Tuesday, 31 July 2012

A little bit of luck

I had a little bit of luck the other week; each month I pay into a work's lottery syndicate where we choose one number each.  The bonus ball each week is the number we use and it depends on the Lottery bonus ball number as to who wins.  I found myself the very lucky winner of £49.00 which I have put to some bits for my kitchen that I have had my eye on for a few months or so.  If you like a little bit of a treat for me after not having had anything much in the past few years or so.  Some of you will say oh not gadgets again, but you see I really do use my gadgets especially when it comes to doing fancy bits and bobs and I get a lot of pleasure from them as I really enjoy cooking and messing around either decorating things  or experimenting with something new.  So what have I indulged in.

The first item is related to the Cheesemaking post a little while ago.  I have invested in a digital thermometer which I think will come in very useful with the Cheesemaking but also with sweetmaking as well.

The second item is a 4 serving pie maker

And the third item is a cake pop maker


So I have some more toys to play with in due course  I see all sorts of uses for these three items and I am well chuffed,

You could say quietly chuffed as I am going to be able to have a play

Catch up soon



Charity shop find and recycling or reusing

I love antique shops, bric-a -brac stores, market stalls, flea markets car boots and I enjoy a good rummage.  Haven't been for  look around for quite some time but last week I succumbed and popped into the local British Heart Foundation shop literally a straight in straight out, spotted something that looked interesting - the price definitely was £6.99 and it was crotchet lace.  It was only when I got it home and had more of an inspection that I realised how large it was 80 x 80 inches and in excellent nick no staining and quite frankly a very lovely cloth - I do hope you agree.  I am well chuffed with it.  It would appear to be a lovely tulip design too.  Now all I need to do is to find some nice second hand cotton and make some very plain simple knapkins to go with them.  Even if It hadn't been in such condition I would have found a way to recyle the item into something useful.

This was laid out over my two seater settee and it swamped it.  Needless to say I am extremely chuffed with my vintage find and it will look lovely over my big pine farmhouse table especially I think for Christmas or for High tea.  Bit of an old fashioned girl me

Catch you soon



Sunday, 29 July 2012

Good Morning Everyone

Good morning everyone  it is a beautiful sunny morning so far here in Peterborough- sorry for the absence, things have been quite busy around here just lately and also at work - I also seem to be going out a lot more in the evenings which has had an obvious knock on effect and because I am walking to work and quite often am walking home too I have been going to bed a little earlier than I normally do.

Thank you all for your good wishes - I am okay honestly and hopefully will be back to normal service quite shortly too many fingers in too many pies I have also been getting to grips or shall we say a tentative toe in some different computer programmes i.e. learning them not only for work but also for home use and being as OH hasn't assisted its been down to me to get to grips - sometimes I am a slow learner.

I am okay promise

Catch up with you all soon I promise

Have a lovely day



Thursday, 5 July 2012

Making Cheese at Home

I was having a rootle as you do in Lakeland the other day just passing the time of day during my dinner hour looking at all the goodies I cannot afford and making a mental wish list of some of the items that I would quite like when I espied some new products.  A little book entitled how to make soft cheese by Gerard Baker - it had only come in the other day £2.99 and I was one of the first to nab it.  It has seven recipes for home made cheese and they are:

 How To Make Soft Cheese

  • Mozzarella
  • Halloumi
  • Ricotta
  • Cottage
  • Cream
  • Fresh white
  • Feta

 Lakeland have since added a short video

The ingredients used are simple and ones that a lot of us have to hand at home anyway, using milk, rennet, yogurt or buttermilk

When I get a few minutes I am going to have a serious play as I usually have most of these ingredients to hand apart from the buttermilk which by the way is brilliant for scones and muffins.  Thought it might make a nice simple approach to making something very useful yourself without paying through the nose.

I have another cheese book called the Home Creamery which is also very good and has some cracking recipes in.  I really am itching to play though.

Oh and by the way the Easiyo yogurt sachets are also very good, peaches and cream, strawberries and cream and the greek yogurt and coconut is divine.

Should be on commission! 

Catch you all soon



P.S.  Should have also added that I came home with one each of the cheese moulds as well as the book.

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Mushroom Nut Roast

Think it will be Gammon Pineapple and chips for tea this evening as yet again I have a lot to do as is always the case.  Last evening I had an early night I really hurt as it rained her all day yesterday and so I was in bed by 10.15 pm have kept warm and am a little easier this morning although I still hurt a bit; I really could do with a day in bed but that isn't going to happen so a couple of paracetamol will help ease the way.  

Anyway I mentioned a Nut Roast recipe that I had come across recently and which I am going to collect the ingredients together for at lunch time.  I haven't really experimented much with vegetarian food but this one made my mouth water when I came across it so I thought I would post the recipe in case you ladies and gents also wanted to share.  Thought it might make a simple pure food offering that would go well with a mixed salad.  I plan to make this tonight when I get home as I thought it would be something quick to have to eat before going out tomorrow night .

Here we go:

Taken from the Ultimate Christmas Cookbook ISBN 1-897730-53-5

Preparation time:        30 minutes
Total Cooking time:    50 minutes
Serves 4 - 6


2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 large onion diced
2 cloves of garlic crushed
300g cap mushrooms finely chopped
1 1/2 cups/235g Brazil nuts
1 1/3 cup/200g raw cashews
1 cup/125g of grated cheddar
1/4 cup/25g freshly grated Parmesan
1 egg lightly beaten
2 tablespoons of chopped chives
1 cup/80g fresh wholemeal breadcrumbs


1.  Preheat the oven to moderate 180 degrees C/350 degrees F/Gas Mark 4.  Grease a 11 x 21 cm loaf tin and line the base with greaseproof or baking parchment.  Heat the oil in a frying pan and add the onion garlic and mushrooms.  Cook for about 5 minutes on a medium heat until soft.  Transfer to a large bowl and leave to cool.

2.  Place the Brazil nuts on a baking tray in an oven for 2 to 3 minutes.  Remove tray from the oven add the cashews to the Brazil nuts and return to the oven for 3 to 5 minutes or until the nuts are toasted but not burnt,  Allow to cool slightly.  Process the nuts in a food processor until finely chopped but be careful not to over process as some texture is required.

3.  Combine the nuts, mushroom mixture, cheeses, egg, chives and breadcrumbs.  Mix well and press firmly into the loaf tin bake for 45 minutes or until firm. Leave to stand for about 5 minutes then turn out.  Cut into slices  and serve warm  with a tomato, roasted pumpkin or apricot sauce (recipes to follow later on) as I now have to get ready to walk to work.

Hope everyone has a good day

Catch up later on


Monday, 2 July 2012


Morning everyone just a quickie before I depart off to work.  I woke stiff this morning my lower back and my legs are not co-operating well together - no wonder it is raining how dare it I have to walk to work.  At this rate everyone is going to end up rusty.  Its gentle rain fortunately and I have dug out the big umbrella so I should be well covered and I must admit I enjoy the thinking time as I walk to and from work it helps me put things in perspective and helps me calm down before I either get into work or before I arrive home important time in a busy schedule.  It will be a busy day as one of our girls does not work a Monday (she works a Saturday) and so Monday is her Saturday and one of our other girls is on holiday for the week so it will be all hands to the pump and at least this week I will not be billing continuously which is always a logistic race before the books are closed and getting people to do what they should is always a massive logistical nightmare.

I have the pickles to finish off this evening when I get in - I have to walk home as OH is on a 10 hour shift today.

Hope everyone has a good day rain prevailing catch up soon



Sunday, 1 July 2012

Late on Parade

Our late Sunday lunch was very tasty consisting of roast beef, roast potatoes cooked with the beef, onion and garlic and then served with peas, cauliflower, carrots and Yorkshire Pud which all went down very nicely.  Then I managed to get my hair washed early and let it dry naturally

I managed to get five pots of mashed potato (I used the tail end of a sack of potatoes all in the course of waste not want not) and 5 pots of the Carrot and Swede crush.  I still have about 8 swedes to prepare so no doubt I will do some more carrot and swede crush during the week or just plain swede crush  So I am well pleased that I have a little stock to keep me going  Its also handy to have something like this in the freezer especially if you have a partner who is not au fait with cooking as it means if for one reason or another if  you are unwell they can still make the rudiments of a meal.

I just have a pair of trousers to iron for OH and then am off to bed to get some serious shut eye

Nighty night

P.s.  Lovely to see two new members welcome to my blog.


Its been a busy day here

I started the monthly shop today and we paid another visit to the butchers and topped up quite a bit; as a consequence of which I have had to give the upright freezer a bit of a sort out to get the new stuff in; it has meant me turfing out a few items which are going to be used in the next few days or so as it was time they were used up.

Just some of the things I have packed away  complete with a label, content and the date bought (very important) are:

5 trays of flavoured chicken thighs in trays of four three chinese style and two barbecue style (all for £10.00)
6 gammon steaks
2 trays minted lamb double chops
4 rib eye steaks 
3 gammon slipper joints
2 beef joints
2kg pack bacon divided into 6 bags of about 12 rashers
1kg tray of sausages (dvided into 8 bags)
Large tray of chicken breasts £20 (seventeen extra large breasts in tray packed into 6 bags x 3)
Tray of mixed burgers 12 on tray for £10
2 trays of stewing meat 

So we haven't done too badly but this will have to last us for quite a little while.

I have also been and got some veg; high prices again  (£1.40 for a caulifower - same in the Coop)but will make the most of what have found.  Apparently the weather has caused all sorts of problems with crops potatoes in particular as quite a lot of farmers have experienced blight and those who planted the crops later on have found that the potatoes are all top and no bottom; so I think some stockpiling of one sort or another might be required ie freezing mashed potatoe, or roasties etc. to make sure that a few good meals are to be had in any event.  I am having that veg garden next year no matter where I am.  I was quite restrained at the veg shop but I did buy a carrier bag of swedes about 12 small ones (£2) and 2kgs of carrots £1 a kg to process into carrot and swede crush which will then be frozen in the big deep freeze in pots.  It is a favourite with a hot meal in this house.  Is also a good way of getting children to eat swede (the colour leads them to believe it is carrot)  I have also picked up some apples for making more apple sauce yet again for the freezer.  I am sat processing these at the moment; the idea being to put these on in my large three tier steamer bought from Bude down in Cornwall which is massive and ideal for a very large family but when you a processing a glut of vegetables is extremely handy.

Yesterday I also picked up some small cucumbers from my local Asian shop which I am going to use in a recipe described as pickled gherkins but I think this is a slightly loose term as they are not like the gherkins in picked up from the Polish shop the other year but more like mini cucumbers which are processed lengthwise.  The recipe and pictures are from The Preserving Book by Dorling Kindersley , (these have now been started and being brined will finish tomorrow evening).We are having roast beef for dinner with the usual trimmings but that will be later on.

We went for a walk with Missy earlier and I picked a large bag of elderflowers (despite OH chuntering he does not see the need for me to make use of the natural larder!) so the elderflower champagne will be started later on.  I don't use any of the green stalk when I process elderflowers for making brews I remove the flowers with the tynes of a fork so that it is the pure blossom and natural yeasts that are used to give the champagne its kick.  This is one of my favourite countryside drinks; it is something my Nan used to make and I was hooked after the first glass.  I am also hoping to get at least a gallon of wine out of the flowers but I suspect I will need to go and get a couple of more bags during the week.  One thing we did notice is that there is a lot of blackberry blossom already so it may well be a good harvest dependent upon the weather.  I am in my element when I am making things for the pantry/larder/deep freezer for use later on in the year to make sure that we eat and drink well all year round.  I have to have another rootle through the large deep freeze to see what I can liberate from there. 

I also intend to get some of the flat peaches during the week to make some peach jam and also bottled peaches in syrup, but will have to see how things go as I want to get everything sorted.  They had them for trays of 12 for £1 a tray on the market last week so will probably potter down and then get a batch done.

Whilst I am working away I have Pirate radio on my coputer and am quietly working away and listening at the same time.

Oh by the way just a thought  here are the links to the recipes I have used for Elderflowers in the past - hope it makes life a bit easier
Right have to get on still an awful lot to do and I am not sure where this weekend has gone

Catch you soon



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)