Gracie is Well

Gracie is back to her old self again, albeit minus one dew claw! The grumpy vets receptionist insisted that they do not take customers without an appointment, but saw the anxiety being suffered by Grace. The vet essentially just snapped the dew claw off, no local anaesthetic at all and charged us £50 for the privilege. Gracie was not happy but seems to have cheered up now, a couple of treats and hugs later! Though having said that, the vet suggested Gracie go on a diet as she is five kilos overweight. Better cut down on the treats I guess, but it seems unfair to give one to Remus (who burns off the calories) and not one to Gracie. Other than that, all is well.

Nut Loaf and Wild Mushrooms

Don’t worry, I used shop purchased mushrooms for the nut loaf, but I believe this variety is more than likely edible. Okay, take no chances when it comes to wild mushrooms. The fungi I picked this morning showed signs of an insect having munched away on one side. That’s promising that it is not poisonous. I also sliced it and smelt it.

The aroma resembled our cultivated mushrooms. Again promising regards being edible. I binned it though as I was not 100% sure. The shop bought mushrooms were good enough for today’s cashew nut roast.

I last made this one two weeks ago when friends Glen, Victoria and daughter Fi came to visit. I did a rundown on the ingredients on my blog, but promised Victoria that I would give her the recipe. I think they’re visiting again in a few weeks. Maybe best I make another one, then she can actually see how it all goes together. Eh Voila!

And I really am going to learn how to photograph food a little better if I am thinking of compiling a recipe book. Maybe Dadda Gets Jammin’ is just the beginning.

Please excuse the chintzy plate – a charity shop purchase to originally be used as a bonbon dish for Dadda’s homemade rum truffles. More of that closer to Christmas.

The last few days

Well what didn’t happen! Just finished bath time and our angels have ascended the stairs to bed with relative compliance. We enjoyed a roast beef dinner tonight and Spaghetti bolognese was had at lunchtime. Okay, one amusing thing happened over dinner and that was Tara piping up to Daddy and myself, both sipping a glass of ‘Chateauneuf du pape’, opposed to the black current squash they were all enjoying. She said ‘you’re drinking the blood of Judas’! Hmmmh – I think a couple of biblical stories may have been merged from story time at their C of E School! I had to smile and put her right on what the red wine signified! I do find it awkward talking about religion with them being so young!

Missed country file due to the inclusion of ‘strictly’ to the Sunday night BBC schedule. Not my thing, but there you go! Talking of countryside, that’s where we inhabit and this week saw the children find a frog stuck in the neck of the watering can, then today saw two newts discovered in the brown grass/moss beneath the now emptied swimming pool. Lots of eggs were also there. A neighbour helped carefully move them to their pond, where I believe there is a small population already surviving the rigours of the British elements.

There were many crazy run arounds the living room and kitchen over the weekend, plus lots of shouts, screams and laughs. The compendium (games cupboard) was emptied en masse and hopefully some of the multiple pieces from those various games and puzzles are back in their correct boxes. My rules – one game at a time was ignored by John today as I was spending time Jammin’ in the kitchen making this years ‘Xmas X-rated’ Jam. A delicious combination of rum soaked raisins, pears, sugar, an extra slug of rum, apple pulp and lemon juice, all this complemented with a combination of fragrant, festive spices. A real indulgence and the aromatics should be well infused in their sterilised jars by the time Xmas arrives. Regular strawberry jam was also made this week plus a well set raspberry jelly, sieved to exclude the pips and the perfect marriage to thickly buttered sour dough toast.

Strictly still on in the background. Damn this show is camper than Christmas! Is this really what the nation dines on? Oh dear – these are interesting times aren’t they!

Our Family Routine

It seems that every family has one, doesn’t it? What with Sindy back from her holidays, things are back to (the new) normal. Yesterday saw me dry fresh figs in the dehydrator as they are well priced this time of year. I cooked down a mass of sweet apples to make ‘Dadda’s Apple Sauce’. I really could not look another apple in the face – all of that peeling, tedious! The jars are now sat in the provisions cupboard along side yesterday’s other creation, the home made ‘Tomato Chutney’ all lined up like an infantry of little soldiers, in their shiny, bright, sterilised jars. This year we had a fair amount of home grown tomatoes that went into the cooking pot. Though I made up the volume to 3kg of tomatoes with strained tinned tomatoes. Don’t tell anyone will you?

I’m still in a quandary as to my next ‘project’! I am seriously considering learning to drive. A few of you sent me their kind support on my Facebook page when I suggested that idea.

My new book, an edit of this diary called ‘Thirteen Moons More’ should be complete within the coming couple of months. ‘Eighteen Moons’ tells the story of how my family came to be, so it is only fitting that ‘Thirteen Moons More’ tells you the story of the family that we have become today!

Don’t worry, I’ll let you know when the Kindle and paperback versions are available through your Amazon account. Do you know what? I recently realised why the children love the ‘Beat Bugs’ rendition of the Beatles ‘Paperback Writer’ so much. Duh! Silly me – I wrote a paperback didn’t I! It is also encouraging as they all want to write a paperback book when they are older. A bit of growing up to do first however.

I recently considered a business manoeuvre regarding ‘Dadda’s Jam’ and seeing if a third party (bigger company) might be interested in licensing ‘Dadda’s Jam’ as a brand and sexing up the Jam industry a little. You know, get away from the frumpy, old lady image of it! But sadly the concept fell on deaf ears. With so many funky combos, I’ve decided that my next project may have to be another book. Not just any book, but a recipe book containing all of Dadda’s ‘Jammy Combos’. Mind you, I know nothing of compiling a glossy, commercial recipe book for Jams, pickles and chutneys. But once my new book is out there, I am going to get working on Dadda Gets Jammin’ – I can’t wait!

That’s it for now – I hope you like the pic of me in today’s entry, as today, it’s all about me I guess. thank you to photographer and friend @michellemartinoli