Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Cookery Books...

A new cookery book...

As you know, I'm fairly traditional and I like most things to be straightforward. This is especially true when it comes to cookery books.

I'm not a flash person when it comes to cooking, if I see a recipe with millions of ingredients then I tend to run a mile (probably the only excercise I do), as it just puts me off.

I love cookery books but find it really hard to find a good 'un that suits me.

The HairyBikers are great and I have a Hamlyn Book that has pictures of every recipe and my Be-Ro home recipes booklet is looking a little dog-eared from the use it gets.

So as I was browsing round Sainsburys the other day, which is such a lovely thing to do without the kids as the books are situated right near the toy aisle (who was the bright spark who thought of that idea), I wandered by the books and spotted the cook books.

I looked at the ones that said 'traditional home cooking' and 'easy family meals' and to be honest they had a few meals that I would cook but then they seem to go off course and slip in some weird recipes that I've never heard of and probably could never pronounce - Family Meals???? who are they kidding! My kids would take one look and probably bleeuuurgh all over the place.

The Fay Ripley one looks nice but it didn't quite grab me and shout "BUY ME NOW!!", so I left it on the shelf. Maybe next time.

Then I spotted my book - as soon as I flipped through the pages, this book was straight in the trolley. The pictures are great, the recipes traditional and best of all not too complicated.

I think I'm going to give the Toad in the Hole another try using the recipe given here. My last attempt was really awful and I'm sure that it is one of the easiest things to do but somewhere along the line mine failed drastically (Mr Bucket can confirm this).

The  book gives a starter page showing what's in season and a little 'patting themselves on the back' over how they buy/sell their food. But I suppose they can as it's their book. It then goes on to give a history of food from the past 500 years.

It follows that with classic British dishes, modern British dishes and then a food tour of Britain giving regional recipes i.e. Pan Haggerty from the North; Pork pie from the Midlands; Cawl from Wales and so on.

After all this there is a section on picnics, street parties and afternoon tea.

It is a lovely book and one I think that I'm going to be looking at and using for quite a while.

Sam xx

p.s. I know that it seems like it but I'm NOT plugging Sainsbury's and it's goods, I just like to shop there once in a while and I do use other shops/supermarkets - I'm not that fussy as long as I can get a bargain.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Technology and me...

 I've never liked a lot of technology - not a technophobe, just a bit old fashioned and traditional. I can never see the point of changing things just because something new has come out.

I love the adage "if it ain't broke, don't fix it".

I have a phone that looks quite flash but I don't know half the things it does. The other day someone called me on it, the phone rang and as it was quite close to my head at the time (I was sitting down) I jumped because I first thought I was being attacked by a very large bee. I jumped about two feet in the air until I realised it was just the phone.

I have a personal facebook account that I only use for friends (only people I've met face to face) and family. I don't tend to put a lot on Facebook but I love checking in and seeing how my old friends are doing and seeing how my family are. It came in useful recently too when I found out from my sister that a family member that I thought had died over 20 years ago, was in fact alive!

This really freaked me out for a little while but now can't stop grinning as I quite liked this cousin.

I think I like facebook at the moment, if things hadn't improved but had stayed exactly the same then I would never have rediscovered my cousin.

So maybe change is not too bad after all..... well, in small doses anyway. Sam xx

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Oh Help! Oh No! It's a ....

Gruffalo cake.

Well, that's what I called it anyway.

I bought some great cake pans from Lakeland (although already put a dent in them when dropping from a great height).  They are a 12 cup mini sandwich tin with loose bottoms and although mine didn't turn out exactly like their picture (how do they get those perfect looking cakes?), they turned out fairly decent.

 I even made some small Victoria sponges for Mr Bucket as he doesn't really like chocolate cakes
(I know, mad! Who doesn't like chocolate in ANY form!!)

Sam xx

p.s. I've added a button at the side for all you clever sewing geniuses.

Monday, 12 March 2012

Lovely day...

Yesterday was a gorgeously sunny day..

The washing was out...

We did some gardening...

The kids enjoyed bouncing on the trampoline...

I admired various coloured flowers at the garden centre...

We ate bacon butties...

I baked some cakes...

The kids were treated to a meal at the big M (not my thing, but you know that kids love 'em and it's a very RARE occurrence)...

Today Bucket jnr woke up and said "yesterday was fun"...

Yes it was.

Sam xx

Friday, 9 March 2012

Do you hover...

 Source: Google Images
It can't just be me.

When you have someone come to your house to fix or sort something out, what do you do? Do you hover or do you let them get on with it and hope that they do a good job?

I definitely fall into the hovering camp and even though I try to do it discreetly, I'm sure 'they' must think I'm mad.

Take today, I had some blokes come round to fix the windscreen on my car.  Picture the scene, the car is parked outside, my kitchen window faces outside.... I washed the dishes, wiped the surfaces and then hovered in the kitchen and now and then peeped round the wall so I could make sure they were doing their job properly. I even dived for cover when I thought one of the men was looking my way. MAD!!

I am a Hoverer.

I'm just a tad suspicious of people I think, there are too many news stories or articles about cowboy builders and people ripping people off, so I think I'm justified.

But it reminds me of when I was younger and lived on a fairly populated council estate where everyone knew everyone. Over the road there were some houses or 'granny flats' that housed some of our elderly residents. Directly opposite my house was an upstairs window with net curtains that NEVER stopped twitching. I used to wave every time I saw the curtains move.

Sam xx

Friday, 2 March 2012

Fog & Books...

What is going on with this weather???

Look at this, my garden is out there somewhere, on a clear day we have houses at the back of us but not today - it is almost a complete pea-souper.

Now yesterday was another matter altogether, it was the first time that I'd put the washing out this year - IT WAS GLORIOUS.

Although, I left it out a little too late so it got cold and felt damp again BUT that's not the point. It was actually sunny enough and felt warm enough for me to want to put my washing on the line.

Also it was World Book Day and I managed to pick up these goodies for the kids.

Yes I know that I've only got two children and you get two book vouchers - the Skulduggery Pleasant book was for me as I love the stories and I'm going through a teen-read at the moment. I can't recommend this series of books enough if your kids have grown up with Harry Potter, are now a bit older and want another supernatural (in an easy going way) series of stories.

Well anyway, back to World Book Day and it was another day at school where you are encouraged to dress your kids up. Now I generally love this, it's fun watching the kids dress up in their costumes but why do I always seem to leave it to the last minute. It's the same with Comic Relief Day (spots) and Red Nose Day (anything red). Oh well...

I got a great idea from Freya at Tutorial Adventures and made Bucket jnr a brilliant dinosaur costume that went with his book "That's not my dinosaur".

   Although, he was a bit put out when one of the other kids thought he looked like a chicken. I don't know, kids today.... if I saw a chicken that looked anything like that, I'd run a mile. Sam xx