Monday, 21 July 2014

Fat Summer Strawberries


Hello.

Let's pop on the kettle, flop on the grass and just wait for it to sing, shall we?

Well, what do you know - and I say this with only a smidgen of staggered surprise - British Summer 2014 has really been quite lovely ... so far!  Hasn't it?

*she says crossing her fingers and swiftly rapping her knuckles against something lucky*

That is not to say, of course, that we have not had our rainy spells.  Or those anxious stretches of days, which make folk begin to despair a little and think despondently that perhaps 'that week in April' really was all we were down for.  Better luck next time, hey?  
But then out the sun would pop again, shining its pretty rays down on this little temperate isle.
And this combination of 'good ole' British rain plus some fabulous sunshine, has not only made our hearts feel light, but it has also had the joyful affect of making our gardens and allotments bloom.  
From scrubby bedraggled patches to Peter Rabbit places, where perhaps pumpkins wind their fairy-tale, Cinderella tendrils through the grass or wigwams of peas invite a spot of impromptu podding and popping into eager mouths.
But the cream of the Summer crop, for me, has to be the Strawberry.  Glossy red, gleaming and totally jewel-like, in their protective beds of hay.
Cheekily, I would even dare to say, were you to grow nothing more than a little patch of these at the bottom of your garden or in a hanging basket over your back door or even in a window box, that moments of wholehearted H.a.P.p.Y-ness would be yours, come long Summer days.
Bringing home perhaps the last of the allotments fruity bounty I ponder on 'tasty somethings'.

...
Sliced over my breakfast cereal perhaps? Or as the children do with a dollop of buttercup yellow Cornish ice cream?  Will I make a pot of Summer-in-a-Kilner-Jar-Jam? Or super quick Strawberry Banana Ice Cream (just give me a nudge and I'll share ... hashtag generousme!).  Then there's Homemade Fruit Roll Ups!  Or maybe I should freeze them, only to bring them out on a misty November morn to plop into bowls of thick, cream swirled porridge and so keep little tummies warm and little hearts happy?

No I think, today is Friday.  It is the Weekend Eve!  
And so I make Prosecco Soaked Strawberries.  

And if that were not wickedly perfect enough, I covered them in chocolate too! 

...

Prosecco Soaked Strawberries

250g of fat strawberries or 1 Punnet
Bottle of Prosecco or Champagne
200g Bar of Dark Chocolate
A Splash of Double Cream 

1. Wash the strawberries, leaving their greens attached, before finding yourself a good large Kilner Jar.  Drop in each ruby berry, before gleefully popping open the bottle of fizz.  
...
Its worth saying, your choice of bubbles is, of course, entirely dependent on how happy your piggy bank is feeling and I did even get to pondering whether a lovely Elderflower Presse would do the job beautifully, while having the added option of being alcohol free?  Let me know?

3. Listening out for its happy, effervescent whish, pour in the Prosecco and then screw on the lid.  Proudly sit in your fridge for 24 hours.

4. Taking the strawberries out of the jar and patting dry, it is 'Chefs' prerogative to tip the remaining strawberry infused Prosecco into a glass and enjoy. 

5. Melt the chocolate - dark for me, milk for my friend - in a heat proof bowl over a pan of hot water before carefully swirling in the table spoon of cream.

6. Using the green tops swoop your bubbly happy strawberries in the chocolate and smugly place on a sheet of parchment or wax paper.   

7. Let them set in the fridge for about an hour.

8. Bring out to rapturous interest and offers of undying friendship from all.

Love MrsBx


Monday, 19 May 2014

Keep Dreaming

I wrote this so many years ago now.  My lavender plugs grew, were blissful but now are getting straggly and need replaced... And finally the dream
I planted that day is close to completion with the little blue shed going up this weekend.  Small steps, inching forward.  If you keep dreaming who knows what possibilities will blossom into reality? 

Old post.

I wander round and round, a garden full of bee song and lavender scents.  
There are herbs, edible flowers and the possibility of beehives.
I dream of a few pots of honey, of lavender soap and rosemary cake, of thyme syrup to ease a sore throat... A rain washed, blue shed.  An imagined double camping stove, with a singing blue enamel kettle.  

Friends know the tin the cake is in.
I am taking the first steps to this dream today, planting the seed... growing, nuturing the possibility of a dream life.
What are you dreaming of?

Sunday, 11 May 2014

The Tiniest Barn Raising

Every allotment needs a shed.  

Somewhere to hang your hat.  Somewhere to keep your welly boots.  And vitally somewhere to make that well earned cuppa while gazing out over your little patch of proud greenness, as the warmth makes your nose glow.
And so our city-dwellers version of a tiny barn raising was to begin. 
Now, barn raisings depend in great part upon team work, fine weather and good cheer. But most importantly, a steady supply of good food! 
So Bank Holiday weekend dawns sunshiny and we head to Morrisons.
"Strawberries please!"
And...
"Blueberries, they're my favourite."
As
Happily, both go into the trolley. 
Vibrant displays of fresh greens, glossy amethyst purples and the sheen of pearlescent white - and savouring this gentle pace, we wander companionably together, pondering delicious pairings and fun menu possibilities...
We find fresh fish...
And a helpful fishmonger! 
...we find perfect barn raising fodder to eat, during the sunshine filled rests, filling tummies, as instructions are read and re-read.
...the simple and most right food...
An incredible Cornish Pasty! (£1.70 for 2)
...and look what it fuelled!
...and to celebrate BBQ's of expertly prepared sardines (by our lovely Morrisons fishmonger) with heat blistered tomatoes on the vine (3 packs for £1.50) and the simple sweet nuttiness of New Jersey potatoes for only £1!
Life's very best moments, flavours and delights are often not those that cost us dear.  They are found amongst good company, in sharing fresh wholesome food and in those little triumphs we accomplish along our way.
We would like to thank Morrisons for their help in making our tiny barn raising our tiny triumph! A delight to shop for, at excellent value and most crucially for us...simply delicious! 

#morrisonsmum

Friday, 2 May 2014

Keep Dreaming

I wrote this so many years ago now.  My lavender plugs grew, were blissful but now are getting straggly and need replaced... And finally the dream
I planted that day is close to completion with the little blue shed going up this weekend.  Small steps, inching forward.  If you keep dreaming who knows what possibilities will blossom into reality? 

Old post.

I wander round and round, a garden full of bee song and lavender scents.  
There are herbs, edible flowers and the possibility of beehives.
I dream of a few pots of honey, of lavender soap and rosemary cake, of thyme syrup to ease a sore throat... A rain washed, blue shed.  An imagined double camping stove, with a singing blue enamel kettle.  

Friends know the tin the cake is in.
I am taking the first steps to this dream today, planting the seed... growing, nuturing the possibility of a dream life.
What are you dreaming of?

Space


  • We have our very own allotment...
  • ...hmmmmm?
  • But with a little (very) hard graft later and we are starting to see progress...
  • I hope you will come along with me through this first year of ups and downs, ins and outs, bramble tangles and slug related tragedy! And plenty of cups of tea and slices of cake in the shed! X

Monday, 30 September 2013

There is Broth on the Stove x

chicken soup for the chicken pox

In times of sorrow, when in need of comfort and familiarity, this is what we do.

Soup.

In our case it is broth, full of carrots and turnip, fat homey pearl barley and plenty of chicken-y broth to warm your tummy, who will remind your heart that is going to be ok.

My Pop has died and all our hearts are not so sure, but chopping keeps hands working and the familiarity of a family recipe keeps a head from the shards of a sore heart.

And when they come - carrying away their warm bowls and soft bread - I know, that pushing a spoon down, allowing only the mellow goldeness of fragrant, bright chicken broth to fill it while leaving the pile of plump grains and hunks of soup-softened veggies to savour last, it will for a short while remind us all that love lives on.

Memories like the very best flavours are something to enjoy, to keep stashed away, to savour...

Wool caps and tobacco tins, travel sweets and shepherds crooks, boats and tractors, sheep dogs and twenty pound notes, Wethers Originals and checked shirts, wendy houses and my first bike - a Raleigh BlueBird, stick men and funny cats, prickly kisses, agools and God Blesses...

I wish, with total selfishness that we could all go on forever.  But of course we cannot.  Its tough to be one of the last to leave - its tiring.  In the quieter times, I think perhaps its not impossible that we live on.  Like a whisper of sea mist, or leaves caught in an eddy of wind, or perhaps in those fierce moments when memory trips us up and we suddenly remember, washed away by the strength of emotion, maybe it is then that they are there with us - popping in to check up, to see how we are and stay a while?  

So when it does, sit down with a cuppa and lets talk.  Lets talk as I wish we could have done more.  We fool ourselves that there is no time.  But time is an illusion we tie ourselves up in, wrap around us to excuse us, blanket ourselves under to keep from vulnerability.  There is always time.

Keep those you love close.  Trust with all your heart.  Speak with all your truth.

Love is what lets us all live on.

x

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Birthday

Nutella is a must.
Untitled
Sunshine is frequently a given.  Something to with hurricane cycles?

Much loved, happy souls about to share a morning cappu is a happy wish.
Untitled
Time with this wonderful specimen of HusMan is the very best gift.
DSC_6863
And these + balloons are the icing on my birthday cake!
Untitled
For I'm going to be 35 on Tuesday...
Untitled
Lovely stuff!

As Master B rather joyously, with a touch of mathematical smug pointed out...

"We can round you up to 40."
Un-Birthday Cupcake
True Fact!

I love birthdays! 
I'm looking forward to a thoroughly ponderous day - being grateful at where I am, giving a nod to where I have been and looking ahead to where I want to go - so, so long as The B's don't round up my candles too, I look forward to a sweet 35th birthday!
Happy Birthday, MrsB
Here's to another year lived, and with all things crossed another to come.  

It's nice x


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