Showing posts from December, 2015

New normal for the new year

Christmas has been crazy! Lovely, but absolutely crazy. Not only has there been the annual juggling of children's activities but Frank was away for the first time since baby Rose was born. Taking the kids to various carol and Christmas events was a bit more challenging with three in tow but I made myself 'super-organised mum' and I'm pleased to say that it nearly worked! There was a minor meltdown moment when Rose was being a demanding newborn (as is her right I suppose) but other than that the Christmas preparations went well.

Merida and Finn helped me with 'gathering the green' which is one of my favourite parts of Christmas, or more strictly speaking, my nod to the celebration of Yule. This started when I lived with my folks as my mum does it every year too. It's something that really marks the season for me.

 [caption width="504" align="alignnone"] Our mantel piece (excuse the bad photo)[/caption]  [caption width="718" align=…

Christmas pudding

Every year I make Christmas pudding. It's become somewhat of a tradition. It all began when I was vegetarian and I couldn't find a Christmas pud that was both veggie and nut free (my mum is allergic to nuts). I started searching books for recipes as this was pre-Pinterest days and I didn't go straight to the net for recipes. I came across a recipe in a magazine and have used it ever since. See my dog-eared, flour pocked, mixture stained copy below.  

As I altered the recipe I scribbled all over the page and now have created my own version, but even this changes every year. One year I had breadcrumbs the next none. Sometimes I use brandy, sometimes I add beer as well but there's got to be brandy as it just smells of Christmas. Add beer if you like BUT beware that the pudding rises more due to the yeast in the beer so leave extra room at the top of the pudding basin. I learnt this the hard way!! 

So the version below is my standard recipe. I've now completely removed t…

No frills porridge

The other day we met with some friends for brunch. We are a family who love brunch, seriously love brunch. Our son chose porridge as he really loves his porridge. Imagine his dissatisfaction and utter disappointment when something resembling gruel turned up at our table! Finn asked "What's that?" Reluctantly we informed him that was his porridge. To be fair to Finn he tried it but not surprisingly he didn't like it. As our plates were full of food it wasn't too much of a disaster but I still got a refund stating "That's not what I call porridge!"

It got me thinking "Who does know how to make porridge?" If a restaurant can get it so horribly wrong and bring out a bowl of milky soup with a few oats floating in it what do others expect? In this world of instant meals porridge seems highly advertised as such but the truth is you can make good porridge in less than ten minutes. I remember my dad used to make it in a massive pot on the old-fashio…