Monday 22 August 2011

A Monday to do about nothing . . .

A bunch of friends and I were talking about gossip one day and how harmful it can be. We all agreed that the best approach would be not to listen and never to pass it on. One mentioned this old saying:

"Why do dogs have so many friends? Because they wag their tails, not their tongues!"

It seem to me that that is the best approach of all! I've often thought that if someone is really keen to talk about others to you . . . then you can be most assured that when they leave your presence they are awfully keen to talk about you to others too!

Speaking of dogs, yesterday afternoon we could hear Mitzie barking oddly in the back garden. She never barks at anything, so I knew that there must be something out there that was upsetting her and, sure enough, upon investigation we discovered that there was a wee little hedgehog sitting in the grass and she was a big frightened of it. Her bark was warning us of impending danger I think . . . either that or she was asking for help! I did managed to snap a photo of her with it.

Of course she got a little braver once we appeard on the scene and got quite close to it, although she still kept a bit of a distance! And who could blame her, I am sure those prickles could really tickle your nose, if not hurt a bit! Not like a porqupine though . . . they actually "throw" their quills at unlucky investigators and the unhappy recipients must needs to to a Doctor (or a Vet) to have them removed, as they have little barbs on the ends like fish hooks.

We were to a friend's house for dinner last night and it was just lovely. The missionaries were there, as well as another lady, and she had cooked a lovely Roast Dinner. We sat down to a lovely meal of delicious roast chicken with all the trimmings. Her Roast Potatoes were gorgeous and her chicken was one of the best I had ever tasted. I asked her what her secret was and she said lots of butter! For dessert we feasted on hot fudge cake and clotted cream ice cream . . . I think I will have to do push ups for a week to make up for that one!

On the way home from church yesterday we noticed that many leaves are beginning to turn . . . ambers and yellows are showing up on the tree tops and a few trees are actually beginning to shed their leaves. I noticed too, that the evenings are becoming decidedly cooler and even wondered the other night as we crawled into bed should I dig out the warm blanket now . . . Autumn seems in a hurry to arrive it seems, and we've had hardly any summer it seems! I know they had somewhat of a heatwave down South a few weeks back, but we only had maybe two nights where it was a bit warmish upstairs for sleeping. Todd always gets a bit sad when we don't have much of a summer. He looks forward to summer all year long, and then it is seemingly gone in no time at all. Me, I prefer to find something to enjoy in all the seasons . . . that way I am always happy no matter the weather! (Although I will admit that the rain does get me down a bit from time to time!)

I must dash now and make up for yesterday when I hadn't the time to read many of your blogs. I find it really hard on Sunday mornings to make my way around the blog block, and yesterday afternoon I didn't have time either, once I had called my mother and then we went out, so I am going to do a bit of reading this morning before I start my day. I do hope that wherever you are and whatever you are doing that Monday gives you a day that is special and blessed in many little ways!

My culinary offering for you today is a delicious Banoffee Pie. Credit for the pie's invention is claimed by Ian Dowding and Nigel Mackenzie of The Hungry Monk restaurant in Jevington, East Sussex. They claim to have invented the pie in 1972, and the restaurant's exterior bears a blue plaque to that effect. The dish, with various stories of its source, spread, and in 1994 a number of supermarkets began selling it as an American pie, leading Dowding and Mackenzie to offer a £10,000 prize to anyone who could disprove their claim. From what I understand, nobody has been able to claim the prize, as of yet.

*Banoffee Pie*

Serves 8

Printable Recipe

The lovely taste of banana, cloaked in sweet, delicious caramel, over top of a crunchy biscuit crust and covered in rich, sweetly whipped cream. This dessert is to die for, I kid you not! Sinfully rich and incredibly easy to make! Making the caramel does take some time though, so plan ahead!

1 1/2 cups digestive biscuit crumbs (Or graham cracker crumbs if you can get them)

10 tablespoons butter, softened

2 cans sweetened condensed milk

3 large bananas

1 1/2 cups double cream

1/3 cup icing sugar, sifted

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

¼ cup hard toffees, crushed into bits

Dark cocoa powder for dusting

A few toasted walnuts, broken into pieces

Preheat oven to 180*C/350* F.

Mix graham cracker crumbs with softened butter and press mixture into 9-inch pie plate. Bake for 5 to 8 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.

Lower the oven to 150*C/300*F to make the toffee filling.

To create the toffee filling you must caramelise the sweetened condensed milk, which is really quite easy. Pour the condensed milk into a 9 by 12 by 2-inch glass baking dish. Cover tightly with foil and place dish inside a larger baking dish. Add water to the larger dish until it comes half way up sides of baking dish. Place into the oven and bake for 1 1/2 hours. Remove from the oven and remove the dish with the caramel from the hot water. Let cool.

Once both the crust and toffee filling are cooled, spread half of the toffee filling evenly inside crust. Slice the bananas and layer on top of the filling. Pour the remaining half of the toffee filling over bananas, spreading evenly. Whip the cream with the icing sugar and vanilla and spread on top of toffee filling and bananas. Dust the top with a sprinkling of dark cocoa powder. Scatter the crushed toffees and toasted walnut pieces over the top and serve.

Cooking in The English Kitchen today a delicious Tuna Melt! I'm also testing a fab one cup water heater!

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