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A Remarkable Recovery

21 Apr

A Remarkable Recovery.


Judging Guidelines

12 Apr

Hello All,

Fi has translated the judging guidelines , so you can all get an idea of what to aim for! Please read on for more info.

Judges’ guidelines Tolt in Harmony

Level 1 Requirements Beat Relaxation Contact

Fault section 0-3.5 uneven beat, not relaxed, too high shape, crooked when supposed to be straight, rough or unbalanced rider. Very uneven tempo in some of the elements.

Average section 4-6.5 Mostly even beat with occasional mistakes (rolling or intermittent tension causing beat faults). Reasonably relaxed and beginning to go on the bit. Correctly bent around the corners and mostly straight on straight lines. The rider sits straight on the horse and is sensitive, giving clear but subtle aids. There may be some minor conflicts between horse and rider. Occasional uneven tempo is acceptable.

Good section 7-10 The horse has a good beat, yields to light aids and is relaxed, but not yet working with impulsion. The rider has good contact with the horse and sits well. Harmonious. Even and balanced tempo.

Level 2 Requirements: Beat Relaxation Contact Impulsion Straightness

Fault section 0-3.5 uneven beat, not relaxed, insensitive or too obvious aids very uneven tempo in some of the elements, no extension in element 3.

Average section 4-6.5 The horse has a good beat, is mostly relaxed and submits to light aids. The rider has good contact. Occasional uneven tempo, and somewhat weak extensions are acceptable.

Good section 7-10 Good beat, relaxation, and contact. The horse has begun to go with impulsion and is straight., going evenly on both reins and tracks up on a straight line. Collection is not required. Even and balanced tempo.

Level 3 Requirements: Beat Relaxation Contact Impulsion Straightness Collection

Fault section 0-3.5 Uneven beat. Tension resulting in loss of relaxation. Very uneven tempo in some elements. No extension in element 3.

Average section 4-6.5 Good beat, the horse is relaxed and there is good contact. The horse has begun to move with impulsion and is straight on both reins, tracking up when on a straight line. Collection not necessary for these marks. Occasional uneven tempo or somewhat weak extension is acceptable.

Good section 7-10 Everything is reasonably good and the horse is beginning to be collected yet remains relaxed. Even and balanced tempo.

Lena Lennartsson, October 2013.


December – Best Of month

4 Dec

As the year draws to a close, the final month of cooking will be a Best Of retrospective of the year – repeating the year’s most loved dishes. This will give us a month of awesome food and possibly determine which dish was the best of the year.

Based on our scores for each dish, the following list of the highest scoring dishes from the whole year is the starting point. The list seems to represent many of the cuisines/months reasonably well:

Pork schnitzel with mash potatoes and bacon and mushroom sauce (9.5 – Polish)
Bitki with shopska salad (9.5 – Polish)
Chinese new year feast (9.5 – Chinese)
Chicken biryani (9.5 – Indian)
Lamb dopiaza (9.5 – Indian)
Lamb rogan josh (9.5 – Indian)
Fish pie (9 – British)
Roast chicken (9 – British)
Steak and ale pie (8.5 – British)
Dill scones with Salmon and a Cucumber pickle (8.5 – British)
Bubble and squeak (8.5 – British)
Apple and beetroot borsch (8.5 – Vegetarian / Polish)
Chicken and ham sandwich pies (8.5 – British)
Coq au vin (8.5 – French)
Pan fried duck breast with puy lentils and plum sauce (8.5 – French)
Lamb with chestnuts and shallots (8.5 – Turkish)
Chilli con carne (8.5 – Mexican [but not very…])
Ham and cheese empanadas (8.5 – Mexican)
Queso fundido (8.5 – Mexican)

Butternut Squash and Coconut Curry

13 Nov

A return to trying to blog straight after cooking and eating…

After a lovely weekend away relaxing at a spa for a friend’s hen do, I got home and got to thinking about dinner. I had most of the ingredients assembled but nipped out for squash and spinach. This veggie feast was another Good Food recipe, and pretty simple to prepare (although it did generate quite a lot of washing up, so lost some of its appeal for that).

First Mr M chopped the squash up into little cubes, then I sprinkled it with oil, cinnamon and crushed coriander seeds. After 35 minutes in the oven the squash was tender. Whilst it was cooking I sweated ginger and shallots until soft. Then I  bashed some lemongrass, before chopping it finely and adding it to the pan with some garlic, to cook. Once these were all soft in went some red chilli,coriander leaf, turmeric, pineapple juice and water. This mix was cooked until reduced by a third.

A quarter of the squash and the chilli liquid were combined with a tin of coconut milk and then blitzed till smooth. The rest of the squash was then added with the spinach and some chopped water chestnuts. Ten minutes of simmering later it was ready to serve on rice with a coriander and cashew nut topping.

The flavours of this were sweet, coconutty and a little bit spicy. The chestnuts saved it from being too smushy bringing some welcome crunch. I enjoyed the light Thai flavours from the lemongrass, ginger, coconut, coriander and chilli.  Not sure what teh spinach was doing except adding visual contrast, as its flavour got quite lost. I think if I made it again I would add more heat! Mr M liked it though so overall pretty pleased with my efforts, 8 out of 10 from him. Although I have to say the delectable chocolate banana cake I’m tucking into made by my lovely husband is a 9+ at least veggie food includes cake 🙂

Lamb plov

28 Mar

Listed as an Eastern European dish in our cookbook ( though it also states that a similar dish with a similar name can also be found in Turkey and the Middle East (as Pilaf etc). Due to forgetting, once again, to get the right ingredients out of the freezer to defrost, again I had to stray a little, but only a little, from the recipe.

Raisins and prunes were soaked in warm water while onion and then garlic and lamb mince were fried off. At the same time, some brown rice bubbled away, before all this was mixed together with some stock and simmered for another 20 minutes until the rice was – finally – soft enough to eat.

Pretty tasty and very simple, though rather sweet due to all the dried fruits. Also another outing for the bargain lamb and mutton mince which has more flavour than the lean lamb mince. 7.5 out of 10. This may well reappear later in the year with different spices!

Mr M

Meat loaf

25 Mar

Listed in our cookbook as a Serbian, rather than Polish, recipe – we still felt that this was in the spirit of the month. Several types of meat and plenty of it, this would surely be popular in Poland, or there would be a similar dish there too.

This was dinner last night, tonight and possibly tomorrow – there was a lot of it!

I lined a loaf tin with tin foil and then bacon whilst frying onions and more bacon. At the same time, breadcrumbs soaked up some milk and were combined with two eggs, some herbs and black pepper and pork and beef mince. All this was combined together and crammed into the loaf tin, with some more slices of bacon on top to finish. After 1 and 3/4 hours in a hot oven it was done.

Served the first night with some pickles, steamed greens and boiled carrots. Tonight I cut off a few slices and fried those whilst boiling up a mash of swede, potatoes and carrots. Served, of course, with some more pickled beetroot.

It took a long time to cook to begin with, but given that I’ll be eating it for a while, that has balanced out. I was looking forward to some meatloaf and this didn’t disappoint. I’ve eaten meatloaf before without pork and with some red chillies in it which I liked a lot and will have to squeeze onto the menu at some point (but who knows which month!)

Scoring 8.5 out of 10, this was tasty and filling.

Mr M

Polish hotdogs!

23 Mar

Due to a lack of planning and slight laziness, I went for an inspired and (to be honest) entirely made-up effort. As I hadn’t taken anything out of the freezer, the options for all the planned forthcoming meals, such as meat loaf, sour pork and sausage soup, etc, were all looking a little bit icy!

Inspired by the smell of frying Polish sausage from the bigos that was prepared on Sunday and eaten on Tuesday, I decided to use some of the remaining sausage, slice it in half and fry it off in the pan to release some extra smells and flavours. A few slices of bread, a couple of tomatoes and a selection of pickles quickly rounded it off. A quick and easy effort. Normal service will resume tomorrow, but this was quite tasty 🙂 I’d give it 7 out of 10.

Mr M

Lamb rogan josh

14 Jan




A classic dish and a great one.

A lot of spices went into this one, first some whole spices: black peppercorns, black cardomom, green cardomom, cloves and cinnamon. All fried for a couple of minutes then followed by onion, 6 cloves of garlic and some ginger. Next some lamb (some chops and some on the bone) for that to brown off.

Time for more spices! Generous amounts of garam masala, red chilli powder, cumin and coriander. Then a tin of tomatoes and some water.

This we cooked for 35 minutes and then left for and hour before going back on for ten minutes while the rice cooked. A finishing touch of yogurt stirred into the curry and it is done.

Plenty of spice and chilli heat in this one with lamb chunks and tomatoes sauce. Mrs M voted it 9.5 – the highest yet!

Mr M.

Dinner for one – Chicken Korma

11 Jan

As Mrs M is out with friends this evening and being cooked for by them, I made the Chicken Korma just for myself. Also as she wasn’t around, I did it freestyle! I looked at a korma recipe in one of the small Indian cookbooks we have and then started making it up by myself.

First off, frying all of the following ingredients and spices in ghee:

  • Chicken parts
  • A fresh red chilli
  • Leftover red onion
  • Garlic
  • Green cardomom
  • Garam Masala
  • Black pepper
  • Chilli powder
  • Asafoetida

After a short frying, I added about a half pint of water and let it boil away happily. Meantime, I soaked the rice and did some dishes! When the rice had been put on to boil and was also almost ready, I added the last of the yoghurt from the fridge (about 2 or 3 tablespoons) and 2 or 3 tablespoons of double cream.

The sauce was very very hot before the yoghurt and cream went in and so managed to remain pretty powerful, but not overwhelming, when served. I had been looking forward to a creamy sauce (as non-authentic as that might be for a korma!) and enjoyed it very much. I was also hoping for a nice amount of sourness from the Asafoetida which I think I got, but I should probably have added a bit more at the end of cooking as well. Overall 8.5 out of 10. Fortunately for Mrs M, there is enough for her to try this for lunch tomorrow.