Tuesday, 30 August 2011

# 114 Weekend outing with The National Trust

This is how we spent Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday, visiting beautiful houses and gardens making the most of the long weekend, the last until Christmas!

On Sunday we visited Tintinhull Garden and revisited Montacute House and Barrington Court. These 3 Somerset properties are only a short drive away from each other and so we were able to visit them all at our ease without rushing.

On Monday we revisited 2 other properties: Coughton Hall (Warwickshire) and Hanbury Hall (Worcestershire) both only 1 hour away from where we live. As usual I did a lot of picture taking and hope you enjoy the photos.

Tintinhull Garden

 Montacute House

Bath in a cupboard.

The branches on this wallpaper were painted by hand and then the birds and the flowers were cut from pattern books and glued in place. Beautiful.

 Barrington Court

Coughton Court

Hanbury Hall

Toy Victorian Theatre made of wood with movable back plate so different scenes can be added.


Friday, 26 August 2011

# 113 Fridays recipes: Pear and blackberry crumble with homemade custard

With the abundance of brambles in the surrounding countryside it's easy to pick enough blackberries for a lovely crumble, with that in mind when me and A. go for a walk we always take a little box with us just in case.

The recipe for this pear and blackberry crumble is from a book I borrowed from the library the other day, this one here. The custard recipe is from the ASDA magazine.

The first time I made this crumble I did use pears but I have since made it twice with just blackberries.

Hope you enjoy it.

Pear and blackberry crumble

2 pears, peeled, cored and tossed with the juice of 1 lemon
225g golden caster sugar (I used demerara sugar)
1 teaspoon mixed spice
450g blackberries
100g butter chopped, plus extra to grease
225g plain flour

Put the pears and lemon juice in a bowl, add 100g of the sugar and the mixed spice. Add the blackberries and toss thoroughly to coat.

Preheat the oven. Lightly butter a shallow dish and carefully tip the fruit into the dish in an even layer.

Put the butter, flour and remaining sugar in a food processor and pulse until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Tip into a bowl and bring parts of it together with your hands to make lumps. Spoon the crumble topping evenly over the fruit and bake for 35-45 minutes until the fruit is tender and the crumble is golden and bubbling. Serve with custard, cream or ice cream.


Heat 300ml whole milk and 150ml single cream in a pan to boiling point.

In a bowl whisk 6 medium egg yolks, 50 g caster sugar and 2 level teaspoons of cornflour together until frothy. Pour on the milk and cream in a thin stream, whisking. Return the pan to the heat and keep stirring with a wooden spoon over a very low heat. When the custard thickens and coats the back of the spoon remove the pan from the heat and dip the base in cold water to cool it and halt the cooking process.

Note: I made custard again yesterday but this time used only half the amounts stated above and used UHT skimmed milk and light doube cream instead of the whole milk and single cream. It worked fine.


Wednesday, 24 August 2011

# 112 Summer walks in Berkeley

It's a lovely day today, there's a beautiful blue sky dotted with white fluffy clouds, a warm sunshine and a cool breeze. Perfect weather for a walk and some blackberry picking.

The countryside around here is full of brambles and although most of the blackberries are still a very long way away from being ripe enough to be picked we still managed to pick a box full of nice, black, juicy ones.

Watch out for a lovely crumble recipe later this week, meanwhile hope you enjoy the pictures below taken back in July on a day just like today.


Tuesday, 23 August 2011

# 111 A few craft projects finished

There's been a lot of crochet and knitting going on here and I'm very happy that in the past few weeks I managed to finish my shell blanket...
You can find the pattern for this stitch here.
... my mum's shawl...

Eva's shawl pattern in PDF.

...and a scarf for myself made with leftover yarn from previous projects.

The crochet borders for all these come from this book by Edie Eckman and they are respectively borders number 15, 57 and 27.


Monday, 22 August 2011

# 110 Holiday snapshots

Rock pooling is a lot of fun and fortunately for us the tide was low in the mornings when there weren't many people about yet.

After breakfast we would set off and walk to the rocky part of the beach to explore. While I took photos, A. would be looking for pools big enough for him to splash in or just watch the little fish and shrimp left trapped in the small pools on the rocks.


Friday, 19 August 2011

# 109 Fridays recipes: Warm tuna salad

This warm tuna salad is delicious and makes a very economical meal plus it's easy and quick to make and very colourful.

Warm tuna salad

Vegetables (I use a mix of frozen vegetables)
Potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 egg per person
Canned tuna (steak, chunks or flakes)
Olive oil

Boil the potatoes and the eggs in salted water. Halfway through add the vegetables.

Meanwhile drain the tuna and put it in a deep bowl. Shread it with a fork.

When the potatoes and the vegetables are cooked drain them to get rid of all the water and add to the tuna.

Add spoonfulls of mayonnaise and mix well. Decorate with wedges of hard boiled eggs and drizzle a little olive oil over the top.

If you want to make a posher version of this salad use poached white fish instead of the canned tuna, add a few cooked prawns and decorate with a few olives.



Note: As you can see in the photos above I didn't mix the potatoes in with the rest of the ingredients as I usually do and that was purely because I thought it would look more presentable this way.

Thursday, 18 August 2011

# 108 Summer walks in Berkeley

Today doesn't feel or look like Summer although it's the middle of August. Quite different in fact from when these pictures were taken when out walking back in June & July. At least I can always come back to them to get my fix of colour, sunshine and cloud gazing.

The old Berkeley mill.

Floodgates farm.