any interest. M&S sell glasses of wine. Keeping it classy! Saves swigging from the bottle!

 

Christmas music

I thought about Christmas Carol’s today as there was a carol service happening (which I didn’t attend). I like a Christmas Carol, but my mood today is for something more uplifting and rhythmic than a solemn and sombre Christmas Carol which I traditionally associate with those sung in church.

The first ones that popped into my head was this one, on YouTube.

It’s definitely gotten me into the festive mood!

December’s snowballing along

It’s nearly exam day. We’re currently ten days into December and it feels like everything is next week away. I feel that December is disappearing too quickly.

I have an exam in four days time and I feel completely unprepared for it. No matter how hard I try, the revision is not going well. I thought I had made some progress, but it turns out that although I know the key points, I’m struggling to get them into a coherent narrative – which is what I need to be able to do, seeing as I’m sitting a written exam. It’s not multiple choice – which I’m glad about. With MCQs I have too many options available to me that I start double guessing myself and wind up with stupidly low grades on those.

I kind of lose a ‘day’ of revision due to sleeping. I have a 2-10:30 am shift on Saturday so I must sleep for part of tomorrow, and when I get home on Saturday. That gives me Sunday to do more revision, and also Monday morning to cram in any other extra’s I find myself panicking about. I suppose that my saving grace is that my exam isn’t until 5:30 in the evening.

I also have only two weeks left until Christmas and a ton of night shifts coming up, so I’m wondering when I’ll get to finish my Christmas shopping. I’m trying not to do it online as I find myself spending too much when I do that.

I really am starting to panic a little bit. Although, with my record cards, I feel that if I can absorb the important points, I just need to make sure they’re in the right order in my exam paper, and then hope I pick up points somehow. I’d much rather have a load of essays and coursework to submit instead.

Complaining over for today…