Friday, 14 August 2009

Friday morning this and that . . .

"In summer, the song sings itself."
~William Carlos Williams

I had a wonderful day yesterday, the best day possible! Many thanks for the wonderful cards and greetings. You all made me feel so very special!

I worked yesterday morning but then in the afternoon we hopped into the car to go and see Terri. I had some leftover pasta salad to share with her as well as half a courgette loaf and a few other bits and bobs. I thought we could perhaps help her with some chores, and keep her company for a bit. I can't think of a better thing to do on your birthday than to do some service for another. It's in losing yourself in others, that your life just gets that little bit better!

We visited for a while and then we took her in the car to get some groceries as her larder was definitely looking a bit skint. She really enjoyed the trip and it gave her a bit of a change of scenery. She has slowed down a lot to what she was before her accident, but then she is 84 and one might expect that she would. I noticed as well, that her memory is getting a bit addled as well, which did worry me some. She had a habit of wandering off from the grocery cart, just leaving her bag there for anyone to grab. It's a good thing I was with her and keeping an eye on things. We did enjoy helping her though and it was really nice for her to get out and about a bit. She has not left the house much at all since her accident, except for hospital appointments.

Afterwards we helped her to put her groceries away and made sure she was settled before we started back on our way home. She is such a lovely lady and quite lonely. Angie had sent her a post card and she was just thrilled to have gotten it. It meant a lot to her Angie, thanks so much. She was dead chuffed to receive it!

When we got back here to the cottage, we give Jess a run with her ball and a cuddle. She misses us so much when we are away from her, but she doesn't really like to go in the car so we don't take her out with us as much as we would if she liked going in the car. We have a ramp that she can go up to get into the car with, but we practically have to push her all the way up it. She can be a very stubborn dog when she wants to, and when it comes time to walk her down and out of the car on it, it's a definite no go. She really digs her heels in and won't budge!!

Todd took me out to a local pub for supper. They have a Thursday evening special two for one deal with a Set Menu. The pair of us got a lovely meal including a starter and a main for less than £20, which is quite a fair price for two, and it was very tasty, which is a real novelty for me as most times when we eat out I am quite disappointed! I had a lovely vegetable soup to begin and then some braised rib eye steak with fresh summer vegetables . . . new potatoes, carrots, peas and lovely broccoli, all cooked to perfection. The Steak had such a wonderful flavour and was meltingly tender, with a delicious sauce spooned over top. I really need to get their recipe!

Afterwards we just came back home and relaxed a bit in front of the telly for the rest of the evening. All in all . . . it had been the perfect day, and you all helped to make it just that little bit more special! I thanks you from the bottom of me heart!

I was far too full after that supper to want to eat anything else, but if I had had any room, I'd have gone for a piece of this delicious cake. Moist and filled with sweet blueberries, it goes down a real treat every time I make it.

*Lemon Glazed Blueberry Bundt Cake*
Serves 12
Printable Recipe

I fell in love with this cake the very first time that I made it. It's deliciously moist and chocker block full of sweet berries. The Lemon glaze is just perfect on top, giving it just a little bit of a tang, which only helps to enhance the flavour of the blueberries.

2 1/2 cups flour, plus 1 tsp
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup butter, at room temperature
1 cup soft light brown sugar, packed
1 cup caster sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup dairy sour cream
2 cups fresh blueberries
the finely grated zest of two lemons
Lemon Glaze:
the juice of two lemons
2 to 3 cups of icing sugar, sifted

Pre-heat the oven to 180*C/350*F. Butter and flour a 12 cup Bundt or tube pan. Set aside.

Whisk 2 1/2 cups of the flour, baking powder and salt together in a bowl. Set aside.

In another bowl, cream together the butter and two sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, beating until thoroughly combined. Beat in the vanilla. Add the flour mixture, adding it in alternately with the sour cream, beginning and ending with the flour, and making sure it is totally incorporated. Gently toss the blueberries and the lemon zest with the 1 tsp of flour. Gently fold them into the batter.

Spread the batter in the prepared pan and bake on the bottom rack of the oven for 60 to 70 minutes, or until the cake tests done when a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean and the top springs back when lightly touched.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for about 20 minutes before removing it and inverting on a wire rack to finish cooling completely. Place on a serving plate.

Make the glaze by combining the lemon juice and the sifted icing sugar, mixing until the desired consistency has been reached, and the mixture is smooth. You want a spoonable glaze. Spoon the glaze over the cake. Enjoy!

If you'd like the recipe for this incredibly tasty pasta salad that we had the other night with our chicken, take a gander at The English Kitchen. It's quite delicious and very easy to make!

PS - Holly, you were my birthday giveaway winner, so please make sure to contact me with your details soonest, so that I can get it off into the post and winging it's way across the pond to you!


  1. I am glad that your day turned out so well and that your dinner out was a welcome treat.

  2. I might have known that you would spend your birthday in the service of another. That is so like you. WHAT ARE YOU LIKE??? That is what you are like....loving and caring!

    I am glad that Terri got a chance to get out a bit. I am sure that she was thrilled with all that you did for her.

    I'm glad that Todd took you out for a nice dinner. It sounds delicious...and the best part is that you didn't have to prepare it or clean it up. That alone makes eating out special but it is an added bonus when the meal is delicious as well.

    It is after midnight here now. I am about to fall asleep at the computer so I will say good night...ummm...that is good morning to you. I am glad that you had a nice birthday and I hope that you have a great Friday as well.

    Much love sweet friend. Lura

  3. I'm glad to hear you had such a great day and didn't have to work the whole of it. I really think they should give everyone a day off on their birthdays but that doesn't happen.

  4. Sounds like a great way to spend your birthday! That dessert looks YUMMY!~Patti

  5. What a lovely afternoon Marie. I made your baked chicken from yesterday's post and it was delicious! I did change it up a little bit (I'm getting a little braver about my cooking!) by using bone-in chicken breasts and cooked it 45 minutes. It was perfect and we loved it! blessings, marlene

  6. It's not really surprising Terri has slowed up since her accident. It knocks the stuffing out of you and makes you a bit afraid to do what you did before. Also of course she doesn't have the mental stimulus of getting from A to B and working. I hope I'm as good when I'm 84 - and the goodies you took will have helped!

    love, Angie, xx

  7. So very glad you had such a wonderful birthday, Marie! And with treats all around...lovely...just as a birthday should be! :o) Glad Terri is doing good, though sorry she's going slow now...but great you had a chance to be with her. The cake looks marvelous...mmm...Love blueberries! Oh, a package is on its way to you! ;o) I'll be away from the computer a bit this weekend, but do hope we get to chat on Sunday. LOVE YOU HEAPS, dear friend (8BIG HUGS))

  8. I'm just catching up on reading your blog. So sorry I didn't say it sooner--

    Happy Birthday, Marie!!!

    What a wonderful way to spend your birthday. Much love to you from Utah. Hope all is well.


  9. i didn't see these posts until today-sorry i'm late! thanks again so much! :) happy happy birthday!! sounds like your day was perfect.

  10. Marie, I am so happy that things went well with Terri and that you helped her with shopping. Being old and alone must be frightening when you need help. So many have no one, you and Todd are angels!

    I have just seen the movie Julie and Julia about Julia Child. I thought of your love for cooking as I watched it. I hope you get to see it, you will love it. Meryl Streep is brilliant in it. I just got home and already I know I will see it again on the big screen and buy the DVD when available~it is a keeper. Just like you! Glad your birthday was wonderful!

    ♥ ♥ ♥ Bon


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