Welcome to our blog.

….. We make
….. We explore
….. We nuture

Three children *** One big, grey dog *** Two parents *** Country loving *** Cottage dwelling in the South-West of the UK. That’s us!

We’ve been blogging since January 2010.

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Just a thought….

“A moment spent in wonder is worth a lifetime spent in awe.”

 

Life

Thank you….

  • Helena Loving these cauldrons. We've got some tissue paper so we may have a go too. #mmbc 20 Oct
  • Catherine Jones This post gave me quite a chuckle with the "universe" trying to tell you something. I have those days (weeks, years!). I have to say... 20 Oct
  • Musings of a tired mummy...zzz... I love this idea! So sweet to make a crafted garland. I like the idea of decorating the house like you would for Christmas #MMBC 19 Oct
  • Eileen I love the idea of a village church. Sounds like a community where everyone knows each other. Sorry to hear that these school starts are... 18 Oct
  • Eileen These are so cute! Thank you for sharing the "how to" with us. 18 Oct
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Time to smile

"God has an inordinate fondness for stars and beetles."

- J B S Haldane

Debs Random Writings

in the kitchen

25 toadstools sitting on a tray

What better way to spend a quiet Saturday afternoon, after the hustle and bustle of the last few weeks? Making toadstool biscuits, of course. We had so much fun making these seasonal biscuits. The biscuits are just your everyday, run-of-the-mill sugar cookie recipe. Covered in white icing made from icing sugar. Continue reading

Sharing. Good idea.

Somerset pork and apple stew, …. and the Teen

I’m going to come straight out with this. No beating around the bush. Here it goes. Ready? Brace yourselves.

Teenagers can be just as fussy as toddlers when it comes to food.

Goodness. Now that does feel better. Sorry to pop the bubble for all you parents out there with young children, who thought it would soon all be over. You’re in for the long haul with this one.

Maybe I should explain. The difference is that teenagers give you reasons why they’re not going to finish their meal. If you’re unlucky, more than one reason, as you watch the carefully sculptured meal being rejected. Your gangly teen then adds insult to injury, by disappearing into the food pantry to rustle up a less than nutritionally balanced alternative.

Sigh.

On the whole, I’m lucky. My offspring have never been particularly fussy. Ok, one doesn’t like yorkshire puddings and another hates squashes and coucous, but I have, on the whole, been blessed. Until recently. It started when eldest took against one whole food category – meat. Admittedly not all meat. Just enough.

It began when she had braces fitted on her teeth and found it difficult to chew. I made allowances. I thought it would change once the braces came off. No. By then a habit had been formed and she would no longer eat meat unless it was easy to eat. Not for ethical reasons.

I’m not the first mother to encounter this problem, but there was a second complication. Soon after she was fitted with braces, she started to develop dry patches around her mouth, that became very sore. It was horrible and uncomfortable. Not only the braces to deal with, but these unsightly sores too. It knocked her confidence at a time she needed it most. You can imagine we tried a whole host of remedies to solve it. We visited the nurse at our surgery a few times and also researched. We thought it was set off by the orthodontic treatment.

Then one day, on holiday in Scotland, a pharmacist suggested it may be a vitamin B deficiency. That was a new one.  Needless to say, we upped her intake of vitamin B and, blow me down, she’s not had a problem since. Just like magic, it was gone! It may have been coincidence, but I don’t think either of us are willing to test that hypothesis out.

Vitamin B had not been on my radar at all. It made sense. Her meat intake had dropped, which is one good source for it and nothing had replaced it. I had compensated for the missing protein, but she must have been missing out on other important nutrients, I hadn’t even considered. If she had given up meat completely, I may have clicked earlier.

I moved into action. Lesson learnt. Teenagers, and tweens, go through phases of dropping some food types. When they do now, I am much faster at substituting in another source, and I explain to them why I am doing it.

I’m also much more conscious about how I cook meat. No point serving up a tough piece of meat. One of my favourite ways is to slow cook it. The meat is tender and falls to bits in her mouth. She will eat it. Double benefit is that I can set it off cooking early in the day and its ready for us when we finally get home from an after school club.

Win-win.

Time to share a recipe. A slow cook Somerset pork and apple stew. With dumplings.
Continue reading

Sharing. Good idea.

The beauty of cooking from scratch

I love fresh produce in my kitchen. Even better when it has been harvested within the last hour, and only a fraction of a food mile on the clock. It’s one reason I push myself each year to grow my own, but I am doubly lucky. Our neighbours are amazing at growing fruit and veg, processing it into amazing food and they like to share. Their garden is so well set up. Puts me to shame.

This week, our neighbour wheeled her wheelbarrow around to see us. She had surplus garden produce to share. A couple of big punnets of cherry tomatoes, long cucumbers, mini courgettes, and types of tomatoes that I’ve only ever seen in the seed catalogues. I am truly lucky.

I was able to send her back with a spaghetti squash, but that was it. She had more than enough in her own garden. Including apples.

Everyone has enough apples around our way. The “Help yourselves to free apple” boxes have started to spring up along the lane. What is not given away, will end up as next year’s compost, so no waste. Continue reading

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Sharing. Good idea.

Photos

There have been cases when people lifted my photos and words, and used them without credit to me or asking permission first. Using them for their own commercial gain. I have now added a level of security to deter people from doing this. Apologies to people who do play nicely. If you would like to use any of my photos, please contact me.

Copyright notice:

All my words and photos are copyrighted to me. They cannot be used for commercial benefit by anyone else. If you would like to use any of them, then please ask me first and don't just take. Written permission only. Don't pass my words, photos or ideas off as your own. It's not nice.