Sunday, 22 June 2008


I have been tagged by the lovely Raquel over at Kitchen Mysteries.

There are some rules that apply:
Each participant answers questions about himself. At the end of the post the participant tags 5 people. Their names are posted letting them know they’ve been tagged. They then have to read the participant’s blog. The tagged let’s the tagger know when he’s posted his answers.

So here goes:

What was I doing 10 years ago ?

I was still getting used to a new baby as my DD#3 had been born 5 weeks beforehand. 

5 Things on my to do list today.

1. Make a pizza with the leftover Nigella Express Chilli I made yesterday.

2. Sort through a mountain of clothes in my bedroom and try to be ruthless about what needs thrown out!

3. Look out my DD#3 hospital appointment form for this week.

4. Feed the vegetables in the garden

5. Write some letters for the Scouts as I am now the local groups secretary.


5 Snacks I enjoy.

1. I love toast, buttered, marmalade, cheese, honey, jam, ham and pickle, I LOVE TOAST!

2. A cheddar cheese and homemade raspberry jam sandwich. Don't knock it till you have tried it, it is one of my Dad's favourites as well.

3.  I can quite happily munch through sour cream and chive pringles if I am left alone with them.

4. A nice bar of milk chocolate and a glass of cold milk.

5. Leftover cold curry!


5 Things I would  do if I was a Millionaire.

1. Clear any debt within my own and my OH's immediate families.

2. Go on a worldwide holiday to see all the places I have visited in my dreams.

3. I would buy a remote house for us to live in where I could have my goats and chickens and a vegetable patch.

4. I would put money aside for the girl's future.

5.  Set up a trust for children in Primary school who are disadvantaged.


5 Places I have lived.

1. I grew up in a small paper making town in Fife, my parents have been in the same house for over 40 years.

2. Rochdale, Lancashire when I was a Nanny.

3. Middleton, Manchester where I lived when I was first married and had DD#1&2.

4. Glenrothes, Fife. I came home to Fife and my family when my marriage broke down.

5. Still in Fife, but in a small ex-mining village where my OH grew up and which I have grown to love.

5 Jobs I have had.

1. I was a Saturday girl in a local bakers when I was a teenager. I loved that job and the experiences it gave me.

2. I was a sole charge live-in Nanny for a little boy. After qualifying as a nursery nurse I left home to move to England for that job. He will be 20 now.

3. I worked as a customer service representative at Sky at weekends.

4. As receptionist/PA in a home improvements company. This is where I met my OH.

5. Currently as a Pupil Support Assistant in a school and it is the job I have enjoyed the most.


Ok so who should I tag?

Wendy at A Wee Bit of Cooking

Karen at Do Better

Julia at A Slice of Cherry Pie

Cowie and Browners at Around Britain With A Paunch

Jules at Domestic Goddess in Training

You are all it!

Monday, 16 June 2008

Fathers Day

Yesterday was Fathers day and I was stuck as to what to get for my Dad. My youngest daughter said "Why don't you get him that thing you got a lady to make ages ago in that shop where she had lots of good food!"

Mmmmm, I started thinking and, although children have this knack of composing looooong sentences, she had managed to get enough information in it to remind me of what she meant.

Ages ago in Anstruther there was this fabulous little shop on the waterfront that sold amazing home made food. It turns out the lady was a farmers wife and had started her own cooking business. She had a selection of wonderful soups, mains and puddings, vegetarian fayre, fresh or frozen but all home made and additive free.

One day when we were in the shop I spotted a treat in the corner, now this treat has many variations according to region and family recipes, but this one looked good. What was it? It was a clootie dumpling.

My Dad loves dumpling and sadly not so many people make them nowadays. When he was young the dumpling would have been huge and lasted for several days in a variety of dishes, as a cake, served with custard or best of all fried and served with bacon and eggs.

So yesterday I made my first dumpling, lovingly prepared and cooked for hours before drying in the oven. I used the recipe from the link above and was pleased with the result, especially as I had managed to get a nice skin to form around the dumpling. I did not have a cloot, so according to tradition I used a clean cotton pillowcase, but it was not just any pillowcase I used one that had been my Grannys. I am sure that made all the difference!

Heres a picture of a slice.



Saturday, 14 June 2008

Past times


I had the pleasure of another school trip yesterday. We went back to Dunfermline but visited  2 places I have always intended on going to but just never had found the time. We took  the train as it is only a few stops away from school and the children were fantastic.

First stop was abbot house where we had the most wonderful guide to take us round, but the first and most exciting thing for the children was getting to dress up. We had a King and Queen, a soldier, various street sellers, pennant holders and some monks.

We then took a tour of the house, abbey and graveyard. It was wonderful and the guide had some wonderful stories to tell, he really gave you a feel for how it would have been to live in Dunfermline in the time of St Margaret.PICT0025                                                                                              

At the top of the abbey you can see the words King Robert The Bruce around the tower, the stonework is beautiful, and some of the letters have been recently restored.

The children had a procession back to the house chanting

   "Make way for the King and Queen"

The actual house is like a tardis and there are 14 rooms for you to explore. It was while in the room where a whole family would have lived that the children were told how cramped conditions were.

The next stop was the Glen for a quick picnic then off to see Andrew Carnegie's birthplace.

The cottage is beautiful and the children got a flavour of how life would have been when he was a young boy living in Dunfermline.

PICT0072 PICT0084 Life would have been hard, but I am sure people were happier. When you see how much we waste today, and how many things we have that we don't really need, it makes you think that sometimes we should look to the past if we want to protect our future.

Wednesday, 11 June 2008

Tough Love and Rum Truffles

I have been really busy at home and work lately, and of course living in the UK I have tried to catch some of the good weather we have been having, as you never know how long it will last.

Teenagers are funny creatures, they want so much to be grown up and have their "freedom", but they are not ready for the responsibility that comes with adulthood.

My eldest has left school and I am actively encouraging her to seek some employment, or go to college. To my horror she is showing no interest. I know how hard it is for her and I think she feels that she will wait till after her holiday with her Grandparents, but try telling a moody 16 yr old that all the jobs will have gone to uni students by the time she gets back!
I have now had to resort to tough love - something I used to find hard to understand, but now as a parent I know it is sometimes essential.

Mum, have you got 50p for the shop.....NO
Can you get me this at the shop.....NO

We are trying so hard to help her understand that everything we have has cost money, the time she spends on the computer = electricity and internet subscription.
watching the TV = electricity, TV License and Sky subscription.

I know that one day the penny will drop, but until then I will keep chipping away with my fingers crossed. Hoping that she will do something worthwhile with her time.

I made these truffles last week and they were delicious, next time I make them I will coat them with white or milk chocolate for an extra treat.

Rum Truffles

4 egg yolks
8 oz cooking chocolate
4 oz unsalted butter
6 oz icing sugar
2 dessertspoonfuls rum

Cream butter and sugar

Beat in egg yolks

Melt Chocolate

Mix all ingredients together (chocolate last as it sets quickly)

Cool in fridge then roll into balls, coat with cocoa or vermicelli if desired.

Thursday, 5 June 2008

A Glorious Day at the Glen

The school where I work were given the opportunity to see a play called The Song from the Sea at the Carnegie Hall in Dunfermline this week. As the hire cost of transport often makes these Free days out unachievable, the Headteacher thought we might as well make a day of it, so off we went to Dunfermline Glen to play at the park and have a picnic before walking along to the theatre to see the show.

The views were stunning, you could see the Forth bridges in the distance, there is also a museum, greenhouses and hundreds of squirrels who love being fed around the gardens.While walking to the bottom we got a lovely view of the Abbey.

We were blessed with glorious weather and staff and children had a good day out.
The first local strawberries have appeared in the shops and have so much more flavour than all the imported and forced ones. I had seen a recipe for Pavlova in a book I have and what better combination than meringue, cream and juicy ripe strawberries.


Serves 8

4 egg whites
8 oz caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 tsp vinegar
2 tsp cornflour
15 floz double or whipping cream
Fresh fruit

Pre-heat oven to gas mark 2 150oC.

Whisk the egg whites in a large bowl or mixer till stiff, keep whisking while adding the sugar a tbsp at a time until the mixture is thick and glossy and all the sugar is used up.

*handy hint* rub a little of the mixture between your thumb and forefinger, if there are no gritty bits, it’s ready, if not continue mixing for a few more minutes.

Fold in the vanilla, vinegar and cornflour and spoon into a circle on a piece of silicone paper which is already on a baking tray. Make a slight well in the centre with the edges slightly higher.

Cook for 1 hour, then cool slightly before peeling from the paper and carefully placing on a serving plate.

*handy hint* you can brush the well with melted chocolate and let it set
to keep the base crisp when it is filled.

Fill with whipped cream and fresh fruit