Potatoes are not my friend and another mad squirrel!

Morning all.

Yesterday was my roast judgment day! I've never cooked a proper one before and I was a little nervous. To begin with I started peeling the potatoes while PM washed up to create some space. All of a sudden he jumped, made a little shocked noise and slammed the window shut. I turned round to see what was up thinking that a fly or something was trying to fly in the window when he told me that a squirrel was trying to get in. It was on the window ledge and edging ever closer to the open window until PM closed the window and it ran off. Then when he went to open the window again it was waiting at the edge of the porch so the window stayed shut for a while. What is it with the squirrels in Streatham?!

Drama over, I went back to the cooking. Potatoes peeled, parsnips peeling, onion chopped, sage chopped, garlic divided into cloves the chicken was ready to go into the oven. A bit of white wine and on went the chicken. The recipe said to put the potatoes in after half an hour so I left those in a dish while I carried on with the veg (carrots with garlic, cardamom pods and grated ginger) and PM wrapped some sausages in bacon.

After half an hour the potatoes and parsnips went in whilst the new ones went on to boil (as did some I reserved for some mash as PM always has mash with roast apparently). I poured a glass of wine and looked at everything I had done. PM went out with Kris to meet Kris' girlfriend Marit at the station so I made a start on the desert, Rhubarb Crumble. Once I had drained the BIG can of rhubarb I realised that it consisted mainly of juice and not much rhubarb as what was left didn't even cover the bottom of the dish. Slightly panic as I realised I didn't have any more rhubarb. So I went for some frozen forest fruits I had in the freezer that I had been using for smoothies and filled the gaps in with those. I then put the crumble mix over the top (as much as I want to be a great chef sometimes you have to cheat).

Crumble ready, veg on the go and the new potatoes coming to the boil dinner was almost ready. I boiled the kettle ready for the gravy and took the chicken out to check on progress. The chicken was perfect but the potatoes hadn't cooked at all. At this point I started to panic! I took the chicken out and put it in the grill section to keep warm while I put the heat up in the oven in an attempt to get the potatoes ready. 20 minutes later and they still hadn't cooked. So I served what was ready, turned the oven up to gas mark 9 and prayed they would be ready before we finished dinner (the only other thing I cheated on was the Yorkshire puddings as they always go wrong, so thank you Aunt Bessie!).

The chicken was unbelievably good. Very much a case of melt in the mouth. It was great! Everything else was really good too. The potatoes were good enough by the time I served them but not brilliant. So not a complete disaster. No one has food poisoning as far as I know. Desert wasn't eaten until later in the evening after Kris and Marit left for the night as we were all pretty stuffed. Despite the problem with the rhubarb, the berries were actually a welcome addition and made the crumble very tasty!

So my first roast over with. Some lessons learned. More worryingly I have a weigh in at the gym tonight and feel that the good efforts of the week may be negated by the weekend. Hopefully not though. Will let you know tomorrow.


  1. Anonymous1:30 pm

    Should always par boil potatoes before roasting them. Makes them light and fluffy and cuts down the time in the oven. If you're not sure look up Delia! I feel as if I h ave failed you as a mother because I have not taught you how to cook!

  2. Anonymous3:52 pm

    Dose you oven have a fan? If not you will need to allow more cooking time for the pots. If so the chicken would have been correctly cooked because it was on the top shelf and the lower shelves are cooler. I would also surgest that you invest in a meat probe especialy when cooking chicken.
    The water that you par boil the pots in you can re boil and use for your gravy.


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