Friday, 30 July 2010

Thank you gifts

My lovely friend Meridian Ariel and her husband have helped our family out a heap over the last few weeks leading upto the holidays, as I needed a hand with childcare after school, due to staff holidays at work and then to top it all our car kept breaking down and her lovely husband kept flying to my rescue, from the roadside and then helped us again by ferrying us all around until we got mobile again.
This deserved a BIG THANK YOU, So I decided to make them something, (as handmade is always better than shop brought) but what do you make the queen of crafting and baking that she can't do better herself?

The only thing I could think of was scones, so that's what I did, here's the recipe and the photos for you to enjoy. I took them round with a pot of jam and some clotted cream, as that's what goes best. I also cheated and get her a bunch of flowers from the supermarket, but you can't really make those yourself can you eh?

Fruit Scones

Heat oven to 220
Grease a baking tray with margarine
You need:
8 oz of self raising flour
2 oz margarine or butter (softened if butter)
1 oz sugar
1 egg
Milk to make upto 125 ml or 1/4 pint of liquid
Salt and a Teaspoon
Fruit of your choice (dried is best but you could happily experiment!)
A rolling pin
A cookie cutter or a knife

1. Mix flour and half a tea spoon of salt, rub in the margarine until you get a fine consistancy.
2. Stir in the sugar and fruit
3. Mix the egg and milk together, then add most of it to the mix, (save a bit for the tops if you like) watch the mix doesn't get too wet here, as you need to be able to roll it out, if it does, add a bit more flour.
4. Kneed in the bowl or on a floured work surface, when your happy with it, (should be roll outable, a nice soft and spongy dough, not soggy, add extra flour until you're happy you can roll it out) turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and roll it out into 1cm thickness.
5. Grab your cookie cutter and get making scones! pop them onto your baking tray, if you want shiny scones, brush a bit of the egg and milk mix on the top, if not don't,
6. Bake for 10 minutes.

Chefs note: You don't actually need a cookie cutter, my mum uses a knife and makes triangles or squares.

Happy scone making!

Monday, 12 July 2010

Summer Garden Goodies

This summer we've been busy trying to grow a variety of stuff in the garden with varying success. Peas have been great, the girls have had lots of fun shelling them (and eating them in the process) you can't beat fresh peas, they taste so great and are that easy to grow even I can do it! This year we did ours in a large garden pot, just sewed them in a z shape, as per the packet, and kept on watering them, the result is as below, with the only hardship being the purchase of some pea/bean netting for them to grow up (we scrounged the canes from my mum!)

I attempted a few lettuce too and the result is below, two Lollo Rosso just about ready to eat.

A few years back I purchased five strawberry plants that did nothing...then last year, they kicked into life and sent runners off everywhere and fruited like nobodys business! unfortunately I developed a slight rodent problem too, so we didn't get any fruit for ourselves, but this year, rodent issues sorted, I learn't my lesson and got the netting out, which miffed our local friendly blackbird, but got us a prize haul of strawberries for the last two weeks!

A strawberry ripening, they taste so lovely, freshly picked.

The end result, one days haul, ready for some sugar, cream or ice-cream!

The funniest thing was, after a whole week of eating strawberries, the kids started to beg me not to feed them strawberries the next week! so we made a huge pile of milkshakes and smoothies with them instead! (who ever thought we'd get sick of strawberries eh!)

Sunday, 4 July 2010

10 Seconds to myself

So what do you think of the new blog layout then? I've had 10 seconds to myself today! or at least that's how it feels, despite the kids being away at the grandparents for the weekend, husband and I have had so much to catch up on and do! (like spend an evening together, that's not at work or talking about work!) At last I've found the time to tinker and post though, hopefully will be doing a bit more of that, now that we're getting straighter :-) with life, work etc. I've even had time to read a few of my friends blogs too :-)