Friday, 25 February 2011

HEALTH WARNING: this post may make you feel decidedly PECKISH!!!

Hello there, sorry to have been away so long, been busy don't you know, started my first OU course, a proper academic one this time complete with face to face and online tutorials, etc etc. Marvellous. Also many many bleak, bleaker and bleakest moments this month. That's February for you. Had most of my 9 ( YES NINE) miscarriages in this month including little baby Nicola who was just 18-20 weeks old.( that was in 1997) BUT BUT BUT, ALSO the 13th Birthday of Miss E who made the above dreamy cake from the Hummingbirdbakery cookbook: ALL BY HERSELF. It's the Brooklyn blackout cake. YUMMEEEEEEEEEE!

We had a pint of chocolate custard left-over which I turned into chocolate ice-cream by adding sugar, raw eggs and yolks and double cream..... beware the waistline.....-or lack of-!
Made our own BUNTING don't you know, will do a step by step session later on, early March at the latest I promise. Am very proud of this. Suddenly thought : why do we have 3-4 boxes of Christmas decs in attic and use them once a year, when we have 4-6 birthdays a year and buy rubbish plastic banners and the like???? WHY? This is sooo much more ''eco-friendly!''
ALL fabrics were already in my stash in the attic anyway, much better cheerily decorating the kitchen.
Fastforwarding on these fairy cakes were made by Miss Y and a friend in half term, rainy and mostly grey except for a lovely sunny walk in MUDDY Marlow( renamed) yesterday.
In between - and sometimes in the middle of- bleak thoughts and dark moods I always still had to walk the dogs and SUCH delights were to be found in early February: WOW.
Lilac and orange. stripey green leaves and such simple beauty.

Lots more of them.

A little closer.
The bright orange sand is really there too, honest. It's a gully.Lovely contrasts.Bliss, cake for one's vision.( otherwise known as eye-candy?

Snowdrops in Cuttlebrook. They lift the spirits don't they? Even if you're not ''down''?
PS reason for the bleak bits is : husband made redundant in a particularly unfeeling and unpleasant way in January this year. Not only scary from a financial security point of view but also from a spiritual/emotional viewpoint as he's now depressed and has ''moods'' etc.
Consequences for family life: immense actually. Despite my trying to keep it all going along happily and healthily, doing the Tony Robbins happy focus, the happy questions, the cooking of delicious nutritious meals etc etc.
The importance of work for the man/husband/dad of 2011.... DISCUSS - hey this could be a OU - TMA..... just joking. Nope not really. Would it be part of a Public Health course or a Mental Health course?Or shall we call it ''wellbeing''?!
My dad was never out of work and my mum never did any serious- as in paying of household bills type- paid work outside the home. This is a whole different world than the one I grew up in.
Hey way too heavy- SORRY FOLKS! LOOK at these snowdrops: aren't they LOVELY?
SPRING IS COMING and all WILL be well.
After all where did all these new followers come from? WELCOME by the way : I am over the moon thrilled to see the numbers climb like this?
MALTESER CAKE baked by Miss Y on 6th February, DELICIOSOOOOOOO!From the FEAST cookbook by our esteemed Nigella Lawson. Boy this cake went so fast! Less than 2 days and it was ALL GONE.
Feeling peckish yet? This cake is made with Horlicks as an ingredient and we've been drinking it at bedtime too.
The day before Miss E made the Lemon Meringue Cake : again from FEAST , borrowed from the library, at my request actually as I thought it would be a bit different and let her have a go at meringue.
OMG- again such a TRIUMPH. It was utterly mouthwateringly delicious. Lemony with a cakiness as well as soft,sweet,chewy meringue. 10/10.
It was harder to make it look so good, probs with the fan-oven don't you know, BUT just believe me that the taste was just sublime.
Guess who does daily stepping on a -DIY- raised WII FIT stepper for 30 minutes to the beloved GILMORE girls?! Me. Have to. Don't I? All that cake. It's 3472 best score for 30 mins. Quite often 3348-3396 too.In addition to the dog-walking naturally. Talking of dogs: Pippa nesting on the fabrics collected from the attic to make ''build-a-bear'' clothes and some clothes for us 3 girlies too, maybe. When I can MAKE more time.
OOOOH and I forgot: do you remember my first attempt at sloe gin? It's a success! Utterly delicious - again- must think of a better word- SCRUMPTIOUS. Tongue Tickling and Throat Massaging and then a glow, oh the glow. Like a really GOOD, ( expensive) cherry BRANDY.
Very fruity, sweet but not cloying, slightly sharp and smooth as silk satin.
Nightcap material.
Offering sweet dreams , no hangover and no worries at sleepy-time. ( when J has already fallen asleep hours ago- seemingly at random- either on medication or without.)
Fab, isn't it? Meant for Miss Y- she needs dresses for church as she sings in the choir, but she didn't like it,alas. Miss E didn't like it either but at least she agreed to model it for me.
She started off all serious,calm and a bit shy.... as usual, but then- oh then- the dress TOOK over! It's a HAPPY HIPPY dress and it made her DANCE! then she felt all hippy happy and went a little wild- good for the soul I always think. WAY TO GO GIRL!
Nope, sorry folks I don't do video clips here- yet?- and that brings me onto a recommendation that a kind friend in Long Crendon Library told me about:
GO SEE (or GOOGLE IT) : Where the Hell is Matt? ( 2008) on YOUTUBE......
have a laugh!!! Dancing for joy that's no cliche!!!!
See you back sometime?
Dancing really IS so good and am happy to report, no ECSTATIC to report that I'm dancing twice a week now: English Folk and Scottish Country and not only is it good for fitness, it's good for socialising and just such fun, the soul gets to ''sing'' it's JOIE-DE-VIVRE..

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