Friday, September 27

End of an era.

Back around  1990 we moved from a town to a village on the North York Moors, just 9 miles from Whitby. This magazine seemed appropriate.
I have had a subscription on and off for the best part of 20 years!!!!
For quite some time I feel that the magazine is really focussed on wealthy individuals who can :-
  • spend £54 on a metre of fabric from which they will make bunting
  • renovate a house with a massive budget
  • have no clutter
  • pay through the nose for a piece of tat
  • spend on an outfit what we would spend  on food in a month
Whilst I always enjoy the arrival of the magazine last month when I read the October issue I realised, once I head through the entire magazine, it was in fact the 2012 issue which I had picked up by mistake from the piles I have in every room of the house! Yet nothing had really recipes, seasonal baking ideas, what was going on in the henhouse, a small holding report and an article from a celebrity who enjoys the countryside.

Reading Jo's blog here made me think. I vow every year to do more sewing. I never get round to it - but this magazine could be a good starting point.
This morning I stopped my Country Living subscription and started one for Stich and Sew. Now the nights are drawing in I will endeavour to learn a few more skills and make use of my sewing machines.

Watch this space!

Tuesday, September 24

Keeping an eye on the weather.

We made the most of the weather at the weekend. Our initial plans were to head towards Hull on Saturday - but as we headed over the moors it was clear we were heading in the wrong direction - it would seem the best weather was literally at home, so we turned round and stayed local. Sunday however was truly glorious. The forecast was excellent for the North East Coast, so we headed out and followed the coastline. We decided to venture further than Bridlington which we find too commercial.
Jo, had written about a little adventure here
so we decided to head for Fraisthorpe.

As soon as we pulled in I realised we had been after a quick toilet visit we headed further North and as we were tootling along we passed a sign "To the sea front" so we followed the road and came to a lovely little gem - will definitely be a picnic stop on future expeditions. Willsthorpe.

Back on the motorbike we headed towards Hornsea and had an ice-cream. The views were wonderful.  

WE had wanted to go further but time was pressing on so we headed home via Scarborough. A wonderful afternoon - we will go there again and head towards Withernsea. For more ABC fun follow the link in my sidebar.

Thursday, September 19

Comfort food : Rice Pudding.

One thing which never ceases to amaze me at Slimming World is the originality and strangeness of some of the recipes. I wonder who on earth puts some of the ingredients I was experimenting with a Rice Pudding recipe - using cream soda! One of the gals had tried it out and thought it was too sweet and sickly - so I tried my own take on it, but using lemonade instead of cream soda. I didn't have any pudding rice so tried long grain rice. Basically I put some rice into a microwave dish and topped up with a can of diet lemonade. Microwaved on full power for 10 minutes and checked to see the lemonade had not dried up. I added another can and microwaved for a further 10 minutes then left to stand for 10 minutes then stirred in a tablespoon of crème fraiche. Tasted absolutely gorgeous. Comfort food in a matter of minutes. Tip - use a large microwave dish as the lemonade rises a lot!

Tuesday, September 17

J is for Jacket Potato

The Rayburn is now lit and the house is warm. Warming autumn food is called for and there is nothing I like more than a Jacket Potato, Of course in the past I would have lashings of butter and a sprinkling of salt but now I have reached my target weight I don't want the pounds to creep back on so some fillings I am going to be trying are as follows:-

Vegetable Chilli.
I made a wonderful version last night with some left over vegetables I had on the go. (Green beans, cauliflower and carrots) I added 2 stock pots, passata, a tin of mushy peas and a generous spoonful of chilli powder. Was absolutely LUSH!

Tuna, Lime and Coriander.
Mix some fat free natural yoghurt with a tin of tuna and add some chopped coriander.

Garlic Mushrooms.
Cook the mushrooms in frylight and add garlic. Stir in fat free yoghurt. Add any seasonings of choice.

Tuna, Red-Onion and Cottage Cheese.
Cook some chopped red onion in frylight. Mix some fat free cottage cheese with a tin of tuna and stir in red onion.

Coronation Chicken.
Add a teaspoon of curry powder to muller light coconut yoghurt. Add some cooked, chopped chicken.

Any other filling suggestions would be very welcome.

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Saturday, September 14

Bet you can't read this without laughing!

A few years ago an article appeared in the Independent...........I still laugh!

When John and Denise Nesbitt moved to the North York Moors four years ago, they were ready for a rural life. They had even gathered a collection of geese, chickens and dogs. But what they hadn't expected was to be given custody of some rusty official Home Office apparatus under the stairs.

"I thought they were having us on," says Denise as she recalls their move into what was once the village police house. "The previous owners showed us around and then said, 'Oh, and by the way, you have to operate the nuclear warning'."
With their move from Guisborough to Liverton, the Nesbitts had inherited new roles as United Kingdom Warning and Monitoring Officers. In the event of a nuclear attack, it would be their job to warn the locals. Although in urban areas electrical signals attached to the town hall and fire or police station were the norm, in rural areas, emergency planning sometimes relied on the goodwill of ordinary villagers.
"It's ridiculous," says Denise. "You think of all the billions of pounds the Government spends on nuclear warheads and defence, but when it comes to telling people about it, it's down to a housewife sitting in a cupboard under the stairs."
A grey BT receiver box connected the Nesbitts' shoe cupboard direct to the Home Office, and a small one-way radio transmitted an intermittent beep showing that it was operational. Three times in one year, the Nesbitts received a letter giving them a week's notice before the 8pm evening drill. On these occasions, Denise, John and Tess, the border collie, were required to take their places under the stairs and tune in the radio to receive a very special announcement. Denise loses her Cleveland accent momentarily to impersonate: "This is the Home Office Early Warning Test".
During the drill, the announcement would be followed by a number of test signals. "Attack Warning Red" was indicated by an unearthly warbling, while a high-pitched pip meant "Fallout Warning Black". "Attack Message White" signified all-clear.
In the event of The Real Thing, the Attack Warning Red signal would be followed by an announcement instructing the Nesbitts to sound the alarm - a hand-cranked air-raid siren kept in a wooden crate in the outside toilet.
John gives me a demonstration in the garden. It takes about 20 minutes of minor repairs and a can of WD40 before he's ready to sound the red alert (imminent danger of attack). Even so, he has yet to get the siren up on to the roof, as would have been standard procedure. Eventually, John is ready to follow the mildewed instructions for Red Warning, to be signalled by "a rising and falling note lasting for one minute".
Today, the instructions read like a macabre Blue Peter "how-to" feature. But in an emergency? "We wouldn't stand a chance," admits Denise. "Given that you've got about three minutes to do the whole thing." "Besides," adds John, "the handle fell off after the first couple of weeks."
When John reported the loose handle one December, a police officer called round to carry out an inspection. "I told him he'd have to come back after Christmas," says Denise. "I was using the crate to stand the tree on. The policeman just said 'OK', had a cup of tea, and went."
Clearly the Home Office was confident that no self-respecting superpower would launch an attack during the festive season.
In 1992, Kenneth Clark, then Home Secretary, wrote thanking Mr and Mrs Nesbitt for their participation but said that now the Cold War was over, please could he have his siren back? The Nesbitts simply locked the outside toilet and denied all knowledge. "We didn't want to give it back, they were only going to dump it." Rather than allow a bizarre epoch of home front defence to fade into techno-oblivion, Denise resolved to act as its guardian.
Although there is currently no threat of atomic attack, a new early warning system is being developed, as yet with no deadline for its installation. The scheme will make use exclusively of professional broadcasters, so there will no longer be a place in that flurry of technology for the great British amateur. But in the meantime, should anyone wish to update Dad's Army for the nuclear age, the Nesbitts would be happy to help write the scripts.

Independent 2005

Copyright 1995 Newspaper Publishing PLC

Friday, September 13

Mrs Nesbitt's Curry.

I have been experimenting in the kitchen and have come up with my own curry recipe.
Depending on personal taste and level of heat liked 1 teaspoon of the following spices + 1 teaspoon of garam masala. From watching Rick Stein's curry expedition it would appear that different regions have their own versions of garam masala. I have my own version but I can't tell you what's in it.......not because it's a secret - I forget what's in it.... but it's yellow! A while ago I had a spice revamp/clear out and put all the various spices into one big jar! Mrs Nesbitt's own Garam Masala - I can never reproduce this to taste exactly the same - such is everyday life here in my kitchen!

Getting back to the plot - mix all spices together.
Cut two chicken breasts into pieces and put to one side. (Away from Dog's noses!)

In a pan cook through some chopped onion with  oil of choice. I use Frylight - or water.
Add spices and water to reach a paste stage and add more water.

Add garlic - again according to personal taste and who you are with - I use the prepared frozen cubes - so easy and convenient.
Add diced chicken and cook through - usually 5 - 10 minutes.
Stir in chopped veg of choice - I always have a bag of frozen chopped peppers in the freezer.

Add Passata - until mixture is nice and thick and chicken and vegetables are covered.


Crumble in a chicken stock cube.

Simmer for 5 - 10 minutes until all veg is hot and mixture is thick. Add more water or passata if needed.

Just before serving stir in a Mullerlight Coconut Yoghurt.

It will look like this and taste amazing!

I made this only a couple of nights ago and Jon said it was the best curry I had ever made, and it's all my own take on a curry.

I served it with  rice.

Monday, September 9

I is for Indigo.

I love the impact of a washer dye. Gone are the days of time consuming efforts over a bucket, gloves and stuff. Now we can fill the washing machine with a dye powder, salt and fabrics.

A few months ago I revived some faded towels see here  

well two of the towels didn't dye so well and were blotchy.
So armed with the newly discovered indigo dye I set about my task!

(notice the nose behind the vertical blinds - yes Bing was watching!)

IMeanwhile - now Rayburn is on I need to transport logs from log chopping area. Happened to have 1 rusty trolley and one laundry basket laying around. Result ! INVENTION!

Whilst all this activity was going on I heard the distinctive clucking of a certain hen who had decided to lay an egg IN the sawdust bucket!

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Friday, September 6

The rain came with a vengeance!

How right was Jon to suggest we go out on the motorbike.........
24 hours ago we were tootling around in the sunshine!
Well look at the view from our gates this afternoon!

I was reluctant to let the hens out but did so...and believe me they loved it!
Gave up putting them to bed, they were too busy searching for worms.

Eventually they went to bed around 6pm! Will dry off in their luxury accommodation!


Yesterday, Thursday the weather was quite glorious so we made the most of it and went for a tootle on the California. We tooled over to Thirsk, returning home via Sutton Bank, Helmesley, Scarborough and Whitby.
We stopped off in Scarborough and as the promenade was quiet Jon snapped me with this new sculpture.

'Freddie Gilroy and the Belsen Stragglers' is a giant steel structure made by Ray Lonsdale, an artist, fabricator and sculptor and is now on permanent display, thanks to the generosity of a local Scarborough resident.

The sculpture is based on a retired miner Ray became friends with who turned out to also be one of the first soldiers to relieve the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp at the end of World War II.

This piece of art is not just about Freddie Gilroy but represents all the normal people that were pulled out of an ordinary life and forced into a very extraordinary and dangerous one during the World Wars.

Ray Lonsdale, sculptor from County Durham said:

"Scarborough is a unique town and I am pleased that my 'Freddie Gilroy and the Belsen Stragglers' will be on show there for residents and visitors alike to look at and enjoy. This piece is almost a war memorial as it depicts the lives of all those who suffered during the World Wars".

"I hope that people get enjoyment from my sculptures but also reflect on the sensitivity and emotion which I have tried to convey through my work."

The sculpture is located near to the Oasis Cafe on Scarborough's North Bay.

Ray also has 'High Tide in Short Wellies' sculpture on the beach front near the Coble Landing in Filey and an exhibition in the Arts Bank at Saltburn-by the-Sea .
As we headed over to Whitby from Scarborough there was a definite change in the weather and rather than turn right for Whitby we turned right for home. It was a race against the approaching rain but we arrived home just before the rain arrived.
I think Summer is on the way out but what a wonderful few months we have had.

The hens enjoying a dust bath yesterday.

Sunday, September 1

Heavenly Trifle - Healthy version.

I made these last night - ABSOLUTELY LUSH!


2 fruit teabags (raspberry and cranberry)
2 packets gelatine
1 cranberry and raspberry mullerlight yoghurt
1 vanilla yoghurt.

Make up the fruit tea in cup with boiling water. Stir in gelatine and add sweetener.
Add cold water to 3/4 pint.
Pour over raspberries in individual glass dishes (I used small glasses)
Leave to set.
Make up the fruit tea in cup with boiling water. Stir in gelatine. Add yoghurt.
Leave to cool off.
When set spoon in amounts on top but leave spaces.
Pour vanilla yoghurt into the top and then spoon on the quark.
Add chopped strawberries

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