Monday, 19 July 2010


Over the weekend I've finally made a quiche (or two) as per number 5 on my list of stuff to try. I haven't done 1 to 4 from the list yet of course, no one said it was in order.... Although I have been puzzling my way through the skirt instructions today.

I settled on a combination of this recipe and advice given over the phone from my mother-in-law to be. The quantities I was told made 2 quiches, oops, so I halved them in the instructions below.  Here's what I actually ended up doing:

Cheese and ham quiche

  • Ready roll shortcrust pastry (I know, I cheated)
  • Single cream 250ml
  • Grated cheese (lots)
  • Ham, chopped (I used sandwich meat)
  • 1 egg
  • salt and/or pepper if wanted

Preheat oven to gas mark 6.  Roll pastry out on a clean surface until it's large enough to line your dish, for this mine was about 20cm. Line the dish and prick the base all over with  fork, then cover with cling film and chill in the fridge for 30 mins (I just chilled it till I'd done this next step). In a bowl mix the cream and egg together, then add the grated cheese and chopped ham. I didn't have weights for these, I was just told to add enough that it "filled" the cream mixture. Lastly, add any salt or pepper, I only used pepper as the ham was quite salty. 

Pull the pastry out and remove the cling film. Line the case with baking paper and ceramic beans if you have them, I used rice. Bake the case in the preheated oven for 20 mins. (I stored the quiche mixture in the fridge at this stage). Once it's done turn the oven down to gas mark 2, remove paper and rice, and pour the mixture into the case. Return to the oven for 45-60 mins until it's set, then pull it out and wait impatiently for it to cool enough to cut.

Saturday, 10 July 2010

Carrots and blackcurrants

Yesterday I thinned the carrots out. Some actually look like carrots now, and some are microscopic still.

My favourite was this guy who looked like a pair of legs:

The largest ones I washed and nibbled on, they were carrot-y but I don't think they were quite ready to be eaten yet. I gave those to the dogs who don't care what they eat. The others went in the compost bin. I thought the foliage looked quite pretty though, so I put it in a vase. I don't have any flowers to add so it looks a little eccentric:

The dogs like it though!

I've also been picking blackcurrants off the bush at the bottom of the garden. It's been there for aaaaages and pretty much looks after itself. 

I found out that Jess likes blackcurrants too. As I was picking them off the tops of the branches she was eating the ones lower down! 

Got quite a few so I might attempt making jam....

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

5 things I want to try...

I've been thinking, dangerous I know, and here's a list of things I want to have a go at soon:
  1. Making a circle skirt from a bedsheet, because I have a pile of unwanted bedding. Like this.
  2. Learning how to tie dye (to make number 1 more interesting). Like this.
  3. Making paper from newspapers/junkmail. I'm tentatively looking at wedding planning, and I was wondering if invitations could be truly handmade. Like this.
  4. Embroidery, because we cleared the loft out so it could be insulated and I found an embroidery hoop up there. I already have this book on it.
  5. Making a quiche from scratch. Because my partner likes quiche and his nan gave us some dishes for it. Like this.
Wish me luck. I'll post each one as I do them. 

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Little lost baby

Yesterday I spontaneously decided to venture down to the bottom of the garden to see if the blackcurrant bush has fruit on. (It does and I picked lots.) While I was down there I noticed the dogs were chasing something around. They'd cornered a baby bird, and luckily were still in the interested sniffing stage because it would have been snack sized if they'd gotten more excited. I charged in and scooped the little guy up out of their way. I didn't know what to do with him (or her?) so I put in in a box while I went to look for a nest. 

I couldn't see a nest in the trees around my garden so I came in and started looking on the net to try to identify the bird. At this point the little guy was sat in my kitchen and calling for his mum, there was nothing wrong with his lungs at least.

While I was busy trying to find out what to do with the baby bird he was busy sorting himself out. After a short time I heard another bird answering his calls, when I went to check there was a robin sat outside looking for him.

I shut the dogs in the living room and let the baby bird out on the lawn. I watched from the kitchen to make sure the parent bird found him. After they had decided it was safe both parents came back and started feeding the baby. I'm hoping they managed to get him back where he was supposed to be. 

I've seen the adult robins today but not the baby. The dogs are now going outside under escort to make sure they're not harassing any more wildlife. 

Thursday, 1 July 2010

Happy Birthday Darcy dog!

Ooops, this post is a couple of days late. My beautiful, gorgeous, sprollie (that's Collie x Springer) boy turned 1 at the end of June.


We don't know his exact date of birth but it's estimated to have been the last week of June. He's a rescue pup we adopted last September from a brilliant rescue called RACR. It's run from Nottingham but they have animals fostered in various locations across the country. He's not the brightest button in the box but he makes up for that with sheer enthusiasm. You just can't wear this boy out!

Since he's been here he's grown from this:

To this:

So happy first birthday Darcy, and may you have many more with us!

P.s. Remember the new arrival Jess? The foster dog/possible addition? Well she's staying of course!