Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Big Bertha

What a disappointment we got up expecting sunshine but it was overcast and quite cool as we made our way to Banbury to pick up some maggots and groceries. While there I popped into Tooley's Boatyard to see if they had a colour match for the roof paint but unfortunately they don't stock any paint but black. Wasn't it Henry Ford who said "you can have any colour you like as long as it's black." I don't think black will look good on our roof so I will wait till I get to Midland Chandlers and see what they have or can get.

Shopping done we didn't fancy mooring in town so we pushed on passed .

We saw narrow boats No Problem and Yarwood moored in Banbury but not their bloggers.

We passed a boater on the way to Hardwick Lock who said "its as busy as hell down there". There was one boat in the lock and one waiting to go through, if that is his idea of busy he should try 30 odd boats waiting to go through Shepperton lock on the Thames on any summer Sunday afternoon.

At Slat Mill lock Sue had to break out the secret weapon for the first time as the paddle gear was so stiff , this would be the ratchet windlass(Big Bertha) we bought at the Crick boat show.

We both suffer from backache from time to time so hopefully this piece of kit will enable us to keep going for longer.

I used to be a Manual Handling Instructor and the best advice I would give my students  was AVOID lifting, pushing or pulling  anything that puts a strain on your back , so I avoid straining mine by staying on the boat and Sue avoids straining hers by using Big Bertha.  When Sue gets confident in handling the boat into  the locks roles will be reversed.

I have been asked for the recipe for the Curried Rice dish I cooked yesterday which I will publish here.   When  I cook it usually has to be done in one pot  and in under an hour, this one takes approximately half that time.

Sunflower oil 1 x tbsp
Garlic clove x 2 crushed
Medium curry paste  x 2 tbsp
Can of chickpeas drained and rinsed
Basmati rice rinsed x 6ox
Vegetable stock 14 oz
Leek  x 1 thinly sliced
Mushrooms of your choice I used about 12 button ones sliced.

Heat the oil in a non stick pan and fry the garlic and curry paste for 2 minutes
Tip in everything else: the rice, stock,chickpeas,leeks and mushrooms (a handful of raisins if you like them)
Stir well and season.
Cover with a lid and cook for 12 to 15 mins or until all liquid have been absorbed

A few cashews and/or a drizzle of yogurt to serve if you want to be alley cart.

Job done in under half hour.

You can leave out the leeks and mushrooms and just throw in a  cup of frozen peas or thaw 4 oz frozen Spinach squeeze out all the water and launch it in at the end with a good stir.

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