Recipes from my Suffolk Kitchen

Friday, 28 July 2017

Aubergine?

One of this years failures are my aubergine plants.
I started off with 4 plants
and just have this
Vaguely an aubergine I suppose. Well it's the right colour.

Plan for next year...................bigger pots and further into the greenhouse, away from the door and draughts.

Back Soon
Sue

Thursday, 27 July 2017

Last Sunday Afternoon was................

................damp and dreary, no good for gardening and Col with the horrible head cold and wanting to snooze. So I disappeared upstairs to the craft room and put together two cross stitch cards and made the garden shed card. The two cards on the left were made a few weeks ago using some patterned papers with flower toppers and peel-offs stuck over the print flowers and gems for the centres of the flowers. Bottom right is just 3D decoupage.
Recently made cards
 Then  I sorted out a few more pages for the scrapbook. I'd left a space for our eldest's wedding before  doing a Jacob page last year. So two wedding pages (Eldest daughter and son) and then a page for Florence.
Next I'm going to sort some photos and do a page for the move here,  another for Col's 60th birthday and then  a page in memory of Mum and Dad C.

 Monday's weather was even worse than Sunday..........we had rain all day bar about an hour, which is quite unusual for Suffolk, so after house work and food prep I went and made another couple of cards and started looking for  photos for the scrap book.



Back Shortly
Sue


Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Out longer than we thought

A tale of too many hours out!

Col had to go up to hospital for a kidney function test yesterday morning. This involves a blood test, an injection of a radio active substance(!) and then a blood test an hour later...................or so he thought.
He dropped me off in Ipswich town centre for shopping and planned to pick me up later, then  supermarket shopping and home in time for lunch.
I'd been in town for about an hour and a half when he phoned to say he had to have 3 blood tests - after one hour, two hours and three hours. Question was - did I want to stay in town for another 3 hours? Aaaagh - NO THANKS. So he came and picked me up after blood test #1. Then we went back to hospital, where I dropped him at the right entrance and then went and found somewhere to park - the only place I could find was right at the other end of the hospital!
By the time I'd walked the whole length of the hospital he'd had the second blood test and we went for lunch in the canteen. Then he went back to wait for 3rd blood test while I went for shopping at Sainsburys which is nearest to the hospital but my least favourite superstore and then back to hospital again and had just got up to the clinic where he was when he came out after third blood test.
Then we came home. Phew.
Had to put all the shopping away, only to discover the box of food from Approved Foods outside the front door so had to set to and put that away as well. By the time I collapsed in the armchair it was nearly 4pm.
At least I didn't have to cook dinner.

He's back at hospital to see the doctor today - I'm staying at home.

Back soon
Sue

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Haven't been to a boot sale for................

.............................ages........... at least two weeks!
 Sunday morning was fine so I nipped up the road to the local one (after saying I wouldn't bother again). Col stayed at home because, as usual, after a visit from Grandson he's gone down with a nasty head cold. Jacob goes to a childminder  so comes into contact with several children and, as small people do, picks up everything going and of course Col's immune system was knocked out with all the chemo.

Some more useful finds and one pretty thing - just because I liked it.

My main reason for going was to get the £1 mushrooms so I could try out the dehydrator without risk of losing anything too expensive or precious. Then there are 2 more large pots for 50p each, a hamper for a Christmas present £3, a purple perennial for my purple border, it's a Campanula of some sort and was £1.50. Then the jug - yes another jug but it is very summery and 'twas just £4.50 (notice me hurriedly justifying my purchase!).

 The WI have a fundraiser once a year by having a boot at the big Saturday sale at Needham Market. It was due to be last Saturday and I had planned to go and help, but with family here, decided against. Then we had heavy rain so car boot cancelled. Which means that when it's re-arranged I will be able lend a hand. Good.

Thank you all for the good luck wishes for Colin's treatment. Several steps to go before it actually happens - probably mid September.


Back very soon
Sue

Monday, 24 July 2017

A Week With Nothing Happening.....................


......................would be wonderful.

Colin has had to travel to Ipswich for blood tests twice a week while the tablets were being increased each week and the doctor said once he was on the highest dose he would just need to go up once a week. BUT then the transplant doctor at Addenbrookes said that as they were getting nearer the stem cell transplant time he would need kidney and lung function tests, CT scan and heart monitor. So bother and blow he/we are still up to Ipswich twice a week, as of course the appointments all came through for different days!

We have got back to normal here after having the Surrey bit of the family staying for the funeral. Jacob toddles at some speed now so a lot of time was spent following him round and round the garden.
And of course the slide had to be tried the wrong way
Then Grandad gave him a ride in the wheelbarrow - as you do-


 Col found the Fisher Price Little People in the cupboard under the stairs at his Dad's and Brother's house. Left there from the time our youngest was not much more than Jacob's age. I had to give them a really good wash but they've kept Jacob amused for quite a while. They are the "Vintage" Little People who I think
are much nicer than their modern equivalents.......... for little hands


Little People® Toys
Now they look like this

 This week, apart from hospital, Col is (providing he gets over his cold) hoping to prepare for having a new oil tank by getting the base ready for concreting. I've not got anything definite planned but I'm sure I shall find something to do.

We think we solved the mystery of the ladies at the funeral. They certainly weren't from the villages around as someone would have known them, but on each chair in the chapel were little cards where people could write their names and memories of Dad C. On one card were the names of two ladies from Stowmarket Methodist chapel. The Minister who covers Cotton Chapel is also minister for Stowmarket and as Col's Dad was so well known as a preacher and many, many years as secretary for the JMA (Methodist Junior Mission for All) many people would have known him.  The 2 ladies left quite soon after we got back from the burial so we didn't get to ask about them.

Thank you all for comments and condolences.


Back in a flash
Sue






Saturday, 22 July 2017

The Funeral................

was, as funerals go, a good one.

The family met at late Dad and brother's house and then we walked to chapel following the hearse...............Dad's last journey from his house to Cotton Methodist Chapel, something he  had done thousands of times. Hymns and bible reading of his choosing and helpfully he'd written notes of memories of his Christian life from boyhood up to quite recently.
The family then drove the quarter mile down to the parish churchyard for the burial next to his wife and Col's lovely late mum and then back to Chapel where a local catering company had laid on such a spread that everyone had plenty to eat.

And we also brought quite a lot home.........
.........including these, have you ever seen anything so scrummy!
In the freezer now to come out one at a time!

Most of the family came back to our house, where late evening we fetched an Indian takeaway for 12 - which looked like a huge amount but ended up with only one naan bread and a bit of rice leftover.

The thing we all asked each other yesterday and are still puzzling over was "who were those two large ladies sitting at the back of the chapel?"!

Back Soon
Sue

Friday, 21 July 2017

The problem....................

.........................with scheduling posts and trying to spend less time on the lap top is that things that happen unexpectedly don't get a mention  and other things get forgotten................

Like the spectacular thunderstorm on Tuesday night when the thunder and lightening rolled round and round for well over an hour and the rain filled all the water butts again. The electric went off and on again which makes the doorbell ring and the phone go all peculiar!

And I've done an Approved Food order for the first time for about 3 years, maybe even longer. Now I have somewhere to store stuff it's a good way of saving as long as you don't get carried away and order boxes of Lindt truffles! πŸ˜‰(can't think how that happened!) Got a Christmas present, flour,tomato sauce, mayo, tortilla wraps and fajita seasoning and cappuccino coffee.

And "The Cottage at the End of the Lane" children's book arrived. It is a lovely story with fold out pages showing the inside of three different dolls' houses.
 "Once upon a time there was a little wooden doll called Peggy, and she lived by herself in the forest because she had no home"

 But after being turned away from two other dolls houses she finds a home of her own and a rabbit friend to live there with her. So sweet!
Can't wait for Florence to be big enough so I can read it to her😊

 And I went totally crazy and ordered a small fruit and veg dehydrator. We have access to the cheap mushrooms at the car boot and an apple tree loaded with fruit, so I hope to get busy.

And have you heard about a new series of 6 programmes on Channel 4 starting next week " Craft it Yourself" Tuesday at 8 pm. Looks interesting.

And we went to Addenbrookes to see the consultant. Appointment at 11.45 but you have to be there an hour early for a blood test so the results get to the consultant by the time of your appointment. Notice says " Bone Marrow Transplant clinic running 1 hour late" and we finally got in at 1.30pm. I'm sure if the doctor didn't repeat himself 5 times he could get done quicker! Col has decided to definitely go for the donor transplant as the tablets he is on will stop working in less than a year and then there is nothing else. The side effects and risks of the donor transplant are awful but long term prospects might be good so it's a risk we have to take.😟

And the loose chippings on our road have been hoovered up but WHY the heck did they not do the bit round the corner and for a mile further where the road is like a ridged field! Summer is always surface dressing time but there does seem to be more than usual being done this year. Loved the comment by Busybusybeejay 😊 and I guess cleaning and re-using the chippings is better than dumping them, which is what they used to do.

So that's caught up on news.
Welcome to new followers - 2 or 3 new folk I think......... Hello and I hope you enjoy reading my waffling.

Back Soon
Sue



Thursday, 20 July 2017

Tarred and Chipped

Or to give it it's proper name..........surface dressed.
Our road has been done, it all looks pristine and perfect, but horrible to drive over with chippings flying up everywhere. Hopefully the sweeper will be along soon and hoover up all the loose stuff.


Once upon a time at the smallholding, whenever we knew the chipper was about Col would ask them to deliver a load of swept chippings and for  a tenner or a bit more we would get a load tipped up to spread over the campsite driveway during the winter.
Now, swept chipping are "hazardous waste" and have to go to be cleaned and washed before being used again.
Colin spent several years working on the roads tarring and chipping each summer, it was a hot horrible job, raking in the stones or standing on the back of the tar-pot directing the man who was driving backwards with the chippings lorry. His boots would be caked in tar and overalls black instead of orange. But the overtime money was good.

Back Soon
Sue

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

W.I. and Cherry Plums

I missed June's W.I. meeting but got to July's which was all about the birds, butterflies and plants around RSPB Minsmere
The speaker was a man who takes guided walks all around the area and had fantastic slides........ most were photographs he had taken himself.
Given that we lived just a few miles from Minsmere and the Suffolk Coast and Heaths for 23 years I recognised most of the places he had photographed.
He said "this is an interactive talk" and put up photo's of birds and plants and asked if anyone knew what they were and rather than have a long silence I usually piped up with an answer and got some right. At the end, one of the ladies asked me how I knew so many birds and plants and I guess it's because of always living in the countryside and being interested in what's going on.
From the age of 5 to 11 we walked to school down a quiet road (wouldn't want to walk it now - too busy) and always picked any flowers that we saw and took them into school where we could look up the names in a book, write a label and then put them on the "Nature Table". Nowadays I still look up things I don't know .

Our representative who attended the Annual Meeting in Liverpool reported back on the resolutions and we had a feast of cakes and savouries as usual.
Next month there is no meeting as it's a theatre trip instead. This is something that I find a bit annoying because for people who are at work, don't want to go or can't afford the £11( this time) for a theatre ticket it means that WI membership isn't as inclusive as it should be - one less meeting for our fee - if you see what I mean. I think trips out that cost extra shouldn't be instead of the meeting but extra to the meeting.


Anyway getting away from the politics of the WI, we went back across the field and down the old railway track bed to the cherry plum tree and came home with several pounds of plums. We were only just in time as several had been damaged by birds already.

The problem with these is that the stone doesn't separate from the plum very well which means they are not good for jam making.
We sorted through, kept some for eating fresh, cooked up the rest and divided them into portions for the freezer.


Here's a dull photo of a tray of breadcrumbs! Which was another thing I did yesterday. It was my turn to take something for refreshments for W.I.  I made egg and cress  mayo sandwiches (and scones, jam and cream) and cut off the crusts, I turned all the crusts into crumbs and dried them out in the oven when cooking dinner. They get popped in the freezer and used to top pasta bakes.


 Waste Not Want Not was often quoted at me............thank goodness!

Thank you for comments and apologies for not replying and not leaving comments elsewhere. I'm trying to cut down on lap-top time and scheduling posts for the next morning so that I don't pick up the computer until late in the day.......in theory!


Back in a mo
Sue

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Short walk

At the end of our meadow the footpath crosses a field
We went to suss out good places for blackberry picking and found lots all growing along the old track bed of The Mid Suffolk Light Railway
At the bottom of the incline is a gate
But when you go round the gate and past the old carriages you find you are
At the end of the line from the Railway Museum.
The museum have permission to extend their line by a quarter of a mile up the old track bed to just behind the houses you can see in the top photo.
On the way back we walked a footpath just the other side of the hedge from the track bed. The footpath skirts a field used for growing willow and leaning against the hedge all the way up are bundles of last years willow waiting to be taken away. To where we don't know.
Interesting things not far from home and we also spotted a cherry-plum tree loaded with fruit so need to go back ASAP.


Back in a while
Sue


Monday, 17 July 2017

Preparing for Winter in Mid July

People normally make green tomato chutney at the end of the season with the tomatoes that haven't ripened but I've made it early because we have a shortage of tomatoes and although it's easy enough to buy tomatoes to eat it's impossible to buy green tomatoes.  The chutney was finished on Friday and made 7 jars, 2 will be for the Christmas hampers I'm going to use the rest of the plum tomatoes, when they turn red, to make my Red Hot Relish. We've got the cherry  and mini plum tomatoes from 4 plants to eat fresh.


I hoed through the raspberry canes and fruit bushes and noticed that the blackcurrants had at last turned black so fetched a small bowl to pick them and was quite surprised when I managed to fill the whole bowl which turned out to be exactly 1lb. They've gone in the freezer for now and I'll turn them into  jam later perhaps adding a little apple to bulk it out. Not sure what to do with the currant bushes that were here. Out of 4 various only one had currants, maybe I'll cut them back hard and see what happens next year.

Also into the freezer went French beans and courgettes and more mange-tout peas.

Had a sort out of what jams we had left.........mostly from 2015 as I only made strawberry jam when we were in Ipswich  last year, and the answer was not a lot except gooseberry jam. Somehow that had got pushed to the back and Colin had just been grabbing a jar from the front so he's going to be a bit fed up with gooseberry jam  soon ......... 7 of those left and just 1 plum, 1 greengage and 2 strawberry.
Even less chutney left.  So I'll need more than just green tomato and red hot tomato, but plenty of cooking apples on our tree and I'll be looking at variations on apple chutney. There's an apple, ginger and honey chutney recipe saved on Word that I need to search out.


Thank you to everyone for comments on Friday about the job list. We're still trying to get as much as we can done  before I'm  home alone for 6+ weeks while Col is in Addenbrookes.

 The scrap wood from the garage roof has been cleared up.It was all the bits that the tiles sit on and they were really rotten. Nothing had been done to the roof since the garage was built in the 70's. The lads actually put some cross pieces inside on the rafters to strengthen the roof as they said it was a bit wobbly when they were re-felting. Thank heavens we know that the house roof had been redone a few years back otherwise we would be worrying about it.

As for the Saturday post and the book. Have I bought it?  Well, luckily I have grandchildren for an excuse and it's on it's way here I hope!

The chutney recipe is on the separate recipe page and I made half mix this year.

Back Soon
Sue

Saturday, 15 July 2017

I Really Think This Belongs Here




















Look at this children's book, I really ought to buy it don't you think?

Back Monday
Sue




Friday, 14 July 2017

Our Week So Far

Sue to dentist ✓
Buy curtains✓
Hang curtains✓
Order another set that they didn't have in stock✓
Bid online for two side tables✓
Collect same✓
Babysit Florence✓
Colin meet with Funeral Director✓
Clear up inside garage after roof repairs✓
Cut brambles from hedge ✓
Put pictures up in living room✓
Put up more fixings in conservatory for grapevine✓
Order bookcase✓
Colin meet with Minister ✓
Bake a few cakes ✓
Shopping ✓
Colin to hospital for bone marrow sample and blood test✓
Prepare onions and tomatoes and sort out jars and lids for Green Tomato Chutney✓
Plant out 8 Purple Sprouting broccoli plants that arrived in the post✓
Normal boring housework✓
Sue watch Wimbledon✓
Colin avoid watching Wimbledon!✓


Not yet done
Clear up scrap-wood after garage roof repairs
Make the chutney

Thanks for comments, some replies........................

The books I listed the other day were not necessarily  my favourites - that would be difficult to pin down to 10. They were just books picked from my shelves that I remember because they have started a trend of reading.  A favourites list would go on for weeks!

In the front of Col's Dad's bible, Sister in Law found a note - 'Readings for my funeral'. So she looked in the front of his hymn book and sure enough 'Hymns for my funeral'. What a good thing she found them now beforehand rather than too late. Funeral plans are now sorted.

If we do get a courgette glut they won't be wasted as I'll put them in the freezer along with the mange-tout peas and the excess French beans!



Back very soon
Sue




Thursday, 13 July 2017

Need a Courgette Recipe?

Have you hit Courgette Glut Panic yet?

We've just got 3 plants here and they're not setting well because of the dratted pollen beetle so have been producing one at a time and there hasn't been a glut, but just in case, this is another recipe for courgettes.It's a variation of the recipe on the magazine picture below and is a bit vague as I go by eye rather than scales

First you need to make some pizza topping or pasta sauce (my recipe below) and use a portion . ................. I suppose you could open a jar of pasta sauce but there would be some left and it wouldn't be as nice as home made!
Then you need onions, courgettes, about 2 slices of fresh bread left out to get a bit dry, grated strong cheese and some pine nuts.

For two people
Slice an onion and 3 or 4 small courgettes or  1 or 2 larger ones.
Fry the onion  in a little olive oil ( or rapeseed oil) until soft, then add courgettes and continue to cook but not too much , turning to brown them a little. Tip into baking dish.

Mix in the sauce, just enough to coat the courgettes and onions but not too much, and season with pepper.

Crumble some fresh bread that's been left out to get a bit dry, mix with grated cheese and pine nuts and tip over the courgette mix.

Bake in hottish oven for about 20 minutes until nice and crispy on top.


 I make up big batches of the sauce and divide up to store in the freezer.

Many Thanks for comments over the last few day, sorry I'm so hopeless at replying.


Back Shortly
Sue




 


Wednesday, 12 July 2017

10 Books From My Shelves

Saw this idea on a blog, except their ten books were random whereas mine are more a progression of books that I've enjoyed since I first started reading and books that have helped to shape what I read.


The Cherrys series by Will Scott. I was at primary school when these were around and I remember searching for more when we were allowed on the Schools Library Service Mobile Library. Then many, many years ago (20ish) I spotted this in a secondhand book sale in the High School in Felixstowe. (It's funny how I can remember exactly where I was when I found it).
I'm sure these book are the reason I love crime fiction!
The Cherrys and their friends the Pringles were always solving mysteries usually set by their neighbour Mr Wilkes. Lovely stories of sunny summer holiday fun.
Look on Amazon and you'll get a shock at how much they sell for now!




Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome. I don't know when I first read this - but I loved the whole adventure and the  self-sufficiency ( although those words were not in common usage then) of the children on their island. I've had a few holidays in the Lake District, seen the boat and the places written about and  re-read it again and watched the film several times.


 I read all sorts of fiction in my library years between between 1971 and 1980...........Agatha Christie, Ian Fleming followed by R.F. Delderfield and Howard Spring and others who wrote big family sagas and of course all of Catherine Cookson's books.
Then when I was working in Stowmarket Library about 1975 someone ordered a book by John Seymour. It wasn't this one below but an earlier version without the colour drawings. One of the perks (then) of working in a library was getting to read new books before they went out on loan ........ I'm sure it wouldn't be allowed now! After reading it I wanted to grow my own vegetables, keep animals and be self-sufficient. It took more than 30 years to fully achieve that.

The Complete Book Of Self-Sufficiency by John Seymour



Living Better on Less and Living on a Little Land by Patrick Rivers.
These also came to the library around the same time, similar to John Seymour but more realistic. Still love them.



Hovel in the Hills by Elizabeth West
The most re-read book on my shelves..........although this copy is the re-printed and up dated version. My original is very tatty!
I'd still love a Hovel in the Hills if I could find one!




Swimming with Piranha Makes you Hungry By Colin Turner
 When we started  to think of ways for Col to retire early this was one of the first books I read. Lots of ways to realise a dream, save money and become financially independent. When interest rates were high a person 'only' needed to have £50,000 saved to produce an income big enough to live on!  It has lot's of ideas for ways to avoid living the sort of life that many people do ........... constantly over spending and being in debt.





Dissolution by C. J. Sansom. I read a review of this which said it had taught the critic more about the period than any history book. Written in 2003 it is the first in the Shardlake series. I read and loved all the Ellis Peters books about Brother Cadfael  written between 1977  and 1994  and this series is just as interesting. Well written historical crime has to be my favourite genre.



Few Eggs and No Oranges by Vere Hodgson was among  the first of the diaries written during WWII that I bought for my collection of home front books. First published in 1976 it is a huge book and some people have criticized it but in 1999 Persephone added it to their publications which is good enough for me!



And finally this little book was the first of the British Library Crime Classics. I came across it by chance in a charity shop but it was an introduction to all the Golden Age Crime books that are being re-printed by the British Library and other publishers and re-introduced me to all the great crime authors of earlier times some of which - like Agatha Christie I had read first time round, but others I'd never explored.



10 books from my shelves.
What ten books have shaped your reading?

Back in a jiffy
Sue


Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Cheerful Colours

Yellow isn't my favourite colour so I'm not quite sure why I went for it for the living room. But now it's done and the new curtains up I'm more than happy with it. (BTW there's no input from Col when it comes to choosing colours or curtains. He'd just have white everywhere and no new curtains - in other words he's not a bit bothered about what the house looks like!)

The photo doesn't do the Lemon Tropics justice because it was just starting to rain as I took this and the colour is much brighter in sunshine.

Treated myself to some flowers after the dentist - thoroughly deserved after my ordeal!

Thank you for nice comments on my last post.

Back Soon
Sue

Monday, 10 July 2017

Thank Goodness...................

...................................the painting of the living room is finished.

Saturday morning and one coat of emulsion on the last wall, then another and then the second coat on the coving. Colin replaced a single plug with a double and swapped one of the double wall lights to the other side of the room. Then I could clear away all the dust sheets that we've been moving around and living around for a week.
The final bit on Sunday was me doing the bum shuffle round the floor again putting down masking tape and painting the skirting boards, and while I had the satin wood paint out I remembered to do the boiler cupboard door. Thanks to the person who suggested a small foam roller to paint the door - it worked a treat.

Curtain poles went back up and the big mirror. We still have pictures to hang when I can work out which to keep. Now I can buy another set of book shelves and the last box of books can finally be unpacked. Most of our books are upstairs, away from the dust of the wood-burner, but I'd like reference books downstairs.
 I've spotted some Dunelm curtains online that I like but really want to see them in real life before  ordering so we'll need to go that way round Ipswich when we are at hospital or when I'm at the dentist (Aaaaaaaggghhhhh....Fillings.........Terrified!) during the week.

I listened and watched some of the bidding on-line from Saturday's bygones sale. The most amazing lot was a box of things that included a handbell. I'd actually circled it in the catalogue to look at when we went on Friday because I quite fancy a little handbell. There didn't seem much else of interest in the box............but obviously someone knew something we didn't as this small box of odds and ends guided at £20 - £40 went for............£470!!! Whatever was it that pushed up the price? We wondered if what looked like a letter opener was a piece of Chinese weaponry of some sort.......but £470! Heck.
(By the way our 3 boxes sold for total of £25 but then take off sales fee and there's not a lot left!)

Sunday before painting we nipped to the local car boot sale and I spent the grand total of 20p on this sheet of foiled decoupage which will make two cards.

 Not really worth going anymore as most of the people there were the same as every other week we've been.

The lads came back on Sunday afternoon to finish the garage roof and just need to track down 60 more tiles, clear up and then the scaffolding can come down.

We've got an in and out week ahead. Dentist, hospital, babysitting and Colin will be helping his sister and brother with funeral arrangements as their Dad passed away in hospital last week. I've not mentioned it on here before as it wasn't appropriate to do so but quite suddenly in May not long after his 86th birthday he started to get confused. He had been living with and having treatment for a brain tumour for many years, and with arthritis for even longer but suddenly he started falling, didn't know where he was and couldn't live at home anymore so spent a couple of weeks in hospital then a few more weeks in a care home then back into hospital for a week where he slept peacefully until the end. Col's sister stayed with him to the end and it really was a peaceful passing. So a funeral to arrange and all sorts of paperwork to be sorted. The funeral will be at the Methodist chapel where he worshiped all his life and he will be buried in the village beside Col's lovely late Mum. As a Lay Preacher on the Methodist circuit he was very well known and had lived in the same house most of his life so was well known in the villages too. The funeral will be later this month and chapel will be packed.

This, from Ecclesiastes,was what I choose to be read at both my Mum and Dad's funerals.  I don't know if it will be read at Dad-in-Laws funeral  but it always seems appropriate......everything passes.

To every thing there is a season, and a time for every purpose under the heaven:
 a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;

 a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;

 a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

 a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

 a time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;

 a time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

 a time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.



Back Very Soon
Sue


Saturday, 8 July 2017

Domestic and Rural Bygones and Collectables Sale

We have three old wooden trunks/ boxes in the THIS SALE  .
We didn't know we had until the Auction House sent us a note to say they held them back from the huge agricultural and machinery sale at the end of May. Colin had forgotten that he'd found them in the workshop - they were left behind by Mrs F - and had loaded them onto the trailers just to get them out of the way. Guide price............not a lot.........but every little helps.
We thought we'd go over to the Friday afternoon viewing and as always things that look interesting in the catalogue turn out to be mostly junk.

(By the way these photo's are extra exciting  - because I took them with a camera ON MY NEW PHONE! Good grief. After donkey's year with a teeny old phone that just let me phone and text people. Now I'm really with it!
My little camera had developed a spot on the lens and my old phone no longer held it's charge so my solution was to get a new cheap phone that does exciting things......probably!
I had to have youngest daughter set it up for me, but then I found I couldn't transfer pics from phone to lap top so  when eldest daughter was here she found out why and put it right.
I could really do with a live in phone/computer expert!)

Anyway, back to the sale................ this looked fun...........an old Bakers delivery van ...........sorry about the blur, still struggling with the phone camera!



 This would have been brilliant for selling stuff out the front of the smallholding!



Wonder where these Victorian jigsaw puzzles and games had been for 120+ years?
Lots of pretty tea cups and saucers in among the junk of these four containers full of bits - all one lot.
There were crowds of people viewing so I reckon the sale will be packed out tomorrow. Someone  said hello and I turned round to find my cousin from Ipswich who I hadn't seen since his Dad's funeral last year. He has got into the buying and selling business - everyone's a dealer nowadays!

Just down the road from the sale yard is a village shop selling  '99s (whippy ice-creams with chocolate flake for those of you from foreign parts!) so we stopped on the way home and had one each...............it would have been rude not to.
Image result for whippy icecream picture
Photo from Google - ours were eaten too quickly to take a photo!

Day 6 of the painting and the end is nigh! One wall left to have 2 coats on the walls and one more on the coving plus the skirting boards on one and a bit walls. Then I'll need to search for new curtains as the ones that were here, and  I intended to put back, still look grubby and tatty even after washing.


Back in a jiffy or Monday
Sue

Friday, 7 July 2017

Library Book Photo for July

Where did the last 4 weeks go?
Yesterday was library van day again and these are what had arrived from my requested books
Looks as if I will be short of reading this month 'only' 11 books collected and two are ones I know nothing about (The New Mrs Clifton and the one by Margaret Pemberton, I must have read about them on other blogs) one is a poetry book and one is a novella. May have to resort to reading off my own shelves which would actually be a very good idea.

Looking back at last months haul and quite a lot went back unread.


The two Agatha Christies I didn't get into at all and the same with the British Library Crime classic by Anthony Rolls and one of the Peter Turnbull books. Colin read "No Phoney War" but as it was details of warships and aircraft, I didn't bother with it. Crimson and Bone wasn't my sort of book after all. "Too Marvellous for Words" was the story of a girl at Felixstowe Girls Boarding School in the 60's and I decided I couldn't really be bothered with what mischief she and her friends got up to.
 Of the rest..... I've already written about 'The Whitstable Pearl Mystery', 'The Anatomist's Apprentice' and 'The Savvy Shopper's Cookbook'. 'The Shipping Forecast' was a quick read but not the best on this subject that I've seen. Anne Perry is guaranteed to produce a good historical crime book and Trisha Ashley always writes light fluffy books with food and recipes!
Hidden Nature by Alys Fowler was described as being about her year exploring the Birmingham canals by inflatable canoe but actually was more to do with her discovering at age 37 that she was a lesbian and her relationship with her ex husband and new partner. Four Fields was one of those books that I needed  to be in the right frame of mind to read.....and I wasn't.
 The Yorkshire Shepherdess is still here to be read.


Day 5 of painting the living room, you've probably worked out by now that I'm not doing 8 hour days! and honestly it is a big room. Anyway a bit more has been done. The ceiling is finished, 2 bits of wall need a second coat and there's one wall that's had nothing done to it as yet and then all the remaining skirting board.
Col was in Ipswich for the regular blood test so went to B&Q for more Brilliant White silk emulsion for the ceiling and they didn't have any. Weird. He had to go searching round other DIY places to find it.You'd think it would be something they wouldn't run out of.

Back in a flash
Sue

Thursday, 6 July 2017

Now it's useful

From an eyesore at the bottom of the garden


To very useful edging for  new raspberry and strawberry beds - just need to add compost and more soil on the deeper strawberry bed and by happy (but expensive) chance we've got to have a new concrete hard standing for a new oil tank so there will be some dirt dug out and it can be put here.
Also enough for edging for the bed we re-claimed from grass. The long rails were exactly the right length to cut to make the four sides, how handy was that!


Much better than cutting it up for firewood!

Day 4 of painting the living room and I was shuffling round the floor on my bum doing the skirting board of the walls so far painted. I needed to get this done so as to move the dresser base back to where it was so that I can do the wall where we moved it to.............if you follow! Two more bits of walls were sanded down, washed down and holes filled. I do hope you're enjoying this daily update of my painting achievements!!

A few weeks ago I wrote about the flying ants in the kitchen, well I've been hoovering up ants every few days since. There's no way to find the nest as it must be somewhere under the floor or in the brickwork of the old chimney behind the range cooker. I was thinking ........this is going to be annoying every summer but then at Wimbledon yesterday there were plagues of flying ants everywhere, something that hadn't been noted there before and they said it was "Flying Ant Day" when the queen leaves the nest. Our ants the other week were a bit early but hopefully this means it's a really bad year (or good if you are an ant!) and hopefully we shouldn't see many more.


Back Again ASAP
Sue

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Surprise...........A Useful Cookery Book



Looking through my window sill full of cookery books, I don't think any have been bought new. There is just no way my common sense can justify the cost of huge celebrity cookbooks at £20+ a time and even smaller books frequently cost more than a weeks food for one person.

My cookery books - even the big HFW ones- come from charity shops and car boot sales and a couple secondhand off Amazon but most of the recipes that I use all the time have come from library books and free supermarket magazines. Photocopied and put into my own folder on the left they cost me virtually nothing to add to my collection. I've borrowed several cookery books over the last few months from the library and returned them without even copying out one recipe.

So when I say Surprise............A Useful Cookery Book, of course it's a library book and of course I'm not going to buy it! and I've photocopied 12 recipes to file so far and may do more before the book goes back. That's why I call it a useful book.

This is the book I borrowed and it uses just the food you can buy in the discount supermarkets.



The author says that the way to make the most of Aldi, Lidl and the like is to change your recipes to fit the ingredients and that way you won't have to go elsewhere.

I made Cashew Chicken Stir Fry but as I wasn't going shopping (discount supermarket or otherwise) I used what was already here.

I took out a couple of ounces of cashews from a bag of mixed nuts, defrosted 2 frozen chicken breast fillets, chopped part of a green cabbage (tough stalks removed)instead of spring greens, no garlic, half an onion instead of spring onions, a small teaspoon of ginger powder instead of fresh ginger and half a red pepper and a pinch of chili powder instead of two red chilies.
Then we added cooked noodles and a sachet of spring onion and oyster sauce ( Aldi).
So actually I didn't follow the recipe much at all!
But it was delicious and a little different to our usual stir fries.


Yesterday was day 3 of living room painting, I'm getting round slowly. Two thirds of the ceiling and coving done in brilliant white silk and just under half the walls. It's the only way to do it and still live in it. Professional painters would have heart failure! I've got used to the Lemon Tropics so that's OK.
Col finished fitting the new loo, it uses much less water which was one reason for replacing but it also had a hairline crack and the seat was horribly stained underneath - I'm glad to see it gone.

We had our first runner beans yesterday but there don't seem to be many more coming due to pollen beetle pinching the pollen so the flowers don't set, same with the courgettes and aubergine flowers. Very annoying.

Back Shortly
Sue

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

We Have Orchids

Mid June we spotted these pretty little purple/pink flowers down in the long grass of the meadow. They are pinker than the photo shows and I've made it a bit blurry too - hopeless photographer!





 We've only cut the footpath bit and left the rest to see what came up. This is where we'll be planting trees in the Autumn.

 We looked on line and found THIS PAGE   with all the native British Orchids and I guess ours is the Pyramidal Orchid. Quite common throughout Britain but still a treat to see here.

Yesterday was Day 2 of sanding down, filling and painting while watching Wimbledon. The living room is big so I'm having to do it in bits. I've gone for a bright yellow silk finish .........perhaps a tad too bright? I'm not sure about it but anything has to be better than the very dirty, dark, matt finish yellow that sapped all the light out of the room. Colin has started replacing the downstairs loo which sounds straightforward but wasn't due to age of old loo, amount of concrete used and the way the drains go, which is why he didn't get it finished in one day.
 The garage roof is getting sorted by two young blokes who are doing it between their proper work which, at the moment, is restoring an old bungalow about a mile away. Two other young guys came and put up scaffolding and had a huge industrial radio playing and of course the first thing the builder blokes took up to the roof was a similar giant music machine. When I eventually get builders to make an en-suite in the corner of the bedroom I think the first thing I'll ask is "do you play loud music?" If they say yes I'll find someone else!
Yesterday we  exchanged our huge ride on mower which we bought off Mrs F, for something a bit smaller that I can use. The big one was complicated too and I need something simple.
We are trying to get as many jobs finished as we can because when Col goes into Addenbrookes hospital for the donor stem-cell replacement ( now probably mid to late August/early September) he will be there for up to 6 weeks and we don't know how he'll be afterwards.

Thanks for your comments on the last few posts.

Back Soon
Sue


Monday, 3 July 2017

Beans and Books Last Thursday

There was great excitement when these came into the house on Thursday afternoon. Climbing French beans have a habit of lurking under the leaves so it was a surprise to see just how many we had.
They were extremely delicious and were served with a courgette(also home grown) and ricotta flan and our own new potatoes cooked with our own mint. A home grown meal.........Just like the Good Old Days!
This is the recipe, on a page torn from a magazine and in more detail HERE


When I was looking online to see what was happening at the Felixstowe Book Festival this year I came across a charity book sale also being held over the weekend but starting Thursday afternoon.
The opportunity to look at a biggish secondhand booksale was too good to pass over so we went to have a look and these are what I found, all 50p each.


2 Virago books -no idea what they are but Viragos are a rare find! A Barbara Pym and an old D.E Stevenson with the dreadful 1970s cover. The William book by Richmal Crompton is 'William Goes To War' so falls into my interest in WWII fiction even though it's a children's book and finally The Victorian Chaise-Longue which  is one of the books that have been re-printed by Persephone.
Just looked on Amazon and this Penguin edition is £147!!!

I decided against a trip to Felixstowe for the book festival this year as the only person I was interested in hearing was Tracey Chevalier. Her books  all take a real subject from history  which she weaves around with a good story, but the hours talk was midday Sunday and I wanted to be well into painting the living room by then.

Do you know what starts this afternoon? Yes it's Whoop! Whoop! Wimbledon!

Back in a flash
Sue