Tuesday, 24 November 2020

Star shaped beetroot

 What?????  I'm sure you aren't suggesting that I have used my little pastry cutters are you?  As if I would do that.  😉 I picked pea shoots, chard, lettuce, beetroot leaves, a bit of coriander and a solitary radish leaf from the veg plot. They've been shredded and put into the bottom of the tub. I chopped up a few pieces of the lacto fermented watermelon rind that I bottled this summer, then I added shop bought beetroot, cucumber, tomatoes and celery.  A good chunk of honey roasted gammon was chopped up and scattered over and then I drizzled mayonnaise  all over it. Then, being the good and dutiful wife that I am  😀 I made himself some overnight oats with yoghurt, tinned raspberries and half a banana mashed and stirred in. I stirred Chia seeds through it all and have popped it in the fridge. Tony isn't keen on the texture of fresh banana but doesn't mind them mashed up. That's his work breakfast and lunch sorted for tomorrow. My lunch was the leftover bits of beetroot added to some veg plot veggies, fermented watermelon rind and gammon and made into a sandwich. Very tasty it was too

Monday, 23 November 2020

Christmas in Kemp Castle.. sneak preview

This morning I am overcome with festiveness so decided to put some Christmas music on and make a start getting Kemp Castle ready for Christmas. It's much earlier than I would normally decorate but I am thoroughly enjoying myself. We are planning on getting the trees and decs out of the loft this week and decorating the house for Christmas will start in earnest at the weekend.

The big sofa

The small sofa

A hint of things to come  :-)

Sunday, 22 November 2020

A beautiful sunny day

This morning after Tony set out for a walk with his friend I sorted space in the bedroom for the white Christmas tree.  I keep looking at the TV that we never watch and think it might be going off to a charity shop as soon as they are open.  There aren't many that actually take electrical things but I am determined that it should find a new home. The bedroom will look so much more spacious without it. It's had a good dust and polish in there so I can set to and put the tree up next weekend. I'll switch out the bedding for the Christmas set and switch the bathroom towels and bath mats for Christmas ones too.

When I'd finished the bedroom  I looked out of the window at the lovely blue sky, sunshine kind of day that it is and decided to take myself off for a walk. It would be a shame to waste it on housework. I'm certain that there will be plenty of cold grey miserable days that I can stay home and clean.

Tea is a simple one tonight as I made a big pan of soup with the stock from cooking the gammon yesterday , I shredded some beetroot leaves, kale and chard from the garden and stirred it into the soup. The meat has been sliced thickly and will make some lovely main meals or lunches this coming week. The soup will probably make my lunch for the entire week as I don't use a large bowl. I plan on making a savoury soda bread with some finely chopped onion thinning's. Although they are barely the thickness of a blade of grass the flavour of the onions is really powerful and will make the bread really tasty. Hopefully you are all having a nice weekend. x

Saturday, 21 November 2020

Farmers Market bargains

This morning Tony and I popped over to Northallerton to the farmers market.  I bought a huge piece of beef and one of pork for £20. They've gone in the freezer  for Christmas dinners.  I also bought three good size gammon joints for £10.  One is cooking as I type and the other two I have frozen. Then we walked along past a stall selling home made cakes and pies. After checking to make sure I could freeze it I bought a huge traybake chocolate orange cake. It had been cut into fifteen large squares and when we got home i took three pieces out of the box . I shuffled the rest of the squares about in the box and it has gone into the freezer.  Assuming that family gatherings are allowed we will take it over to Alexander and Beckah's for Christmas dinner. It will be the first time we have ever gone to someone else's for Christmas dinner so it's going to be a bit different this year. We were surprised at just how quiet Northallerton was and were really pleased tofind that the car park was free. We bought another 25kg sack of potatoes for £7 in the carpark  as we were leaving. 

Friday, 20 November 2020

Time for a cuppa

 Before setting out for my walk this morning I kicked the fire back into life. It was a very welcome sight when I got back home. Because the chimney runs up the middle of our house the whole house gets lovely and warms as it gradually warms up the brickwork and acts like a radiator. It's lovely having a proper whistling kettle for the wood burner and I'm having a nice cup of tea before I start on some housework.  This time next week I will be using the Christmas teapot and cups. What are you up to today?

Thursday, 19 November 2020

Making room

 I've spent most of today making room for Christmas to arrive. I nearly injured myself dragging a very heavy glass TV stand upstairs. It's gone into the craft room and the plants have been put in there until New Year. I've moved hanging plants into both bathrooms but they will need moving again as we like to make sure every spare inch of Kemp Castle is Christmasified. Next week we will start to bring our Christmas things down out of the loft. It takes us several days to decorate but it's so pretty when it's all done.

It looks very bare

Dragging myself out for a walk

 It's cold, it's dark and I really don't feel like going. Good job I meet up with a friend or I wouldn't bother .I could cheerfully hibernate until Spring. I'll pop back later and show you what I am making.  Stay safe and warm everyone. 

Wednesday, 18 November 2020

Orange and raisin soda bread

I've adapted a simple soda bread recipe this morning by adding some grated orange zest and a good handful of raisins to about 12fluid ounces of full fat milk and a good tablespoon of apple vinegar.

I added two teapoons of sugar to one pound of  flour in a large bow, mixed in a teaspoon of baking soda and a teaspoon of salt.  I poured the milk and fruit mixture onto the flour in the bowl and stirred it all together then carefully patted it into a mound about an inch high on my well floured baking tray. It went into a pre heated oven  (200 degrees) for thirty minutes. Don't knead the bread mix just carefully pat it into shape. I let it cool just a bit then cut a thick slice for my breakfast. It's flippin gorgeous slathered with butter and strawberry jam... home made of course


Tuesday, 17 November 2020

It's about to turn colder

 No surprise really given that we are halfway through November. It's not the cold that bothers me but the miserable grey damp days.  I tend to spend a good part of the winter crafting or reading upstairs as the sun shines in the windows and really warms the room. The houses opposite block the sun at this time of year when it's low in the sky. We so look forward to it returning to the skyline and plan to make a note next year of exactly when it appears again. I can scarcely believe that it's only six weeks until Christmas. It's Tony's birthday on Friday and we would have loved a nice meal out.  Not going to happen this year but that's a small sacrifice compared with the sacrifices so many people are being asked to make right now. 

Tea tonight will be mince potato pie with some lovely buttery veggies.  We watched Ainsley last night and just fancied the pie he made. There seems to be a lot of nice cookery programmes on just lately. No wonder people are gaining weight... thankfully Tony and I are still managing to lose a little bit here and there. 

Monday, 16 November 2020

Shopping with aliexpress

I realise that money is tight for a lot of people just now and we all need new ways to buy things cheaply. If anyone is concerned about buying things via aliexpress please don't be.  I have never had a problem. Things do often take a very long time to arrive but the quality has been absolutely fine. If you don't know who/what aliexpress is, it is kind of a Chinese version of ebay. You can buy pretty much anything with them. I bought my bamboo dpn's and they cost about three or four pounds for eleven sets... with free postage.   I also bought a set of different sizes of circular ones but had to smooth the join with a bit of fine grade sandpaper. I have had loads of cutting dies to use with my bigshot and some gorgeous scarves and gloves.  Have a look and see what you think. Be aware though that it might not get here before Christmas. Personally speaking, I wouldn't buy kids toys as I have no idea about the safety aspects of them but for pretty much everything else I wouldn't hesitate.