Tuesday, 24 May 2016


Another busy week or so. Lots of  time spent with the family and making the most of these last few days before work starts again.
Apologies for the imperfect blogpost set up, but I'm working off my mobile blog app : all will be revealed later as to why.
But firstly have a look at what I've been up to recently.
A visit to the Monestry at Sameyling in the Scottish Borders.

Another visit to Liverpool, this time mooching about the dock land area.
Spotting Herdwick Sheep in the Lake District 
Spending more time in the garden, weeding, planting and making the most of the sunshine

Finished off painting my garden furniture 
And then having lunch outside.
And finally, if you recognise the map, heading off for a visit to Amsterdam. So you can see, that I'll post when I can, cos I'm off walking, cycling, seeing canals, visiting museums and taking in what I can to  take in the sights of the Netherlands. 
Until next time. X

Saturday, 21 May 2016

When life gives you Lemons...Make Curd!

I have a bit of an obsession with curds at the minute. Everywhere I go there seems to be yet another flavour to try. Now don't get me wrong I enjoy a dollop of Jam as much as anyone, but there's something  about the sunny looking stuff that does it for me. Slathered onto toast, or on bloomer bread, or fresh scones or sandwiched between layers of sponge cake mmmmmm.
Firstly there's good old fashioned lemon, which I always seem to have close at hand. But then sometimes I shake it up a bit and go for an orange or a lime curd. Rarer to find, but equally delectable are ginger or even raspberry curds. Yummy!

But when does a curd become a cheese? Or is it called a cheese depending on where it's made? I have no idea. But what it's called does seem to be questionable. Has any one any thoughts on the matter?

I think I've mentioned in a previous post my newest finding, some fantastic chocolate and orange curd that just tastes like a melted version of the spherical solid kind. What's not to like!
When you think you've got it sussed, the world of toast spreadable loveliness just gets a little bit...well...different..
Certainly different and ones that I am definitely going to try, once I've finished the other flavours I have on the go. I shall keep you posted as to how they are!

Now I'm no expert at making lemon curd, but I have made a few pots in my time. This was partly to feed my lemon curd addiction when I lived in Borneo and couldn't get any...and of course it always made a great present to give to friends at Christmas or whenever (  They would always find a pot of lemon curd or rum butter neatly packaged from me as it was always a good excuse just to make some! :) )

I bought a new preserving book the other week, with the intention of making some jam this summer as well, which should be interesting. It also has some very nice curds and fruit butter recipes in it.
 However I stuck to my old recipe yesterday and made some lemon curd.

You will need :
3 eggs- zest and juice
3 lemons (unwaxed)
4oz Butter
8oz sugar 
You'll need either a double boiler pan, or a bowl sitting over a pan of hot water. I use the later.

Firstly warm through the sugar and cubed butter in the bowl over the pan of simmering hot water. 
Add the zest and juice of the lemons and stir until the sugar has dissolved. I use caster sugar as it tends to dissolve quicker, but I'm sure granulated would be fine too.
Slowly add the lightly beaten eggs to the mixture, all the while keep the water simmering and keep stirring. Try not to let the water touch the bottom of the bowl or the eggs come into direct contact with the heat otherwise they will curdle.
Keep stirring the curd mixture over the pan of simmering water until it is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon. This should take about 20 mins. When I made one yesterday it took longer than that but I just turned up the heat a little for a while to bring the water temperature up a bit. I also found that if the bowl doesn't sit well in the pan, steam tends to escape around the sides and therefore you lose heat! Note to self...get a better bowl next time :)
Once it has started to thicken take it off the heat. (It will thicken much more when cool)

Pour into clean, warm and dry jars, seal and cool.
When it's cold, put on lids and keep it in the fridge.
Because of the low sugar content and the use of eggs, curd should always be kept in the fridge once opened. Homemade varieties should last about 3 weeks or so...unless it all gets eaten up first of course. 

Any thoughts on the whole Curds/ cheese question? What do you call it?
Amanda x

Friday, 13 May 2016

Six Word Stories- Chase

Woof! A new stick to chase.

Joining in with Miriam to tell a story in six words.

Wednesday, 11 May 2016


I'm feeling very fortunate at the minute, having a little bit of extra time off and having nice weather to enjoy it. Soon it will be back to work and more of a regular routine. So I thought I would share some of the little things that have making my world recently.

A little bit of change to the mantle piece! After it being festooned in Easter Bunting and sporting bunnies and chickens, it's now gone for a spring look! 
I hunted around the house and managed to find some turquoise glass in different guises. It will stay like this for a while until I can find something else to show off.
Having more time to spend having leisurely breakfasts has meant that I have been on the lookout for some new foods to try. Now I have a slight obsession with lemon curd, well curds in general, and found this one earlier on in the week. Needless to say it's fast becoming a favourite.
One of the nice things about being off is that I've had some nice days out with my mum and grandma.
This week we ended up at Brough Castle on a beautiful sunny day.
 I've planted up some veg and salad leaves: Im just hoping they'll grow.
Enjoying some nice salad and 'summer' food.
I've been getting out in the garden. It needs an awful lot doing to it...starting with mowing the lawn!
Making the most of the sunshine and grabbing lunch outside.
Something else planted and will hopefully take hold... This time cowslips.
I've harvested some of my herbs too. They are growing in abundance!
A bunch of lavender ... now drying!
A little more vintage shopping this weekend. This time I managed to pick up a few bargains at a car boot sale.
I decided to give my garden furniture a revamp too.
And I get to spend some time with grandma. What's not to like?
Hope you've had a good week.

Sunday, 8 May 2016

Lately in my Garden

Oh yes, the sun is shining. the ground is warming and the grass and the weeds are growing at a rate of knots. Strangely enough I have felt compelled to do a spot of gardening!
Alien to me as it is and having the extra time on my hands I have taken a sudden interest in all things green fingered.
I've potted up a few plants
Put up some hanging baskets and a bird box
And an insect hotel.
The wild raspberry (?) bush is growing nicely and bringing some colour to the back of my garden
And there's even a place for a little Bee House.
There's some more potted containers
And some bird feeders on the tree. So far I seem to be attracting lots of sparrows, great, blue ad coal tits, robins, blackbirds, a magpie and a pair of wood pigeons!
At the end of my garden there is a large mound covered in bark and leaves! The black liner is supposed to stop the weeds growing through. Ha, as if?
I'm not sure what my ultimate goal will be for this end of the garden..but when time, money and inclination get the better of me I may have to do something!
I've potted up some more plants
And have soaked my very dry french lavender!
I put up another more secluded bird box
And was amazed at how quickly the chestnut tree was growing leaves. I grew this tree from a conker, and then replanted here in this garden when it had out grown its pot.
My window herbs seem to have taken a hold..and I may just have to harvest this coriander!
And my outdoor herbs seem to be doing ok too.
There's a little pepper plant growing
And some lovely bright geraniums and osteospermum.
Even the rhubarb seems to be growing! I absolutely love rhubarb, it's one of my favourite flavours
More herbs that I need to harvest
And some potted colour by the front door.
I have forget - me- knots growing and they're lovely.
There's some nice buds hanging down from next door's garden.
And my Laburnum tree is budding too.
To bring a little of the outside in, I bought myself some flowers.
And finished it off with a little bit of a 'blooming' display on the mantle piece.

Now I just have to remember to water everything and I may just have to find the lawn mower!

Whatever you're up to this Sunday, Have a good one