Saturday, 28 November 2015

Rotten Weather But...

Today has been a day to stay indoors...light the fire and snuggle...well actually I have spent it mainly in the kitchen baking our festive celebration cake...

A double lining just like Mum used to do...

And I discovered...

That it's almost impossible to secure the string round the brown paper outside of a square cake tin with only one pair of hands! A round tin I can do without too much of a fuss but oh the woes the square shape caused me this morning...

But finally...


It was ready to go in the oven...I burnt myself sticking my hand in to check for a suitable temperature...the temperature gauge on our Esse is not known for being accurate! Yes the brown paper has been very well used for this purpose before!

Next it was a cup of coffee time and an illicit scraping of the bowl...

Yum.....and I'm pleased to say the cake is looking rather splendid if I do say so myself...

Next it was a task of curried parsnip soup that found me enthusiastically chopping up onions and some rather past their best parsnips...but I've tasted the finished soup and I'm sure it would be fit for a king! If I were to know one...it will also do very well for mine and hubby's dinner this evening...

After being blitzed...another yum!

And that is about as exciting as I need my Saturday to be, with a priority of keeping warm and well, though most of the heat is being sucked up the chimneys I'm doing my best to keep the home fires burning and give hubby a warm welcome and meal after his day out in the cold and wet.

Until next time keep safe, J. x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

And Breathe

With shoulders practically attached to my earlobes I answered my mobile whilst at work on Monday...and after weeks of hold ups and queries coming my way via the estate agent and financial adviser it was good news...the mortgage has been approved. Phew! Now let's see how long the searches take...(big sigh), and see how big the bills are...(aagh)! Then get in and start knocking the place into shape...quite literally.

So now I should be floating in the air somewhere...blissfully happy...only the knots in my shoulders are keeping my feet firmly on the ground. There's still a way to go before I'm toasting my toes in front of the wood burner at the cottage...which from herein I shall refer to as Little Winter. Just so I feel a little closer to our elusive Winters End...

The weather daemons of November are really throwing some miserable mixes at us. Rain=OK...Sideways rain=Not OK in my way of thinking anyway! Then there's the grey of November that led me to hang fairy lights and candles in the living room aplenty. You can quite easily see how afraid people would have been hundreds of years ago with all the shadows and mists. I think I would have thought it was some other world descending upon us and tried all manner of things to keep me and my family safe.

So I found myself in need of comfort yesterday...it had been bitterly cold with a North wind that seemed to find its way through our front door and beyond despite a thick curtain hanging there. My hips won't thank me but this is how I spent most of the day...baking...

Firstly cakes with dried cranberries in...

Above they're cooling...next they were topped with a mix of...

Melted white chocolate...

And Philadelphia cheese...

Next came a good old faithful boiled fruit cake...

And finally the first of these this season...

 

Since I inherited my Mothers old cutter I find I have to use that to cut the circles with for mince pies...It brings back so many happy memories of what sadly is so long ago...Normally I top them with a star, but yesterday a little holly cutter 'spoke' to me from the drawer and my idea was...don't laugh...slightly less pastry might mean I could sneak an extra one without my hips even noticing!!

And I'm probably a very bad person for doing it, but while all the baking was going on I listened to a festive playlist of mine..I say festive rather than Christmas...there were a few carols, but what I'd term Winter ones...and Sarah McLachlan has some lovely Wintery music...and along with some classical Winter tunes I had a hum and a jig round the kitchen whilst being productive.

Take care and keep snuggily...J. x

 

Saturday, 21 November 2015

Comfort

Today as predicted it has been very cold...at times we have had hail and sleet...together with a north wind that cut through any exposed area of flesh it could find. I'm so glad I walked Heidi first thing when a glimmer of sunshine belied the ferocious wind chill. It was a brisk walk.

When we returned, things so turned very grey...at one thirty it might as well have been dusk. So what have I done on such a cold grey Saturday... Well I needed comfort...I listened to some wintery music...and tidied and dusted the living room. Then I found these old favourites...

Our holly and ivy set...just what the weather doctor ordered for some early winter cheer...

Then I found some batteries and sorted out this little number...

And these were hung...

These have been on the mantle all autumn...

So now it can be as grey and cold as it wants too outside...we're toastie and cosy inside...

Hope you're all managing to keep safe and warm. J. x

 

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Temptations Of My Mind

Yep...each day I have an idea of what I'd like to achieve...but then temptations pop up...internet browsing for one...just an innocent peek on Pinterest...a quick check on the blogs I follow. Texting friends. Chatting to daughter when she's home...playing with the dog...oh dear...distractions! But I realise I am truly blessed to have such charming distractions...so that leads me into thinking that these distractions are therefore as important as the tasks I set myself to do each day...

Today while the winds have abated somewhat we need to fetch logs from our store at the farm. But it is sooo wet, and this lovvie is wanting attention.


Update...boot full of logs collected and in the dry...muddy dog showered...bless...and just in time as the winds are whipping up to ferocious strength again. Yesterday saw the last of our recycling bin, and the poly tunnel is sadly no more. What a mess I shall have to clean up when the weather allows. But thankfully apart from a severe whip across the forehead wrestling with said poly tunnel yesterday we have kept safe in the storms. It is dawning on me that I really do need to venture out for the basics later...believe me if it weren't for needing the staples to survive I wouldn't be going. Wish me luck! J. x

 

Monday, 16 November 2015

Motivation

Perhaps the title should read lack of! Mortgage appears to be progressing albeit slowly...oh the wait is excruciating.

Meanwhile I know that a certain seasonal celebration is creeping ever closer...and that I really ought to be busy making all sorts of lovely treats, but it feels as though my feet are stuck in a quagmire. Tomorrow though must find me sorting out some files for the accountant, and having a general clear up around the home. Also a bit of a bake up is required. We have been given weather warnings as later tomorrow we are expecting some very strong winds...there are already several road closures in the area due to landslides. We're running out of travelling options!

Ideally I'd also like to begin my rich fruit cake for the Yuletide celebrations.

I've already made some boiled puddings...

 

We were lucky enough to have a small taster pudding...it was delicious so amongst all the continuing uncertainties there is loveliness to be had.

So in the craziness that is our shared world may you all be safe and as happy as possible. J. x

 

Monday, 9 November 2015

Autumn Storms

The wind be a howlin'...the leaves are a swirlin'...my hair keeps getting tangled...we seem to be having wave after wave of Atlantic storms right now...earlier the electricity went off, albeit briefly...there is plenty of bashing and clanging going on outside, but I am snug by the fire.

Monday nights are quiet affairs around here, it's men's skittle evening so us ladies have a peaceful interlude, without some rather bizarre TV choices, actually the TV is presently off...bliss!

I feel the need for a little unwinding this evening, just how many pieces of paperwork can one mortgage application require?! Hopefully things are moving forward now, for a few weeks things seemed to stagnate completely.

My weekend was hectic to say the least, I took a roadtrip with eldest daughter up to stay with farm boy, then we all travelled on to York for a very brief stop before going to look at some puppies way up in North Yorkshire. I think my daughter chose her future puppy! Well the little darling weeed over her so that's obviously the one!!

So here is what I saw at the weekend...

Beautiful York Minster...

And a chubby grand puppy...

Looking really content flashing her tummy while feeding from mum.

Heidi is going to have to get used to having another beautiful Newfie in the family!

Take care, J. x

 

Sunday, 1 November 2015

A Spooky Night

Shut the door and turn the key...draw the curtains and light the fire...BEWARE!

Actually our door stayed unlocked to welcome guests...and it was too warm with a houseful to light the fire...but look...

Typically like at every party I host I neglected to take photos so now that the dishes are all washed and packed away...we have leftovers to look forward to for tea...the fire is lit and I feel content I have taken some of the 'set'...ready...

 

 

 

 

Mwahhhhhhh! We were a frightful lot and probably easily scared away a fair few spirits...I also set up the sound of thunder to play on the porch all evening just to be sure!

My friends and family know me so well, and we're anticipating the themed quiz I'd prepared...but still they failed!...Plenty of blackberry gin was consumed...we laughed and giggled long into the night, playing silly games such as Mrs. Brown went to town, naming countries, animals, then modes of transport alphabetically, then a really silly say one word each to make up a story game. We all consumed far too many calories, were probably very politically incorrect with our storytelling, but hurt no one, and had our tummy muscles working overtime giggling. Hope you all had a happy and safe evening, take care, J. x