Tuesday, 30 September 2008
Edit: ok back to the way it was, the banner at least!
Edit2: well the new banner is there as best it will be for now, not sure how to change the width of the frame though!
Thursday, 25 September 2008
and 2 weeks on even the birds don't seem to want it!!
Tuesday, 23 September 2008
I substituted some of the sugar for sweetner, used marg instead of butter to help the healthy theme even more and they worked out at about 140 calories per cake (small muffin/large cupcake). I doubt his office normally eats cakes that healthy!! Given that they are normally shop bought cakes.
Aswell as the wholewheat flour, marg and sweetner/sugar, the recipe included plain flour, bicarb, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg, dried apricots and dessert apple and egg. I literally finished baking the second batch left them so they were cool enough to pick up, tried one to make sure they were cooked properly (they were lovely and moist!) and then left the house, so as i was driving the car filled with the scent of spiced muffins.
They were very well recieved and i think even more so because they were still warm
I think the recipe was from the book Hamlyn All Colour: Healthy. i know it was Hamlyn and as it was a healthy recipe i think it was that one, the cover looks the same! but i've taken it back to the library. There's a beetroot cake recipe i jotted down from it too that i hope to try soon.
And now i can proudly say i have made my coleslaw with the carrot, onion AND cabbage from the garden!
Of course me being me, my colours aren't quite your normal coleslaw colours. I decided to use a red onion to give it a bit of extra colour as my yellow carrot blend in with the white cabbage a bit too much. But the shredded and grated veg, some salt and pepper and a bit of low fat mayo makes one of my favourite cold foods!
I am hoping that i might be able to try it with red cabbage and white onion with the yellow carrots, but i'm not sure if the red cabbages are going to heart up enough before the onions run out!! Only time will tell.
I know it's almost the end of september now but these were taking earlier on in the month so since these were taken things have changed again. For instance one of the grow bags with cherry tomatoes - the one by the back door has gone, the blight finally got too bad, and i think this weekend the other one in the back garden might be heading the same way sadly. However when we emptied the growbag we found, like last year, it had a lodger, but this year our lodger had some eggs too!
So we put one of the spare wormery trays over her/him and by the end of the day but had vanished, so i hope they are ok.
Thursday, 18 September 2008
Monday, 15 September 2008
Saturday, 6 September 2008
(I had a little play in photo shop!)
A few other wonderful sights included some Indian Fresh Water Prawns, although no doubt it's a bit like crayfish - all you get is a little meat out then tail!
And a huge Puffball which had been cut in half and into more chunks.
We reached the market just after 12 so although it had just opened it was quite busy as the first wave of office workers on lunch breaks had descended to get their lunch. But we wondered around for about 45 minutes before heading out in the rain and across the road to Slug and Lettuce for lunch. After a noisy (again due to lunch break office workers i think) lunch of a tomato and mozzarella salad each we headed back to finish looking around the market. I also too Nan into Neal's Yard Dairy. She loved seeing all the cheeses and found some Strathdon Blue that she thought Grandpa would like (wow, it was strong!) and half a small round of Childwickbury which i took home half of and she took the other half (a quarter of a round each basically).
From there we headed to Covent Garden, as that's also the nearest tube to where the restaurant is. I was also hoping that the string quartet that often busk down in the lower section outside The Crusting Pipe. We had a wander around the market then headed downstairs for a drink. when we got there i passed a girl going in the opposite direction with a cello case on her back - bad sign! We got a table outside anyway and it gave us a chance to chat and for me to show her some photos and tell her about the Countess of Warwick show etc.
By the time we'd finished our drinks there was still an hour to go before the table was booked for at Belgo and i knew it would only take us 10 minutes max to get there. So as it wasn't raining i suggested just taking a wander up round Covent Garden, showing her the other branch or Neal's Yard Dairy and the colourful Neal's Yard itself. Before i realised it we were at Shaftsbury Avenue and when i looked down the road i could see the lanterns of the entrance to China Town. So we walked on down and took a stroll through there, stopping at Loon Fung, one of the biggest shops there where i spotted a Thai Mango, something i hadn't tried (which tasted completely different to a normal, more common Mango and wasn't to my taste!) and as we were walking through to pay, Nan spotted some pig's hearts. I think that's kind of a generational thing and meal but she said she'd stuff them with a sage stuffing for dinner on the next night. Each to their own - offal is certainly not my thing!
By this time it was about time to start heading to the restaurant and we were only about 10 minutes early in the end. To my amusement and Nan's too i think, we were taken downstairs in the lift! I didn't even know they had a lift!! I told Nan what i was planning to orderand she said that sounded nice so we ordered to portions of Mussels Provencale, requesting bread instead of chips.
I think alot of the way a meal taste has to do with the atmosphere, the company you're in as well as the cooking of the food and the produce used. The mussels tasted even better than they norally do there, they were large, plump and cooked to perfection, in a lovely tomato, onion and garlic sauce, with a touch of paprika or something slightly spicy, which although was stronger than normal did not detract from the dish at all.
After a bit (ok, a lot) more talking it was time to head back to Victoria to put Nan on a train home. We were going to be pushed to get the 8.06pm but thought we'd try (her train goes every half hour) anyway - she was the last person on and the doors literally closed behind her! But she made it and i felt happy knowing she wouldn't be home too late, and grandpa wouldn't be too late in collecting her from the station. From the message she left on the home phone, she got back at about 9.30pm, by which time i had reached Epping and was walking the 10 minute walk up the hill, back to the car in the steady rain. But driving home the rain was torrential! I was comtemplating just pulling over until it eased off, however its a good job i didn't otherwise i could have been stopped there for a long time! After a long day i made it home at 10pm and despite the weather i wouldn't have changed anything about it at all, and it made me realise i've go to get over my intimidation of my grandfather and see them more often.