Thursday, 25 October 2012

Pruning & Baking...

Today started off pretty well - the kids weren't arguing, which was a start.

There's meant to be colder weather (frost probably) coming our way this weekend so I thought that I'd give the roses outside our house a haircut. Out I went, all prepared in coat and wellies into a misty, damp day.
 getting the tools ready
I have a bit of love/hate thing with trimming the roses as during the summer they look gorgeous and we've had a few people say that they look great. But when this time of year comes around I have to be fairly vicious with them and they always look a bit sad and pathetic when I've finished. They are normally the main flowers at the front of our house and it makes everything look a bit derelict and abandoned once they're cut down. Plus I'm always worried that I've cut them too much and they won't grow back.
the ones on the left done, now to start on the right
At this time in the month, money can be a bit tight so I said to the kids that I would bake some cakes. Now this is something that I've done many a time before - I'd even go so far as to say I'm rather good at it.

Well today I took my eye off the ball....all looked good when I took them out of the oven and set them aside to cool. A few minutes later when I turned around.......... THEY HAD SUNK!! 


This has NEVER happened to me before, and I mean never, ever, ever.

I tried one (ok, a couple) to taste them and they seem fine, so I looked online to see what went wrong and I think it might have been because I put them on gas mark 6 and not 4. I did briefly wonder why they cooked faster than normal but it was only a fleeting thought so I didn't take too much notice of myself.

Some of them look really sunken but I suppose if I shove enough buttercream on top then no one will notice. It's not as if they last that long anyway once the gannets get their hands on them. Sam xx

p.s. definitely the temperature - had a little bit of cake mixture left for a couple more and they look perfect if I do say so myself.

Friday, 19 October 2012

The tooth and nothing but the tooth....

Source: Google Images

Well I did it....this morning I admitted to Miss Bucket (9 years old) that I was her tooth fairy and that it was ME that had, for the last soooo many years, been putting money beneath her pillow.

It was me that crept into her room, trying not to let the door squeak too loudly.
It was me that rummaged under her pillow, trying to find the bag with the small tooth in (she like to try to hide it).
It was me that answered her notes to the 'tooth fairy' - making sure my handwriting was completely different.
It was me that ran full pelt out the door when it looked like she was about to wake up.

It has been fun joining in with her excitement and wonderment, keeping a straight face as she got older and had her suspicions. Only last night saying "it can't be me, I'm broke and what on earth would I want your old manky tooth for?".

There have been a couple of times when I went to bed and completely forgot to put any money under her pillow. My excuses of "the tooth fairy must have had a really busy night" never questioned and then when she went off to the bathroom/sitting room, racing into her room to grab the tooth and stash the money for her to find 10 minutes later.

It has been fun and she thought it was really funny when the truth came out (thank goodness) and she realised all the subterfuge that had gone on. I don't think she realised before how sneaky both her parents really are. But, then again, it's a little bit sad that she's growing up and the magic fades a little.  

One good thing is that there is still Bucket jnr, he still has a mouthful of baby teeth so the fun can continue and this time we have a willing helper in Miss Bucket.

The magic goes on. Sam x

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Let it snow ...

...Today I'm going to do some crochet.

Sitting here with my coffee (what a surprise) and looking at the early frost out the windows, I thought I'd look back at earlier pages in my blog to look for something that I'd promised to make a while back (December 2011) - I know, SHAMEFUL!!!

It was a little crochet snowman from Jill at Dapper Toad.
 These are NOT mine - what I'm hoping mine will eventually look like

I used to love crocheting but what with kids, school stuff, housework, baking, cooking and lots of other fun stuff, I haven't got around to making anything in a LONG time.

My main concern is the magic circle/ring but I've found a really good video on You Tube that shows how to do it really clearly and I'll share it with you if it works.

So I'm determined this is going to get done, by hook or by crook (definitely pun intended there) I'm going to finish one of these today.....hopefully. Sam xx

Tuesday, 9 October 2012


It's been a funny old week... I know we're currently in the middle of a week but I haven't posted for a little while so was just thinking back.

We've eaten all the cakes finally.

I've had a couple of job interviews - didn't get one and waiting for the other.

We have a tween in the house - won't say too much but if you look up 'tween behaviour' I'm sure you'll see what we've been coping with.

Bucket jnr has one of those lovely hacking coughs.

But, there have been a few little upsides...

I bought some seasonal socks which for some reason make me feel better (think red, white and grey nordic style).

There have been some lovely foggy, Autumnal mornings - hate rain but love the fog.

Yesterday was a calm, smiley tween day.

Read some good books and some good blogs.

I wouldn't say a lot has happened recently, things have just been ticking over with some good and some bad. Just wondering what today might bring. Sam xx

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Happy Birthday... Mr Bucket.

It was actually his birthday yesterday but I didn't want to embarrass him on his special day - I have plenty of other days to do that (only joking).

I won't let on how old, let's just see if you can guess.
His only request was that I made a HUGE coffee cake and here it is. It's a bit plain but he doesn't really care for all the extras that the kids like on their cakes.

This is the reason that we haven't completely finished off our chocolate fudge cake yet. Sam

Monday, 1 October 2012

Chocolate Fudge Cake..

The Infant school where Bucket jnr goes has a very good parent association - they help and organise loads and raise money for the school.

I've decided to help a little more and this weekend they had a Food Festival where new and current parents met and mingled with some food and drink.

The idea was that we make a dish (savoury or sweet) to bring along, so I made a Chocolate Fudge Cake.  I don't really have a savoury dish that I wanted to share but this cake we make every Christmas and at other times when we remember to. It's one of those dishes that only get made at a certain time i.e. pancakes, simnel cake, roast turkey... you know what I mean.

The only thing was, I had to make two - one for the school and one for us.

This recipe was given to me by my Mother-in-law and she had it as a recipe card from Bourneville (the chocolate).

Chocolate Fudge Cake

4 oz butter
2 tbsp golden syrup
8 oz digestives
1 oz raisins
2 oz glace cherries (halved)
5 oz dark chocolate

Fudge Icing

2 oz chocolate
1 oz butter
3 dessert spoons water
6 oz icing sugar

Grease and base line a 1lb loaf tin.

Melt the butter and syrup in a saucepan. Stir in the biscuits, fruit and chopped chocolate until mixed. Press firmly into the prepared tin and leave in a cool place to set.  Later turn out onto a board.
For the fudge icing melt the chocolate and butter with 3 dessertspoons of water over a gentle heat. Remove from heat and stir in sifted icing sugar and beat until cool and thick.  Spread the icing over the cake and dust with icing sugar to decorate.

Now this makes a really nice cake but it's not that big and you might find that it goes WAAAAY too quickly. So do what we do.... double the ingredients and make a WHOPPER of a cake. Sorry, forgot to take a picture straight away but this cake never lasts long in our house as you can see.
Also, with all the butter and syrup this cake is quite rich so don't cut huge chunks off until you've actually tried it and know that you'll manage to eat it (piggy).

The cake disappeared in double time at the Food Festival and I also had a couple of the mums asking for the recipe, so I was really chuffed.

Thanks Mother-in-law. Sam xx