Thursday, 22 August 2013

Naughty Chickens!

We seem to have some sort of animal black hole in our garden, one of our kittens went missing for 10 days - I thought a fox - and the Louis rescued her from a tree at the bottom of the garden, she has mostly slept for a week now.  Earlier this week I discovered we were a chicken down when I opened them up, she obviously had not gone in at bed time, a forensic search revealed nothing, Mr Fox was blamed again a bit worrying for the other three.  After two nights out on her own Sally Hope re-appeared, we still had no idea, then she went AWOL again in the afternoon.  This time I took charge of the search and fighting my way around the perimeter found these...

then Miss Hope herself, can you spot her...

a bit closer...

 she was not for moving...

no wonder, she was sitting on these beauties...

on closer inspection they weren't all her eggs, they had all been naught chicks.

A total of 30 eggs, no wonder we have been down on production, they all had to go very carefully in to the bin as we had no idea how long some of them had been there and we decided not to risk the stench of a rotten egg.  Sally Hope has got over her broodiness now and I have stopped worrying about foxes, rats, weasels etc.  it seems they are quite safe in their little bramble hidey hole.

Resuming normal service, Tomato and Garlic bread and a tonne of sewing.

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Bake Off Is Back

Smiths have some very good cook books on offer at the moment 2 for £10, we picked up Hugh's 'Three Good Things' and Lisa Faulkner's 'Recipes From My Mother For My Daughter'.  The above is Lisa's Fantasy Cake, I have linked to the actual recipe, we did the first version with fresh strawberries and the second with frozen raspberries straight from the freezer, very good. Also did the Smoked Haddock Chowder, excellent.

What is with the Bake-Off amateurs and knives? 
 Perhaps they weren't allowed to play with them as small children.
Miss Belle was in charge of the ice cream from Leon, Dittisham Plum Ice Cream, made with egg whites and whipping cream you don't need an ice cream maker, just chuck it in the freezer and you are done.

Here she is giving the sugar syrup exactly 3 minutes.

We are stocked up with our favourite ice cream for a while.

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Food 4 Thought

It's been a busy week as we hurtle towards the end of the school holidays, the last bits of uniform have been rounded up, shoes ordered, freezer defrosted and 20 miles run.

Louis and I made the most of a morning without Miss Belle - she was in a hot tub - by having lunch at Food 4 Thought in Stafford, very good.

He has had instruction this week on making a Bolognese sauce, he was laughing and crying here, overpowered by the onions.

The pyrex has been in use a lot this week, this was a piece of brisket before its 5 hour stint in the oven.

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Six Miles and Sign from God?

My running has dropped off a bit of late because of the heat but I kicked in again on Monday and was out at half seven today.

An early morning lifts the spirits...

such fantastic sights to run past...

plenty of beasts say good morning...

and look at the sky...

can't beat the open road...

at last the church is in sight...

a pig of a bridge...

view from the top...

as I rounded the church I must have been channelling Lady Margaret Beaufort...

a sign from God?

A Karmann Ghia, my dream car.
Made my day!

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

School Dinners

We have been prepping for lunch boxes  - and eating a bit!  Master Louis has been knocking up banana muffins, from his favourite Nigella recipe for banana bread.  He dropped the sugar from 150g down to 50g and they were still very sweet, obviously from the very ripe bananas so next time he is going to completely omit it and see.  They were very good, half a dozen made it to the freezer. 

As the only award winning quiche maker in the house is did the mini quiche for lunch boxes.  I used a few leftovers, beetroot stalks and leaves from Sundays farmers market - the actual beets were slow roasted with Sundays lamb and enjoyed yesterday with goats cheese.  The surprising leftover ingredient was clotted cream, this recipe calls for 300ml double cream which I went out and purchased but I pondered over the half tub of clotted left over from Saturdays scones?  I thought it couldn't hurt so I chucked it in as well, resulting in the creamiest quiche on the planet.  I later though that I probably could have managed without the double cream and just made up the clotted to volume with milk,  we can never get through a tub.  A pack of Maynards treacle cured bacon went in along with our own eggs, how could it not be good.  I polished off the half quiche after tonights WI where we had a Chair Bodger, Peter Wood who was excellent.

Monday, 12 August 2013

80's Perm

I used to pay a small fortune to have my hair permed back in the day, but this is what it's like naturally when I go to bed with it wet and do a 10k run next morning, I literally did nothing to it.
 Why did no-one ever tell me?

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Sugnall Farmers Market

Popped over to the Farmers Market at Sugnall today, well worth a trip and in a beautiful setting, second Sunday of the month.

I do have failures!   Got this fabric in Birmingham last week but when I made it up I really didn't like it I didn't realise it must have some elastane in it and it looks a bit mumsy.  So I changed the sleeves and now it's a bit too Bavarian, watch this space...

Success, tweed bags lined with florals, the perfect place to show off never worn brooches and they are reversible.

Saturday, 10 August 2013

Am I A Quilter?

I thought I was a knitter but maybe I am a quilter, at todays Paper Piecing class I kept trotting off to find another quilt I had made with a different technique, I didn't realise I had so many.

I am definitely a bread maker, todays offering comes courtesy of Jo and her Honey and Seed Bread Flour from Wessex Mill, divine.

Another Japanese Shift Dress completed, it's a bit stiff at the moment because it's new and printed linen but I am sure it will grow on me.  Fabric from The Eternal Maker from the Kokka Japan Collection.

I had a day out with my friend Gail yesterday and amongst other places we stopped off at Fordhall organic farm where we admired the Gloucester Old Spots, they were very tasty!  Today we dined on one of their award winning Fidget Pies, perfect with weekend champagne - todays offering is a very good Monopole.

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Ghastly Family Reunion

 Acquired on our trip to Brum...

from Frumble...

they may turn in to skirts one day.

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Rhubarb and Custard

We were trapped in Stafford after haircuts today!  M6 had a chemical spillage and so our road was choccca so we had an impromptu picnic in the park courtesy of M&S.

No it's not White Lightening she's swigging but Elderflower Presse, no backwash thank you.

It was around six so the bowling green area was deserted, it was lovely to sit there and soak in the sunny afternoon.

I hadn't realised young Prince Louis had dressed as a sweet.  We were in M&S and we had to!

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

A Fabulous Day In Brum

We had a busy day in Brum with our friend Jo, starting at Barry's.  We eyed up Christmas party frock material and Liberty Lawn and bought a bit.

Found some good stuff in the Rag Market and then
on to the Birmingham  Back To Backs tour.

We didn't think circular knitting needles were correct for 1840.

Loved the stencilling.

The last trader, a tailor, moved out in 2001, lots of interesting sewing paraphernalia.

We had a very good lunch with Jamie and discovered
 Frumble in the Custard Factory, bliss!