Sunday, October 28, 2007

It pays to pay attention...

...especially when you are boiling Christmas Puddings.

Or you might boil dry and melt the bottom of the pudding bowl to the bottom of your Circulon pan.


(Melted plastic does scrape off when dry heat is further applied I found out, half an hour later. Lucky.)

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Get a grip!

For the first time in years, I'm making my own Christmas cake and puds, (having found out that my husband's disliking for dark fruit cake was actually the candied peel, "Well, I can leave that out!")

However, my brain is a little older and more tired.

I only ever make half the mix, it's plenty. I managed to halve all the dry ingredients, overcame the lack of white breadcrumbs, (who'll know they're wholemeal if I don't tell them?) and got the wet ingredients ready.

That's when I lost my concentration slightly. I had twice the amount of milk with the right amount of eggs and twice the amount of brandy with the right amount of lemon juice.


I feel brandy sours and omlette coming on!

A giggle

Conall wrote invitations to his friends yesterday to invite them to his birthday party. (His birthday isn't until April and he's not having a party, but that's not important.)

Dear Graeme
Wied you lake to come to my panty.

It made me smile.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Eco warriors

David and the boys had hours of fun, digging to Australia to install our new green cone. As you can see, Conall put it into action before the job was completely finished, but at least he waited for the cone to be in the ground before he popped in the kitchen waste!

(Aedan appears to be shovelling with thin air, but if you look at the 'bigger picture', you can see he had gloves on, which disguise the spade beautifully!)

We now recycle as much as possible, bearing in mind we have no car, so we have to use the kerbside facilities provided by our local council. These, we find more than adequate. In fact, while taking part in an online survey for the local paper last year, (the question being, "Is fortnightly bin collection enough?") I inadvertantly had my comments published in the local rag. Whoops!

I basically said that, as a family of six, we had no problems with the bin collection or recycling. The people complaining appeared to be couples, with no children.

One ordinary bin is big enough for us, it is never full, let alone overflowing even with a fortnightly collection. The glass and cardboard/paper collection is weekly and is plenty, although, had we a car, we would probably supplement this with visits to the recycling centre at various times of the year, Christmas and birthdays, for example. We occasionally get around to gardening, so again, the fortnightly garden waste collection is plenty.

I said that I felt people who had problems with the system maybe didn't take too much care over the kind of products they bought, whether they were cooking from fresh or using processed foods, so the types of packaging they had could be a problem. We crush any plastic bottles, like large milk cartons or the like, before putting them in the bin, they then take up less space. Of course, other, non-food or grocery items, can also have a lot of packaging.

Either that, or they were just lazy and wanted someone else to take the responsibility for their way of life.

Anyway, nobody replied, which was lucky. I hadn't meant to go public, it's only my opinion after all, not fact!

Since purchasing and now installing our composter and green cone, we've found they have a variety of uses. Entertaining the children being just one.

Resting large G & Ts on being another!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

So cute!

We've reached a stage where the children are old and capable enough to help each other get breakfast, or even lunch, if I'm in the mood to let them. (Obviously, I'm always on hand, just shutting my eyes and blocking my ears in another room!)

This was just too cute though, this morning.

I went through to the kitchen to cut bread for toast for them, but only the girls were in the dining room. As I walked into the kitchen, I asked, "Where are the boys, I thought you were all getting breakfast?", only to find Aedan standing by the kitchen worktop. I was followed into the kitchen by Rhiannon, carrying a piece of paper, which she tucked into the cupboard, saying, "I'm the waitress taking the order and Aedan's the chef making the food."

Ah, sweet!

(And Conall's part? He was under the table. I didn't ask why...)

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Book week

An Angler - Sea Fishing Properly Explained by Ian Ball
Veruca Salt - Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl

A Vampire Bat - Bizarre Beasts by Anita Ganeri

Yes folks, it's that time of year again, Book Week, when the children have to go in fancy dress as their favourite character. Not as straight forward as it sounds.

Aedan prefers reference books to fiction and as long as he reads, I really don't mind! Combined with one of his favourite pastimes, we came up with an angler.

Ciara is doing an author study at school, Roald Dahl, and claims she has to go as a character from one of his books, hence Veruca. Couldn't quite stretch to the mink jacket, so a cardy with a fluffy collar will have to suffice.

Conall was really taken with his library book this week, which happened to be a reference book this time. I'm kind of relieved he went for the bat and not the duck-billed platypus.

What fun was had by all. (Like I had the time, in between cooking, baking, cleaning, washing, ironing and having my haircut in time for my parents to visit this weekend!)

Monday, October 08, 2007

Just a trifle

It is a family trifle recipe, my mother's to be precise, (although I dare say she pinched it from somewhere), and it is so incredibly easy and involves no real cooking. A bit of slicing, boiling water, boiling milk, whipping cream and mixing a few bits, but the tradition is at the point of serving.

This trifle is not a success unless it slurps.

Yes, you read that right. The trifle must slurp as the first spoonful is served.

Imagine the children's delight and ensuing hilarity as I produced six individual trifles yesterday, just for a bit of fun. We had to listen to each one intently as the first spoonful was taken, one or two even slurped more than once!

Oh yes, a great success indeed, the slurping trifles.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Wedding trip

Well, we had a lovely time, very peaceful without the children and lovely to catch up with an old friend at his wedding.

Shame that David managed to come home with food poisoning, but hey, if he will insist on eating seafood at a finger buffet, (which I never do!) what does one expect?! Still, it didn't spoil the wedding, just the journey home. Bless him, it wasn't until three o'clock on Monday morning when I realised he didn't have the (well deserved) hangover from hell, but food poisoning.

Conall was sick Monday morning too, but as he hadn't been with us, it wasn't connected. He'd been with his aunt's dog all weekend and with his pet allergy, he seems to collect the gunk on his chest and then deposit it, at least he makes it to the toilet these days. He has, however been suffering a sore throat and headache, (like me, but I've to soldier on, as one parent is already out of action!) so he's been off school. I hate keeping my children off school, it's unheard of, but best I think as he didn't wake up until ten o'clock this morning. Maybe he can go back in after lunch. Hey ho!