Saturday, 30 July 2016

I am not quite sure what is going on with blogger I am in effect posting posts some 12 hours before they show up either on Blogger but quicker with Bloglovin.  Sometimes it is even posting a couple or more posts that were written singularly together.  Also and not that I am complaining the stats have been off the beam this week.  Does anyone have any ideas if I can remedy the way the individual posts surface or are we in the hands literally of Blogger.

Posted at 20:10pm



Ploughmans for tea

We bought Cornish pasties at the farm today and they were absolutely delightful.  We had them at lunch time and they were really delish. 

OH thought I had bought them for tea but I had other ideas.  After buying the Amber mist cheese I had decided that it would be an ideal accompaniment to a proper ploughmans - here is a link to who produces this particular cheese which is made by the Snowdonia Cheese Company:

The Snowdonia Cheese Company make really wonderful cheese it really is lovely.  So far we have tried the Ginger Spice, Black Bomber, Red Devil, Green Thunder and Red Storm.  They are all fantastic proper cheese with a proper tang in every individual variety. And each named cheese is very individual and very moorish There are a lot we haven't tried yet as well.  My brother is in Wales this fortnight and I have texted him to look out for said cheese as he is in Snowdonia.  I think he really will like this Amber Mist cheese. 

We had a plate on which I popped ham, cooked beetroot, coleslaw, the Amber Mist cheese, mixed salad, and I always serve a home made ploughmans with a nice apple.  Today I married the cheese with a nice Braeburn apple which proved the perfect foil for the cheese and also pickled onions and some pickle.

OH got a couple of bottles of Black Wych from the Wychwood Brewery.  Its described as a dark mysterious spellbinding Porter.  OH is not keen but there is something that I quite like about it.  I don't normally go a bundle of really dark beers -  I do like homebrew though and this reminds me of a stout.  OH has told me I can finish it off.  Will have to find him something to replace the bottle.  This in my mind has washed the Ploughmans down very nicely although I would have put a nice drop of cider or perry with it by choice; but this has been different and made a nice change.

I served it simply with salad, coleslaw, ham, cooked beetroot, bread and butter and OH had some pickle as well.  I had toyed with the idea of cooking some new potatoes or making a baked potato but decided in the end to go as simple as possible.  It is quite easy to over-stuff a plate like this and then wasting it which I decided it was not necessary.  Plus we have more for another day.  I am still supping my Porter.

So look out for the cheeses made by the Snowdonia Cheese company you will not be disappointed.

This is my own and OH's particular view and is not an advertisement nor have we received encouragement to comment.  We speak as we find and when we find something that is really really good we like to share with everyone else.

Catch you soon.



Last night/This morning

Last night I was taken out for a meal to the Original Burger Company in what was the Old Still Pub at the end of Westgate Arcade in Peterborough.  Its a lovely old building with a lot of atmosphere and we were lucky enough to be in the garden for our meal.  I went with OH and my step-son and future daughter in law.  The food is honest, well presented and full of flavour but simplicity itself and their sweet potato chips are to die for.  Despite my mouth being sore I managed to tackle three quarters of my bun which was delish and I polished off my sweet potato chips.  We had a lovely evening and it kind of finished of a very lazy day for me for a change.

This morning we were up bright and early and out the house for 8:20am to go to Johnsons Farm shop at Old Hurst.  It was a beautiful morning and a good journey across the back roads of the Fen - rather than travelling along the A1.  It is much more pleasurable.  We had arranged a rendezvous for breakfast again with my stepson and his fiancĂ©e and had a lovely breakfast.  I struggled again but that is because of the soreness and imbalance in my teeth but that will get rectified in due course.

Today I bought a kg of Lincolnshire Chipolatas, a kg of Green back bacon, and 1/2 kg of streaky bacon. This is despite having at least half of the Old English Sausages and the Black Fen sausages and bacone left in the freezer.  Things like sausages, bacon are regular things that I buy so it does not matter if we have an excess and in fact it is a bit of a security in that we have enough in hand.  Today from 1 kg of Lincolnshire chipolatas I have five bags of six chipolatas bagged up; from the 1kg bacon I have six bags of four rashers and one of six; and from the 1/2 kg of streaky I have five bags of four rashers.  So that is potentially quite a few meals.  I also use the bacon in quiches, and in casseroles etc. so it has a lot of potential.

We also bought four pork chops, 2 chicken breast dinners which are a combination of chicken breast and chipolata (which are quite substantial) and I think have something else in, four minted lamb leg chops, a rolled joint of pork for Sunday lunch, 2 Buffalo burgers, 2 Cornish pasties, a chunk of Amber Mist Cheese (delightful and has whisky in it) will make a lovely ploughmans - I have some pickled onions and home made chutney to go with as well as some apples.

Johnsons has one heck of a Butchery Section, Delicatessen, bread and pastry section.  It varies each month what we buy and there is always something very different available.  Their cheese selection is something else.  There are alwaysw tasters available as well on the tops of the counters.  We have found some lovely Artisan cheeses from here.

A cherry pie,  a tiger loaf, two pots of stock one beef one chicken, a couple of cabbages, some large field mushrooms and a couple of bottles of beer to wash the ploughmans down later on.  I have since bought a ham hock which I am going to cook later to go with the ploughmans (that was bought from my local Polish shop).

Simple food but quite substantial.

Right am off to potter.  Its the weekend the sun is out  life is good.

Catch you later.



Friday, 29 July 2016

Pickled Vegetables

For a while now I have had an urge to have a go at making some Pickled Vegetables, very much to drag off the shelf for an impromptu lunch or supper as is often the way here.  We are quite happiest with simple fare on a grab and run basis.  However there has been something holding me back - what if I don't like them. Now I absolutely adore Pickled Onions and Piccalilli - and I am a little unsure about the veggies. They always look wonderful and vibrant. I have an inkling that the OH will eat them quite happily in any event so they will not be wasted so I have decided to have a go tomorrow night as there are a few ingredients I need to get together.  Thought would try this tester pot and then if I liked it would prepare some more - especially as the new veggies are coming in and it will be an optimum time to prepare this; and also bearing in mind that you have to store for a month before using for the ingredients to "Pickle".

The ingredients for this make one large jar so its an ideal recipe to make a little a bit at a time and to use some spare veggies up.


1 courgette
1 red pepper
1 handful of French or runner beans
1 medium carrot
2 small onions
1 tablespoon sea salt
800ml white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
4 allspice berries
1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 bay leaf
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and halved
2 sprigs of fresh tarragon


Start with brining the vegetables the day before they are due to be bottled.

Top and tail the courgette cut in half along the length and cut into 1cm thick slices or dice.  De-seed the pepper and cut into 1cm chunks or strips.  Top and tail the French or runner beans and cut into 2 cm lengths. Peel the carrot and cut into pieces the same size as the courgette.  Peel the onions and cut into small wedges through to the root. Place all the vegetables into a plastic or ceramic bowl toss with the sea salt cover and leave overnight.

The next day rinse the vegetables under cold running water and pat dry on kitchen paper.

Put the vinegar into a pan with the spices, bay leaf and garlic.  Bring to the boil then reduce the heat and simmer very gently for 5 minutes so that the spices can infuse into the vinegar.

Spoon the rinsed strained vegetables into a sterilised jar add the Tarragon and pour over the hot vinegar ensuring that all of the vegetables are completely covered.  Seal the jar immediately and leave to cool completely before labelling.  Store for one month before opening.

Store for  months unopened in a cool dark cupboard or larder.  Once opened store in the fridge and use within 2 months.

I shall look forward to it.  Think it will go very nicely with the Rillettes recipe.  We shall wait and see what they taste like!

Catch you soon.



I am in the Land of the living just

Feel a lot better than I did last night and despite some discomfort and bruising I have so far managed to resist any kind of pain killer.  I have a strong pain ceiling in any event but I do not like popping pills and do not take them unless I absolutely have to.  I am also speaking more normally and have managed to eat two small meals soft food based.  So am getting there.  I am so glad however that I took the time off work.  It has meant that for once I have been able to give myself some tlc and some time to heal properly.  I have slept heavily and late and then have been curled up with a book.  I paid a visit to the Charity shop the other day and came out with some paperback books to read and two new to me cookery books for £3.  So not bad going really they are:

This is the one I am currently reading - its really good and I am enjoying it thus far.

So plenty to keep me occupied.

Catch you later.



Thursday, 28 July 2016

Collating Containers

Its been raining here this afternoon just gentle rain - its not cold but it is tipping out a bit.  Demetri is out hiding under the tree. Will not come in silly so and so and he hates the rain.

And me  - well I am a cheap skate where I can be and if I can (excuse the pun) I prefer to recycle jam jars and bottles if at all possible although it is not something that you are always able to do - the intentions are there but sometimes things just do not work out for one reason or another; it might be for a simple reason that you cannot find the right sized lid.  I try and match things up if and when possible and recycle jars - it just costs me a little time and effort.  However some things I buy new from the start depending on getting the right jar for preserve I anticipate making.

This all leads back to me talking about Terrine jars and how I needed some more on my earlier post. I was sorting out the cupboard under the stairs  when I came across another Terrine jar; so that is three that I now have.  I need another three in stock so to speak before I make the Rillettes.  I then shall keep adding a few here and there as I can afford them. 

The reason.  Well I am doing a bit this year but really I am planning for next year in the overall scheme of things  and stockpiling as I go along. Especially in view of the fact that I am going to treat myself to a Canner very shortly so I am going to need as many jars as I can lay my hands on.  Its the initial investment that costs the most  with the jars and the equipment but once that is out of the way its just a matter of the seals.  I really like the Kilner range (which is being added to all the time) but I do have a few (not many) Ball jars.  Kilner have their own Facebook page on

and their own website

This is not a said advertisement for said company just that these sites have so much more useful information on them.

I have also added some clear glass swing top bottles that came from Wilkinsons.  I have in mind to get the Ginger Beer on the go, but the other reason I have gone for these is that they are universal I can use them for home brew and cordials alike.  So there are 12 of them so far - another 12 to get then I can get the Ginger Beer on the go.  I am trying to space things out a bit and then when a certain thing happens like having the 12 bottles that gives me permission to go ahead and make the Ginger Beer.  So there is a method in my madness.

Its the same with the Large Ball canning jars I bought the other day from Lakeland.  I have four of them another two packs of four to obtain.  They are for some bottled tomatoes.  We use a lot of tomatoes and I also want to can some Salsa.

Catch you later.



Tooth Hurty - no More

Well the Deed is done and the two teeth have been removed.  I pre-warned the Consultant that I get stressed quite easily as I don't like needles and  she was very good talking to me throughout trying to soothe me during the procedure which was uncomfortable and there were a couple of horrendous cracks as she fought to remove the teeth and the roots but she got there and she said that they had come out cleanly and I therefore did not need stitches or indeed antibiotics. She said that I had been very good throughout the whole procedure - I tried to be However I am now on clear liquids only for the rest of the day and a soft food diet.  My face feels as though it is blown up like the Mitchelin man, but slowly very slowly I am starting to lose the numbness in the gum.  I have some paracetamol to take a little later when I am not dribbling everywhere and can swallow properly.

Tomorrow I start the salt water regime and I have to be careful not to dislodge the clot.  If I have any further problems or it starts bleeding again I have some swabs to use but if it does not control it then I am to report to the local A & E.  I am so glad that I took the day off as communicating has been a bit of a problem - I had not appreciated how much it would be but then I have had the back tooth removed on the right and the back tooth on the left on the ground floor so to speak - so not just one side to deal with.

Right that's another problem solved for now.  Next stage will be back to my normal Dentist once my gums have healed to arrange for a partial plate for the top and a partial plate at the bottom.  I am vain about my teeth and my hair. They probably never really look very much but as long as they are tidy and presentable that's all I am bothered about.  I try and turn out nice if I can. I don't like to see gaps in my teeth or indeed my hair grey - makes me look a lot older than I feel and I still have a lot of living to do.  I am going to need those pain killers pretty pronto need a bit more feeling in the mouth though.

Catch you later.



Pork Rilettes

We love our grub in this house - a little too much at times but I am always looking for ideas where I can make something and keep it in hand for a couple of weeks or so - really like a short store delicatessen - but this time storing in my fridge.  We are quite happy come a lunch time to grab a chunk of cheese and some crackers, or bread, served with a  salad and some chutney or just crackers chutney and cheese or pate.  So we are quite easy come easy go in that regard.  However I am always looking for ideas. 

I bought two pate jars yesterday from John Lewis so now the hunt was on "figuratively" speaking for something to go into them.  I think I have found a recipe that will do this nicely.  The recipe is from Gifts from the Kitchen by Annie Rigg ISBN 978-0-85783-296-2.  (A lovely book it is too). The idea behind this particular recipe was to give some friends a treat come Christmas or another celebration.

Rillettes are a coarse pate created from Pork belly slowly cooked with seasoning and herbs until it is really tender.  The meat is then shredded  before being packed in jars and then sealed with a layer of fat.  This takes the air out of the jar but because its fat it does need to be kept somewhere cold.  I have made lots of different types of pate before especially round the Christmas period but not so far the Rillettes.

I am going to add the ingredients to my Pantry shopping list so that I can make this on a regular basis.  We have eaten Rillettes before but not home prepared so I am hoping that the flavour is going to be much richer. I will just look for another recipe if it is not. However I will not get to make this until I have a few more jars in hand which is likely to be next week (could be before if I come across some of the jars elsewhere). We are destined to go to the Butchers on Saturday in any event.


1.5kg boned and skinned pork belly
4 rashers of streaky smoked bacon without rind
6 juniper berries
6 black peppercorns
1 blade of mace
5 fat cloves of garlic peeled and sliced
2 large sprigs of fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
300ml of dry white wine
2-4 tablespoons of Goose Fat (optional)


Preheat the oven to 150 degrees C/300 degrees F/Gas Mark 2.

Cut the pork belly into two centimetre pieces and place in a large mixing bowl.  Dice the streaky bacon and add to the bowl.

In a pestle and mortar lightly crush the juniper berries and peppercorns then add them to the bowl along with the Mace, Garlic, Thyme and Bay leaf.  Season well with black pepper and sea salt.

Pour over the white wine and then mix the contents of the bowl well then transfer to a large solid casserole or terrine dish and cover with a tight fitting lid.  Cook on the bottom shelf of the oven for 3 to 3 1/2 hours or until the Pork is completely tender and falling apart.

Remove from the oven and pour the meat into a colander set over a bowl.  Discard the thyme, bay leaf and peppercorns and juniper berries.  Put the drained meat into another bowl and then shred the meat using two forks.  Taste for seasoning adding more salt and pepper if required.  Pack the meat into sterilised jars or a terrine or an earthenware dish and pour over a little of the liquid that drained into the bowl.

When the meat is cold cover and chill for 30 minutes.  Pour over a layer of the strained fat or goose fat, seal the jars and chill until ready to serve.

Store in the fridge where they will keep for a couple of weeks provided the meat is covered with a good layer of fat.  Bring back to room temperature to serve.

Can be used as an impromptu supper, for a picnic, as a starter to a main meal.  Its up to you how you eat it or what you eat it with.  Remember there are no wrong or right ways - just your way.

Catch you later.



Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Very tired

Its been a long day extremely busy and has been non stop and I am completely cream crackered so much so I am contemplating going to bed early and then starting early tomorrow morning.  I have a tooth extraction x 2 appointment tomorrow for 11:00am so think of me please.  I absolutely hate the Dentists.

I was treated to my tea this evening half a Peking duck with pancakes and onion and cucumber and Hoisin sauce.  I must say it went down very well OH had to help me out - he had already had a meal in his own right.  These days I just do not have the appetite I did when I was younger.

I went to John Lewis at dinner time and got my Dolly, pie funnel and bun cutter.  I am hoping to play over the weekend.  I also managed to buy two Kilner Terrine jars I got the last two.  I need some more but thought would get a couple here and there in readiness.  I am trying to do as much I can when I can so that I have things in hand.  I also nipped into Lakeland and ended up buying some Wild at Heart Wild Garlic pesto and their Elderflower Preserve.  I have never had either before and so am looking forward to trying them.  I do have the Wild at Heart Cookbook which is very good.  Here is the link to the book on Amazon:

Depending on whether I like them or not will depend on whether I search for a similar recipe to recreate.

Right am off to bed.

Catch you tomorrow.



I have been eying up....

one or two new pieces of kitchen equipment.  And by the way these are items which I have my eye on are items of my own choice and is not an advert for said company.

Since I attended the Pork Pie making class I have been looking around for a few additional pieces of kitchen equipment mainly what is known as a "dolly" for moulding pork pies and I came across one pretty much after the class which is quite substantial and a few other pieces to boot that I was not expecting to find.  They are from the new Paul Hollywood baking range and the pieces appear to be quite substantial.

The following are not my photos but saved from various web sites Emporium and John Lewis

First of all the Dolly

 Then there is the baguette tray, and old fashioned pudding steamer bun stamp pie cutters pie funnel and pork pie tin.  Needless to say I shall buy one at a time as I can afford it.  However the Pork Pie Dolly the bun cutter and the pie funnel are top of the list.

Nice looking baking equipment. I am not buying for the name either.    The pie funnel, and the bun cutter are under £5 each.  The Dolly is £14 but is quite substantial  and ideal for me to play at home making my own pork pies. 

Now all I have to do is find somewhere to store them an ongoing problem here.

Catch you later.




Well the Dolly came home with me as did the pie funnel and the bun cutter.  I really like the steam pudding bowls might have to get two of those and the pork pie tin. The rest I will look at and probably in a few weeks add a couple of more items.  However I have started with the things that appealed to me most at this time.


Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Simple things

Very simple tea tonight.  OH was starving and could not fancy anything I came up with so instead of talking about it I just set too and started cooking.  We have had home made chunky chips with vinegar and sea salt accompanied by a couple of fried eggs each and some bread and butter.  Its gone down very nicely and has just been enough for tea.  Often it is the simplest things that are the best.  Just going to wash it down with a cup of tea.

Would not dine with the Queen now (not that she would ever ask me.

We also exchanged and completed contracts on mum's bungalow today.  A tad sad as this is really saying goodbye to our family home of some 46 years.  I just hope the new people will be as happy as our family has been over the years.  Time to move on.  A new page to write and hopefully find my forever home in the not too distant future.

 I hope you all have a lovely evening.

Right had better get a wriggle on still loads to do and I am shattered - still have the toothe ache.

Catch you soon.



I found this recipe for Gluten Free Carrot Cake

Also in the same basket as the recipe for Autumn Berry Bircher Muesli. Its a Woman's Weekly recipe for a light carrot cake - I love how lovely and light the colour of this cake is and that is why I must have kept the recipe.  What I had not appreciated when I chopped it out is that it is Gluten free.  I am very interested in Organic and Vegan cooking  but so far have not tried Gluten free.  I am very interested in the alternative more natural ingredients that are used as substitutes.  I hope to make it this weekend but where the heck am I going to get Xanthum gum - any ideas? 

Might have to pay a visit to Asda.  Apparently this is a good one to freeze (can be stored for one month)  however needs to be defrosted fully - you freeze it without the topping and add that once fully defrosted.  Might be good to batch bake when you have not had time to bake and visitors come calling.

For the cake:

250g/8ox gluten free oat flour
3 tsp gluten free baking powder
1 tsp of Xanthan Gum
1 tsp mixed ground spice
175ml/6 fl oz sunflower or rapeseed oil
175g/6oz light muscovado sugar
3 large eggs
350g/12oz grated carrots which have been peeled and then grated


2-3 tablespoons icing sugar
280g-300g carton full fat cream cheese
Zested rind of an orange
28 c 18cm (11 x 7  inch) traybake tin lined with baking parchment.

Pre-set the oven for 180 degrees C Gas Mark 4.

Tip the flour into a bowl and stir in the baking powder, xanthan gum and mixed spice.  Add the oil, sugar and eggs to the bowl.  Beat well until the mixture is smooth then fold in the carrots.  Spoon the mixture into the lined baking tray and level the surface.

Bake the cake for 30 to 40 minutes until it is just firm to the touch.  Remove from the oven and leave in the tin for about 10 to 15 minutes before transferring it to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the topping beat the icing sugar with the cream cheese to taste .  Spread the mixture over the top of the cooled cake and top with zested orange rind cut the cake into 15 squares to serve. 

Catch you later.




Want to know what Xanthan gum is  - follow the link here:

There are also a few Gluten free recipes here which look interesting.


Well I found the Xanthan gum in Waitrose with the gluten free products.   It cost me £2.50 for a tall pot.  So I snaffled some and bought some home.  This recipe will have to wait until the weekend now until I have some more time. 

However I also found the same size pot in M & S.  The same price.  Apparently it helps with a more realistic crumb structure to the cake.


Breakfast in a Jar

Doesn't it look yummy.

On my recces through Pinterest recently I have been finding lots of recipes for meals in jars.  To tell truth  I had not really paid much attention to them beforehand but the more I read the more I take on board the simplicity and thorough preparation involved to give you something good to take to work or to have breakfast already prepared waiting for you when you get up of a morning or to take breakfast with you and eat it on the run. Therefore finding the recipe card for September from Waitrose during my tidying up on the dresser the other day seemed almost serendipitous.  I have tended to collect certain Waitrose recipe cards but I had forgotten about this one.  I normally stuff them into a plastic sleeve in a large Lever Arch file I have but this one was waiting patiently in my basket on one of  my dressers,

I am a big believer in having breakfast.  In reality I do not always manage it but more often than not I have breakfast. It does what it says "breaks-the-fast" and feeds the body when the sugars are low.  I shall when I get my new fridge be making things like this on a regular basis,

What I liked about this one is you prepare it in advance for many of you or prepare four in one hit yes its the same breakfast four days running but if its good and it feeds your body and soul and does it good first thing and its tasty does it really matter.  This is natural unrefined eating at its best.

What also struck me is that with the mixed berries one of which has to be blueberries as they are full of free radicals which help fight of infections, and the cranberry juice  which is also the same and which are really good for you and with the oats which are a natural foodstuff that makes you feel full and natural yogurt which is good for putting a lining on the stomach (essential if you are on long term medication) you really do have breakfast in a jar.

Okay so its not September but you do get mixed fruits all year round and there are other alternatives out there and this recipe is basically another take on a well known "Bircher Muesli" ie oats or muesli with grated apple and soaked in apple juice or fruit juice over night which softens the oats and is something else I do for breakfast every now and then


175g of either fresh or frozen mixed berries.
1 pear peeled cored and diced
150ml of Cranberry juice
180g Dorset Cereals Raspberry and Blackcurrant Bircher Muesli mix, home made Muesli mix, Granola, whatever floats your boat, or just plain porridge oats.
250g Greek style or home made natural yogurt


Place the berries, pear and juice into a small pan then bring to a gentle bubble/simmer for about 5 minutes or so.  Turn off the heat and leave to cool.  Warming the fruit helps burst the berries to make the juices flow.

Spoon half of the fruit compote between the base of four jars or glasses then scatter over half of the Muesli mix and then spoon over the yogurt.

Scatter over the rest of the muesli mix followed by the remaining compote. Seal the jars or cover with cling film.  Chill overnight stir and serve.

A slight variation in this is to spice up the fruit compote by adding a star anise, cinnamon stick or grated orange zest.  Nice for the autumn months or lovely for Christmas morning.

So there is no excuse not to breakfast now  - its just a matter of getting yourself organised and "your butt in gear".

Catch you later.



Monday, 25 July 2016

Its going to be a busy week

I have had physio again today and all the walking to has completely cream crackered me and I am grumpy as my tooth is playing up a little bit. So not a happy bunny.  Still up to my ears with the cleaning but then I know the house will be lovely and clean for the next month and so I am hoping to play a little bit this coming weekend although as I have said I am going to be busy during the week. 

I really want to get back to my preserving and also to some of my handicrafts  - I need to finish off some projects namely some crochet and get started on finishing off some of the numerous ufos as well as some of the items I have purchased from Ebay part worked.  I also want to start hand piecing a patchwork something which I can pick up and put down and work at my leisure.  There was rather a pretty one worked in diamonds with a white background that came up on Ebay but I missed the auction it went for over £100  - worth the effort that has gone into it bit I want to work something myself.  I have done English paper piecing before when I was at school. The diamonds ended up forming a star pattern but it did look stunning  I thought that  something like that would look attractive and give me something to persist with on a long term basis.  Once I get into the back bedroom a bit more I think I will find no end of others ufos as well.  I know I have a lot of wool.

Anyway back to work.

Catch you soon.


We intend to go to the Farm shop again at the weekend so will stock up on meat etc. then for the month.  There is a little room in the freezer and with me tidying up the dining room I can find things again.

Making a Knickerbocker Glory

Now that the kiddies are on holiday - get them involved and occupied making their own pudding for after dinner.  You do of course need a long sundae glasses for this for optimum effect.  Makes quite a posh looking pudding which is quite simple to do although supervision of youngsters at all times is recommended i.e. with hot water for making the jelly or chopping the jelly.  Its an easy way of keeping the children entertained and getting them involved with food in the kitchen.  Its not always up to the Teachers to teach the children they can learn an awful lot from you too.

You will need:

1/4 packet of red jelly
1/4 packet of yellow jelly
A can/tin of peach slices drained and then chopped
1 can/in of pineapple chunks
A family block of vanilla ice cream (or the tub out of the freezer)
1/4 pint of double cream which has been whipped
4 glace cherries

Make up the jellies as directed on the packet, allow to set and then chop the jellies. Put small portions of the chopped fruit into the bottom of the sundae glasses. Cover this with a layer of red jelly, Put in a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the top and then add a layer of yellow jelly. Repeat the process finishing off with the whipped cream and the glace cherries.  Should make four tall glasses and make a lovely light dessert after your main meal.

Catch you later.



Preserving Italy

This is the latest book I have purchased from Amazon. (this is not an advert by the way just my own personal view) by Domenica Marchetti ISBN978-0-544-61-162-7. It has been on pre-order for months and arrived on Saturday.  It has some very interesting recipes in.  I can see at this rate I am going to end up have a fridge solely for keeping preserves in and a freezer for the home made liqueurs.

I have always had the greatest respect for Italians they garden and grow their own produce which is often a family thing and a way of keeping the family close and carrying on family traditions. They also preserve as much of their food as they possibly can - and I love Italian food.  I have yet to play with the recipes and there are quite a lot - in fact it is a lovely book.

It is sub-sected into different chapters.

A general section encompassing , the introduction, safety, water bath canning and pressure canning.

The main sections are then:

Foods preserved in Oil.

Baby Artichokes in oil, Oil preserved Asparagus, Grilled mixed mushrooms in oil, Eggplant in Oil, sweet and sour roasted Peppers and capers, Oil preserved Butternut Squash with mint.  Its like walking into a huge Delicattessen but here you have the choice of what you make.  There are also a few suggestions on how to use the bottled treasure as well.

Foods preserved in vinegar.  Classic Giardinaria, pickled beets and spring onions, spiced pickled mushrooms, sweet, sour and spicy pickled melon, hot and sweet pickled peppers.

Sweet preserves, conserves, jams, jellies and Marmalades.

Apricot Anise Jam, Sour cherry spoon fruit, Brandied Chestnut cream jam, Fig jam with orange zest, peach and almond conserva.

Tomatoes and Sauce.

Bottled whole tomatoes, Passata di Pomodoro, Small batch tomato sauce, Classic meat sauce, Bottled beans in tomato sauce, home made meat broth, Zuppa di Pasta e fagiolli, Oven dried tomatoes, Oven roasted tomatoes in oil.

Infused oils, vinegars and condiments.

Citrus salt, Porchetta salt, Peperoncino Garland and cream, Hot pepper oil, Lemon olive oil, Apple and pear paste, Quince paste, mixed nuts in honey, Pear Mostarda, Pesto, Caponata, curing olives,

Fresh cheeses and simple cured meats.

Buttermilk Ricotta, Ligurian Prescinseusa, State of the Artisan Mozzarella, sausages and simple Salami, Sweet Italian Sausage, Garlic, cheese and wine sausage, making pancetta and guanciale, Slab pancetta, Salumi in the family.

Syrups, Liqueurs and fruits preserved in alcohol

This section is one of the sections I was most curious about.  There are recipes for:

Mint syrup, Orzata (almond syrup), blood orange syrup, Classic limoncello, Three citrus liqueur, Crema di Limoncello, Strawberry cream liqueur, Zabaglione cream liqueur, Nocina, Grapes in spiced Grappa.  Mostocotto, Coffee Cream liqueur.

Finally but not least Confections.

I have a sweet tooth and am very partial to proper Torrone.  Now I have a recipe.

Under this section there are recipes for sweet almond paste, sweet hazelnut paste, Fig and walnut salami, Panforte di Siena, Torrone, Croccante (nut brittle), almond Gelato and Hazlenut cream crostata.

There are certainly some lovely recipes there to have a go at, some of which I will have a go at in due course. Especially with the promise of a canner on my horizon.

So overall I am very pleased with this book it will go well with those preserving books already on my shelf and which also get a lot of use, but I love the little tips and side comments like keeping the cream liqueurs in particular as well as the Lemoncello in the freezer.  Its always those little additional bits of advice that are always worth their weight in gold.

This year I have grown some artichokes from seed so next year will be their first cropping and it would be lovely to put those down for winter to eat on pizza, etc during those colder months or for use with an antipasti.  Yum.  My mouth is watering at the thought.

Catch you later.



Sunday, 24 July 2016

Well its been a funny day

Way too hot restricting comfortable movement.  I have been beavering away still not finished. Have just had tea - a shepherds pie which has gone down very nicely as I really needed something substantial to eat.  The poor animals have really not known what to do with themselves and I have been making sure that they have ice in their water every so often but they seem to have gravitated to different parts of the house trying to keep cool. We have some of the windows open too.

Well the lollies were lovely and refreshing and so was the lemon sorbet.  I remembered to take a photo of the lolly but not the sorbet.  It was very refreshing.  The trouble with this heat is that it really takes it out of you.  I want to get on but just cannot so things are not getting done as quickly as I would have liked.  It feels heavy as though we are going to have a storm.

Well here's the lolly

I had already nibbled a little bit before I remembered to take the photograph.

I have some mixed fruit juice as well so will probably make some more with that instead of the peach nectar.  I shall make some more later so that I have some to come home to tomorrow after the back class.  I have to walk to the Hospital again so that will increase my steps on my phone app. Trouble is that during the week I walk everywhere and then come Saturday and Sunday I am usually housebound doing the domestic goddess bit (and failing miserably) and then the phone gives me GBH of the earhole because I haven't done enough steps! 

I could quite do with a holiday in Cornwall and have been looking to see if I can find any patchwork classes that I could go to if I went there say the end of September.  I have found some providers  - I was looking at Cowslip at Launceston but the workshops advertised were not quite what I was looking for.  After all I am only a beginner.

I have also had a look around the Rocket garden website and that has sparked a few ideas.  We will have to see if anything comes to fruition.

Right had better get a wriggle on - just hope it cools down a bit.

Catch you later.


Deep cleaning - not my favourite pastime

However it needs doing on a regular basis especially with six cats and a Jack Russell that's 30 odd paws a day going through as well as the human foot fall. So even though cleaning is done every week I do do a deep clean every month to really get to the nitty gritty. 

This time round with the hot weather the cats have been shedding (they get groomed every day) but still shed so despite being careful you always come across bits that come out of the woodwork.  With that and spiders (this is an old house and OH is terrified of them) it gets a bit of an itchy job but at least everything will be disinfected, washed, dried and polished for the beginning of the month.  

I want the dining room to look nice as I hope to start a garland and lantern project for popping out at the beginning of September for the autumn months. Using the fabric leaves that I purchased from The Works.  I have two 6 foot welsh dressers a corner dresser, a dresser top large pine table and eight chairs (two carvers) and a side drawer dresser which houses my CD Collection.  This year after seeing so many lovely arrangements on peoples blogs and also on Pinterest I thought I would give it a go myself.

So its upwards and onwards still loads to do and am having to stop every so often because of the heat and my back kicking off but we will get there.

Be back a little later on.



Sunday Breakfast

Is now out the way just consisted of some toast and butter and a glass of the peach nectar. Which was lovely cool and refreshing.  Just nice and simple. Often on a Sunday morning we have croissants and fresh fruit or pancakes and fruit filling with fresh cream but its just too hot and to tell the truth I needed something to eat but not a lot of.    I should have tried the coddled eggs but that is something I can do in the week before I go to work.

Demetri would not come in last night there was no way he was coming in - he was too hot so he has been out all night.  I don't normally leave them out overnight because I have lost so many that way and I do not sleep if they are not in very well so its easier to round them up and get them in for their supper.

Right I must continue with the dining room and carry on from where I left off last night.

Catch you all later on.



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)