Wood Fired Oven

When we moved home in 2012, it became a perfect opportunity to install a wood fired oven in the new garden. I had wanted one for a while and even visited River Cottage to learn how to make one from scratch using clay. When it finally came time to build it however, I decided to buy the Valoriani Kit from ‘Wood Fired Ovens – by Jamie Oliver’ and then build the housing to suit my requirements. I chose a Classic 100 as I felt the internal dimensions would give me plenty of cooking space without requiring too large a base that would be overpowering in the garden.

This has to be one of my favourite things, and possibly the best investment in the garden and house. We use it regularly through the summer cooking pizzas, baking bread, and roasting meats. We have cooked a multitude of dishes in it, and have slow cooked meats overnight. The 1000m oven is easily large enough to cook a full sunday meal, or a english breakfast for 6 adults. We no longer use a BBQ just choosing to cook over burning wood embers in the oven. We have also used it during the winter, and have to date, cooked three Christmas meals in it, including Turkey, Goose, and a full Salmon.


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Weight – Week 4

I’m four weeks into my lose weight regime. My gym work has been good i’ve been lookin for the bowflex selecttech 552 for too long to avoid it, and my eating has been mostly good. Actually my eating is not too dissimilar from normal, however I have managed to cut out the hunger cravings that normally lead me to chocolate and crisps and rubbish. And my quantity control is better. So I kind of feel balanced.

One major milestone for me is drinking water. As a rule I don’t drink much water – as I don’t like it. To drink water it has to either be ice cold sparkling water on a hot day, or flavoured sparkling water. So at home I drink cordial with sparkling water. But I generally only drink one large glass with my evening meal; that and a couple of coffees over the day is all I drink.
I don’t go in for the mantra of how much water you must drink, I think everyone is different. I’ve gone 38 years without problem and I can count the number of water infections I’ve had in that time on 1 finger…
That said, I decided that I needed to force myself to drink more during the day as I no longer drink coffee while on my current contract. So I now take a litre bottle of made up flavoured sparkling water to work every day. The thing I’ve noticed is that I grab the drink quite frequently during the morning and I wonder if previously that would have been an urge to eat, which often meant I would get to lunch having already eaten my lunch!

Anyway, 4 weeks ago I was 94kg ( 207lb/14″ 11) approximate of 27.3 ( overweight ). I use approximate here because the BMI calculation is a croc really, because it doesn’t take into account physical size rather than height. A tall muscular person is going to show as overweight based on their BMI, despite the fact that they are relatively fat free.

First week I lost 1.5kg ( 3.3lb ), then 0.1kg ( 0.2lb ), then 0.4kg ( 0.8lb). I was a little dissapointed after week 3 that the trail off had occured as I wanted to lose about 2lb a week. However I knew that over those 2 weeks I had gone to the pictures and had a meal with friends. Which although by my standards I had done very well (2 bottle beers and 2 glasses of wine, and a more than wanted but less than previous, quantity of food), they were nevertheless still potential blips. I took solace in the fact that my stomach ( not waist ) measurement and gone from 41 inch to 39.5 inch. So every movement down was good no matter how small.

Weigh in this morning – 91kg ( 200.5lb ) down 1kg ( 2.2lb ) on last week.
So in four weeks I have lost 3kg ( 6.6lb ). I am below target but very much happy with that, it’s not just that the weight is going down, but I already feel better for it; I no longer have the hunger which means I am less likely to fall off the wagon!

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I’m overweight. I’ve been overweight for about as long as I can remember now. I’m not obese, I’m just a little chunky around the waist, a little too much on the belly, and a smidgeon of a extra chin.

It bothers me. Not in a great big way. I don’t get depressed about it. I would just prefer to be a little less. I’m on the border where a little sustained excess makes me feel bad and a little sustained good eating and exercise makes me feel really good.

Over the years I’ve tried to get my weight down without much success. Over the last 18 months I have kept my weight consistent despite know that my eating/drinking habits have been poor. On the whole I have a good diet – I just tend to pick out on crap every now ( usually when work boredom kicks in ) and my portion control is real bad!

So I’m pretty sure that a better eating regime, less pigging out and bingeing, and more consistent exercise should easily allow me to achieve the required weight loss.

So the aim is to drop 2 stone over the next 6 months. That’s nearly 13kilos or 28lb or 13 bags of sugar!

At the start of this last week, I was 94kilo, 207lbs, 14 st 11 lbs. One week in I have dropped just over 3lbs… watch this space… or not…

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Snack PotsSo I’m watching TV last night when I see and advert for Heinz Snak pots. Apparently…

“Preparing Heinz Beanz and Pasta has never been simpler,” says Nathan Ansell, Senior Brand Manager, Heinz Beanz. “Snap, heat and eat. That’s how easy it is for consumers who want a great tasting, super convenient snack Cuisinart food processor .

So cooking Baked Beans is difficult and slow? FFS!

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New Improved Formula

Why do people muck around with food? I used to eat Tesco’s Maple and Pecan Crisp for breakfast… last month a box turned up with the shopping that was “Newly Improved”. I don’t like it anymore!

Victoria eats some Oaty Crunch thing.. this month, “Newly Improved”. She doesn’t like it anymore!

Why mess with things…?

I suspect costs; they’ve change the makeup to reduce the costs. But now it tastes shit!

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