Tuesday, 29 November 2016

A needle pulling thread.

Sewing isn't my thing, oh I can do a bit of mending, sew a button on I have even been known to make the odd pair of curtains (very odd at times), I hated sewing at school and was more likely to be found in the cookery class which I feel has been more beneficial, I always say I am still learning.

I sat down this evening with a rather large pile of mending (sadly I keep putting it off) instead of doing it when it is just one item, ....  when I opened the sewing box the first thing I see is my little needle case, I say mine but was my mum's that I made her when I was 7 years old, that makes it 60 years old.

Picture this, imagine the look on my mothers face when 2 days before my sewing lesson at school I announce that I need felt, we lived in the middle of nowhere so couldn't just pop to the shop, I don't know how she did it or where she got it from but she produced it the night before, I had the audacity to say I didn't like the colour, I wont enlarge on that, my mother wasn't prone to using bad language but that night she made an exception

As you can see the stitching was pretty good for a 7 year old and all of those needles are originals as I have never bought any.

This was my grans hat pin, how brilliant is that, I wonder if they will ever come back into fashion., the bottom line is I have been reminiscing and writing this blog instead of doing the mending, there is always another day.

What did you do this evening?

If you enjoyed this blog please share it. 🚩

Monday, 21 November 2016

Oh how happy we shall be

Neath the spreading chestnut tree.

As I lay in bed this morning thinking how lovely it would be to have breakfast in bed but then I look across the expanse of our king size bed and know I must re-think that one, John is a wonderful husband and soul mate but unless I get up I swear he would stay there all day, so my thoughts went to what enchanting things I could do with my precious time today, you know like cooking and cleaning and oh yes the ironing, as I open the curtains I can see the washing must wait for another day, anyway back to the chestnut tree, I had spied one on the side of the road the other day with its fruit all intact and totally out of reach, now Saturday we had a gale whip through over night so my thinking was that they may now have fallen to the ground ready for harvesting, off I went with my basket to grab them to roast on an open fire, well the top of our wood burner, the lid lifts up just for that purpose so I was really looking forward to them, sadly when we got there they had indeed fallen but someone had already rounded them up...😠

On my return I changed into my other hat and made a wonderfully fruit and nut packed cake which is now cooling ready for a nibble later.I don't like to cut a cake until it is completely cooled, really it should be left for the next day.

For those of you who would like to have the recipe, here it is.

Boiled fruit cake

In a saucepan put:
12 ozs dried fruit
1/4 pint water
4ozs margarine or butter
4ozs sugar
Bring to boil and simmer for 3 minutes
Let cool a little then add
8ozs self raising flour
1 egg
Teaspoon mixed spice
Mix really well and put in a loaf tin
Bake at 150 centigrade or gas 2 for 1 & 1/4 hours test after an hour


After the high wind we found this little pile of leaves by our back door as if someone had brushed them up

If you make the cake let me know how it turns out please

Have a cosy cuddly day x

Friday, 18 November 2016

Feeling very humbled

Today I was almost reduced to tears (that doesn't happen very often) I can hear you say, I had been out and about and had taken some random photo's on route back to the homestead in readiness for my next blog, after having a warming drink and a bite of lunch I snuggled in front of my tablet to put dibber to screen when up popped a blog post from a friend, I read her blog and it brought a tear to my eye, before I carry on let me show you my photo's

Now back to my friends blog, but before, let me go back a while so that you understand where I am coming from, over the last 5 or more years I have been really dreading winter and had been getting quite depressed about it, everyone told me I was suffering from SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) to the extent that some days I couldn't get out of the door, so this year as Summer ended and the dark nights started to draw in I made a conscious decision to try and overcome the problem, so my mantra was, I love Autumn and all it's beauty, can't wait for winter. every day I would try to find something good and focus on it, I have to say it is working and for the first time in a long while I have been looking forward to it's arrival.

Then I started reading the aforementioned blog and to start with it brought me straight back to the bad dark days of winter in my mind and I felt quite angry with it all, at that moment I was just going to click it off my screen when I heard my mantra in my head, so I carried on reading for I knew my friend always wrote a good blog, well all I can say is I am so glad I did and she didn't disappoint. for now after reading it I understand why and how I felt like I did but why we have to have seasons. Please take a read of this blog here... you must read it all, it is beatiful

   click here       https://moisfrenchadventure.com 

thank you moisi for the most beautiful blog I have ever read and so well written and also thank you for helping me understand how I had been feeling.

                              💗                💗                💗                     💗                 💗

Monday, 14 November 2016

The Manoir at the end of a long drive

Happy Monday.

I thought I would tell you about the picture I have as my blog picture.

We absolutely love our life in France and adore our little house, although it didn't tick any of our boxes when we bought it but we are very comfortable with it now, it's not posh, just a terraced house in a largish village with such lovely neighbours and it needs a new roof 😭 which I don't think we will ever be able to afford.

So back to this picture, every time we travel the road to Aldi we pass this long sweeping drive which has a white house at the end, I have often wondered who lives in a house like this and sometimes I daydream about being the lady of this very special manoir but it is only a dream sadly, anyway on our last shopping trip I thought I would take a photo of this wonderful place, I can now daydream any time I like, just look at the gorgeous colours of the leaves, I just love this time of year.
Ah well better do the euromillions this week, you never know. I do hope the owners won't mind me using it. zoom in to see the real beauty of the house.

This is my rather large Christmas cactus which hasn't flowered for years, someone suggested I put it outside so it has been out all summer, it really loved it outside out of direct sunlight I am hoping it will decide this is the year it will flower, if anyone has any ideas as to what it needs do let me know.

My beautiful fuscia is still flowering which is keeping some welcome colour in an otherwise dreary garden.

Vive la France .... la vie en france.

This post is linked to an accidental blog  click the link  : and enjoy

If you enjoy my blog, click follow on the right so you never miss it.


Friday, 11 November 2016

Corned beef or Bully beef


Or as we used to call it ( before we could pronounce it properly ) Pantacky, some people called it stove pie

My wise old Granny used to make it in the original cauldron, I promised you a nice surprise for tonight 👌

All the veggies chopped and corned beef sliced

How to make
  1. Layer some chopped onions, slices of corned beef and sliced potatoes in an ovenproof dish, (I use a smallish cast iron casserole with a lid) finishing with a top layer of potatoes, seasoning with salt and pepper between each layer. I like to use white pepper simply because that's what Granny used.  Pour over 1/2pint stock I found an oxo and cover with a lid or foil.
Here it is all layered up

  1. Cook in the pre-heated oven, (Gas mark 5/190C/380F) for an hour, removing the lid/foil for the last quarter of an hour, continue baking until the potatoes are browned and crunchy. serve with your favourite veg, we had carrots and savoy cabbage
  2. The Corned beef only cost €1.78 from Aldi

It was so nice we ate it all
  1. Well I have done 6 days of our meals, tomorrow we will be having our usual Saturday night curry but out at friends, they may not like it if I start taking pics 😁
  2. Hope you have enjoyed it, why not follow me so you dont miss a post, 
  3. (go to the right and click follow)
  4. Until next time folks
Remembering all the lives lost in all conflicts

Thursday, 10 November 2016

Amber, Gold and Red

"It is a very blustery day today said pooh to Christopher Robin"
I always remember that from my childhood days and at this time of year I can look out and see all the amber, gold and red leaves which have been sitting on their respective tree's as if waiting for that very blustery wind to come along and aid them to the ground, it also seems a little sad that they sometimes don't fall under their own tree but end up miles away from home, never the less wherever they land they will be keeping little creatures warm for the winter in their chosen spots from whence they hide away for the long sleep that is hibernation, oh how I envy them, but I must satisfy myself with a hearty bowl of soup and crusty baguette...

It was so yummy scrummy and so thick when you dunked bread in it really clung to it, so much so you didn't really need a spoon.

We are on our 5th recipe day of the meal planning (how are you doing?)

Tonight for dinner we had a poisson bordeaulaise which is a nice chunk of fish topped with herby breadcrumbs, it comes in it's own foil tray and cooks in the halogen cooker in about 25 minutes, best of all it is only €1.68 from Aldi for two of us.

We had it with boiled potatoes and peas, lovely.

Stay tuned for tomorrow's dinner, it will be lovely and cheep, what did you have?

If you haven't done so already why not follow me on our adventure.

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Our life in France, Let's soup it up a bt

Today is Wednesday and with all the housework done it feels like a kitchen day.

Today's meal is Spag bol, we all know what that looks like so I won't bore you with pics of it (the truth is we ate it before I remembered)... as I reached into the fridge for the necessary mince I spied a stonking packet of Pot au feu vegetables..

This is a dish the french do a lot a veg and meat stew
I use it for soup as it is loads for under €2

All this, leeks,carrots, onion, turnip and a little bunch of herbs

All chopped to within an inch of their lives, tossed into a pan with a tin of tomatoes and lots of herbs, once all the veg are tender I mulch them all until it is fine and add some cream, tomorrow we will pool it into soup bowls and slather some real butter onto crusty bread and dunk it until it melts.

Who's coming for lunch?

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Whats in the couldren tonight.

Hello dear readers,

Since the £ has devalued we have had to shop frugally and so we are shopping around, pardon the pun

Yesterday for dinner it had to be something quick as we were really busy so we had sweet and sour chicken nuggets, it really is very quick, fry up some nuggets or I could have done them in the actifry, and make rice in the microwave then pour a jar of sauce over, I did add some tinned beansprouts to the sauce and surprisingly they were quite crunchy,

Sadly I forgot to take a pic of the finished article, I had eaten it when I remembered.
The saucepan at the back has bones and lots of other things to make stock cubes

Tonight we had, pork chops, roaster's, cabbage, carrots and gravy, we love our meat and veg meals.

We have a Netto quite near to us which we have just discovered is really cheap, I can't believe what a good deal we got.

20 sausages for €5.90 and 4 steaks for €5.08

That's 7 meals for us for just €10.98, €1.56 per meal, result I think.

Are you trying to be frugal? do let me know.

Monday, 7 November 2016

Get back into frugal mode

Hello dear readers,

How often do you sit and ponder what is for dinner, some days I just seem to lose my cooking mojo, don't get me wrong I love to cook and sometimes all it takes is a good rummage through the freezer to inspire me, but I have to admit when I was more organised and I mean writing down a weekly meal plan and checking what we already had in, making a shopping list of the items we might need to add - things ran a whole lot easier, you didn't have to worry about what to make for dinner because it was on your plan ready for you.

.I am sorry this is a screen shot, it was the only way I could get it on (will have to look into that bit of techno)

This is the rotation monthly planner I use which I got from - https://www.clutterdiet.com/ I downloaded this free but not sure if it is still free.
So now I have the meal planner I can fill in what we are going to have for the next month then I will look in the freezer to see what we have and write a shopping list for anything we are missing, you can either do the whole month or just a week at a time, it will depend on whether you shop weekly or monthly.
Please let me know if you do something like this or you maybe do something totally different, in which case I would love to know what.
Put your comments below and if you think others would like my blog please share..
If you would like a copy of the menu planner let me know in the comments including your email

A bientot

Today is the beginning of the rest of your life OR the last day of your old one

Sunday, 6 November 2016

It's Sunday.

Hello dear readers,

Happy Sunday, I still look forward to Sunday's even though we are retired and as people who still work say to us " every day is a Sunday for you isn't it?" Well let me tell you it is not, we work harder now than we did when we were at work, the difference is we are doing it for us. for instance today John has grouted the tiles in the downstairs toilet we are creating, it is a very small space under the stairs, just big enough to get a toilet and hand basin in, in fact it is where the only toilet was when we bought the house.

This is where the toilet will go, John wouldn't normally do these sort of jobs on a Sunday but he wants to do plaster boarding tomorrow and needs it dry.

Me, I have filled all the bird feeders, they get seed and fat balls.

hung a load of washing out because the sky is blue and the sun is shining although the temperature is only 10°, also I have put my geraniums to bed for the winter.

They have been out of their pots for a week to dry then individually wrapped in paper then tucked up in a box so they will be in the dark, in spring they will be planted up to grow again.

Now it's time to prepare Sunday dinner which we have around 4pm, normally we have a joint or chicken to make a dinner for Monday too but today we are having these bad boys... yep scrummy lamb shanks, now this is not an item which is readily available here in our part of France in fact we found them quite by chance when looking through the frozen meat one day, there were 3 pairs so we bought them all at 9€ for two so it is a real treat for us.

Lamb shanks

A bed of onions and carrots with stock

Served with cabbage, peas, the carrots from the slow cooker, gravy and redcurrent jelly, yummy.

They were delicious , now we are ready for some snoozing 💤

Thank you for reading my blog, I would love you to comment below and share it on fb or twitter so that it gets a bigger audience .... a bientot