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Saturday, 31 December 2016

THANK YOU AND HAPPY NEW YEAR

For all your kind thoughts and best wishes.  I am slowly getting there but finding it difficult being inactive and i keep dropping off to sleep all over the shop.  I am resting however i see the surgeon again next week so we shall see how we get on then.

I am still experiencing major problems with the internet on my main computer. At least now i can use facebook and blogger from my phone.  I am not keen on the phone for preparing posts and prefer my main keyboard where i can rattle off things pretty quickly.  However on the phone it is a one fingered effort and painfully slow.

Just in case i cannot access the internet tomorrow may i thank you all for your support in reading my ramblings over the past year and to wish you all a happy loving and healthy new year.  Love to you all.  Pattypan

PS hopefully will be back to normal service shortly.  Fingers crossed and toes plaited.

PP

Sunday, 25 December 2016

Its the simple things thst mean the most

This year i handed over responsibility for Christmas dinner to the oh and despite the meal being later than usual he has not done too bad a job.  Although i think he was disappointed as he is normally cooked for.  But credit where credit is due we have had a decent meal and i have been able to rest.  I overdid it yesterday and ended up with the most horrendous cramps in both legs top to bottom. So i have rested more today.

Really in simple terms we all celebrate in our own ways and with ourvown customs and traditions but at the end of the day it comes down to making the most of what you have and appreciating anything or everything that comes your way. You learn that way and sort out things that are relevant for next time round.  We have a roof over our heads a lovely meal in our stomachs. More than enough to be grateful for.

However today has also been about remembering those no longer with us and being grateful for family and close friends.  Thank you for being on my journey thus far and for the journeys yet to be taken.  Whether that be for a short time a season or a lifetime.  Thank you for being there
 Merry Christmas and catch you soon.

Pattypan xx

Saturday, 24 December 2016

Merry Christmas

To everyone hope its everything you want it to be and so much more. Enjoy love and be happy.

Pattypan
Update while i can. Major internet problems at home which have also neen upsettong phone.  So have had no internet at all.  and very hit and miss. Thank you all for your good wishes in respect of my recent surgery.  All jas gone reasonably well to date and i have to go and see the surgeon at the beginning of january. I have been very sore and when i have overdone things my foot goes tight.  However i am getting there very slowly. Being unable to do things has had a knock on effect with my christmad preparations but i can only do what i can do.  Hope you are all tickety booh and in case i cannot get back on line again have a lovely christmas and enjoy every moment.  For once i am going to put my feet up
  Catch you when i can.  Pattypan xx

Sunday, 4 December 2016

Having a go at Candlemaking

I have been inspired to have a go at a new craft and as a result I have sent off for some basic materials via Ebay to have a play.  All stemming from the fact that I saw this tutorial for candle making using a slow cooker.



I thought it might be good to stockpile a few items ready for the coming year and I have sent for a variety of oils as well.  I liked the simplicity of this and it will prove useful for making pressies for friends and relatives.  You have to try new things every now and again.  I love candlelight anyway there is something soothing and restful about candlelight and if it smells good even better.

Another thing off my check list to have a go at.   I also want to have a go at making rolled candles from beeswax sheets and some scented melts as well.  Will have to see how things go.  One thing at a time.

Another thing that I would like to have a go at is soap making as well.  I have recently found a lovely soap in Holland and Barrett it smells absolutely divine and I even use the soap on my face  - which I do not normally as normal soap tends to be a little too harsh but this is absolutely fantastic and smells wonderful.  It has some exotic flower oil in it as well as fig and I absolutely love it.  I know you can make soap from goats milk so if I can fathom the combination it may be one that I will have a go at in due course.

I have an urge and a need to try new things at the moment.  New experiences and new things help the soul to fly - and we all have to do that every now and again.

Catch you soon.

Pattypan

x


Update:


4kg of soy wax has arrived but I am still waiting for the other bits and bobs to have a go at making my own candles.  I hope they arrive in the next few days so that I can have a play.

Catch you soon.

PP

Stinking Bishop

Well our highly amoratic Stinking Bishop has arrived together with a note from the Post Office extremely apologetic about the state of the item and inviting us to make a claim about it  not being in good condition.  It had been wrapped well in a padded parcel pack but the Post Office had wrapped it in a polythene bag and put this notice on.  I did chuckle to myself - perhaps it would not be a good idea to try and explain to them exactly what it was.  However pleasing in one sense that they were taking responsibility for something they have no responsibility for.  Its meant to stink that's why it is called Stinking Bishop!

Anyways I am extremely pleased with the very prompt service.  The providers suggest that we keep it in a separate sealable container in the fridge so that the fridge does not become over-scented so that is where it is in a container with a lid all ready for us to tuck into. 

Now I need some Camembert as well  - we love it baked in the oven with garlic, and then served with dipping sticks until it is all gooey and melted.  That comes in a wooden box as well.  Same treatment in a container I think.  Good simple food washed down by a nice cider or perry or shandy.  I shall soon be mulling the wine and the cider.

Catch you soon.

Pattypan

x

Saturday, 3 December 2016

Saturday Round up

Well its been a busy day; we have had the light today although it has been very cold.  OH has the shed all built up - the roof needs to be felted and he is part way there with the electrics and I am therefore very hopeful that tomorrow we can start moving things in once the roof is felted and the electrics finished.  I am extremely pleased with things thus far - however it has taken longer than originally anticipated to get it built.  But these things are sent to try us.  At long last things are going in the right direction.

We have had a lovely tea tonight a steak pie together with mashed potato, mashed swede, cauliflower, broccoli, peas and lashings of gravy.  So I am now officially stuffed.  OH is officially shattered and is sprawled.  With him being diabetic I have made sure that as a result of the unusual exertion his body has need of more fuel to restock his reserves and keep his blood sugar stable. He is now sprawled recharging!

We have to go shopping for a few more things for the shed sometime tomorrow and there are some other bits and bobs I want as well.

I also want some plants to put outside the back door leading up to the shed.  We do not use the front door so the back door is our main access point.  I intend to do the door wreaths for the front door and also the back door.  I would quite like some winter roses as well.  They always look spectacular. I have my eye on a couple of bay standard trees in pots, some box balls, a couple of mini Christmas trees in pots and some proper candle lanterns.  I had also had an idea to do some hanging baskets filled with Ivy but when I looked at the shop the other day the Ivy was not in particularly good nick. I want it to trail over the sides of the baskets and maybe pop in some other plants on top. They had some nice planters at Waitrose the other day.  Will have to wait and see what materialises.   Right other things to do and tomorrow is another day.

Catch you soon.

Pattypan

x

Kitchen Tales - The Fermentation Shelf

I have sourdough starter, Kefir water crystals, Kefir milk crystals and Kombucha to get on the go as well as a new recipe for ginger beer which uses golden sultanas as a base for the starter.  It is a recipe in a Darina Allen cookery book that I have and is very different to the ones that I have come across before.  Each has their own container to go into and to brew in.

I have been buying Milk Kefir for sometime now from the Polish shop around the corner and I like it.  The water Kefir and the Kombucha are new to me and so it will be a case of trying and seeing whether or not I like them.  OH surprisingly said the other day that he wanted to have a go at making Sourdough bread and I did not say anything because by that time I had my starter.  I think it is a wholemeal starter  So we will have to see what happens.  In any event I intend to start a white one off as well.

Why have I gone for these products  - basically because they are naturally probiotic and people with long term medical conditions have been helped so much by them taking these natural products wherein normal medication or other options had failed to help them.  I think its a case of if it works for you then use it and help yourself.  I think they will be good not only for me but OH as well.

I also have yogurt to make so I will well and truly have a fermentation shelf on the go by the time I have finished. 

I also have bought in some natural yogurt in large tubs as I intend to put some yogurt ice cream with fruit puree down into the freezer.  However the shed has to be done first - OH is hoping to get that done this weekend in the daylight so that he can see what he is doing.  Then I should be able to get the freezers emptied into their new homes, cleaned down and re-organised and sorted and then hopefully I should be able to get the yogurt ice creams made and into the freezer.  We use a lot of natural yogurt as it is good for people on long term medication - have it with breakfast or an Actimel so it puts a lining on your stomach so you absorb your medication properly without it damaging your stomach lining. 

I got all of my starters off ebay for £10 the lot and it is the proper crystals and comes with very specific instructions.

I also have Apple Pop and Ginger beer to start so quite a few to keep me busy.

Catch you soon.

Pattypan

x

Kitchen Tales Dairy Preserves and Cheese Related items.

I have more Feta to store in Oil and also mixed oriental mushrooms also to preserve in oil for OH like I did last year. I also have little bunches of herbs drying in the pantry as well as fresh herbs for use with the oils and the cheeses and some chilli.  However I do need to get hold of some oyster mushrooms to do the same with - I just love oyster mushrooms especially when they have been fried in butter and used as a hot dressing over salad leaves.  Scrummy.  The oikls left over from making said preserves can also be used in cooking to add a little more flavour and you cannot waste good quality food products so they get used in frying and as dressings for salads.

I have however decided to make my own goats cheese crotins.  I have been able to get the milk and I have a recipe which I have posted before which should make a kilo or so.  I love goats cheese but it is very expensive to buy and when you are in that situation the only way is to make it so that you can have a little of what you like without breaking the bank.  I noticed last week that a goats cheese log was £9.  Today it was £12.

I am afraid we are food lovers in this household and are always on the look out for different or unusual things.    I often buy preserves just to try them to see if I like them or not before going gung ho into a recipe making a batch of something and then finding out we do not like it.  So this way round I do the sorting out first and then if we do like it I go hunting for recipes.  I have picked up a beetroot ketchup today which is bright purple in colour and if we like it I shall look for a recipe and then make my own version.  I already have the sauce bottles in situ having bought them in bulk at the beginning of September.

We particularly like cheese and have just finished off a wedge of Ballyblue cheese which is creamy like a brie but a blue version.  Very creamy and best served at room temperature.  It seems to have a thicker crust than a Brie but still delicious.  Cambridge Blue is also another lovely cheese.  All would be lovely served in a part baguette layered with home made cranberry and apple jelly yummy and popped into the microwave to warm through and melt.

Well the Stinking Bishop is ordered direct from the Manufacturers http://www.charlesmartell.com/shop/

I have treated OH as he is quite partial  and I like it as well and the cheese will last six weeks in the fridge.  It is expensive but every so often you have to treat yourself.  If a whole one is too big but you are partial share it with a like minded friend that way you both get to have some but half the price.  A little of what you fancy often does you good just remember the watch word  - moderation.  We don't drink a lot  - we don't smoke but we love our grub so every so often we do drive the boat out - not frugal but we enjoy our food.

The Charles Martell website also have some other items I am particularly interested in  - I may start buying things early on next year of spirit based nature  - which I had anticipated doing last year but which I did not get around to. Have a look around the website even if you do not buy.  Doing things like this often inspires me to play when it comes to spirits and alcohol.  I am very good at stockpiling things without touching them.

I have also bought a rotating wooden cheese platter  - similar to a lazy Susan but without the dishes and two bamboo  bread boards for French Sticks as we have French bread regularly but my boards were not long enough.  I managed to get a bargain in Wilkinsons on some that were reduced.  Together with the beautiful cheese plates that we have we are more or less set up for the cheese course for the table.  Although I would like to get six more of the cheese plates in due course and there is a slate two tier display stand that I would quite like.  I also have a cheese safe/board that is ideal for storing cheese in a cool pantry.  So things are slowly coming together; extremely slowly but they are coming together.

Catch you later.

Pattypan

x




Friday, 2 December 2016

Foodie Testing


Whilst shopping in town I nipped into M & S for a few bits and bobs and ended up buying a few bits and bobs that I had not planned on all down to a little tasting demo that M & S had on today.  They had two types of bread a sourdough plain white done in a proper basket and brown wholemeal with walnuts in.  It was just warm not long having been out of the oven and covered with butter and then given some Stilton to have and try with it both breads were delicious as was the Stilton.  I managed to get the last of the Walnut loaves and it was indeed still warm.  Have had some for tea with pork pie and blue Stilton and it was delicious. I must say that the Stilton which was creamy was a perfect match for it. So a very simple tea tonight but one that has left me full.  So I am glad I stopped and tried the tasters for a change - I must say that I am very taken with the Walnut bread.  I might try and make some at home.  It was absolutely delicious.

Pattypan
xxx

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)