Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Musings

Been a little eventful. But now isn't the time to post about it.

But it's amazing what reserves you can draw on for unexpected situations, physically and mentally.

Quite takes me back way back when......

It's funny how experience prepares you for the future. Situations that might have left you a gibbering wreck in the past you think, 'hmm, been there'. And while everyone else is running around like a headless chicken, you're sat there watching it in slow-mo. Cool.

Then you act, and it's good.

Am I the only one who sits and watches and while everyone wants an answer, and a solution, and they want it now, you think, 'hmm, let it roll?'

A person has but life to live, in my opinion, and a quick fix isn't the best or permenant solution.

Grasshopper :)

Monday, 21 December 2009

Talk about good neighbours.....

A few minutes ago I poked my head out of my front door after hearing a tremendous racket. My neighbour from across the road, who I rarely see, was furiously wielding a shovel clearing my path of snow and ice, pausing only to explain " Don't want you breaking your neck Dee mate - I've cleared all that chuffin' ice to the end of the road too....."

It's just below zero according to my little weather station (a very British hobby of mine) and the inch or too we've had has frozen like rock. It's about 50 yards to the end of our road. Not only had he cleared the pavements, he's also cleared the road too. What a star ! He's going to find himself a proud recipient of my extra strong Wheelie Chilli Dip :)

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I wonder why he calls me Dee? My name doesn't begin with 'D'? I've told him, and he just says "Ok Dee, it's just that you are the Dee..". Mind you, it doesn't begin with 'W' either :)

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Oh my, the smell of home made bread is wafting through the house. Well okidoke, it's from a bread machine. Which is kinda cheating. But the smell is just the same.

That smell is it's best advert. Neighbours are buying them, my eldest lass, who recently got her own place has insisted on one for Christmas. I read somewhere that there are two essentials to selling your house. The smell of fresh bread, and fresh ground brewing coffee.

I can believe it.



Saturday, 19 December 2009

I have at long last discovered an advantage of being a stroke survivor.

No, not that now someone else does the shopping and washing (though sadly, not the washing up)

Cat fleas. I am their anathema, their pink apocalypse. I am so bunged up with a horrendous chemical brew in the name of prevention, that one bite, and their a gonna. One foolhardy individual managed to survive all of 5 seconds. I watching in amusement as it landed, bit, staggered drunkenly in a circle (that'll be the Glenfidich) then leapt into space before doing a brief break-dance into oblivion on the laminate.

I'm seriously thinking of renting myself out.

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I've had a word with Santa - he's been at a bit of a loose end since failing his CRB check - and apparently he's bringing me a nice expensive point-and-shoot camera. So prepare to be amazed :)

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Whoop :)


That Darn Cat

I'm done so many pickles, I'm pickled out. I've had so many requests for for home-mades, like Christmas cake and Piccalilli and Sweet Chilli, I'm having trouble coping with the demand. I'm even getting 'can I have some now and some more for Christmas day please?"

Gotta admit - grumble as I might, I love it. Christmas songs on my MP3, sat on a stool in the kitchen, winter blasts (it +3 C here) blowing through the kitchen window, stirring in the spices. A promise of snow soon. And I woke up to a Christmas card from little Bear under my pillow. How cool is that?

Grumpy warning :)

Sorta.

Oh, bliss. Some readers may know I run, or have run, other blogs, different themes. All of 'em moderated. I/we got a bit fed up of religious nuts and 'free speachers'. It got to the point where I was spending more time moderating their comments than blogging - so a blog or two had to go.

Should explain I was an unpaid super-social worker for many years - otherwise known as a church leader. Then I got stroked. To put the term 'religious nut' in context - it's those that read the text that guides them, and they apply it to everyone else without thought, compassion and intelligence.

'Free Speachers' are those that see nothing before them but a keyboard and monitor. They throw away the rules of social interaction, and express themselves in ways in which would make the mildest mannered punch them in the nose if they got out and met people. Usually mixed up with some pseudo intellectualism quoting Gandhi, Churchill or Mandella. Unfortunately the net is full of 'em.

Am I god on my blog? Yes, I like to think so. Have to admit that Mandella puzzles me. The pamphlet he wrote 'how to be a good communist' was no great shakes. But maybe that's just me. Figureheads do.

Bliss? Not getting rubbish now :)


Monday, 7 December 2009

Goin' Overboard... :)

That time of year again (again)

Love the build up to Christmas. As I've probably said before. So everyone is banned from the kitchen except for cuppa's while I do my Christmas cakes, piccalilli's (4 different types) , chutneys, cakes, puds, cheeses, yoghurt's, pies. If they want to eat, they have to get past me first :)

This year, the pressure is on because I thought it more prudent to give my goodies as Christmas presents. Not that it's a cost cutting exercise, it's actually more expensive because it's customised. Lots of fun is letting people come up and taste and tell me how they like it. I don't taste it myself - I go on the opinion of the recipient, and anyone else gets lucky dip.

It's exhausting, but I love it.

This Years Favourite Gifts

1) Wheelie Sweet & Spicy Chilli Sauce. Use sparingly.

2) Chunky Piccalilli, Wheelie Style.

3) O by 'eck Brandy personal Christmas cake.

Cheese sticks, Wheelie style.

Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 5. I think thats about 210 C/392 F

Unless you're a masochist, you'll buy shop bought frozen, uncooked puff, filo or flakey pastry. If you are - good 'on you :)

I won't bother with amounts - Just go for it. Roll out your pastry of choice quite thinly. I like it quite thin, a couple of mils. It thickens up while cooking.

Quite what you do next is up to you. I use very thinly sliced Prosciutto laid across half of the width, with lots of grated Grana Padano. Don't plead poverty, a little goes a long way. Strong cheddar and smoky bacon is just fine. I like to sprinkle a few fresh herbs over, but dried is cool.

Fold the other half over. Roll thin again. If you've used thin bacon, you might want to fold and roll again and get it as thin as you can. Cut into strips - half inch, or about 1.5 cm. How long it is is up to you.

Pick up each strip, and twist. If it shows signs of breaking, twist gently until the pastry breaks show signs that the cracks close, push the ends gently together, and rub the cracks with a little beaten egg or water.

If you have mixed seeds, or sesame, press into a tray of them. Otherwise, just brush with beaten egg and cook for about 16 mins or golden.