Sunday, 27 February 2011

550 Squadron

My father died seven years ago and I have just recieved alittle parcel from my Mum containing documents that belonged to my father during WW2. My father never really spoke about the war and my mum thought it was time I had the documents.
The Royal Air Force Navigator's Air Bomber's and Air Gunners's Flying Log Book is an amazing read. It gives details about all his missions and most of all about the Lancasters that he flew in. He was stationed at North Killingholme in Lincolnshire. So to-day we set out on a mission to find the station and see where he was 67 years ago. The little village is still there with its church and village hall. The RAF base is now used by another business and the original buildings all look very sorry for themseleves as you would imagine after all this time. The base was home to some 300 with about 30 Lancaster planes - what a sight it must have been. I stopped and looked skyward straining to hear that sound, but to no avail. It must have been a sight seeing them coming home and of course waiting for those that did not come home. Slipped inside the Log Book was a letter that he had written home to his family telling them about life at the base and the level of fear they all had as they thundered down the runway into the darkness wondering if they would ever return. He was lucky, but so many did not return. I have done some research and hope to go to the next reunion in the village of North Killingholme.
My photographs show the old hanger, ruined buildings and of course looking skyward waiting to see the Lancaster coming home.

Sunday, 20 February 2011

Onion Tarts - Heaven to Eat

I am currently working on a Vegetarian project with my class. My sister who has been a Vegetarian for many years said she had lots of magazines I could use and so I cmae home with a pile. They have been beside my chair and from time to time I look through the well thumbed pages and find inspiration. I came across this recipe and it is so easy to make and heaven to eat.

Onion Tart

1 tabsp. olive oil
15g butter
2 large onions - halved
1 tabsp. chopped thyme plus 4 small sprigs
2 absp. balsamic vinegar
1 pkt ready roll puff pastry
150g Camembrt cut into 4 wedges
1 egg

1. Pre-heat the oven to 220C/Gas 7. Gently heat the oil and butter in a large pan
and add the halved onions, cut side down. Cover with lid and cook for 15 mins
until onions are soft
2. Remove the lid, season well turn onions over and cook for extra 5 mins until
onions start to turn golden. Add chopped thyme and balsamic vinegar. Cool
3. Cut the pastry into four 18cm squares.
4. Place an onion half cut side up on one of the pastry squares. Add a sprig of
thyme and a wedge of cheese.
5. Brush the pastry edges with beaten egg and fold the pastry around the onion to
enclose all but the top of the onion and cheese.
6. Repeat with remaining pastry.
7. Place on a baking tray and glaze with egg.
8. Bake 20 minutes until pastry is golden and well risen.
9. Serve hot with vegetables.

I only realised last week that these magazines are 10 years old.

On holiday now for one week so I am going to make the most the garden and start my spring cleaning.


Sunday, 13 February 2011


I feel a bit out of touch as my work seems to have overtaken my life. I try hard to cram my working day into twelve hours, but recently it appears to b every waking minute. Anyway I am sure I will balance it all out next week when we have a half term break.
The 12th February was an important birthday for Colin and I always like to offer an element of surprise, like the year I said he had to be ready to leave home at 4.30am and drove to the south of England for a weekend break at Brooklands ( home to bygone days of motor racing) and the year I drove him to Harrogate to spend a day in a Phantom Jet. So yesterday was no exception. The instructions were to be ready to leave home by 9.30 and to drive south down the M1 to junction 19, then the A14 and onto the M11 and junction 10. He had no idea where were going until the last minute (as he said it could be anywhere)
Duxford perhaps the largest aviation museum was just wonderful. He was like a little boy in a candy shop. We wandered around looking at this plane and that engine. Five hours later we left for the drive home and a birthday meal. A day to remember.
I am still amazed at how all that metal lifts off the ground and flies across the world.

Saturday, 5 February 2011

Mac Cheese

Of all the Macaroni Cheese recipes I have tried, this has to be the best ever.
Mac Cheese

12oz macaroni
3oz pancetta, diced
3 spring onions, trimmed and finely sliced
Cheese Sauce
1oz butter
1oz flour
pinch mustard
7fl.oz milk
10fl.oz double cream
7oz dolcelatte or gorgonzola cheese
4oz parmesan
black pepper
2 slices bread, made into crumbs with black pepper
1. Pre-heat oven to Gas 4/200C/400F
2. Cook the macaronin in boiling salted water for 10 mins, drain
3. Fry the pancetta and spring onions for few mins, until crisp
4, Make the sauce by placing butter, flour and milk into a small pan
5. Stir all the time over a low heat using a balloon whisk until thick
6. Stir in the cream, mustard and seasoning.
7. Add the drained macaroni, cheeses and mix well
8. Pour into a greased ovenproof dish.
9. Spsrinkle over the breadcrumbs and bake for 20 mins until golden.

I kept some of the cheese back and sprinkled it over the top with the breadcrumbs.
I served it with crusty bread and a glass of beer. What a taste on a cold, wet, windy night.