Sunday, 31 January 2010

Osmaston - Derbyshire UK

The sky was blue and the sun was shining, but we wrapped up warm against the biting cold wind. Our Sunday drive led us to the little village of Osmaston, just outside Ashbourne in Derbyshire. What a pretty little village, quaint thatched roof houses, a pond and church.

Osmaston in Derbyshire, is known as an estate village. Most of the buildings seen today were built around 1850 when the village was redeveloped to serve Osmaston Manor. Osmaston Manor was being constructed at that time, as a home for the wealthy industrialist Francis Wright, whose family owned the Butterley Ironworks near Ripley.

A memorial to Francis Wright stands in the market place at Ashbourne. A settlement has been in the area for about 1000 years.

Osmaston takes the appearance of a picturesque model village, with its brick built thatched cottages, village hall, primary school, duckpond, church, and of course pub.

Osmaston Hall was once a splendid mock tudor manor house in a superb setting amongst trees and lakes. It was demolished in 1964 when the owner at the time, Sir John Walker, moved to Okeover near Mappleton and took the Okeover family name. All that remains is the tower and a saw mill with its original water wheel. The park, formerly the manor grounds is open to the public and has an abundance of wildlife.

St Martins Parish Church was built in 1845 to replace the an earlier building and has many tributes to its benefactors, the Wright family. The register of the church dates back to 1606 and the more modern building was designed by H.I.Stevens.

Refreshments can be obtained from the Shoulder of Mutton pub and there are many good walks to be had in the region.

The annual show of the Ashbourne Shire Horse Society is held in the park in August.

Directions for Osmaston
Approximately 1 mile south of Ashbourne on the A52 heading for Derby, take a right, signposted ,turn. Street parking but visitors can use the village hall car park on your right as you enter the village.

Saturday, 30 January 2010

Little Red House

I am a follower of this blog. The most amazing photographs and a link to Mosaic Monday.
Check it out for yourself - Wonderful.

Sunday, 24 January 2010

I can't believe it's Sunday again

How time flies. The last few days have bben very hectic with baking for Haiti, Pie and Pea Quiz Night and Archie's birthday party. We managed to raise £75 for the Haiti Appeal and thanks to everyone who came and bought a cookie or muffin.
The Pie and Pea night was hot and hectic, but everyone appeared to enjoy the food.
Yesterday was the 4th birthday party and fun was had by all. The gruffalo cake went down a treat and watching little ones at play is just great. Give them a hall full of balloons and they will play for hours - so inventive.
I am now making our meal -
Pork Chops with Mushrooms.

4 pork chops
50g butter
25g dried porcini mushrooms
7fl.oz creme friche
1 level dessertspoon chopped fresh thyme
350g dark-gilled mushrooms
juice of 1 lemon
1 large tabsp. plain flour
salt and black pepper

MethodPre-heat oven to Gas 4/180C
1. Place the porcini mushrooms in a bowl and cover with boiling water - leave
for 20 mins
2.. Place a large piece of foil into a roasting tin
3. Melt the butter in a fry pan and fry the chops until a nice nutty, brown colour
4. Season with black pepper and place on tahe foil - add some chopped thyme
5. Fry the mushrooms in the buttery pan and when the juices start to run, add the
drained, squeezed and chopped pocini mushrooms
6. Add the lemon juice and let bubble for a minute before adding the flour - give
a stir - it will look kinda lumpy and strange - but it will work out in the end
7. Place the mushrooms over the chops - add a spoonful of creme fraiche on top of
each chop
8. Fold the foil over leaving an air gap
9. Cook for one hour

This produces the most amazing mushroom sauce. I will be serving green beans, which I harvested in the summer and they have been in the freezer.
I must post this now as I can smell the pork and it must be about ready for eating.

Thursday, 21 January 2010

Haiti Appeal

Our school is very small, but the pupils have raised £395.00 in just four days. On Friday I am having a Chocolate Chip Cookie and Muffin Sale. Each item will be 50p and any donations are welcome. The money raised will be added to the rest and it will be sent to the appeal on Monday. Every little helps and I will post our final total next week along with the photographs.
On Friday evening the PTA are holding a Pie and Pea Quiz night, so I have about 100 pies to cook, and on Saturday Archie is having his fourth birthday party. He wanted a Gruffulo Party and so I have just finished the cake and I am ready for a sit down with feet up. I will add some photographs of the rest of the food when I make it very early on Saturday morning. It is not easy been a Great Aunt.
Hope you are all having a good week.

Sunday, 17 January 2010

Sunday - A Day of Rest

Sunday really should be a day of rest, but having been quite ill over the past week I decided I need to catch up on all those jobs. My voice is just about back, but I don't need my voice to do these jobs.
Firsty I made a pair of chef pants and a bag to go with them. I teach Home Economics and wear chef pants - the students love to see my collection and I find it so much easier to wear these around the classroom. These ones a bit snazzy and quite different from my other pairs. My Year 11 students have their practical exams over the next few weeks, so I will be wearing these to brighten up the place.
Once they were completed and hung up I decided to make some bread as part of my one small change for 2010. I found fabric bread bags
here! and made a couple. I may give one to my sister who loves to make bread.
My lovely hubby has been trying to outwit the squirrel who comes a calling everyday to help himself to the seeds from the feeder. Here he is trying another tactic. The birds just love this feeder.
The sky was so blue today and after all the snow we certainly deserved some sunshine and so after all the jobs were finished we had a walk.
I made a very hot chilli con carne for supper and we ate it with the home-made bread.
So much for a rest day.
Hope you have all had a good weekend.

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

I didn't intend on being away for so long.

Last Friday was my birthday. The end of the first week back at school, snow still making life difficult in the UK and I felt a bit rough. So I spent Saturday in bed nursing a bad head, sore throat and aching limbs. Sunday I actually felt OK and so on Monday went into work. Still feel a bit rough and today have had no voice at all.
Teaching is very interesting when you have no voice. As I teach a practicl subject I had to be very aware of the safety of the children and so used a whistle. I could whisper instructions and so the class were very quiet and one of them passed on the louder more meaninful tones.So today my Year 7's made Shortbread Biscuits and my Year 10 group made Pork Stoganoff and Tropical Crumble. It made us all feel nice and warm inside and the smell was amazing. No talking yet and I just hope it comes back in the next couple of days, as I really have to celebrate my birthday yet.

Sunday, 3 January 2010

Coffee Cup Holders

I just had to make these after supper this evening. I came across the tutorial on
house on hill road"

I am going to send them to my son and his girlfriend in Savannah. I am sure they will just love them and so unique.
Thanks to houseonhillroad.

Back to school tomorrow

Ah! well back to school tomorrow. Two weeks off and now I am ready for the spring term. Lesson plans completed, apron ironed and my chef trousers pressed. I am definitely ready for the term ahead. This term with my Year 7 group I am doing a topic called 'Bringing Baking Back to Life', where I teach them to make a variety of biscuits: Shortbread, Chocolate Chip Cookies, Meltiong Moments and Ginger Biscuits. My Year 8 group are learning about Cakes and Cake Making: Raspberry Buns, Cupcakes, Sticky Ginger Top Cake and my Year 9 groups will be learning to make a variety of different pastries: Ruff Puff - Sausage Rolls, Shortcrust - Cheese Pasties, Filo - Spring Rolls. My Year 10 and 11 groups will be going on with their GCSE courses and good luck to my Year 11's as they carry out their practical investigations and complete their coursework. I have lots planned for my afterschool clubs and the Jamie Oliver PASS IT ON continues to grow by the day. Last term some parents assked me if I would teach them some cookery as well , so I have planned out three sessions for them.
Tomorrow is a training day and the students come back on Tuesday - all ready for the challenge ahead and I hope all as entusiastic as I am.

Saturday, 2 January 2010

Vegetable and Lentil Curry

Even with a layer of snow on the ground I went digging in the garden. I just had to have some parsnips. They taste so good when the frost has been on them, never mind the snow. So I just dug up 4 very large ones to keep me going over the next week. Now what to make with the parsnip. Yes you guessed.

Vegetable and Lentil Curry

1 onion - diced
1 carrot - diced
1 potato - diced
1 clove garlic - peeled and crushed
1 parsnip - peeled and diced
1 tabsp. Madras Curry paste
500ml vegetable stock
50g lentils
handful of corriander

1. Heat 2 tabsp olive oil in a large pan.
2. Fry the onion and garlic for a couple of mins
3. Add the potato, pasnip and carrot and cook on a low heat for 5-8 mins - stirring
from time to time to prevent over browning.
4. Add the curry paste and mix well to coat all the vegetables
5. Add the lentils and stock
6. Cover and simmer 15 - 20 mins until vegetables are soft
7. Stir in a handful of corriander leaves just before serving.

I served this with mini Naan Breads and you could always top with a spoonful of natural yoghurt.
Really warming on these snowy days.

Friday, 1 January 2010

One Small Change

Just dropped by this
What a great blog to read and some great ideas.
I intend to make my home-made bread more often. I usually make bread once a week, but I really have no excuse not to make it every other day.

Little Visitors

My sister came for a visit to-day bringing her two grandchildren Archie and Poppy. They are just little treaures. We had a walk and then home for lunch. I made Sweet Potato and Lentil Soup, Cheese Pasties, Home-made Bread, Carrot Cake and Chocolate Chip Cookies. After a long walk everyone must have been very hungry as there was little food left.

Cheese Pasties
300g plain flour
150g margarine
cold water to mix
1 carrot - grated
1 potato - grated
1 small onion - finely choped
75g cheese - grated
pinch mixed herbs
black pepper

1. Pre-heat oven to Gas 6/200C
2. Make Shortcrust Pastry by sieving flour into a large mixing bowl, rubbing the
margarine into the flour until like fine breadcrumbs
3. Add enough water to mix to a stiff dough
4. Cut out rounds with a large cutter - approx 24
5. In a large bowl add all the filling ingredients and mix well.
6. Place a spoonful of mixture into each round.
7. Fold in half and seal well with a fork
8. Cut out shapes - I used holly leaf cutter
9. Brush with milk and bake for 15 - 20 mins.

I served these warm after the soup with my Boxing Day Chutney and Spiced Plum Chutney
The children loved these little pasties.