Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Old Age Powerpoint Slides

This is amazing, sit back and relax, listen to the music and see the beautiful photgraphs
HJope this helps those who were unable to see it before.


Sunday, 24 July 2011

What would you do with this garden?

We all love our garden whether it be large or small, but in to-day's Mail on Sunday newspaper there was an article about a very long garden.
What would you do with this garden?

Dovedale - Derbyshire UK

Blue skies and plenty of sunshine. We put a pin in the map and off we set to Dovedale, Derbyshire. It is perhaps a 45 minute drive onto narrow roads with passing places and dry stone walls everywhere. Of course sheep are everywhere and you can see for miles across the green fields.
Our walk to-day took across the stepping stones and into the limestone valley of Dovedale.

I took photographs along the way, but we decided not to climb over the top of the hills today and just wound our way back along beside the river. We came across a fallen tree which had been filled with coins. They had been knocked into the wood. What is this strange custom and what does it mean? We have yet to find out but will let you know when we do. Perhaps some tradition to do with the pack horses who travelled the route many years ago.

We then drove over to Manifold Valley for a pot of tea at the mill. We will go back another day to cycle the Manifold Valley.

Friday, 22 July 2011

This Moment

This Moment was inspired by Soulemama

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember

Home-made Yoghurt

I have made yoghurt from time to time with mixed results. But I have just tried the recipe from Hugh Fearnly-Whittingstall - River Cottage Every Day. So easy and just the thing to serve with fresh fruit, cereal, stir into soup or just eat straight from the container.

Home-made Yoghurt

500ml whole milk
30g dried milk powder
3 tablespoons live plain yoghurt

1. Put the whisk, spoon, thermometer into a measuring jug full of boiling water and
leave for 2 mins - rinse out.
2. Make sure everything is well sterilised to avoid bad bacteria.
3. Rinse out the saucepan with boiling water.
4. Pour the milk into the saucepan and add the dried milk powder - mix with the
whisk until blended and no lumps.
5. Heat the milk to 46C - watch it like a hawk.
6. Remove from the heat and add the natural yoghurt. Do not have the milk too hot
or cold or it will not work. Temperature of a very warm bath is about right.,
7. Pour the mixture into a warm container and leave covered overnight in a warm
place. I use a wide necked thermos flask - as it cools the yoghurt is made.
8. Pour the yoghurt into a container and leave in the fridge until required.
9. Remember to save 3-4 tablespoons for the next batch.

It really is so easy and the dried milk powder makes it quite creamy.


Thursday, 21 July 2011

Pesto Scones

I made lots of these for our end of term bash. I made them tiny so it was just a mouthful, people came back for lots of mouthfuls.

Pesto Scones with Cream Cheese Topping

300g SR flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
75g margarine
pinch salt
pinch mustard
black pepper
100g grated parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons pesto ( I used green pesto)
Yoghurt and milk mixed - you need enough to bind the mixture together

1. Pre-heat oven to Gas 7/220C
2. Sieve the flour into a large mixing bowl, add the seasoning, mustard.
3. Rub the margarine into the flour until it resembles fine crumbs.
4. Add the grated cheese and pesto. Rub in carefully until well mixed.
5. Add enough yoghurt and milk to bind the mixture together - not too wet.
6. Turn out onto a sprinkling of flour.
7. Fold mixture in half, turn and repeat this process several times trapping air
into the mixture.
8. Use a small cutter , cut out a many shapes as you can until all dough has been
9. Brush the tops with milk.
10 Bake 10-12 mins until golden and firm to touch
11. Cool on a wire rack.
12. Put cream cheese into a piping bag and once the scones are cool, cut them
in half and pipe cream cheese on the top.
13 Top each scone with a slice of tomato and basil leaf.

If you can't be bothered to pipe the cream, just cut the scones in half and sandwich the cream cheese inbetween.
They are just so yummy. Of course you can make them any size you want.

Saturday, 16 July 2011

I'm Back

Well at long last I am back to the blog. School holidays started yesterday at 12.00 noon. As I drove home I thought of all the things I want to do, but most of all be in my garden - just pottering. The end of term was just full of events and ensuring the students went home with everything they neeeded. I baked 120 scones for the cream teas at our Summer Fete, then it was onto Awards Evening where I made a huge batch of sundried tomato and cheese scones and an even bigger batch of pesto scones topped with cream cheese, slice of tomato and basil leaf. Along with the savoury dishes I made Rocky Road (a school favourite), caramel shortbread, lemon drizzle squares and carrot cake. It was all washed down with jug after jug of Pimms made with strawbrries, cucumber,lemon, oranges and fresh mint. What a way to spend a summer's evening celebrating the achievements of the students.
And so into holiday mode and to catch up on my new recipe books and of course cooking and gardening.
I will also need to spend some time catching up on all your news.
Hear from you all very soon.
PS I will get around to posting the scone recipes over the next few days.