Thursday, 31 October 2013

The Great British Year and CHRISTMAS PUDDING time.

Now do you remember how I recently RAVED about ANNA DILLON and her paintings? post dated 27 October 2013 or you can google Anna Dillon or use this link:

Now in the side bar of her website she mentioned THE GREAT BRITISH YEAR and gave a link, but what really caught my eye was the ONLY 4 DAYS LEFT message....So curious creature that I am I went to have a look.... Hey this was WONDERFUL! Some really amazing , touching, beautiful filming of the 4 seasons in the British Isles, 4 hours of it I have now watched in awe and absolute joy and delight. THANK YOU BBC! I am so grateful for this and all the amateur photographers who helped. It's the time-lapse phtography and filming that makes these 4 programmes so utterly delightful and different from other nature programmes such as Autumnwatch etc.
Alas the I-player versions are no longer available for Winter, Spring , Summer but the AUTUMN one is available until 3rd November: watch it now!

And for clips from Spring see the BBC BLOG which should continue to be available for longer than i-player:

The above was an orchard in summer when the apples are about to be harvested for cider I think?
Our own British weather on Monday gave us such a storm in the night that there were 5 trees down on the way to Aylesbury and I could not present at my event in London. Tracks blocked, no trains into London at all at 7:45 am. Shame.
Still soon cheered up, took a days ' leave and spent it happily with the girls, it;s HALF TERM after all and I would not have worked if I hadn't had a ''booking''.

This was my journey back from Aylesbury station , the 9 miles took me 1.5 hours?

 Can you see the vague rainbow? It was visible to the eye but not on camera?
 There's one of 5?!
 Queues building up , waiting for their turn to circumnavigate the tree.... This is what it was like many times, hence the 90 minutes - but I was listening to Tony Robbins so was a happy bunny.
 At home CHRISTMAS preparations are now underway: MAKING THE PUDDING!
Start by weighing out the fruits and soaking them in Rum and Stout.
 And in Bicester on Tuesday we bought the first Stollen, a hot fave in our home.
 Within seconds only 1 slice left, for JJ? But no by the time he came home t'was all gone.
 This was Tuesday lunch when we got back from Bicester...YUMMY!
 THIS is what we bought in Bicester: yarn for a PASCAL, an amigurumi toy CHAMELEON?!
For Miss E who ''needs'' him for her fancy dress costume for a party Saturday?
Suddenly mum's ''sigh usually dreadful'' crochet was actually ''cool'' and in demand!
How could I refuse? Even though I have tidying/ cleaning- more of this later- and study deadlines!!!
MSc PH remember? More of Pascal soon, I promise.
 Now this leaflet was published in 2004 and so I think it's OK to et you see it by now and it has had many mentions over the years... This will be the 9th year of our home-made X-mas pudding?
 Essential ingredients: cranberries and cherries as well as the usual suspects. Oops, I ate the entire first packet ....Had to go back and buy a second one.
 AND this, which is no longer stocked anywhere in town, I scoured all 3 supermarkets.
In 2005 I made it with ''original Atora'' and it was NOT a success, too fatty.
 And while it soaked for days I watched in delight the GREAT BRITISH YEAR...
 Dis you want to SEE the recipe, then? Here it is:
 That's RIGHT, the aroma fills the kitchen as you steam it for hours on end. YUM!
 The hardest thing is the trivet or heatproof plate and I have broken many small old plates over the years....
In fact at this very moment I am racking my brains to remember what I used last year?
And where are my pudding basins? I make one ''normal'' size and one tiny one, we have the tiny one at New Year's Eve. All from these amounts of ingredients:
 If you do a ''ctrl screenprint ''and paste it into Word, then crop the image and then pull it to enlarge you can READ this recipe?
 I steam my two puddings separately?  The photos are all about the tying of the pleated foil and paper.
 You have to do ti twice: once fr steaming, then REMOVE the wet foil and paper and redo it, then store pudding in cool dry place until Christmas?On Christmas day I remove it all and microwave it for 5 minutes, then serve en flambe.

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