Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Quote for the Day

When One Door Closes

Another One Always Opens


Monday, 27 February 2012


Looks innnocent doesn't he!  Let me tell you he is not quite as innocent as he looks.

Last evening I was tired and my patience was running thin.  I managed to get Demetri in gone 9.00 p.m. and that was it he was in for the evening as far as I was concerned. We have no cat flap and because I have lost cats who were left out overnight I am very reluctant to let them stay out, during the day they are allowed to roam if they want to but not at night. For some unknown reason after he had fed Demetri was determined he was going out again; I was just as equally determined he wasn't; we had grumbling, he was extremely vocal and wasn't going to pack up. [Demetri when he calls sounds like a monster, deep gutteral and extremely wowy)  Negotiating with a cat is never easy at the best of times, but he was determined he was going to have the last word no matter what.  When I came down at 3.00 a.m. this morning he had  another pop at me. (he had come up the stairs calling at me to get up).  He wasn't impressed as I wasn'tplaying ball.

Roll on a few hours, time for me to get up, was just coming too when OH announced Demetri has let himself out. He had managed to lift the metal bar that locks down on the push out window and escaped.  He came in about 9 p.m. this evening, fed like he hadn't been fed for ages, and is now fast asleep on the settee as though butter wouldn't melt.

I had another cat that did this, bless his soul, my beautiful Tyson.  We had to strap the windown catch down with a couple of my covered elastic bands that I use for my hair - he couldn't get through those.  I think I am going to be doing the same with Demetri.

For some unknown reason nearly every cat I have suffers from serious cattitude.  I really wouldn't want them any other way; it makes them what they are, everyone a treasured individual.

I am hoping for a quieter evening tonight.

Catch you soon



Sunday, 26 February 2012

2012.02.26 My Day Part 2

After my cup of tea earlier on, I sat as I hurt for a little while sorting out my needlecraft magazines into parts and filing them together.  I have spent a lot of money over the past few years on craft magazines and all they really need is some organisation and storage.  I have a plan to have a shelf unit built in the craft room and to store the magazines neatly in magazine stands not the binders so that when I am looking for something particular to make on the craft scene I should be able to locate them.  Well that is the plan but it is going to take me a little while to achieve, but we have to start somewhere and there a lot of lovely patterns in the magazines which although not ready to use at the moment I have plans for in the future.  Its also giving me a chance to sort out some rubbish as well so its kinda killing two birds with one stone.  In case you hadn't quite realised I am starting to have a major sort out.  First the front garden now the stash of magazines I have going way back but I am determined to get there and restore order to the chaos.

Tonight we haven't had a roast for tea, have home made extra chunky chips sprinkled with sea salt and scampi and bread and butter.  It went down very nicely and since then I have been pottering around doing this and that. I will later on in the week have a stash of ironing to do. Needless to say I have plenty to do no matter how I look at it .

Its gone chilly out but there has been a lovely crescent moon with Jupiter and Venus accompanying it.  Have a busy day at work tomorrow and I am tired out so am going to wend my way upstairs to Bedfordshire.

Nighty night!

Catch up soon



2012.02.26 My Day Part 1

This morning as the sun was out and about I decided to attack the front garden.   It was well past its Spring clean.   Unfortunately we end up with everybody's rubbish in our garden (not by choice) it just seems to blow in and I had decided enough was enough.  The window boxes had also collapsed and so they have been sent to the big rubbish tip as they had completely gone rotten. So it really needed tidying up.

I also have a large cotoneaster in the garden which had shedded quite a few leaves and branches as well as the holly bush which had also reset itself another plant which we have taken out.   Ground Elder had also set itself in two large clumps and we have dug that out as best we can, but it is something that we seem to have been fighting in the garden ever since we moved here.

It has taken some doing, now it looks nice and tidy after a lot of cutting, digging, clipping  removing rubbish like dead leaves and cellophane wraps from cigarette products, sweeting papers all of which had been dropped in the street and ending up in our garden.  I couldn't find my gardening gloves so a pair of Marigolds had to suffice, but they did the job.  I was pleased to be out in the fresh air for a change as well.  I was going to start on the back garden but I think that will have to wait until next weekend as there is quite a lot of work to do there cleaning everything up and I do not think it will be achieved in one day.  I want a vegetable garden this year so I really do have to get a wriggle on to get everything sorted.  It will be good to restore law and order to the tumble that is my garden at the moment.  I have blackberries  that have self set to dig out and re-plant down the bottom of the garden

I am now back in the house as the temperature has dropped and I have gone cold.  I am tired from being out in the fresh air and all the pulling tugging etc. but at least it is a job well done and I feel chuffed that it looks all spick and span now.  Might go up to the market and see what plants they have got and do some pots for the front just to cheer it up.  Will have to see what's available.

Going to get myself a nice cup of tea and a sit me down for a little while.

Catch up with you all again soon


The Sun has got his hat on Hip Hip Hip Hooray the Sun has got his hat on and is coming out to play.

So the words of the popular song go, but today the Sun has made a return to our grey skies and is bathing everywhere in its brilliance, coaxing life out of its shell, it is indeed a beautiful spring morning this Sunday in Peterborough

I have not long come down, Demetri was squawking to go out and play so he has been released from his overnight confinement  Squeak is now fed and the house is now quiet and still, as much as a house in town can be,  Apart from the ticking of the clock on the wall.  Outside is full of gentle goings on the call of  cockerl in my neighbours garden, singing his heart out on this beautiful morning glorying iun the return of the sun ; sounds reminisicent of the countryside but not quite the same.  An enthusiastic bunch of cyclists going out for the Sunday ride by the front of the house and the occasional car go by; it is a gentle day compared to the rest of the week.

The return of the sun makes me feel vibrant and alive and I can feel the sap rising, I really want to return to the countryside, to be more connected with the seasons as I miss so much here in town .  There is so much I have to do and so much I want to do, but they will come I have great faith in this.  We all have a journey to make but it is not the journey that is the learning curve it is the situations and experiences we encounter along the way and how we deal with them that is the imoprtant part.  It equips us with skills we are not necessarily aware of so that we can be stronger and firmer in our convictions and abilities in the future.  Regrets bother me so I am aiming to live in the here an now.  For whatever reasons decsions are made they are the right decisions at that particular time, and it is the circumstances that change.

I had a wonderful day yesterday but I will tell you more about that later on.

Right I must get on I have things to do and I want to enjoy this wonderful day at home even if it is only dealing with mundane things, they can be like balm to the weary mind and soothing in their own way.

I hope the Sun has got his hat on for you today wherever you are

Will pop by soon

Enjoy your Sunday



Quote for the Day

This above all:

to thine own self

be true.

William shakespeare1564 - 1616

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Quote for the Day

Everything's a Circle

We're each responsible for our own actions.

It will come back

Betty Laverdure, Ojibway

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Cor What an Evening

Its been rainy and wet and went milder here today; so much so I ended up getting very hot at work and took my thick jumper off which is something I don't normally do.  Its colder though here this evening at home and my jumper has stayed well and truly on.

Things have been a tad busy around here especially at work, with me leaving work a lot later than I should do and then being all in a rush to do things when I eventually get home.   And then with the blog going different on me last night I had to have a rapid tutorial on what to do and what not to do - I am still not sure whether I have finished re-arranging the furniture.  Thanks to the assistance in some part of Rose of Second Hand Rose I think I have managed to sort out the two word verification for entering comments on the blog.  Mind you I had to go back into the old interface to actually do it as I could not locate it on the new interface, but I hope I now have managed to sort it out.  Go on post me and see if Blogger will let you and if you have any problems just let me know on if you are still having problems and I will then have another look at it.  Might speak to the IT chappie at work to see if he can assist if there are further problems.

Now on leaving work late but not as late as I have been, I jumped into the car with my partner waiting for me and being "kissed" to death by Missy.  We went up the Boulevard, came to the Queensgate Roundabout was just going over the junction and the car packed up, wouldn't go into gear came to a stop wouldn't drive forward.  Everyone was leaving work, we were in the way - OH hadn't bought his phone or his wallet out with the recovery service details that he pays for on his insurance card in.  OH had flashers on the car  lit up but silly devils still kept coming up behind us, beeping their horns etc.  Only one person stopped a cyclist who came back because he thought we needed a push bless him.  In the end I phoned the Police and they got a patrol car to come out to us; they stopped the traffic so that we could push the car round to the other side of the Boulevard into a lay by.  We then walked home.  It was 7 pm by the time we got home (I left work at 5.30 p.m). OH then contacted the chap who we bought the car off - as we have had problems on and off with it since we bought it and the car is to be taken to him.  He has no recovery vehicle, but the car is to go back to him.  OH rang the insurance company.  Office closed so he rang the recovery team.  We then found a problem, we had no cover despite carrying on with the same policy that we have had for the past three years and receiving no notification of any changes at all; the recovery people have however sent someone out and once OH has contacted the insurance people tomorrow to try and get things sorted out because we certainly haven't changed the details of the policy and the insurance company have some explaining to do.

OH then walked back into town after arranging for the recovery people to meet him where he left the car.  By the time he got back in was gone 8.00 p.m.  We then sat down and had chilli and baked potatos with lashings of cheese and by golly was it good.  

I have been sat on the sofa since playing catchup on the TV - the Midwifes and now Whitechapel.  I still have Demetri to get in, and then I am off to bed - I have to walk into work again tomorrow by the looks of things.  If its not one thing its another. 

Let me know if there are any problems in leaving a comment.

Am off to potter and to find the cat.

Take care wherever you are

Sweet dreams



Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Pancake Day

Well to all and sundry we know it as Pancake Day, but to those more respectful it is known as "Shrove Tuesday".  So the question is have you had your pancakes today?

I have had four small ones which equate to two large ones, with fresh orange juice squeezed all over sugar dredged pancakes.  Sounds like something off a Marks and Spencers add, but mine were not bought I made them and that is all I have had for tea!  They are quite simple to make, you just have to take your time, and don't panic. Mine were made with two eggs, a cup full of milk, 2oz flour and whisked together with a balloon whisk (hand one) and then put into a very hot pan making sure that any loose mixture is tipped down the sides of the forming pancake to use up the liquidity, then turned, sprinkled with sugar and orange juice, folded and placed on a hot plate.  They went down very well.

Actually the making of pancakes brings back a story from my childhood.  We had lived in Peterborough and moved to Deeping St James in Lincolnshire  when I was 11 1/2 and I subsequently moved schools to what was then known as The Deepings Secondary Modern school.  The first class that I was placed into was the cookery class, and the girls were learning how to make pancakes.  I was just getting into the lesson and starting to enjoy myself, when I was kidnapped, literally from the cookery class, by the English Teacher Mrs S,  as she was convinced I was a year older than I was (I was tall for my age but then I stopped growing). I then sat a second year English test for the next hour, [and did well in it] before the Cookery Teacher came and reclaimed me!  Not a very auspicious start to a brand new school, but I did remember how to make pancakes even after so fleeting a lesson.

I was planning on having another evening in the bedroom but Blogger put paid to that.  I still haven't finished re-arranging the furniture so to speak, but at least it looks a little better than it did.  I still have to play but it was more time consuming than I thought it was going to be.   Whilst I have been tip tapping on the keyboard, the cats have been sprawled in various positions (Squeak is snuggled up next to me on her back legs in the air snoring very gently and lady like away.

Sorry for the lack of photographs at present.  I have lost the battery charger for the camera - all I know is that it is somwhere safe, but I haven't located it yet.  Please bear with me.

Right I am off for another play

Take care



Quote for the Day

It's the action,
Not the fruit of the action,
That's important.
You have to do the right thing.
It may not be in your time,
That there will be any fruit.
But that doesn't mean
You stop doing the right thing.
You may never know what results
From your action.
But if you do nothing
There will be no result


Re-arranging the Furniture

Things have gone slightly haywire on here - It would appear that I am having an enforced change of image down to blooming blogger!  I am not very impressed. However upwards and onwards.  Hopefully me upgrading as well will also sort out a lot of the problems readers have with leaving messages.  I can only hope so.  Please bear with me whilst I rearrange the furniture it may take a little while!

Hopefully my sanity and  your resumed normal service will be achieved very quickly [or not]

Prayers up to heaven!

Catch up soon



Monday, 20 February 2012

Favourite Perfumes

Since I was 11 I have on and off collected perfume bottles; at one stage I had quite a collection, then I had a sort out as it were and disposed of quite a few pretty ones which I have regretted ever since. However I have started collecting again and have quite a few.  They are at the moment packed away; maybe one day I will share some photographs, but whilst I have been pottering about (under the bed) in the bedroom I started thinking of a couple of perfumes that I haven't seen for an awful long while, both of them favourites although not terribly expensive.  There used to be a perfume I think it was called "Windsong" by Prince Matchabelli and one called Pure Silk by Yardley; but I haven't seen them for a very long time.  I was particularly fond of the Pure Silk by Yardley as an every day perfume.    I don't suppose anyone knows of a source?  I also like Eternity, Dune and Angel which are more expensive, but I also liked the old favourite "Blue Grass".  Two of my absolute favourites though are Laid du Temps by Nina Ricci and John Paul Gaultier "Classique".

What are your favourite perfumes and are you faithful just to one particular brand or do you ring the changes and try something new once in a while.  Would love to hear from you.

Take care



2012.02.20 Monday evening

I thought I would post early this evening as I have a lot to do - notably to do with the bedroom it looks as though I am going to be in there for sometime, but I don't care as long as I get it all sorted and tickety boo it might take a night or two.  And the UFO's.  Sadly I have found more. I really am going to have to get myself into gear and get a wriggle on as how they are stored at the moment is taking up useful space which is very much at a premium.  Already this evening I have scrubbed up two large boxes into which to put up some linen under the bed.  Now that the airing cupboard is now a walk in closet, I really could do with a proper linen store.  I have also been trying to sort out my numerous magazines stash of all things craft and needlework.  That is also going to take some doing but I have made a start.  The idea is to sort out and then store in magazine holders in the computer room so that I can find everything which I can't at the moment.  Needless to say I get somewhat distracted when I see a pattern I particularly like.  But I cannot start anything new until the UFO's are completed.

We have had a frugal tea this evening, home made French soup with a touch of chilli and grated cheese served with fresh home made bread.  I always find a lovely home made soup to be not only tasty but very filling.  For pudding we are having some peach meringues and cream (shop bought meringue, tinned peaches 30pence a tin and a box of 8 meringues for 99p  and some evaporated tin milk)Some evenings I don't fancy a lot to eat and tonight is one of them, but it was very tasty all the same.

Catch up soon hopefully later on.

Hope you have all had a good day.

I am off to sort out under the bed now - I may be back later.



Sunday, 19 February 2012

2012.02.19 My Day

I did get up early this morning honest; its just that I went back for a little while and I fell asleep again.

I have a small story to recount from Friday night.  My friend who I have been teaching to cook is starting to have a go at making things without me having to show her.  During the week she made a valentines cake for her sweetheart - a first and apparently it went down well and all fired up and full of enthusiasm on Friday evening she decided she wanted to have a go at butterfly cakes.  She wanted to make some with pink cream in.  Things didn't quite go to plan and she caught the cochineal bottle in the cupboard, which fell into the bowl and spilt half of its contents.  My friend was all ready to sling the mixture and I told her to carry on beating the mixture.  Yes she had bright pink cakes, but instead of putting pink cream in she put white in and sprinkled them with icing sugar they looked quite pretty and tasted lovely.  So happy mistakes do happen.  She ended up calling them blushing cakes! 

Its been a beautiful day here in Peterborough today; very cold but the sun has been out to play and that always makes you feel so good about things generally.   I am re-arranging my bedroom and trying to get a lot of rubbish sorted out generally (a) so that I can find things and (b) get the next batch of ironing put away.  This seems to be a monthly game with me re-arranging the bedroom, but hey it keeps on top of things that way.  The washing machine is whirring around and I could have done with getting the washing out on the line, but instead it has had to go into the tumble drier as in the past few weeks the wind has knocked down several panels of fencing that need to be replaced and my washing line was connected to them.  Whoops a daisy.  It will soon get sorted and then I can then get the washing out to dry.

Tea tonight has been chicken cooked on the Rotisserie served with home made chips and one of the new chutneys I made last year a Pineapple relish with home made bread and butter.  It was extremely tasty, chicken done on a Rotisserie is always nice and moist and full of flavour. Oh enjoyed anyway. 

I have lots to get on with so short and sweet tonight.

Catch up soon I promise.



Home Made Accompaniments

I am a foodie, I love my food but I don't like paying through the nose for things that really do not cost a lot to make.  I have been watching Jamie Oliver on his trip around Britain locating all those recipes that make our multi cultured nation stand out when it comes to cooking. Often the influences to dishes that we think are English actually come from another nation in a lot of instances.  It has been quite an interesting series to watch from that perspective alone.

As I am always .rather keen to cut the housekeeping amount down as best I can, I have been looking into accompaniments to meals like Tortilla wraps and Naan Bread and Pitta Bread and Chapattis.  Its rather like the Tortilla Chips recipe I posted a while back; to buy they cost a lot and yet the raw ingredients can be bought realtively cheaply.  For Tortilla Wraps for a pack of 8 at my local Coop they cost approximately £1.99 a pack unless they are on offer, as do Poppadums and Naan breads.   The only extra required is a modicum of your time and effort - to experiment.  These accompaniments are for the best part made with ingredients that nine times out of ten you will already have in your pantry or stock pile.  Sometimes it will call for a different ingredient, but if you like the results it is well worth keeping that speciality ingredient in.  This is what makes your pantry personal to you. Okay so you have to make them but they can be quickly made and they taste oh so much the nicer.

It is well worth looking in your local Asian shop (if you have one) for staples like Rice, flours, spices, dried fruits, oils etc as they really do stock a different selection, but often sell them in bulk packs at quite reasonable prices.

As a result I decided to have a  mess around and see how I get on.  I thought that I would start with Indian/Asian style accompaniments first:

Poppadums I like these as does my other half but to buy them you pay a lot and it frustrates me to high heaven.  However on doing  a little  research on the Internet I found this recipe and video  tutorial site:
- very simply made - these are a great favourite of my partner who likes them with the various spiced relish and chutneys.

This interest all stemmed from the fact that my local Asian shop sells many different types of beans and lentils as well as flours of different sorts which I have never heard of before, and I am getting quite curious as to what to do with them.  Especially as more and more I am making my own bread.  The other day I took the plunge and bought  for £2.19 a 1.5kg bag  of Chappati Atta a stoneground flour specifically for making chapattis with a recipe on the back which is:

300g of Chapatti flour
cold water

Measure out the chapatti flour into a bowl.  Gradually just add enough cold water to make a stiff dough.  Knead the dough for 3 to 4 minutes and place into the bowl. Leave in the fridge for 1/2 hour.  Divide into 4 or 5 evenly sized ballls; take each ball and roll it out to 2 to 4 mm.  Meanwhile heat a frying pan/griddle over a medium heat.  Place the flattened dough into  the frying pan and gently heat each chapatti turning it several times until golden brown.  Make sure the chapatti is cooked from within.  Rub a few drops of oil/butter or ghee on the chapatti to finish.

Serve with your favourite home made curry.

 I quite frequently make a home made chicken curry (using chicken thighs)  and these will go with them very nicely thank you very much.

I like experimenting and keeping costs down and having a go helps me do both.

Catch up soon



Sunday, 12 February 2012

2012.02.12 My Day

In all consciousness I have not been able to settle to anything today bearing in mind my appointment at the local Spiratualist Church at Harris Street in Peterborough.  I tried to keep myself occupied and made my first light wholemeal loaf today which finished about 15 minutes before I went out this afternoon and I was busy trying to extricate the pan from the bread machine before I left.

In the meantime I was nervous, and very anxious and I had a dicky tummy as a result; call it butterflies, stage fright I was certainly wound up and needed to ground myself and calm me down.  I grabbed some Tchai Green spiced tea from the cupboard and had a couple of mugs full which helped settle down my tummy. I also put my Oms CD on and listened to that; I find that very calming as it reverberates through my system like a highly strung tuning fork.  .

My friends, my support team came to collect me at 2.40p.m.   I was introduced to madam chair and I explained that it was my first time up speaking and giving readings in a church.  I had already gone prepared with an idea of what I wanted to speak about, but just needed confirmation as to the format of a divine service never having been to one or dealt with one before.  There was an opening where I was introduced by madam chair to the congregation; there was then the first hymn, an address by myself where I spoke about the inner voice a reading another hymn then a prayer another hymn and then an hours mediumship, closing hymn and then closing prayer.  Then everyone applauded; very unusual as it turns out as normally on a Sunday divine service there is no clapping; but they wanted me to have feedback and encouragement that I had done well for my first time out and I am to be invited back it would seem.  Lovely people and I enjoyed my first time out, despite the nerves.  I have also been given a little memento of the occasion by my Teacher, mentor and dear friend a little book of sayings of White Eagle entitled "The Quiet Mind" which I intend to read over the next few days.  Thank you dear friends for being so supportive.  

When I got in I went over to see Mr Tiddles, feed him and settle him down; his mum is coming home this evening after a weekend in London.
In the end I did not cook the roast pork as it was 5.00 p.m. when I got in; OH said he wasn't really hungry (we had had a good fry up with the white home made bread I made yesterday - it has come out well and I am pleased with it.

For tea though OH had cheese on toast and I had cheese sandwich made from the first light wholemeal loaf I made earlier today;  I prefer brown bread anyway but this was really tasty even though the loaf was quite as big as the white bread it has gone down a treat. The cheese sarnie was perked up together with some of my home made apricot chutney which is absolutely delicious; I can see that chutney being used very quickly.

I must go OH is chuntering about the animals of the household, Missy the Jack Russell is in bed for a change and fast asleep on top of the stairs, is Squeak.  Normally this is Missy;'sperching point and OH has had to limbo down the stairs as Squeak has been well and truly sprawled; when he has gone into the bathroom to wash his hands; he couldnt as Demetri was sprawled in the sink fast asleep!  Its about par for the course in this household!

I am very tired and I hope to get a good nights sleep as I have a busy week ahead.

Its been a very good day
Hope it has been for you too

Take care 



Quote for the Day

"Everyone has something to bring to the table"


2012.02.11 My Day

I am sorry this post should have been published yesterday but I lost the message completely and could not locate it and it has now shown up out of the blue, just when I thought I would need to type it all up again.

Its been a disjointed day with me going back and forth as I am babysitting Mr Tiddles over the road.  Its also been a blooming cold one to say the least and I have been checking that he and Gizmo the Cockatiel with attitude are okey doke and so far so good.  Their owner returns tomorrow.  Just have one final check to make sure they are okay and that is it for tonight.

Pennies have been a bit tight again this week, we have mainly been concentrating on having enough for heating and electric especially with it being so cold which means that there isn't that much around for food, and so have had to dig into the stores again. It will be pay day shortly so I will be able to stock up on all essential items, like butter and bread flour, rice and pulses, meat etc.  Tonight we have had chilli chicken with rice for tea, followed by a huge slice of the brack I made a week or so ago - it has got better as it has been stored.

I have had the bread machine on today and have made a lovely large white loaf in the bread machine and I have another on the go as we speak.  Tomorrow I intend to make a wholemeal loaf and also some buns for pack ups during the week.

I paid a visit to the veg shop and came back with a tray of eggs (we seem to have got through a whole tray last week) some more passion fruit another three bags (24 passion fruit). I have already prepared these and the juice is in pots this time in the freezer.  I have an idea that this will be used in a lemon and passionfruit curd at some point when I get a bit more sorted. Some reduced ginger which I always find a use for 4kg of Seville Oranges a tray of mushrooms and two trays of tomatoes.  I also bought a net of onions some carrots and a swede.  I have other veggie in the freezer and some other fresh veg in the fridge.  A rare collection of items but useful ones all the same.

The tray of eggs will be used for meals and for baking
The ginger will be used in ginger beer and ginger wine making
Seville Oranges more marmalade
Mushrooms for soup or OH's breafkasts
Tomatoes for soup and sarnies as OH partial to
Onions for general cooking and onion soup
Carrots for hot meals, carrot cake, carrot and swede crush, in a casserole or stew
Swede for hot meals as a veggie in its own right and combined with other veg like in a casserole or stew
But I also combine the swede and the carrot to form a crush which is delicious .

We are also having roast pork tomorrow night for tea.  I managed to pick up a piece of loin pork reduced at over half price should have been about £9 and got it for £4.23.  Not bad it will make a tasty meal and provide meat for apple and pork sarnies during the week.

I have a busy day tomorrow as will be taking part and leading in my first divine service at my local spiratulist church.  I am very excited but a tad anxious, but it will be a steep learning curve either way as I haven't done anything like this myself before.  The service is at 3.00 p.m tomorrow afternoon at Harris Street.  Fingers crossed toes plaited.

Catch you all soon



Saturday, 11 February 2012

Passionfruit Gin/Vodka

This is a recipe I am longing to have a go at as I love passionfruit. It is from a favourite book of mine called Creating Gourmet Gifts by Barbara Beckett ISBN 1-86373-246-2 a book well worth getting hold of if you can.  .The book was one of my reduced buys quite a few years ago but you may be able to pick up a copy either via Abe Books or Amazon.  


3 cups of passionfruit pulp
1 1/2 cups of sugar
6 cups of gin/vodka


Put the passionfruit pulp into a sterlised kilner/Le Parfait type jar.  Dissolve the sugar in half a cup of water in a saucepan to form a syrup.  Pour it over the passionfruit and then pour in the gin/vodka and leave to mature for a couple of months in a dark cool place. .

To quote the author:

"I collected this recipe from the South of France.  The aroma of the liqueur is heavenly before you even get to taste it.  Not much of it gets given away at our place.  I put this down a lot at the end of summer when passionfruit become cheap in the markets"

With the smell of the Passion Fruit last night, I am just itching to have a go at this but cannot afford the spirit at present.  It is on the to do list!

But at least in the meantime, I can have my meringues/pavlova with fresh passion fruit sauce dribbled all over.  Yummy.

Catch you soon.




Hope you are all keeping well.  Well it did snow last night and it was very slippy this morning, but the main roads were clear even if some of the side roads were not.  It has been very cold all day and it is bitter again here tonight although a lot of last night's snow has melted and dissipated.

Ealrier on this I was lucky to pick up some passion fruit 8 fruits for 50 pence so I bought 4 packs. I am not totally sure that they are in season but as I explained in an earlier post its about making the most of what comes your way.  I consider this a  bargain, but since I acquired them I have been very busy and not had chance to process them.

This evening I got to play not how I wanted to but a small play all the same. I processed the passion fruit (I wish you could smell the exotic aroma my kitchen smells wonderful as do my hands.  All I have done is frozen the passion fruit juice in ice cube trays.  (When I paid a visit to Australia over 26 years ago, I was introduced to passion fruit pavlova).  I just love meringue but the combination of the two is to die for (well I think so anyway).  I intend to make my own pavlova or smaller meringues and fill with cream and then use a couple at least of the frozen passion fruit cubes liberally topping the pavlova.  Well that's the plan; so if you ever find a bunch of reduced passion fruit - freeze the juice. I had 32 passion fruit in all.  You could also use the fruit on a home made passion fruit brulee.  I do have a recipe that I want to try at some point which uses passion fruit and I will post this at a later date, but I thought if I shared then at least (even if I am not able to make this year) if the opportunity comes your way its something else special for the pantry/larder shelves to bring out at Christmas or other special occasions needless to say its alcoholic!  I am going to have another look to see if I can get some more as I quite like the idea of passion fruit and lemon curd or passion fruit ice cream now that I think would be scrummy.

I also managed to sort one of my dressers out this evening and give it a tidy up.  I had dried some bay leaf branches on the dresser and I managed to pull the leaves off the stems and pop the leaves in a jar ready for use in cooking, which is another quick job out of the way.

I was given a load of Douwe Egberts coffee jars in the week and I have used them already. Hopefully there will be some more in a few weeks time. I have been using these and the large Kenco jars by recycling them to use as storage containers for food items which is a cheapie way of obtaining useful food storage.  I am still adding to my Kilner storage jars though when I can, as my dream is to one day have a far bigger very full organised pantry.

Well tomorrow is another day catch you all soon



P.S.  Rumour has it that Pattypan has managed to pick up a further three bags of passion fruit today for £1.50 - that's another 24 passion fruit!  Guess where they are going?  Happy Days!

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Return of the Snow

Just before I left work this evening at 5.35 the snow started again. My friend Tiggy (who I also work with)also gave me some Douwe Egbert coffee jars she had finished with and they will come in very handy as storage jars  for my dresser; they are due to be soaked and then washed a little later on. 

We came home in a sleet/snow storm.  After getting in I set to and made tea, a scratch tea just using what we had available to us and we ended up having an old faithful, home made chips, baked beans in tomato sauce (Branston beans) and a couple of fried eggs with bread and butter and a mug of hot tea. It went down very well in the circumstances.  I was supposed to have been out to see a friend this evening, but unfortunately she was unwell  and had to cancel which was a shame.  As a result I ended up phoning a couple of friends as a result of which I did not take much notice of what was going on outside.  When I did go out I was astonished to find that we have yet again had another very heavy snow storm where the snow has settled once again.  It has been bitterly cold all day and normally when it is just about to snow it gets warmer.  Not today it didn't and it is bitterly cold out; how people, the wild animals and birds manage to survive  out there I just do not know.  On nights  and days like these I count my blessings.

Needless to say the animals haven't strayed far all evening and neither have I.  Just wish I had a nice log fire to curl up in front of that would be bliss - I have always been one for curling up on the rug in front of the fire.  One day.... 

Just take care wherever you may be.



Sunday, 5 February 2012

2012.02.05 My Day

I was up early this morning as it was planned that mother would come to dinner and spend the day with us.  Demetri insisted on going out and was totally funny - he wasn't keen on the snow but went hopping out over next doors shed leaving a trail of footprints in virgin snow.  He wasn't out long and retreated under the garden table until I called him in.

Because of the heavy snow fall last night and the fact that she lives some 15 miles outside of Peterborough in Lincolnshire; and taking into account that they had had more snow than us; mum decided to play safe and stay at home.  I was bitterly disappointed for her as dinner was all prepped and ready to go.  It was done to be sensible, but being sensible sucks at times. I have asked my mum not to go out in this weather but to stay in as we don't want her having a fall; she has to walk with a frame in any event.

We subsequently had roast rib of beef,mashed potato, mashed swede and carrot, roast potatoes, roast parsnip, roast sweet potato, green runner beans, broccoli and yorkshire pudding with lashings of gravy and horseradish sauce and very tasty it was too.

The rest of the day I have been engaged pottering sorting out the jam store and the table and also the pantry as well as finishing off the washing and drying.

We still have deep snow outside although it is starting to thaw but it is freezing cold and I think there will be ice in the morning so things could be a bit tricky. There is also a little fog.  I always have the option of walking in if things are too bad.

Wherever you are please take care, keep warm and keep safe.

Catch up soon



2012.02.04 My Day

A busy Saturday whereby I went to the Charity shop as a first port of call and managed to find three very useful items for under a fiver.  Will post another day on this, but still finds all the same.  Last week I found eight little glass jars which I will also seek your opinion on as I found them by chance 8 jars for 10 pence each.  I would like to know if any of you good people have any idea where they came from as I am eager to acquire more if I can - I have a project lined up for later on in the year and I will require quite a few more.  But more on that when the camera is charged and I am able to show you what I am on about.

After that I hit the veg shop; I bought more seville oranges, passion fruit, sweet potatoes, a Savoy Cabbage, parsnip,broccoli, carrots, eggs, onions and swede, and some plums.

Milk was obtained from our local Asian Newsagents/cum supermarket as well as 5kg of sugar.  I also noticed that they had 5kg of Basmati Rice on offer for £4.99 and a large container of Sunflower Oil for £4.99 also.  I will probably get some of this next weekend and some more sugar.  We use a lot of Basmati Rice and Sunflower oil.  I may get two of the Sunflower oil as I also want to have a go at making some soap.

At the Co-Op I bought butter, crumpets, baked beans (on offer) golden syrup three chickens for £10 which are now esconced in the freezer.  If I can next week I would like to get three more (the chickens are fresh) and I would quite like to get some chicken pies made and put up for the freezer.  Will have to see how we go.

It has been bitterly cold here today; we took Missy for a walk and it was bitter, but it made us appreciate the warmth of the house when we got in.  Snow was forecast to start at about 9.00 p.m but it came some three hours early just before 6.00 p.m.  I was picked up by friends just after 6.30 p.m. as I went to Spiratual Church this evening to support a friend who was conducting her first service. Which was a pleasant service as she did very well.  By the time we left just after 8 p.m. the roads were solid with snow and it would appear that they had not gritted.  I have just gone out and it is still snowing and there is a four inch dusting of snow on top of the privet hedge in the front garden and on the dustbins.  We have had quite a lot in a very short space of time and it has settled.

I have also today done most of the washing and also tidied the pantry and the Jam Store out (the Jam Store still needs more work) but we will get there.

Right I am off to get some kip - it is very much a winter wonderland with the snow casting off that eerie white luminous glow outside; and it has warmed up to what it was which makes me think we have more to come. The kids will love it. I have to be up early as have quite a few things to do.

Take care and keep safe wherever you may be

Tata for now catch up soon



Thursday, 2 February 2012


Tonight I didn't leave work until 6.00 p.m. and I am absolutely shattered and I intend to have an early night for me and going up to bed early getting some extra rest and cuddle up under the quilt and maybe perhaps I will dream.

I have been sat on the settee for a little while, listening to the television and quietly without me knowing Demetri has got up onto the settee (in the spot normally frequented by SqueaK) and is curled up fast asleep.  He seems to like a bit of fuss from me and likes to be near.  Funny little moglet.  He doesn't like to be cold at all.  Squeak is on the other settee glowering because he is so close, but then to be fair she does have my company most of the night.

OH had made me tea - Faggots, mashed potato, Kale and carrot and swede crush with lashings of gravy which went down well.

Must wend my way finding it difficult to stay awake

Take care



Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Faggots Brack and Malt Loaf.

We are both rather taken with the Brack recipe I made the other day.  Unfortunately I am unable to post photos at the moment as the battery charger has gone missing.  Hopefully I will locate it soon and be able to remedy this.  Needless to say this will be making a regular appearance on the baking list.

I still have not tried the Malt Loaf; the recipe said to let it rest for a couple of days wrapped in tin foil so this is what I have done.  Will probably try it tomorrow evening.

Tomorrow nights tea will be faggots, mashed potato, carrots and cabbage.  We need something warm in this very cold spell of weather that we are having at the moment. It has been very cold and very frosty in the mornings with the temperature dropping radically of an evening; and yet here we are into the second month of the New Year already.

Yesterday I received a letter from my cousin- which was very pleasing to receive; today I have received another instalment to my Art of Crotchet partwork I have been collecting; we are nearly at the end of that.  Most delightful of all though is that I have taken part in a draw at Second Hand Rose's blog and have been awarded a flower painted tole hook which is rather pretty and which arrived today.  Many thanks Rose - it is lovely.

It has been OH's birthday today.  We. celebrated last night as I was out this evening at the Psychic & Spiratual Fellowship.  See link here for more details  It was a students practice evening (of which I am one) and I have been able to give three messages the information of which has all been taken.  A good and interesting evening but daunting all the same to start with. 

Hopefully my mum is coming to spend the day with us next Sunday which I am rather looking forward to.

Right I am off to bed take care whereever you are and I will play catch up later on.

Sweet dreams



Apple Cake

I have found this recipe which looks quite scrummy - you see I have some eating apples to use up and I thought the best thing to do was just look around for some apple recipes make what I can and then if there is too much to freeze it.

The ingredients are:

4oz /115g butter
4oz/115g brown sugar
2 eggs beaten
5oz/150g wholemeal flour
1 tsp baking powder
apple juice for mixing
2 large eating apples cored
1 teaspoon of demerara sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon

Preheat the over to 190 degrees C/375 degrees F/Gas mark 5


Cream the butter and the sugar together until they are soft and fluffy then gradually beat in the beaten eggs.  Mix together the flour and baking powder and then add them alternatively with the apple juice until you have made a batter of a dropping consistency.  Spread the mixture into a greased swiss roll tin.  Slice the apples into slices and arrange them in rows on the batter.  Sprinkle liberally with the sugar and cinnamon.

Put in the preheated oven and bake for 30 minutes.  Allow to cool and then cut into slices.  Should provide 12 generous slices.

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)