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Sunday, 30 June 2013

Strawberries a Sure Sign its summer

Its been hot hot hot here in Peterborough a lovely summery day and there is a lovely summery strawberry smell emanating from my kitchen which is slowly scenting the whole house.  Jam you ask, but  surprisingly no - not on this occasion although it is on the list.  Last week I bought some strawberries to make some jam they have been on offer at the Cooperative two boxes for £2 so I bought some to turn into  jam and unfortunately it did not get made.  My mum has been in hospital with suspected blood clots on her lung and I have been up to the hospital most nights to sit with her.  But she is now home and it is not what the Doctors thought and she is on the mend.

Arrgh all those strawberries gone to waste.  Not so it is a happy mistake as I have decided to make a couple of gallons of strawberry wine (Hopefully I should get about 8 bottles 4 per gallon or thereabouts).  I am from a family who has made wine for as long back as I can remember; mostly country wines made with the excess from the smallholding my grandparents had or whether my mum got a bargain locally or whether the natural larder provided i.e. nettles, wild plums, wild cherries etc.

My grandmother was a prolific and extremely talented wine maker; as was my mother, but when mum was diagnosed with liver disease she stopped making it and stopped drinking it too (although the disease she has is cirrhosis of the liver it is not caused by drinking alcohol but by fibres growing in her bile ducts and strangling the liver (Primary Biliary Cirrhosis) - an auto immune disease response).  One Transplant later - 24 years on and mum is still chugging along thank goodness.

 And me -  I just play at it from time to time.  I have never got rid of the equipment and it i kept to bring out into service whenever the fancy arrives. I notice that Lakeland are now selling wine making and beer making equipment; however most of my essentials are sourced from Wilkinsons although there are plenty of Internet companies out there also.

We did grow up having either Nan's or Mum's home made wine with Sunday dinner.  From about the age of 10 we were allowed a glass - only with our dinner and under strict supervision; like French children are allowed to.

Anyway I digress.  I have made Strawberry wine before and it is very sweet but very flavourful. The Strawberries are all crushed up and soaking in a sterilised bucket in the bathroom.  I have 2 gallons of wine on the go and I have to tend to it twice a day for 5 days after which it is decanted into a demijohn(s) and then left for a couple of months to ferment out before bottling.  I have since found the link to this lovely site with a few recipes and further links for those of you wanting to head into unknown territory and try something new.


I am going to make some Strawberry jam later on I make crushed Strawberry jam and it is very tasty and is good as a cake filling as well as on hunks of toast.   I also want to freeze some Strawberries  but first I need a new Freezer.  I still have not got one and it is impacting heavily as I do use my Freezers an awful lot.  I also want to bottle some Strawberries up in syrup for the winter months.

I am also going to start the Rumptopf off with some Strawberries of course for Christmas this year and have other items on the Agenda and to keep you on tenterhooks they will be covered in a separate post.

Catch you all later on.

Pattypan

xx

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Bit of an upset but a Happy Ending

Apologies for the delay this should have been posted at the weekend but I have been run off my feet.

My rescue cat Molly decided she was going walkabout on Wednesday night as I was taking rubbish to the dustbins, she skipped out like a streak of lightening into the street and then despite a good couple of hours out on the street trying to coax her back in she was having none of it. In the end I had to give up she had scarpered it was jet black and It was 2 am before I gave up the search as she had disappeared into the dark and so I went to bed.  Got about 4 hours sleep and then was up at 6 am trawling the neighbour-hood for her.  All to no avail.  I started to fret because we could not find her could not see her there was just no trace as though she had just vanished into thin air. I have been out everyday calling and searching for her not a sniff or a sight of her.  Then on Friday evening I went out after dark whistling (all my cats come to the whistle) and I got an answering response I called again and she popped her head out from under the builders scaffolding on the corner and came straight to me.  Needless to say I scooped her up and took her home.  bless her she was absolutely starving - she has not moved far since.

Hope everything is okay in your neck of the woods hopefully will get a chance to catch up over the weekend.

Love and light

Pattypan

x

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Breakfast

This morning I have had a real treat for my breakfast a bran based breakfast cereal with fresh raspberries on top and it was delicious. I try and eat breakfast every day as it is what it says i.e. breaking the fast.  To me it is the most important meal of the day.  Breaking the fast  is the point where our body's natural blood sugars are at their lowest that it is why it is important to top up and feed our systems and boosting our blood sugars..  According to statistics that is why most accidents happen early morning although not conclusivesly but there is evidence to suggest that most accidents happen because our blood sugar levels are low and the driver has not had breakfast.  The same as young children who have skipped breakfast do not concentrate as well for similar reasons.  So for me breakfast is the most important meal of the day.  With me being on long term medication breakfast is also one of the times when I take my pills and I usually try and incorporate fresh natural yogurt into breakfast somewhere down the line whether it be a topping for my breakfast cereal together with some toasted sesame seeds sprinkled on top (you really should try this one it is yummy)  or whether it is incorporated into a smoothie there are all sorts of ways you can jazz up breakfast and at this time of year I am very partial to fruit with my cereal and if you keep frozen mixed fruits in the freezer they are easily whipped up with some milk and sugar to make a lovely smoothie especially if you are on the run.  So do yourself a favour do not skip breakfast rather make an effort and see how you can jazz it up and tempt your palate with good things without them necessarily being naughty things.  You will feel all the better for eating breakfast.  Now the boiler is stoked up its all systems go and I am off to work.

Catch you all later on

Pattypan

x

Monday, 3 June 2013

Monday Chuckle

I saw this and just had to chuckle - I think in this household it amounts to three cats and a Jack Russell - who all have their humans trained.

I hope you all have a lovely day we have sunshine again here today although the wind maybe a little chilly

Have a good one and hopefully will catch up later

Love and light

Pattypan

xx

Sunday, 2 June 2013

Sunday Catch up

Well after the quietness of the earning morning I nipped to my local Cooperative store primarily to see if they had any chocolate and custard twists and cheese twists for OH for what is fast becoming a Sunday morning custom is a nice steaming mug of tea followed by one of these enriched bread creations - and me I am in heaven.  I am rather fond of pain Au chocolate as well for which I have a recipe but I am going to look out  for a recipe for these divine twists as well.  They are rather naughty but oh so nice.  OH had been up earlier than me having walked Missy and then slipped back to bed and he was flat out so I left him to come down under his own steam and I had my breakfast on my own such decadence.

When he did eventually get up I asked him if he would take me to our Butcher's to pick up a supply of cat biscuits (which Missy is also rather fond of as well) as they are a lot cheaper than going to the pet store.  Needless to say we came away with a few more bits - not meat wise but consumables, some sweets a bargain on frozen mussels in Garlic at £1 a bag or 7 packs for £5.  I could quite easily have spent a lot more but  I still do not have the capacity with the freezers as I am still waiting for a replacement one, this is causing me quite some hassle in relation to what I am able to keep in and what I am not.

On the way back we called in to the Cash and Carry for a block of cheese extra mature 5 kg for £20 and we also bought some Crevettes for me and some Whelks for OH which are also safely ensconced in the freezer.  We are rather fond of sea food at the best of times.  I have kept some of the Whelks and the Crevettes out to eat later and have bagged the rest up into portions and have two further bags of the Whelks and three of the Crevettes.  So we have some further goodies to at for whenever the fancy takes us (I have a suspicion the Whelks will not last long).

I have also has a look at the fabric dress I found in the Charity Shop yesterday, it needs all the interfacings creating - no pattern but I have a similar dress pattern that I can utilise.  I roughly pinned it together it is plenty big enough and will need fitting in - I have darts to pop in and a back zip as well to allow easier access.  It would appear to me that someone has cut the basic dress out and perhaps done the back on it wrong but I think I can get round this I am going to discuss it with my mum and see what she thinks.  The photo below is not the best but it gives some idea but it will need fitting in. and is plenty long enough so I might get some scrunchies for my hair off the length.  I have managed to find some satin lining that will do for the interfacing.  I do love the colours.  I will probably play with tracing some interfacings and also the dart placings from my existing pattern later on in the week.
I also thought that I would show you some photos of the picture I have rescued and which is going to be subject to some tlc to clean it and I will get OH to sort out a new back board. The frame itself is in reasonable condition and can be buffed up a little.
 
 A closer up of the marked area that needs some tlc


 


I have been pottering in the kitchen this afternoon both tidying and cooking.  We have had roast chicken with bay leaves, butter and lemon verbena stuffing in the breast and then home made sage onion and sausagemeat stuffing cooked in a tray with roast veggies,( carrots potatoes onions parsnip) new potatoes, peas, asparagus, mixed veggies (cauliflower beans carrots, broccoli) and mashed potato.  So we have had a very big tea and then strawberries and cream for pudding and  I am now officially stuffed!  I did extra mashed potato and will make some crab fish cakes probably for tomorrow's night tea.

Right am off to get organised for tomorrow I have a dishwasher to load.


Catch you all later on

Pattypan

xx


Early Morn and Simple Gourmet Treats

It is the weekend and I am up early again, when I could really do with a lay in as I did not get one yesterday.  However I am up  and having  a cup of tea in the quiet of the early morning;  there is something about the energy of this time of day especially when the sun is shining that wants me want to bathe in the rays of the sun and the quietness and the stillness; it is very soothing and allows random thoughts to take hold and be explored further and to take root without being fettered in the minute of every day more like a meditation a recognition of what is and an acceptance.  Recharge time.

Yesterday we had our first English Strawberries  grown in Wisbech down the road and we have another punnet for today; such bliss and such taste  especially served with simple vanilla ice cream or just cream; or may cook some plain scones and serve them, as a fresh strawberry tea. I personally do not think you can beat the English Strawberry for it has a depth of flavour  something that the imported ones just do not have. I have been enthralled with the strawberry since I was a child; I remember making trips with my father at this time of year and collecting big pallets of strawberries which we would eat fresh and then mum would turn into home made strawberry jam making jar after jar to last us through to the following year.  My grandparents also had a big bed of Strawberries and we used to go and pick the bright red gems and pop them into our mouths; such decadance as there is nothing lovelier than picking and eating straight from the plant.

I also love wild strawberries there is nothing much of them but they are such a treat.  I have tried to get them to grow in my garden but the soil here is heavy clay and they struggle.

 I also have the first of some English Asparagus - such treats that we are to have with roast chicken and home made bread sauce and home made stuffing. There is plenty so I think I will also make a batch of Asparagus soup also another lovely treat and some new potatoes.  I do love this time of year when all the new veggies start to make an appearance

I did not quite get the kitchen done last night - certainly not the oven.  In the end I had to sit down as my back was showing discomfort.

Well my tea is now drunk time to get on with the rest of the day.

Catch you all later on

Pattypan

xx

Saturday, 1 June 2013

Saturday Roundup

Its been a busy day here; starting with trying to get a full sized dishwasher into the kitchen.  I have been very lucky in having been given a large dishwasher (only a year old) [thank you bruv]; the small table top one I had is designated to go to my step-son and his partner, together with my old washing machine. (they have not long moved in together and not many pennies so it will help them out for a little while). As space is somewhat limited in the kitchen we have had to put a work top in over the top of the washing machine and then stack the new dishwasher on top of that.  After some heaving the dishwasher high up over the sink to get it in situ and one or two adjustments at the back, the machine is now "home" and earning its keep.  Now all I have to do is re-home the items that used to be above the washing machine and that is easier said than done.  Buy hey I am chuffed, very chuffed.

I have had to wait in for the postman this morning but as OH was in the house I quickly nipped round to the charity shop and picked up the embroidered picture that needs a little tlc; on closer inspection the frame just needs a new back board although I am going to have to do some gentle dabbing on the picture itself which seems to have suffered some sort of water damage, but I think with a little time and patience I might be able to put this right so that it looks as good as new.  The colours match my front room so I am hoping to squeeze it in somewhere.

Whilst at the Charity shop I also picked up what I thought was a piece of fabric, it is in fact a shift dress that has been cut out and never been made.  It does not have the inner linings for round the neck and arms but that can easily be achieved by making some from some lining fabric (which I have loads of) and then running round them with the overlocker before stitching in.  It would appear to be my size so I am going to tack it together have a look at it and if I can do something with it; otherwise I will re-purpose it for something else.  The fabric can always be utilised into something else.

Since then I have been scrubbing the kitchen out; the regular scrub the walls, pulling appliances out. and washing the floor as I go along.  Am about half way through  I still have the cooker to tackle though - not my favourite thing to do as it always hurts my hands.

I also have the cupboards to strip out and re-tidy again.  Oh well it will keep me out of mischief and at the end of the day will be a job well done - at least once its tidy I will be able to find things again and I know everything is spotlessly clean. 

Well must get on hope you have all had a lovely day

Love and Light

Pattypan

xx


Meet the Moggies

  • Merlin (approx 18 months)
  • Squeak (approx 2 years)
  • Poppy (approx 16 years)
  • Tyson (approx 17 years)
  • Tinky (official name Clover approx 18 years)