I found a recipe for a type of stew made with malt beer in the slow cooker. I've never drunk the stuff myself, not sure why, but it sounded similar to the type of treatment meted out when making a Guinness stew so it seemed worth a try. The ten pages of discussion on the forum it was on all raved about it, too. Only problem was that in addition to onions and beef, it had pepper (as in bell peppers or capsicums) in it and I can't eat peppers. So I did what I usually did with recipes that call for peppers and just left them out. Life doesn't need to be complicated, you know. Of course, an additional problem was that I forgot to buy stock when I was out but whatever - with the strong malty drink and the main spice being paprika it didn't seem like a teaspoon of instant stock powder would make a huge amount of difference.
The final step in making it was to add a packet of a ready-sauce called Jaeger (or hunter's) sauce. That's basically a creamy mushroom sauce. Not being one to use many ready-sauces and having read in the discussions that the main reason for using it was to thicken the sauce, I decided to just make a simple roux. Then I realised that would involve heating the cooker and decided to try my hand at a buerre manie, which I read about last week. Have taken the butter out of the fridge to soften (shouldn't take long in this heat) and will finish up the stew then. It's far too hot to be eating stew really, but I thought it would be good to have cold during the week with bread. Loving that using the slow cooker doesn't heat up the kitchen the way the ordinary cooker would. I'll see how it tastes and if it's as good as it smelled earlier I'll post the recipe.
Not much else happening at the moment. I brought the bike that I bought second-hand about two years ago to the shop to have it fixed (gears were broken but that's why I got it for 20 euro) and get a general check done. Turns out they're so busy you can't just call in and leave your bike there, you have to make an appointment. So I'll have to go back in ten days and can leave my bike then. After that, I'll need to really start making an effort to actually use the thing, even if all I do is bring it to a nearby park and find a secluded corner to cycle for five minutes at a time in. I was never a good cyclist and being so overweight and so unfit now means that although you never forget how to cycle, that doesn't mean that the first time you get on a bike after years, you'll be able to do everything you could then. I know this because of my last brief attempt to start cycling - I have more to gain this time though as not only will it help with getting fit and losing weight, Dusseldorf is a fairly flat town and getting around on bike is one of the easiest ways to get around. People are also fond of taking bikes rides along the river just for fun and that kind of thing and it'd be nice to be able to join in.
As for my weight, it's one month since I had my first set of photos done so I should have gone in again today. When I rang yesterday however, I found out that the guy wasn't going to be there. So now I'll need to try and leave work early on Wednesday to dash there and get them done then. Kind of annoyed about it as I had told him I would plan on coming in the first Saturday of every month. He also still hasn't given me a price although it's supposed to be less than the 73 I paid for the first session (plus three photos). I'm starting to think he didn't quite get that I don't want to get actual photos each time and just want to pay for his time and then at the end of a year get a big printout of all of them together or something. But I know part of the reason I'm having doubts is because I'm annoyed at them for putting me off today so will just have to wait and see what happens. As it turns out, getting sick and having a few days of junk food, along with last week's quarter-end in work and it's attendant less than wonderful eating choices mean that I haven't actually lost any more weight. I was only supposed to be weighing myself once a month but when I was sick and in the chemist's anyway I did and I'm almost the same now as I was then (two weeks ago). Sigh. Need to get back to being a bit more strict and, since it's the second month, I wanted to try incorporating more exercise on a regular basis too. Still, it's a weight loss of 4.1 kilos (about 9 lbs) since my heaviest weight at the beginning of April and I need to stay focused on the fact that downwards is all good in this respect. Having washed the bedclothes today, I'm looking forward to having a nice cool shower before heading to bed and, even if things haven't turned out quite the way I expected, at least ending the day on a high note.