Sunday, 26 October 2014

Of dust and men...weekending

Another week of dust and men, including one who found sanctuary with us for a few hours after his car collided and did a 360 degree turn, just outside our front door. Thankfully no one was hurt. Poor thing, he was shaken up and I don't think his beautiful car will live to see another day. The men left for the weekend, but the dust remained. 

It feels like progress. Everything is changing for the good...I think. Each time a job is done there are a million decisions to make and another ton of dirt.

My lovely new neighbour...who I think is an angel in disguise...rescued me one afternoon when the drilling and detritus overwhelmed. She took me here and here. Treated me to scrumptious afternoon tea here.  We treated ourselves to rusty olive/grape bins. Soon filled at the weekend with a bargain half price tree from here. A pretty Photinia,'Little Robin' (red robin or Chirstmas ahem, that should be Christmas berry) with sweet cherry coloured tips. I hope our chubby little robin red breast will come sit on it.

Squeezed in-between brushing and mopping I stole time to read a whole newspaper, sneaked a few pages of this and watched my talented nephew Josh's film debut. He really nailed the North Lancashire accent and he can act.There's quite a bit of swearing but it's appropriate to the plot so please excuse if you get to watch it. 

So that was how my week about yours?

joining karen for weekending

Saturday, 25 October 2014


I have to hold my hands up to take-away twice this week. Once crunchy buttered moist cod and mushy peas from the local chip shop. Then chicken kabab comprising similary moist chunks with a yoghurt dill (or mint, not quite sure which) dressing, also from the local chip shop. The first was the winner. 

It's amazing that I've done any cooking with so much dust and disruption. I even managed to cook supper for our neighbours...Not a very good one. I miss my gas hob and I was preparing it at an unearthly hour of the night before, so it's no wonder that it wasn't up to  standard. The horesht that was perfect the night before didn't perform well with last minute tweaks.The custard I attempted to make for dessert using this recipe and six egg yolks a vanilla pod and sugar, turned out tooth achingly sweet, so I couldn't use it and disregarded the whole dessert. Maybe I'd miss-measured the amounts. We'd cleared a space amidst the chaos, with a clean sheet covering the table, subdued light thanks to tea-lights and a wood fire, and Chopin playing.They were very polite about it and didn't mention the awful food. We enjoyed cheese and biscuits and wine instead of dessert, followed by espresso and chocolate coffee beans, and tasted A's extremely alcoholic homemade wine and soon forgot about the missing dessert and substandard supper. (Well I hope they did) Happy that we have such good companions the other side of the chimney. 

And in-between I've made fruity salads and  spelt turkey burgers with chilli sauce, huevos rancheros and creamy pumpkin soup.

And been introduce by my lovely neighbour to local alex gooch's  amazing artisan bread and delicious blue monk cheese. Soft bread, creamy tangy blue cheese maybe a slice of ripe tomato, a potentially fatal attraction...

Have you discovered any fatal attractions recently?

I'm joining with Heather  for This week in  my kitchen...Coming?

Friday, 24 October 2014

Crossing borders...The workhouse Presteigne, Pumpkin Soup weather and Yarn.


We're a pipsqueak (I know that's not the right word, but I like it) from the border between England and Wales.  All we have to do is drive a few miles and we're abroad...Twenty minutes, and we're in the Welsh town of Presteigne. We explore it on a grey November(whoops) October day...a lovely colourful little town. 

We find carpets, rugs, The workhouse and shetland yarn...Yay, at last I can make this coveted sweater.  

Creamy Pumpkin soup

  • one medium sized butternut squash
  • one medium sized onion
  • a little ground turmeric root (optional). Other spices would work too like ground coriander and cumin and a little chilli for a more spicy North African flavoured soup 
  • a thumb sized piece of ginger
  • one clove of garlic
  • a can of coconut milk
  • a little olive oil 
  • sea salt and crushed black pepper
  1. Peel and slice the onion finely and caramelise in a little olive oil.
  2. Prepare the squash by peeling, de-seeding and chopping into small chunks. The smaller the pieces the quicker the soup will cook.
  3. When the onions are caramelised add the garlic clove after peeling and crushing or finely chopping. Cook for a couple of minutes being careful not to burn. Do the same with the peeled and grated ginger 
  4. Add the turmeric or any other spices if using...this adds a deep earthy taste, bright colour and is very good for you. Stir well.
  5. Add the pumpkin, mix well and sauté for a few minutes.
  6. Add the coconut milk and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and cook until the pumpkin is tender. 
  7. Blend with a hand blender for a smooth creamy soup.
  8. Adjust the seasoning and serve. 
This is a lovely comforting creamy autumnal soup. I hope that you have a toasty cosy autumn weekend.