Saturday, 24 October 2015

Its been a long week...

Its damp and misty outside tonight, I am curled up on the sofa in front of the wood burner with the glow that only lamp lights can give. I am vaporizing chamomile oil, I use a small old enamel saucepan that has seen better days I fill it halfway with water and add about five drops of oil and put it on the lowest gas until its all nearly evaporated, it smells lovely and is so calming.
Every morning after my first cup of tea which I sip in peace and quite at the kitchen table I think of my days daily chores, I think of my grandchildren going to school I then call my middle daughter Jadey, after our early morning chat I choose my oil to vaporize depending on how I am feeling, its normally peppermint oil then I set about washing the breakfast dishes while I wait for my Eldest daughter Zoe to call her mama after she gets back from doing the school run.
This past week has been busy, having two students staying with us has kept me on my toes they are pleasant and and seem to enjoy my cooking, I cook all my meals from scratch.
This morning after breakfast I started home baking, I made apple pie, I used our wind fall apples and also prepared some apples and put them in the freezer.
Louie told me tonight that it was the best apple pie he had ever eaten!!
Changing the subject here I have been meaning to tell you ladies that are going through the menopause about my answer for the hot flushes, this WAS the symptom I was really struggling with, the disturbed sleeping and waking every night then you become tired and your energy levels start to dwindle. This has all completely stopped for me now, I eat 2 or 3 small squares of an evening of dark chocolate it has to be 70 per cent or over of cocoa, I either buy fair trade or organic, the flushes stopped instantly and I now sleep through the night.
I am quietly starting to think of Christmas, not about the present buying or the pressure you can sometimes find yourself under but about Christmas baking, the wonderful smells of spices used at this time of the year, some beautiful original Christmas carols etc etc.
This year will be my first Christmas not suffering anxiety and medication free for fifteen years, my heart sings.:)
Well I have no photos tonight, light your lamps, burn the oil of your choice and eat the chocolate lol x To my darling Zoe I love you, good night sweet dreams. God Bless x


Saturday, 17 October 2015

What a day!!

It was something my daughter said to me the other day, " he is going to love your cooking mum", this was what Zoe said to me when I told her I had a young lad coming to stay for two weeks. He is a 25 yr old student.
Louie my other half is not a big fellow, I would describe his frame as lean but his trade is very physical, plastering.
We eat well but we do not tend to snack a lot , meals are at certain times and we kind of keep to this.
I am going off track a little, So early morning our young visitor arrives as soon I opened the door I thought yep you are going to eat me out of house and home.  Tired and hungry I show him his room, bathroom and bring him into the kitchen I set about making him breakfast crusty bread doorsteps and I fry louies favourite smoked bacon, I make him a cuppa tea and a fresh juice beetroot, oranges,and carrots I thought that should set him up for the day!
After all his travelling he takes a nap, I clean the kitchen and then start to make a BIG winter's beef stew with cheese and herb dumplings, I make homemade apple crumble.
I will keep this quick and simple, when he woke he munched his way through the fruit on the dresser, devoured the stew, the apple crumble took minutes to disappear and I turned round to see him putting an empty ice cream tub back in the freezer!!!
Finally dinner dishes cleared away, I turned to see Louie in our pantry " what are you doing?" I asked, " hiding the left over stew" I can see the next couple of weeks are going to be interesting and I am in no doubt I will be working for my money :)

Thursday, 15 October 2015

A simple day...

I have had a much more relaxed week, I have still been very busy baking, cleaning, paper work for Louie the difference is I just took my time.
I made an apple pie which has lasted two days so far with one more portion left for Louie tomorrow, in fact it seems to taste better with each passing day!
We have an Italian student staying with us at the moment, he is with us until November, Saturday morning we also have a German student arriving he is staying for two weeks.
They pay me £135.00 each a week  for bed breakfast, evening meal, clean bedding each week, clean towels, use of their own bathroom and I have to wash one load of clothes for them each week, oh yes free wi fi.
This keeps me on my toes!
Home baking becomes a very important factor when I have students as I have to make good ingredients stretch further and not eat to much into my budget. Tonight I wrapped smoked bacon around chipolata sausages otherwise known as "pigs in blankets". I oiled some potatoes and sprinkled some sea salt on them, once cooked I cut them in half and scooped the potato out of its skin, once mashed I added some cheese, salt, pepper and two of our leeks( the leeks sautéed in butter) then put this mixture back into the skins and baked in the oven until golden brown. I served this with mushrooms and sweet little tomatoes baked in the oven.

my own leeks

 


I forgot to take a picture of them finished.
Tomorrow a busy day, a deep clean in the students bathroom ready for our new arrival, a trip to my butchers to stock up the freezer.
I have been reading about the flu jab and decided I will NOT be taking the NHS up on their offer when I become of age. More on this in another post, before I go for the night have you noticed how chilly the mornings are? The dew on the grass? Best Wishes x

Monday, 12 October 2015

Cosy Evenings...

I woke early this morning as our chimney sweep man was due to come and sweep our chimney at 9.00 am. I made louie and I a fresh juice for breakfast and got to thinking of cosy winter nights snuggled up on the sofa in front of our wood burner. I think of our grandchildren when they curl up on the sofa and the heat makes them sleepy eyed, my toes curl with pure bliss as tonight is the night...the first fire of autumn!!
This is Lawson he has been sweeping our chimneys for many years,


This is our stove this evening,
I took this picture of our Milly last night, she had to work yesterday and did not arrive home until evening, as she finished her dinner ( which looks like a bowl of cereal and a cuppa tea) I took this snap, a little blurred but she looks so beautiful :)

Sunday, 11 October 2015

Sunday Market...


This morning Louie and I have breakfast together just the two of us, I made a lovely juice, beetroot, oranges, carrots and a little piece of ginger. The beetroot and carrots were organic as I am now introducing much more organic produce in our diet.
With our juice I scrambled half a dozen eggs O/F R of course, it was delightful. After dishes washed we showered, dressed and headed off into town, Louie likes the market on a sunday and my favourite vegetable stall from a local farm is always there on a sunday, I always chat with the farmer and my eyes always survey his hardworking hands where the soil is ingrained in his skin and his hat sits to far forward and his cheeks are always rosy red. His crops are not sprayed and he always sells out by 1.30 pm, I buy more beetroot, carrots, kale and a garlic bulb what a beauty!!
We stop and have a cuppa tea and take in the autumn sunlight,

Just watching the world go by,


To my surprise he takes me to my favourite shoe shop and treats me to a pair of winter boots for my birthday, then later we go and have a bite to eat, such a lovely day!!
I have decided that I am staying close to home and catching up on jobs this week, laundry, baking, cleaning and food shopping. I hope to make time to go over the fields and pick rosehips and sloes, I will post through the week, x

Saturday, 10 October 2015

Pumpkins!

Last sunday evening I went to bed knowing that everyday this past week I had an extra job to do besides my daily work. Monday morning started with me getting up early, after breakfast dishes washed away I headed down the garden to our land where the fruit trees are, still in my nightie and armed with a garden rake I climbed the step ladder and stripped the rest of our eating apples off the tree and spent the morning juicing and canning apple juice.
This set the pattern to how the rest of the week went, I felt like I was chasing my tail, this is not good for me as I start to get overwhelmed, then my breathing gets out of  rhythm and then it just feels like my motor is running to fast, does this make sense?
I did have the pleasure of having our grandson Lou lou man for the night, I made him some sausage meat pasties with a cheese pastry, I took a couple with me to give to him when I collected him from school :)
While he munched on them in the car I drove to the farm in our village where the farmer is selling Pumpkins at the gate, we planned to make Pumpkin Pie. The bags lined up in the background of the photo below are well rotted manure that I will be buying another day.
I love the honesty box on the gate!


I made Lou lou man his favourite dinner, homemade meatballs and homemade tomato sauce with pasta, I got the thumbs up.
Lou lou man helped me cut and clean our pumpkin, we roasted it in the oven and when cooled we pureed it, I covered it and put it in the fridge over night, the next morning we made our pie.


I made Lou lou man some homemade blackberry syrup to take home with his pumpkin pies.
My pumpkin pie I made for big Louie,
Autumn is certainly here, our village looks lovely with the trees turning colour, Monday morning our chimney sweep is coming to sweep the chimney, I will order our coal for the winter and Louie will start to chop wood. :)

Sunday, 4 October 2015

My Birthday...

I turned 52 yrs of age this past week, I had a lovely day. Our three girls took me out for a light lunch my two baby grandchildren came, we went to an ice cream parlour that's just opened in town, its all very relaxed and caters for families. I am not huge on ice cream venues but they say the ice cream sold at this parlour is very near to tasting like homemade, since I now make my own ice cream I wanted to compare :)
 Well I much preferred my own ice cream but Milly had a pistachio ice cream and I was impressed by the taste! Below are photos taken in the ice cream parlour...
This is our Eliza, we call her Liza girl, she is an old soul we love her so much!

Me and my baby x
I think I took Zoe off guard :)


I made my first batch of homemade blackberry syrup, I am so pleased with it,
Before I close I just wanted to share a photo of these little pasties I made for Louies pack up, I made short crust pastry and mixed a herby sausage meat filling with a little apple inside, I don't have the weights as I was experimenting, Louie loved them. I love this simple life :)