Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Emptying Drawers, Handcream Tip and Free Books

I took these two photos before we went to Tesco the other night.  Compared to how these drawers looked over the Christmas holidays they are positively sparse now.  Added to this one after our shopping trip was the white cabbage and the bag of mixed vegetables.

During wartime rationing though this amount and variety of fresh food would have been exciting to see. 

Especially seeing two almost full bags of onions, they were in very short supply during the war years, and only country folk and those with their own gardens or patches of land for growing in town, would have any kind of regular supply at all.  They do take up a lot of room to grow.

And I'm guessing a melon would have been unheard of!!

I brought this tube of hand cream in out of the car after trying and trying unsuccessfully to get any more out of it, as you can see once chopped in half it yielded another few days supply.

Using the chopped off top part as a lid keeps it from drying out too quickly.

A final thing ...

Did you pick up your copies of the free books offered by the Radio Times over the Christmas period, they are well worth having.  The last little tokens were in last weeks edition.  As you can see I got both of the Little Women books and I also the Paddington Bear one, but I can't find that anywhere on my shelves.  I do get annoyed when I lose things!!

Sue xx

Monday, 15 January 2018

And the Winner is ...

Of the 60 comments that I got, all those of you who wanted to be in the draw were popped into the enamel pan this morning ...

... and the winning name was Lin.

Yes, Lin it's you. 
 from 'A Little Bit of Everything'

If you could drop me an email to the address right at the bottom of the right hand sidebar letting me know your home address I will get the book out to you as soon as I can.  I'll be at the Post Office tomorrow so if you see this before then you'll have the book by the end of this week.

*** *** ***

Many thanks to all those of you who entered for the chance to win the book.
There will be another book giveaway in February.

Sue xx


I've been asked a couple of times for my recipe for scones, especially since I published the photo of the scones that I made for Alan's' birthday.

You can't beat a scone with candles  :-)

Well actually you can ... one with candles and 10p clotted cream  ;-)

My recipe is exactly the same as my Blogging Buddy Suzy's from this book.

8oz /225g SR Flour
8oz./225g Plain Flour and 1 heaped teaspoon of Baking powder
Pinch of Salt
2.5 oz/60g  Butter or Marg
1oz/25g Caster Sugar
3.5fl oz/100ml Milk

Preheat oven to 200 Electric/ Gas 6/ Aga - sorted  :-)

Mix together your flour and salt, rub in the butter/marg until the mix resembles fine breadcrumbs, add in the sugar and stir.  Pour in the milk and stir together with a knife.  Work the dough just enough to form into a ball.

Roll out very lightly on a minimally floured surface and either cut out using a cutter and re-roll until all the mixture is used up, or do as I do and shape the ball of dough into a circle or square and cut into four quarters with a knife.  This is much easier, there is no wastage and the dough does not get over-worked.

Put your scones on a greased or lined baking tray, brush just the tops with milk and bake for around 15-20 minutes until nice and golden. 

Ta da.

For lots of variations see the page ... 'Recipes I Use' at the top of the blog.

Serve with butter, butter and jam or go the whole hog and have a Cornish Cream Tea.

Always, always, always jam on first and then cream ...well do you want a sticky nose!!   ;-)

Sue xx

Sunday, 14 January 2018

Shopping - Freebies and Wrapping Paper

We went to the cinema on Friday to watch Darkest Hour (highly recommended by the way), and on the way back we called to Tesco for fuel.  While we were there we were also posting a letter and as we were at the door of the store we decided to nip in and pick up a couple of bottles of sparkling water.  We are slowly but surely weaning ourselves off this as even though it's cheap it's daft to be buying bottled water ...even if it does have bubbles ... when the water from our taps is perfectly good to drink and totally free!!

Anyway luckily there were only 2 bottles left on the pallet so we nabbed them and then had a bit of a peruse of the other shelves.

  As you can see from the top photo and this receipt, we managed to get ourselves a few yellow stickered bargains.  A total of £12.23 worth of shopping for just £6.76.

The bread rolls we had when we got home for supper, as we had gone out without having any tea.  Served with Violife cheese and salad for me and ham, cheese and salad for Alan.  The cereals, which both have long dates but were just in damaged boxes, have been stashed in the cupboard for when Alan's current supply of wheat biscuits runs out.  The cabbage and veggies will be used half with Sunday lunch and the leftovers added to the next pot of soup we make, and the strawberries are a treat for tonight with yogurt and icecream.  

Oh, and the little wedge of Stilton perched on top of the wheat biscuits pack has been partly crumbled into Alan's final portion of this weeks broccoli soup, and the rest is to be had tonight with crackers as a tasty Sunday supper.  We tend not to eat a proper tea on a Sunday if we have had a good Sunday lunch.

While we were there I also picked up a copy of the latest Tesco magazine, purely because it was free ... and of course it could also be used as wrapping paper for a foodies friend's present  ;-)

So we spent £6.76, leaving us with £355.97 in The Purse.

Which is an average of £7.12 a week to spend for the rest of the year ... or £1.02 a day. 
So our averages have actually gone up thanks to the first two weeks of January being such low spend weeks.

Currently doing a little happy dance  :-)

Sue xx

Saturday, 13 January 2018

Trying Out a Wartime Recipe

I've got a bit obsessed with weighing things!!

It's partly to check out what I'm getting for my money and partly to bring portion sizes down to nice healthy limits ... and well it's interesting.  And I am loving that due to recipes I am following I have to check some things out in good old fashioned ounces  :-)

from Google Images

I just need to find my old fashioned scales, they look a bit like this and then I'll be laughing ... but we've moved house three times since I packed them up and I can't find them anywhere.  I think they are in a box in the shed!!

Remember this pastry pictured on the post about the solid soup ... well I cut the extra bit off on the right hand side to use in this recipe ...

... Celery Rolls.

I didn't think that making eight tiny rolls out of one stick of celery was worth faffing about with so I just used one stick to make four.  Folding the pastry over and slicing through the gaps as though making the more usual sausage rolls.

I should have believed in the recipe and done exactly as it said.

They were surprisingly delicious.  We ate them warm so I don't know what they taste like if you let them go cold.  But the lovely braised celery and the warm pastry was so tasty.  The only thing was it's virtually impossible to bite through the celery when it is in the middle of the pastry and making them this way... too big to fit in your mouth in one go ... this means your first bite of the roll pulls out all of the celery leaving you with half an empty tube of pastry to eat ... no hardship but it's tastier having the two together as was intended.

Next time, and there will be a next time, I'll make eight as the recipe says and be able to pop them in my mouth in one go   :-)

Sue xx

Friday, 12 January 2018

Book Giveaway

Talking about Nella Last and the Mass Observations war diaries yesterday reminded me of this book that I have just finished.

To be honest I didn't find it anywhere near as good a read as Nella Last's War, but it is a good book in it's own right and I suppose more relevant if you know the area it's based in.

So I thought if anyone is interested I would give it away to anyone of the lovely people who have chosen to Follow this new blog of mine.  I have been astounded at how quickly the Followers list has grown and this is one way that I can thank you for taking the time to do that.

There will be a few giveaways over the next few months as I have a couple of duplicated books and there will no doubt be other books of this genre that I won't be wanting to keep after I have read them ... and readers of this blog may be interested in them.  

So if you would like to be in the draw to perhaps win this book, and you are a Follower of the blog, just leave a comment below and I will draw a name out of the enamel pan in a couple of days and send the book off to the lucky winner as soon as I can.

Sue xx

Thursday, 11 January 2018

My Relevant Dvd Collection

As well as reading through my book collection for inspiration I've been using these cold wet days of Winter as an excuse to watch some of my Dvd collection.

Yesterday I gathered together all the titles that I think will be of use to us this year in a practical as well as entertaining way.  How Beatrix Potter fits into this I'm not sure ... but the stories are lovely to watch, and Mr McGregor does have a veggie patch I admire  ;-)

We've just finished watching the Coal House at War boxed set, after thoroughly enjoying the first in the series which was 'Coal House' set even further back in time in 1927.  Both were set in the same cottages at a mining museum in Blaenavon, South Wales.  Coal House at War follows three families going back in time to the war years, sees them take in evacuees, accept the arrival of Bevin boys to one of the cottages and is absolutely riveting to watch, and with each episode just 30 minutes long this sort of dvd is perfect to watch at lunchtime while we have our soup.

I also have other Dvds which I think just make for very good watching including The Lark Rise to Candleford boxed set and Ethel and Ernest with is totally atmospheric.   Housewife 49 is a wonderful story based on the Mass Observations diary of Nella Last from Barrow in Furness, somewhere I lived for a number of years.

For vegetable growing, storing and preserving inspiration I have the River Cottage collection of Dvds built up over the years as they have been released.

And the Jamie at Home Dvds which are based on cooking from the vegetables in your garden.

And a final little group that I was reminded I had by Sue over at The Cottage at the End of the Lane

So I have lots to read, lots to watch and hopefully because of that lots of inspiration to keep me on the straight and narrow over the course of the year.

Sue xx