Sunday, 10 December 2017

Oh, the weather outside is frightful....

We've had strong winds thrashing through the trees and bringing down branches. This limb fell from the horse chestnut onto our driveway. Luckily there was no car parked there at the time!
On an optimistic note we now have plenty of kindling!
But the best place to be is tucked up indoors.

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

If you're vegetarian look away now.

Friends called by with gifts this week, a brace each of pheasant and partridge. The pheasants had been hung for a week so are ready for cooking. The cock was a handsome fellow with beautiful feathers.
But the partridge are especially pretty.

I donned my feather pluckers pinny, a present from my former, much-missed neighbour, Sally.
Then it was down to business.
I've spent many years dutifully plucking, but these days I tend just to skin them as it is so quick and easy, just like taking off a feather coat. I've got a good number of recipes.
We gave this book as a present to my parents.  
My father's cold raised game pie has yet to be beaten and is spoken of with great nostalgia by our daughters! I love using the cook books that came from home.
Every Christmas I order food from Booths food shop from their sumptuous catalogue. Along with the prepared food, that gets delivered to my door, the catalogue includes several recipes.
This is the recipe that I'm going to use.

But next I'm going to have to try this cold pie recipe from Ol' Blue Eyes and see if it can measure up to my Dad's high standards!

Sunday, 3 December 2017

Christmas shopping

Every first Sunday in the month the town of Frome closes the streets to traffic and holds a market. There's lots of bric-a-brac, you never know what you might find.We had intended to arrive early in order to beat the rush, but the book group had met at our house last night and we didn't get to bed until way after midnight. We arrived in town about ten o'clock and some people were already leaving. A stall holder told us that customers had been waiting while she was setting up her stall at eight in the morning!

Some stalls are just a jumble of random objects, but others, such as, 'Number Ten' are always beautifully presented.
Last time I bought some individual jelly moulds and was on the lookout for more. No luck. I liked this little cat mould but the interior was rusty.

Never mind. I kept calm and carried on.

I bought some lovely things. Can't tell you what they are.
Shush, they're going to be wrapped up for Christmas!

Saturday, 2 December 2017

December Skywatch Friday

Autumn seemed to last no time at all. Now we are waking each morning to a covering of frost. There's ice on the water butts and it's crisp underfoot, the temperature rises little throughout the day. This chilly-looking moon appeared in the sky in the late afternoon.
There looked to be a promising sunset over by the lake but I felt too cold to walk over there to see. I photographed the sky through the trees from the back of the garden and then scurried back indoors into the warmth.
I'm not much of a winter person!
Sharing my winter sky with Skywatch Friday.

Friday, 17 November 2017

Friday skywatch

Clear blue sky
a perfect autumn day

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Bonfire Night in Yorkshire

We were back in the Dales last week, the place that I think of as home, although I've now lived out of the county for over half a century. The days were sunny but cold and we did very little walking but had a sociable time with friends and neighbours. I had quite a bit of cutting back to do in the small front garden as plants had grown over the steps and pathway. I'd fastened up the entrance gate with a twist of wire on my last visit in the summer so that the nuthatch nesting by the french windows would not be disturbed. There was plenty of stuff to clear. Any suitable material for burning was welcomed to be added to the village bonfire for Guy Fawkes Night.
Guy Fawkes was a Yorkshire man, educated at St Peter's School in York, the fourth oldest school in the world. It was founded by Paulus of York in 627AD. The school has a bonfire each year but a 'guy' is never burnt. When I was young it was a common sight  on the days leading up to Bonfire Night to see children dragging round their guy on a buggy or standing by a slumped guy in a doorway asking for 'a penny for the guy'. It was an acceptable form of begging, to collect enough money to buy bangers that would scare the wits out of little girls like me! (I saved my money for tuppenny snowstorms and would keep one to light under the trees in the winter when real snow had fallen.)
It was a cold, clear night on November 5th  
with a full moon.
Everyone was well wrapped up. I was wearing my hiking socks and boots for warmth, quite forgetting that I would need to jump the stream if I wasn't going to roast and burn by the fire. More sensible people were wearing thick socks and wellies and could wade through the water.
Our friend, Brian, died in the spring and his house has just been cleared and sold. He was a committed Catholic in a dale of chapel folk. His old sofa had been put on the bonfire and it burned brightly. It caused me to reflect on the reason behind the gunpowder plot, a response to the persecution of Catholics in England. I'm glad to leave those days far behind. No one had made a guy for our bonfire and I'm sure that Brian, who had a great sense of humour, would have been amused to see his sofa warming all his chapel neighbours!

Remnants of old Catherine wheels were pinned to a bit of fencing, relics of bonfires past. 
 Ee, it wor grand!