Friday 9 September 2011

A lot of prattle about not very much . . .

Thank God for dirty dishes . . .
they have a tale to tell;
while other folk go hungry,
they show we're eating well.

So even when the sink's piled high,
Please do not make a fuss;
for by this stack of evidence,
God's truly good to us.

I've long had this verse hanging in my kitchen and I have also had it written inside the cover of my Big Blue Binder. I do love these types of things. Years ago I gave my mother a pretty little spoon rest with that same verse on it that sits in her kitchen still. It's these little touches that make a house a home, don't you think?

We had our good friends Audrey and Peter over for supper last night. It is Audrey's Birthday today and with Todd's only having been two days ago, we often do something together to help to celebrate the two. They're both the same age as well. I made a lasagne and fruit crumble and we enjoyed a pleasant evening together chatting and having a laugh. We have been good friends for many years now and do so enjoy their company. We went on holiday together to France a number of years back, and spent two weeks sharing an old stone cottage. One of my favourite holidays ever. It is not many friends you can go on holiday like that with and still stay friends! We have always enjoyed their company very much.

We are off to Cumbria tomorrow and the weather, for at least the first few days, is not looking very good. They are calling for rain and high winds at least right through to Monday! I do hope that we don't get a repeat of the flooding they got up in Cumbria some two years ago! That wouldn't be very nice. Every time we have gone in the past, we have been blessed with gorgeous weather, so we really can't complain. That area is known for having lots of rain. I am hoping that we will be able to get into Beatrix Potter's farm this time. We've tried in the past and it's been too busy to get in, so we have our fingers crossed that now the kiddies are back in school they won't be as busy. As you know I love Beatrix Potter's artwork, and it would be so nice to finally see Hilltop Farm!

We are bringing an assortment of dvd's etc. with us and I will be bringing along my water colours and lap top so I can still write and paint. And of course, we will have Mitzie with us to keep us company and explore all the nooks and crannies with. I doubt very much we will have internet access, so you probably won't be hearing from me until we get back. I will take lots of photos though, as I always do, and I shall bore you with my Holiday Snaps when I get back! Today we are popping into the city on the bus to pay a bill and pick up a few bits and bobs that we need to take along with us. I just love that we live where we do and can pop into the city like we do. I always missed being able to do that when we lived down South!! We were so remote that we needed to have a car to get anywhere.

I hope our fish will be ok whilst we are gone. Todd has purchased an automatic feeder and we have spent the past couple of weeks, trying to figure out how to use it. He is hoping he has it set up correctly and that they will be ok. I wonder how anyone who keeps chickens or other animals ever gets to go on holidays? They must have to have some very generous reliable friends to help them out . . . either that , or they never go away! We haven't seen the frogs for a couple weeks now so I am thinking that they have gone into hibernation already, either that or they've been eaten by a hungry big bird! (I do hope they haven't!)

Everything else it tickety boo, but I do have a list as long as my arm of things to do today, which includes cutting Todd's hair. I have been promising him that I will do it all week, and something keeps getting in the way of it happening. I WILL do it today! We are going to go into Marks and Spencers to pick up a couple of their ready meals. There is a kitchen in the cottage we are staying, but the pots and pans are very limited so I won't be doing any gourmet cookery whilst there, but I do like a nice meal. Marks and Spencers do some very nice ones and it is still cheaper than eating out so we'll pick up a few and then fill in the holes with beans on toast and egg and chips! (I'm starting to get excited now! Can you tell??)

It's not a cruise on the Caribbean, or the Mediterranean . . . or a coach trip to Italy, or a holiday in Teneriffe or Ibiza or Greece . . . it's just a little week in Cumbria, but it's going to be wonderful for us to get away for a bit. Perhaps one day we'll be able to afford to go to some of theose exotic places, but for now this is as exotic as we can get, and we'll be enjoying it every bit as much as we would one of those other places . . . half the fun is in enjoying the company you are with, and the rest is in making the most of where you are! I'll be with my two much loved family members (Todd and Mitzie) and so this will be the best holiday ever! Wish me well!!

I'll try to send a postcard if I can!

(I'll be bringing a box of these tasty cookies with us to snack on as well!)

(Picture and recipe adapted from Land o Lakes)

*Lunchbox Oatmeal Cookies*
Makes 24
Printable Recipe

Everyone's favourite. Crisp and wholesome with the added treat of candied chocolate bits. You can add some spice if you want. I like a bit of cinnamon and nutmeg.

1 cup soft light brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 cup of butter, room temperature
1 large free range egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 3/4 cup of old fashioned rolled oats
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup of candy coated chocolate buttons (such as smarties or
plain M&M's)

Preheat the oven to 190*C/375*F/ gas mark 5. Combine the sugar, butter, egg and vanilla in large bowl. Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often, until light and creamy. Reduce speed to low and add the oats, flour, baking soda and salt. Continue beating until well mixed together. Stir in the chocolate pieces.

Drop the dough by heaping teaspoonfuls, 2 inches apart, onto lightly greased cookie sheets. Bake for 9 to 11 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Let stand 1 minute on cookie sheets before removing to wire racks to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.

Cooking in The English Kitchen today, a delicious Lazy Man's Beef Stew!

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