Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Simple suppers

I've posted a couple of simple suppers over on Cooking is a Game You Can Eat.

Monday, 28 September 2009


In the car on the way home from school. H7 has been learning English (at her Welsh school).

H7: I know a trick for spelling the word 'because'.

Me: Do you sweetie?

H7: Yes. It goes: Big Elephants Can Always Upset Little Elephants.

(Proud pause from H7.)

Me: Um... (Marking letters on fingers... doing it again... B. E. C. A. U. L. E.) Er, Little Elephants?

H7: No! Small ones! Small Elephants mummy!

R5: I know one too!

Me: Go on then.

R5: Big Giraffes Can Always Upset Small Giraffes!

Me: Er... no...

R5: Big Lions Can...

H7 and Me: No...!

R5: Big Tigers...?

H7 and Me: No...!

R5: I had veggie fingers for lunch!

Me: That's nice sweetie.

Sunday, 27 September 2009

Busy, busy, busy...

This was last Sunday. A glorious sunny September day. It started with a chill in the air and I went for my six and a half mile run while Brian, H7 and R5 pottered in the garden. Brian's version of 'pottering' is to dig a deep trench down the centre of the garden ready for the installation of a land drain and so control the rain which torrents in a river down the middle.

No torrential rain last Sunday, though, so we went to Newport beach for the afternoon.

Holidaymakers flock to the beach in the morning. Locals know it's better to wait. The best time on Newport is in the afternoon when everything's had the chance to warm up a bit and the sea is that much more benign.

The tide was out too, so there were loads of rock pools filled with anemones, teeny fish, shrimps and lots of little crabs like this one, below, sitting on Brian's hand. The rocks were crammed with mussels too - not big enough to pick, yet - and there were interesting holes in the sand betraying the presence of razor clams. We made a mental note to go back with a bucket of and pot of salt, for a spot of clam 'fishing'.

Back to this week and yesterday saw the the Brownies Centenary launch party for which I was asked to provide cakes. I remembered KittyB's recipe for buttercream on her Eggshell Diary blog and this is my best effort at copying her delicious-looking cupcakes.

Yesterday was Narberth Food Fair too, but having had a quick, horrified, peek at my bank balance, I had to cry off and instead Granny in the Annexe went and collected a basket of apples for me. This saved me from the many temptations of its lovely stalls and the likelihood of throwing caution, diet and overdraft to the wind!

This is two-thirds of the black pack, Mitch in the foreground and Toby in what has now, originally, been named (if only by me), Toby's Pot. It has a cat-bottom shaped dent in it as he spends much of the day gazing adoringly through the glass into the Granny Annexe. Yesterday he was actually inside the GA in a daring fit of bravery during which he stole Calico the GA cat's breakfast. Wild cat? Yeah, right.

Back to this morning and to a Sunday family tradition. Nearly every Sunday I cook pancakes of some sort or another. These are my version of Nigella's banana buttermilk pancakes. See Cooking is A Game You Can Eat for my recipe.

Happy Sunday!

Sunday, 20 September 2009

Simple autumnal supper

I've popped the recipe for a simple autumnal supper over on Cooking is a Game You Can Eat.

Saturday, 19 September 2009

In a nutshell...

I haven't blogged for a while because our phone line went up the creek and Talk Talk didn't listen listen. The fault took ten days to fix, resulting in the necessity to get all stampy footed and generally throw toys out of the pram and sulk. To cut a long story short, we've been fixed, placated and compensated.

In a nutshell, this is what happened in the meantime:

A big, yellow shiny thing appeared in the sky. It's still there! Bliss.

We went to the National Botanic Gardens of Wales. It was glorious.

We finally made our haylage (well, the contractors did, we just played in between the rows of grass and enjoyed the lovely smell of drying grass.)

The garden filled with butterflies, mostly freshly hatched tortoiseshells, peacocks and a speckled wood or two.

It was too hot for black dogs.

The first tooth fell out. (R5's first anyway. Technically it's the third she's lost, but the other two were under general anaesthetic.)

The garden produced some lovely Romanesco cauliflower/broccoli (can't decide which it is!). I've never grown it before and it's delicious.

Today we've lost another tooth. I hope the tooth fairy's got plenty of shiny one pound coins!

And we: Went back to school (H7 and R5), back to working three days a week (me); ran 41.7 miles (me again, but not all at once!); picked 3.5lbs of sloes; decanted the rhubarb vodka; tasted the rhubarb vodka (blimey); hoovered books (autumn cleaning); cleaned out the kitchen cupboards (no broadband. I was bored.); moved things around in the kitchen (can't find anything now!); made bread (many times, from Dan Stevens' fabulous River Cottage Bread handbook); lazed about in the sun.

I LOVE September!