An Abundance of Eggs

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I remember from previous years, that we go from having no eggs through the winter, a couple of eggs a day as we come into the new year and then BAM… we are getting 8+ a day. Now we like eggs, but even we can’t eat that many! I’m selling some to my friend, but even then we’ve got more than we know what to do with. So I’m egg recipe searching, I am hoping to find inspiration, something other than the obvious – omelette, frittata etc. Result – well there are lots of ideas, one recipe, egg curry, reminded me that D used to make that and it was delicious, so that’s definitely one for the plan. I found this as well which I think we’ve had before, so that could be another one.

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We have a fair few chickens now and we also have runner ducks. We’ve actually got more than we had last year as we rehomed my friends 7 duck’s, when her landlord told her she needed to get rid of them suddenly. One of them then got broody and hatched out 7 chicks, 5 of which survived. We’ve since lost 2 ducks, 1 of my friends and the 1 we had left from our group of 4. Then our neighbour was moving house and asked if we could rehome their chickens so we added those to our lot, making about 11 chicken and we have a cockerel. Dave’s now got plans to extend the run and build a proper pond, hopefully we’ll get chance to do a bit this summer.

So hopefully next time you visit I will be able to show you a photo with less eggs and maybe have some

egg recipes to share.

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We are very lucky though, fresh eggs from the garden everyday and I love all the different colours and sizes we get. We did used to know which chicken laid which egg, but now with all the new ones, we’ve not had chance to work it our yet.

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Ok I’ll leave you with that eggcelent photo and hope you have an eggciting (sorry couldn’t resist) week and hope you can stop by again soon E x

 

My month in pictures

This happened….

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Oh yes, we lit the Rayburn, so winter is definitely on its way. I must admit, I do enjoy the colder weather so much more since having the Rayburn. There’s just something about a fire and having the heat from it warm the home, to me its cozier than radiators doing the job.

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D had a week off work and this happened! Yes operation en suite has started and oh my goodness what a mess it’s brought. When I read interior magazines and someone’s renovating their house and they move into rented accommodation while the works being done, I turn slightly green with envy. I do think D does a super job of getting the work done while putting up with my moaning of keeping things tidy.

Want to see what else D did?

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A hole through the wall. This whole wall will eventually be no more and that will all become our bedroom.

Because of all this disruption, the boys room got used as a dumping ground, so I spent a day in there, sorting, tidying, a bit more sorting and after about 6 bags of stuff for the charity shops and a few bits sent up into the loft, I was happy with the calm that seemed to have settled on the clutter(ish) free room.

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Can you see all the bags, mostly clothes, I really did have a good sort out.

Toys were tidied into cupboards..

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The floor was cleared. Their room used to have my wardrobe right there next to the window and there was hardly any floor space. I have since moved the brown chest and the hamper baskets, so they have the whole floor which I’m very happy about. I can’t wait until we sort their room, decorate, new carpets and new beds.

I’ve wanted a bureau for a while and I found this one on that famous selling site and went to collect it. I’m really pleased with it. It’s been painted but not particularly well so it will be sanded and repainted at some point, but for now I’m loving having all my crafty, notebook, pens etc cozied up in here.

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In amongst all the chaos of the renovations I had a bit of baking to do for a very special day.

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This was a cake for visitors who came the day before the big day. The ones who couldn’t have the real thing cause, well it hadn’t been finished! Don’t feel sorry for them though, I did make this a bit special too. It’s got cinnamon, honey cashew butter, buttercream in the middle and melted chocolate drizzled on top. I was told it was delicious (I’m not a huge cake fan and didn’t have any).

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I was, however, delighted with how the proper birthday cake turned out. It looked just how I hoped and everyone loved it, especially Little C who was the special birthday boy.

That wasn’t all though, there was even more..

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A surprise inside, made Little C’s face light up when he saw all those tumble out. It’s made up of 2 cakes, that one above is chocolate sponge, with chocolate fudge buttercream and the other is a vanilla sponge with caramel sauce. I love using the chocolate fingers round the edge because it hides everything and just makes it all so neat. Definitely the best looking cake I’ve ever made.

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I took this just the other day. We had horrendous rain all day and the drain in our backyard was blocked with leaves and I couldn’t believe how quickly the water level rose.

I’ll be back in the next couple of days with some hooky photos, hopefully the weather will brighten up so I can get some better photos of all the colourful hookings.

See you soon, take care E x

Week Catch Up

 

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This flower was picked for me by Little Man, he got it from our front yard, he was so loving and gentle when he gave it to me and it really made my heart squeeze.

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He picked me this one too, it was so tiny, I put it on top of my sewing machine so I could look at it while I was sewing away.

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I’m not sure where this last week has gone. The days were all blurred into getting the boys back to school (pre-school for Little C), being poorly and recovering, birthday celebrations and renovations.

Little Man went back to school last Tuesday (6th), we had no wobbles or sad faces, we walked down to the school (which is literally at the bottom of our lane, very handy!) and he kissed Little C and I goodbye and walked straight in.

Little C on the other hand had a complete melt down, he wanted to go to school and was letting everyone know about it. In the end I calmed him down by saying we’d go and see Grannie, tantrum ended and pestering began, ‘when are we going to grannie’s?’ (or ‘rannie’s’ as he says it) over and over until we left the house.

Later Tuesday after fetching Little Man I felt really ill, I think it was a migraine, I’ve never had one before but my head had been aching a bit all afternoon, I’d taken some tablets and it then got worse. I felt sick and any noise, light or movement was making it so much worse. Not great when you’ve got 2 noisy children running around asking for food, drink, tv etc. Anyway ?i ended up calling my mum and mumbling something about coming too look after the boys and she was here about 15 minutes later. I’m so lucky to have that support so close by, in situations like this I don’t know how other people cope who haven’t got family close to help out. I slept the rest of the night.

Thursday my head was better but I still didn’t feel 100%. I was excited though, D and I were off to the cinema in the evening to see a film for my birthday. We saw Jason Bourne, it was ok, I’m normally just pleased for the change of scenery and a night out of the house, so I don’t need much from the film. I liked the Bourne series but I think they may be taking it a bit far now. They should have stopped at the 3, this one was a bit far fetched and I’m guessing they’ll be more to come.

Friday was my birthday, but I’ll go into that a bit more on another post and show you my new toy.

I’ll tell you about the last few days activities in picture form, all I’ll say is it involved a hook and a sewing machine.

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Made some roses for birthday cards…

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Chocolate cheesecake – my birthday cake….

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D put the shower splash guard and rail up so the new shower can now be used…

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Bunting….

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Lampshade makeover…

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Not 100% happy, the band around the top needs to be wider and not as bulky, will probably be re doing it at some point…

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Patchwork…….

 

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Loving it…..

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I will show you some more of the patchwork tomorrow, hopefully, as I’ve done a border now and might be able to get another one done too. Not sure what it’ll be for yet, but I love the colours in the fabric and the patterns. Unfortunately not got enough of the fabric to make a quilt though.

Right off now, thanks for stopping by. I promise to stop sewing for long enough tomorrow to show you some more of the patchwork.

Take care, have fun E x

 

 

Family Weekend & Blackberry Picking

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My cousin and her family came to visit over the weekend. An extra 5 people in our small cottage was panicking me slightly, but of course it worked out fine and although the weather was very wet and gloomy we did manage to go out for a quick walk on Sunday morning, up the hill next to our house where there are loads of blackberries! The children loved it and we got 4 tubs full.

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Of course I couldn’t let visitors come without making some treats, so on Friday I made some shortbread biscuits. I love this recipe and the biscuits are a big hit with the boys and D.

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The recipe is one I found on the BBC Food website and I’ll share it with you, it’s very simple to remember –

INGREDIENTS

125g/4oz butter

55g/2oz caster sugar, plus extra for sprinkling

180g/6oz plain flour

METHOD

  1. Heat the oven to 190 deg C/375 F/ gas mark 5
  2. Beat the butter and sugar together until smooth
  3. Stir in the flour to a smooth paste.
  4. Flour the work surface and turn the mixture on to it.
  5. Roll out to 1cm/1/2″ thick and cut into shapes (I just use a small round cutter)
  6. Put them onto baking trays and sprinkle with a little caster sugar.
  7. Chill in the fridge for about 20 minutes

Here the BBC recipe says to bake for 15-20 minutes. The first time I made them I set the timer for 12 minutes so I could check them. But when I looked at them they were brown all over and looked over cooked. I like shortbread quite pale with a slight browning just round the edge. So the next tray I baked for 9 minutes and they came out perfectly. I’m not sure if it’s because I used the fan in the oven, but I would suggest checking them after about 8/9 minutes to check the colour. (you may like them very brown, in which case the longer time will be fine for you).

8. Set on a wire rack to cool. Then enjoy.

I hope you can give this recipe a try, there’s nothing better than homemade biscuits and I so much prefer the boys eating these than any bought from the shops, I know what the ingredients are and that they are good quality.

If you need some baking inspiration, The Great British Bake Off starts tonight,  here in England. I love it and can’t wait, for an hour every Wednesday night I’ll be parked on the sofa with some crochet, a cup of tea and the TV on. Lovely!

Have fun and take care. E x