The most astonishing thing to happen to me for an age happened this morning. I got a cheque for overpaid Council Tax!!! I have absolutely no clue how they worked that out, but the begger is in the bank, and will pay for one months phone and internet.

Yesterday was the coldest I have felt this autumn. It was actually just over 14 C, which is quite balmy for my house in winter, but still had to wear two pair trousers and two fleeces, and a hat, indoors.

I am doing lots of cooking, trying to warm the house; mostly Finnish dishes. Yesterday I was going to do a pork shank in dough (flour and water); but ending up roasting the shank and making pasties. The pasties were lovely hot but not cold. The shank cost less than £2 at Morrisons and looks set to provide at least five meal. The bones and tendons making wonderful stock.

Today I made maksalaatikko, or liver pudding. It was supposed to be made with pudding rice, and bound together with eggs. I had neither so I used long grain and corn flour.

Basically you boil rice with milk and water and cool. Gently fry a chopped onion in butter. Add minced liver (I chopped); lots of white pepper and marjoram; sultarrners; syrup (used rhubarb jam) and the rice (with egg). Stick in buttered casserole, cover, and put in a oven at Gas 3 for an hour, or until set in the middle.

Very good with a sweet/bitter sauce like cranberry.