Saturday, 13 October 2018

Not again

Yes, it's not the kitchen window again. This side is changing more often as it's a working area. Working on a couple of things here - more pasta and the Christmas cake.

The pasta is an 'again' as the first lot was easy and it's getting easier. I just did one egg and 4oz flour to make my dough and put it through the machine to make noodles. My veggie stir fry has lasted me 3 days (again and again and again) and so did the noodles.

Here's the tray with the ingredients for the cake. (Christmas is coming round again very quickly. ) The recipe is just a simple 12, 12, 12 combination with 2lbs of fruit and various spices.

This tray is now waiting for the fruit to be fed with whiskey, gin and rum. It's all smelling good and I think I'll keep feeding me the fruit for the next few days!



Sunday, 7 October 2018

Night, night

Sorted out the back garden this weekend. The runner beans were pulled up and the pods spread out in the greenhouse to dry. Beetroot was pulled up and boiled to death.

The cucumber plants were cut down and the remaining cucumbers given away with some put in the fridge for me. Tomatoes were given a hair cut and ripe ones picked.

The grape vine was trimmed slightly but now left until its leaves fall off.

The leeks have been left in for us to eat over winter.

Finally the compost bins were emptied and scattered all over the garden. We won't need any manure this year.

The garden has been put to bed.


Friday, 5 October 2018

Not the kitchen window

Since the kitchen was redecorated I've not put anything on the window sill so I don't damage or scratch the paint. There is only a hanging clay pot containing an 'odd' plant. So no Kitchen Window display now.

The decoration has now transferred to the wall opposite the kitchen window. The view underneath the cupboards is always changing as was the kitchen window view.

I've used white storage boxes in the cupboards for ease of accessing all the contents. Today I took down this box ...

to help me with the making of Mum's Savoury Mince.

There are many ways of making savoury mince - this is mine using onions, garlic, carrots, courgette, mushrooms, chopped tomatoes and of course - mince.

All the ingredients at the ready here with some additions of stock, Worcester sauce, oregano and gravy granules.

The mince, garlic and onions were fried up first and then added to a pan of tinned chopped tomatoes, stock, mushrooms etc.. This concoction was boiled and simmered for about 40 minutes along with the Worcester sauce and oregano. I don't add any extra salt or pepper but I did add a glug of soy sauce.

Here's the pot ready to start cooking.

The cooked savoury mince yielded quite a few portions and 2 large containers of it have been put in the freezer for another day. Today I had my savoury mince with boiled potatoes and tomorrow I'll spice it up more with a bit of chilli powder and flakes and serve it over rice.

The compost heap took care of the peelings and kitchen roll which was used to wipe out the wok.


Monday, 1 October 2018

Last of the rhubarb

I've picked the last of the rhubarb today. The remaining stalks are starting to die off. Looks like the end of the crumbles. I've made this one with the addition of brown sugar.

It makes the crumble very tasty. I also use brown sugar in the crumble topping.

The crumble is made in the ratio of 4:2:2, 4 being the flour or a mix of flour and oats, 2 being the sugar (brown in this case) and 2 being butter which was rubbed into the flour.

Forgot to take a pic of the finished crumble because we ate most of it.


PS Good job I've frozen a pile of crumbles already.

Sunday, 23 September 2018

Eylash crocheted Christmas tree

Finished. It was really easy. I used 4mm needles as they were already lying around and some fuzzy yarn. 

Cast on 3 stitches and knit one row.
Increase 1 stitch at the beginning of each row until the desired length is reached.
My cone was the inside of a machine knitting cone. I have a few left that I kept as 'they would probably come in handy sometime'. They have now as ...

I have a few other fancy balls of yarn left. These came from the CS. I've started on the white and this time I'm using 5mm needles to knit it up even faster.


PS The triangle knitted is an equilateral triangle. I shall have to experiment to see if I can do an isosceles triangle. Maybe I shouldn't increase every row for this.


Saturday, 22 September 2018

Little bits of home

Another autumn display in the bathroom.

Here's one in the kitchen on top of the wall cupboards.

Thinking of Christmas with this one. Bought some yarn from the CS and have started to knit a Christmas tree. I've saved some cardboard cones and thought I'd just wrap a triangle of silvery yarn around. May work.


Thursday, 20 September 2018

Not a good day

... for the seagull we found with a broken leg in our garden. The vet could only do one thing as the break was so bad.

So sad. We hope it wasn't one of our 'pets'.


Wednesday, 19 September 2018

Tidying the garden

A major clear of the back garden today with the dwarf beans pulled up, the last of the potatoes dug up, courgette plants cleared and the last of the corn harvested.

The cobs were cleaned up and bagged for the freezer with some smaller ones kept for our salad for tea.

The runner beans will be uprooted tomorrow which will only leave the leeks and a few beetroot.

There's still colour from the poppies which spring up everywhere.

The Chinese lanterns are looking particularly vibrant nestled amongst their leaves. I shall pick them for displaying sometime. Autumn cometh.


Sunday, 16 September 2018

Heritage Tour

Took a tour of one of our local theatres today as it is a Heritage weekend. The Grand is a beautiful small theatre in the heart of town. It was only a short tour but we got to see behind the scenes - the dressing rooms,

the Fly deck, where all the scenery and lighting is controlled ...

and the stage. Here's a view from the stage showing the 2 circles and the gods.

The ceiling and walls are very ornate.

On the stage was some memorabilia about Kenn Dodd.

The stage gave me instant vertigo as it slopes towards the orchestra pit.

Lots more information was displayed around the theatre itself.

More information can be found here.

Back onto the promenade for a picnic sandwich, we were just in time to welcome back the many people who had just completed a sponsored Memory walk in aid of Dementia.

It turned out to be a beautiful day ...

after a very windy and rainy start. Can you spot me in the webcam picture below? I'm in there somewhere.


Wednesday, 12 September 2018

Change over

From September onwards is the change over from Summer to Autumn. It's becoming noticeably cooler and the evenings are drawing in. Time to add the woolies to the wardrobe, don the boots and put on jackets and coats. Time to decorate in an Autumnly fashion around the house. So today, after the workout of morning routine, hoovering downstairs and tickling with a feather duster I did my 'artistic, Autumnal arrangements'.

(Stuck a few dried up seed heads around.)

Allium seed heads are quite spectacular. Out came the pine cones, which will transition nicely into winter decorations - how many weeks is it until Christmas?

In the kitchen the harvest is being brought in - ie a corn cob which is busy drying out in the desiccator.

At weekend I will pick off the dried up French bean seed pods and save the seed. The runner beans will be next. DH has already investigated the seeds in one of the very large courgettes and picked some very ripe and tasty tomatoes to put into jam jars. Once the tomatoes have rotted down he picks out the seeds to save for next year.


Tuesday, 11 September 2018

Workout - weight lifting

This morning I walked to the supermarket with my trusty pull along trolley and loaded up with groceries. A full trolley is quite heavy especially with a large milk and several tins and cans. Walking back I pull, alternating left and right arms. Ta da - weightlifting workout plus a 2 mile walk. Sorted.


PS for Jules and Jill in answer to the question 'Is all the effort worth it?'

This is the second time I've made pasta with the machine. The first time was just as messy but the pasta cooked in no time and melted in the mouth. Totally different from bought pasta.

Is all the effort worth it?


excitement, contentment, wonder, satisfaction, culinary delight, clean kitchen once cleared up!


messy, lengthy process, takes time, easier to open a packet

Another pro is that the pasta can be frozen or left to dry then stored. If it tastes wonderful from frozen or dried then one big pasta making session could result in quite a few meals, cutting down the time of preparing a meal.

Watch this space.


Monday, 10 September 2018

Another workout

This time it's making pasta. I really shouldn't watch too many YouTube videos. I've made pasta before but decided it was much too messy. Here's my pasta dough - just 2 mugs of flour and 2 eggs with a little water to make it into a firm dough. I mixed it up in the mixer to start off with but then got busy with my arm muscles.

Pasta machine from the CS at the ready. It would only fit on the table so there was a lot of walking backwards and forwards. I cut the dough into 4 manageable sizes ...

and did an initial roll out on the board.

Into the machine on setting 9, working down to 1, on to the other side of the machine to make spaghetti and fettuchini.

The handrail of the oven came in handy for the draping.

Then came the clear up.

Kitchen floor, back room floor, table and counter tops.

Yep, it's messy.

Here's the video that inspired me - what a lady.