Last weekend I went away with my girlfriends for our annual Christmas celebration. We generally enjoy a Christmas Eve Buffet on the Friday evening, Christmas Day on the Saturday followed by a Boxing Day Sunday. We have a secret Santa AND a stocking of goodies. How lucky are we? This year we had a beautiful penthouse apartment in Alnmouth Northumberland and we decorated it with our festive stockings and a Christmas tree.
We had great views of the beach and estuary. On “Christmas” day we opened our presents and watched Christmas movies🌲We put the turkey in the oven and went for a long walk along the beach. When we returned the turkey smelled lovely so we watched another Christmas movie. Sometime later I went to put the roast potatoes into the oven and WOAH ! oven cold! Turkey half cooked! Oven broken! Disaster 🌲
Not the turkey!
After a search on line we realised no fast food outlet would deliver pizza etc. We’d all had a drink so driving wasn’t an option and Christmas table already decorated! Finally we walked into the small village of Almouth and one of the only eateries did take out fish and chips. So that was our Christmas dinner complete with Christmas crackers, paper hats and a borrowed bottle of vinegar from the fish restaurant. Merry Yuletide!
Apologies for being late but here are a few pictures from Bonfire night last week.
Daughter and I are suffering from a touch of fire glow here. Our village has an annual bonfire which is organised by The Young Farmers. They do an amazing job with a fantastic firework display.
Family pictures are great aren’t they? Here are my two Gorgeous Grandsons, handsome eldest son and super son in law (ish). This is an annual event in our household calendar. We finish the evening with a traditional hot pot. Hot pot is one of my signature dishes! It is basically a beef stew with potatoes and root veg. The sort of rib sticking food that I cook in a slow cooker all day ready to dish up for hungry folk.
The original dish is a Lancashire Hot Pot with various adaptations such as a pastry topping or crusty bread. Oh and it is compulsory to serve with beetroot and or red cabbage. Lovely!!
Bonfire and firework display in Cilcain, Flintshire 2015
I made curried butternut squash soup for Halloween. A lovely, warming soup. Is there anything better than a steaming mug of yummy soup when trick or treating?
Cut into large pieces 1 butternut squash and roast until soft in the oven. About one hour.
Fry until transparent a chopped red onion
Add curry powder to taste. ( I use I teaspoon full.) I sometimes swap the curry for chillies depending what I have in.
Scoop out roasted squash and add to the frying pan with the onion.
Add about a pint of vegetable stock and simmer for 10 minutes or so.
Blitz in the blender until smooth. Season to taste. Serve with lovely bread rolls and enjoy.
Anyhow job done so I’m off to the pub for a welcome glass of wine! Cheers!
A Classic Seaside View of St Ives
We travelled down the Cornish Coast to Hayle, near to St Ives. There are HUGE sand dunes between us and the sea, but it is a lovely location. I decided to catch the bus to St Ives. I walked over a mile to the bus stop and all was well. St Ives was busy and pretty. I searched every charity shop (and there were lots) but couldn’t buy many treasures due to a space restriction in Damnvan. I found the bus stop and got onto the correct bus. Explained where I needed to get off But the Driver forgot to tell me where the stop was and stopped in a village I know not where!
Working on the principle that there would be other buses if all else failed I hopped off. Totally lost! I asked a busy lady the way to our camp site and she looked amazed that I intended to walk! She very kindly offered to take me back to the van where I arrived early for my dinner. Life is an adventure. Don’t forget “Adventure before dementia!” not so sure about the dementia!!
Everywhere in St Ives there were Cornish Pasty shops. I began to think that the people of St Ives eat nothing but Cornish Pasties!
WHAT IS A GENUINE CORNISH PASTY?
The mandatory filling ingredients for Cornish pasties are:
– sliced or diced potato
– swede (often referred to as turnip)
– diced or minced beef
– seasoning to taste, primarily salt and pepper.
No meats other than beef, and no vegetables other than those listed in the mandatory ingredients are to be used in the filling. The meat content must not be less than 12.5% of the whole pasty and vegetable content must not be less than 25%
The listed mandatory filling ingredients must be uncooked at the time of sealing the product.
The above information came from http://www.cornishpastyassociation.co.uk
Today I have been so busy playing at being a “good housewife”! I have made Gooseberry jam I’m really getting into jam making. It is so easy. I used gooseberries that were in my freezer which my neighbours girls were selling at their gate this summer. I looked online for the recipe and was amazed when the jam turned a yummy pink colour. The recipe did say that it would but I didn’t believe it! We used to call gooseberries “goose gogs” when I was a child. I think that one of the jars will go back to my neighbour who supplied the berries. I do love giving home made food as gifts.
Whilst the jam was cooking I made a cheese scone ring. How about that for multi tasking? This was a Mary Berry recipe, again found on line ( she’s my current heroine). This scone is destined to be given away as well. This makes it all low calorie I suppose. I’m off to daughters tomorrow, who has guests staying. I am joining them for afternoon tea and thought this scone ring would make a good contribution with some lovely butter. I’ve not tasted it yet so I hope it’s OK.
This is a real baking week as I am organising a Community Cafe in my village on Saturday in aid off Breakthrough For Breast Cancer. This cafe will be from 2pm till 5 pm and we hope to sell lots of cake/tea/coffee for this good cause. Various friends have offered to come to help and most importantly, contribute cake. I currently have Chocolate cake,Victoria sandwich, a variety of sponge buns, and Bara Brith in my freezer. I just need to bake a little more. Maybe another cheese scone ring would be good mmmmm.
I will report back next week after the cafe and let you know how much we make.
Bara Brith is Welsh for Currant Bread and is a traditional fruit cake from Wales. This recipe is pretty much fool proof and was given to me by a friend from the WI (so it must be good).
Soak 1lb mixed fruit and 6 ounces brown sugar in half a pint of warm tea overnight.
Stir in 1teaspoon cinnamon and 2 tablespoons of marmalade, 1 beaten egg, 1 pound self raising flour and 1 teaspoon baking powder.
Divide into 2 well lined 1 pound loaf tins
Bake at 160 degrees for 50 minutes
This cake is fat free but you could butter if you wish! Put the kettle on and enjoy with a cup of tea!