Just about bordering on odd, I see things through different eyes.The heading says it all - I live, I love, I craft, I am me...

17/01/2021

3 - 52 Sunday evening

Sunday evening, we have just eaten and there is a satisfied lull about the place. Moss is fast asleep on my feet (which, whilst they are lovely and warm, they do seem to feel to have been completely flattened by the weight of a dozing collie dog).

We'd been for a rather 'fresh' and muddy walk in the afternoon and came back starving! Youngest had mentioned that he'd really fancied something  ...and spaghetti so I decided I'd try another new to me recipe that I had bookmarked earlier in the week.

So - one lentil bolognase coming up!

As usual I did my own variation - instead of using dried lentils, I replaced with two tins of green lentils which meant a reduction in the liquid. I reduced the quantity of the stock and left out both the red wine (urgh) and marmite (why add another strong flavour to an already richly flavoured meal?)

Was it well received?  It was scoffed double quick time

Will I make it again? Most definitely :)


Thank you everyone who joined in with last week's Scavenger Photo Hunt, I love that we all get together and share stories - shall we do it again next week? 

Yes? 

Good - gentle reminder that the word is MOON. 

Have a good start to your week, stay safe and keep well xxxx

52 new recipe challenge

14/01/2021

Link up Party - New .•:¨♡¨:•.

photo from pixabay

Welcome to week 2's Link Up Party for January 2021!

This week's theme is 

NEW

If you are joining in,

just follow the easy link up instructions ☺️

and don't forget to link back to my blog xx

.•:¨¨:•. .•:¨¨:•.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

New

The second in the January Scavenger Photo Hunt series - New.

My offering for 'New' was not what I had in mind when the list for January's words were selected.  During a walk I'd asked for ideas and Himself suggested it. I'd mulled over it and wondered what I could use, may be by the time it came round there would be snowdrops or the hyacinth flowers were blossoming and I could use them..... then this happened.
I was approached by a small and forward thinking charity and offered a job. As the gardener in their beautiful walled kitchen garden.... erm yes please!

I had the invite to look around with part of the criteria being .... Bring Moss. I am not joking. An important part of the charity's ethos is being dog and family friendly. So, she and I (I was glad of her company) went and had a 'sniff around' - well she did more sniffing that I, and we liked what we saw.

It is early days, but do I like how the universe has created this safe space for Moss and I?  Yes, truly yes.

A new year, a new place to grow - in more ways than one.






 

12/01/2021

2 - 52 Chili 'non' carne

The second of my new-to-me recipes for 2021 

Photo from website

A night or two ago, I was so 'bleh', having absolutely no inspiration for the evening meal. Himself and Youngest were of no help either, both of them looking at me blankly when I asked them what they fancied eating. It never fails to surprise me that those two are bottomless pits with hollow legs, devouring vast quantities of food quite happily yet never know what they want to eat .... some days I despair (ok - most days).

I came across a meme the other day and I knew exactly how the author felt when they posted this ...

Any way, I started mindlessly scrolling through various of my go-to veggie/vegan foodie websites, looked at one or two of my cookbooks then found this .... 'Meatless chilli con carne - vegan. 

I have made something like this before a while ago and it was 'ok-ish' in the 'you eat it coz you're hungry' sort of way. However, this one looked simple, I had the ingredients and I was getting fed up with looking around.
Apart from the addition of a heaped tablespoon of crunchy peanut butter (something I always add to a chilli) and a few random mushrooms which needed eating up, the recipe was simple, easy and very quickly filled the house with most mouthwatering fragrance.
The hungry Horaces that I live with absolutely flattened it in record time - so that was proof it was a vast improvement on my previous attempt (or they were so hungry by that time they would have eaten stewed cardboard!! 😄)


Jokes aside, it was good and warming and it does go on the 'make it again please' list. 

Will I make it again? : Yes
Will I modify anything? : I always do - like I did this time with the addition of the peanut butter and I tend to add more vegetables that the recipe gives.


10/01/2021

Soft and Silver Sunday Skies

A quiet, slow day - one made for curling up on the settee with a book. One for sipping mug-loads of hot tea and may be surreptitiously dunking a digestive or two. A day that might involve a bit of knitting, blogging and other wonderfully lazy-cat activities.
Or so I thought. I managed an hour or so of gentle nothingness and general sloth-alicious settee behaviour when Himself suddenly got up and, in his best rally the troops voice managed to peel the sloth (me) and her son (Youngest) off the settees and away from the fire. Moss, of course was in on this pressganging and bounced about like the dilly dog she is.
Wrapped up warmly we set off - I was not really in the mood for a walk, but knowing 'that it would be good for me' trudged along behind the other two. Well three really, Moss always out front 'scouting for sticks/rivers/mud puddles/slush and ice'. Himself and Youngest skated and slid rather joyfully along the icy patches while Moss joined in with happy circles.
Despite the thick grey mist, there was a 'lightness' in the air. The fine misty rain constantly flickering on my face was more of a sensation than a drenching. The faint breeze swirled silently, barely perceivable until it found bare damp skin when it then became sharp and brittle.
Distant trees faded in and out of view, large pale shapes in the subdued pewter grey sky. No bird song, no traffic, no dogs barking. Just our scrunching boots in sloppy, crunchy, muddy, icy snow.
The faded splendour of the original Victorian gates perfect for the eerie atmosphere and with the crows flying silently over head adding to that abandoned Gothic mansion feel.
The next field was filled with sheep, not that you could easily see them, they were fleeting ghosts in the far distance. 
The only obvious evidence of their existence was the trail of trampled fodder, which despite it's bedraggled appearance still gave off that fruity sweet perfume of meadow hay so reminiscent of heady summer days.


Silent sentinels.

A old cast iron kissing gate (type of swing gate) - my favourite photograph from today's walk.
Frozen animal drinking trough
A slippery drover's track.
On our final return stretch, we could hear cattle bellowing raucously in the 'invisible' distance. As we approached we could make out a huge steaming mass of cows and calves with the one cream coloured bull squeezed into the middle. They had heard a tractor bringing their food and they bawled rather loud encouragement at their farmer.
The matriarch cow, taller and certainly louder, reached up and managed to grasp a mouthful as the tractor approached. As soon as the bale had been placed in the galvanised feed ring, the bellowing and hollering stopped and all we could hear was the tractor trundling back towards the farm and the sound of satisfied chewing of fodder.
Then once again, the only sound was our boots slipping or crunching through the rapidly melting snow. 
Although it was still raining, my initial reluctance to walk had all vanished, the air still damp and cold had been refreshing and invigorating,  now I was ready - as we all were - for a mug of tea. Time for one last run around, then home xx


Thank you everyone for joining in with last Friday's photo hunt - a lovely selection of stories and photos. Here is to our next Scavenger photo hunt, Friday 15th January - this week's theme is NEW. Until then have a good week x


07/01/2021

Link up party - Gifts ≈☆≈

photo from pixabay

Welcome to our first Link Up Party of 2021!

This week's theme is 

Gifts

If you are joining in,

just follow the easy link up instructions ☺️

and don't forget to link back to my blog xx

.•:¨¨ ≈☆≈ ¨¨:•. .•:¨¨ ≈☆≈ ¨¨:•.


You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter


Gifts

January 8th Scavenger Photo Hunt - Gift/s

I had planned on sharing things I had crafted as gifts however sadly one of the recipients still hasn't received her pressies due to the previous tier 4 conditions and now the latest lockdown we are dealing with. I don't want to spoil the surprise, so her gifts are all stashed safely together ready and waiting for when we can all get together again.

So, I thought I would share a 'stocking present' to Himself and I from Eldest and his lovely partner. Each one of us received a carefully chosen woodland creature, however they were 'naked' so every little animal was lovingly given a wardrobe of warm tweeds and woollen scarves.


They were the first thing we opened on chrimbly morning and I found it hard to put mine down (which in case you had not already guessed is the Hare!) I kept stroking her lovely felted ears and admiring her fringed kilt and warm shawl.
The rather dapper Mr Badger is Himself's and he loved him immediately. Mrs Hare and Mr Badger are tree decorations however, when the tree was packed away, these two remained out and will do so from now on.
They linked their arms and explored their new surroundings, taking in the air and checking out the hyacinth bulbs then wandered along the small aloes and cacti on the window ledge.
They even checked out a few houses, I suspect they will move around a bit until they find the spot they like the most 🥰 - as you can tell, I am still besotted by them!
2020's chrimbly day was a very different one, it will have been for most folk, Mrs Hare and Mr Badger brought such a lovely moment of joy and will continue to do so through 2021.
 

Right, that was a minute of light-hearted waffling, I am off to see what the others have shared - until next time - stay safe xx

06/01/2021

1 of 52 - Food for thought

Something I did some years ago, inspired by a blog - sadly now long gone, was to try a new recipe each week with the idea that by the end of the year I would have a collection of 52 new meals/bakes or flops for me to return to (or avoid!).

Admittedly I did not manage all 52 weeks but by the end of the year, I did have a considerably revamped meal plan of which a number of recipes remain favourites and are still part of the menu.

However, I get bored with cooking - it is something I do so that we can eat, not something I do because I am good at it or actually enjoy doing. 

We eat to live rather than live to eat

Any hoo - I decided I would give this another go.  Himself has decided that as a moderate omnivore living with a full time vegetarian (me)  that he might as well fully commit to being vegetarian too. This gave me added incentive to look for new recipes and I found THIS 

The 'Ultimate VEGAN Breakfast' - no don't look away and tut tut, vegan food can be surprisingly 'normal' and not at all artsy or complicated. My only concession to the ingredients was to swap out the baked beans (something I just can...not...eat...) for cannelloni beans and added sliced bell pepper and cherry tomatoes. It makes a flavoursome and satisfying meal and seeing that our token raving carnivore (my youngest son) scoffed it in record time then asked for the recipe to be sent to his equally raving carnivore lovely gf, confirms of my initial statement - vegan food can be surprisingly 'normal'.

Picture from the website - we ate ours before I realised I should have taken a photo.

I will store all my new recipes as I go along HERE and if you like what you see, feel free to follow the links and try them for yourself 🥑😊🧅.  If you fancy trying a new recipe too - let me know because I will be on the look out for new and tasty meals and baking !


04/01/2021

Deerstones

 I started this before the sun came up, the sky was pewter and the snow covered rooves a soft pale grey. There had been a soft dusting of snow overnight and by the looks of it, it then froze into gravel hard pellets of glittery silvery white. And, although now that the sun is well and truly up - it is unseen as it hides behind the thick layer of pale grey-blue cloud drifting across the sky.

Yesterday we walked up and over the moors to a favourite space of ours - locally known as Deerstones, it is a rocky outcrop facing the village with a bit of history.  It is near an old quarry which now has weathered into a protective space for grazing moorland beef or sheep. If you look hard enough you can find the old powder house, a natural cave beneath a large rock which has the remains of a concrete lining making the space as dry as possible for the explosives.  

Local village knowledge talks of this powder house being a 'den of iniquity' during the days of the mills.  When the workers, having being paid on the Friday afternoon, traipsed up onto the moors and hid in there, where they'd gamble and drink all weekend only to return back down on the Monday morning worse for the wear, stumbling straight back into work. The stories go that the wives would have to go up as soon as they could and wrestle as much money as possible from their partners so they could pay the rent or buy food for the family. If they left it until the Monday evenings when their errant husbands would return home to eat and sleep - there would be very little if any money left over from the weekly wage.  Hard times ...

We often sit on the rocks above the powder house and let our eyes feast on the view - but yesterday was too bitter. The wind could slice through clothing with such an icy steel that we only briefly acknowledged our favourite stopping point with a cursory glance. 

We'd stopped earlier, sheltering out of the cutting breeze in a wooded strip where the sun was a delight. Moss played and we drank tea as we listened to the drip of melting snow and the mewling of an unseen buzzard.


It was pleasantly (relatively) warm in the trees basking in the low sunlight - I could feel it on my cheeks and it felt wonderful. 

As we packed away the flasks and dog treat remains, Moss collected herself a stick ..... she 'told' me that ... no stick left behind ...
Leaving the shelter of the trees and stepping into the snow and wind was a sharp contrast to the benign sunlit mug of tea from a moment ago, but it did give the incentive not to hang around and to 'get on with it'!
Up on the moors, the snow in places was nearly up to my knees and I was very grateful that I was wearing my welly-boots (a decision that I regretted a bit later though!) as we waded across the drifts.
The sun slipped down below the clouds on the horizon, glowing and golden. Himself suggested we went up the moor road to the crest and capture the last moments of the light before we headed back down into the village.

We only just caught the last of the rays as it disappeared and although the evenings have started to feel infinitesimally lighter, it was definitely time to go home.

The snow on the pathways then on the tracks nearer the village began to turn to ice making striding difficult and we began to tiptoe and shuffle carefully and despite the caution, I slipped and landed rather inelegantly ... I suspect I shall get a bruise on my left thigh as proof..... it was at this point I wished that I'd had my walking boots on rather than my wellies - hey ho, can't win them all!

The final part of our walk, through the village, was accompanied by the remaining festive lights, the odd pumpkin, an ornamental witch draped in red fairy lights (!?!) and a few early evening dog walkers.  A good Sunday walk, time for a fresh mug of tea before I start cooking the evening meal.

I hope your Sunday was as good, that you got out as best you could despite the restrictions. I am so very lucky that we live in a village surrounded by the moors and it does not take too long to be out on the hills with only a dilly dog for company.

Have a good week and see you on the 8th with the first of January's words - gift/s, xxxx