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..... We make
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..... We nuture

Three children *** Two dogs *** 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."

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Life

Thank you….

  • Craft Mother Thank Debbie. Writing it brought a tear to my eye too. The old lady is fine. She's had her recent 6 month check-up and has... 23 May
  • Tubbs There's no friendship quite like that between person and pet. It's lovely that they've grown up together. Thank you for sharing such a lovely photo 23 May
  • Mackenzie Glanville so beautiful said and photographed. I agree we ended up getting a puppy to help Aspen with her emotions, and soon we had many animals.... 23 May
  • Christine @afamilyday I've been out in the garden too. Dismantling veggie beds as I've given up trying to grow anything in them in their current location (neighbour's... 22 May
  • mummy here and there You can't beat a good old walk through the woods, good for your soul X #mysundayphoto 22 May
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Time to smile

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

- J B S Haldane

Debs Random Writings

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in the kitchen

Uneventful: Word of the Week

 

Do you ever have one of those weeks where nothing seems to have happened? Uneventful.

Don’t get me wrong. I have been busy. I spent the first two days of the week fully focused on work. Barely looking up. Meeting deadlines.

Pancake day, which involved making pancakes in the morning ready for the school pancake race, plus pancakes in the evening for everyone else.

We’ve had St David’s day, so everything welsh happened. Including welsh cakes and dragons, of course.

In the general run of the week, I cooked from scratch and used up supplies. I’m trying not to shop one week a month, to force myself to use up those products that I buy just in case. The ones lurking at the back of the cupboard that were a good idea at the time. Reaching in the back of the fridge, to finish off the last one of different foods. I’m talking about you, last, lonely garlic clove. And don’t think I haven’t spotted you, pepper, hiding behind the ketchup. Your days are numbered.

Bizarrely, I’m good at putting ingredients together. No recipe book needed. Adding the right flavours together. Blending sauces, all from scratch. Meals are varied, which the family loves. I can’t imagine cooking the same thing over and over again.

I have absorbed recipes and tips for decades. Still am. Methods picked up over the years. Cherry picking it all, for the meal in hand. It feels a natural way to cook.

There was a costume to put together for World Book Day. Klaus Baudelaire from A Series of Unfortunate Events. Using things we had, a charity shop jacket and homemade spectacles (two plastic cups and scrap fabric)

The Teen went to Brownies as a volunteer. She is working towards her DofE award. She loved it and is looking forward to going back. I could never persuade her to go when she was younger, so I’m glad she is enjoying it now. I dropped her off and picked her up as my role of parent taxi.

The Teen and I also attended a briefing meeting about her upcoming school trip. No surprises. This will be her third overseas trip.

So why does the week seem uneventful? I certainly was kept busy. I think it is because nothing unusual happened. I wasn’t pushed out of my comfort zone. All these events happen each year. It is part of our yearly rhythm. I’ve made costumes. I’ve cooked. I’ve dropped children off at events.

I don’t think it is a bad thing. A week of no surprises. A time to breathe and take everything in my stride. I’m sure it won’t be long before a challenge rears it’s head, so I’m happy for an uneventful week.

The Reading Residence

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Toast

Are you a morning lark or a night owl? Or something between the two?

I’m definitely a morning lark. I think best in the morning. I wake up with a new idea, that I can’t wait to try out, or the solution to a problem, that’s being gnawing away at me. I literally jump out of bed. The family sometimes find me downstairs, with already an hour of work under my belt before they emerge.

I think I must be a nightmare. I do rather bounce in to wake them up in the morning for school. They have requested that I sing a little bit quieter. I don’t think they even see my dance routine from under their duvets. Honestly. I am not appreciated. Who wouldn’t want a rendition of “Good Morning”, first thing? Or my version of it, at least.

If it is any consolation to the night owls among you, I am flagging by the evening. No one is allowed to ask me homework questions after supper. Fortunately my husband is a night owl, so he takes over. He jokes that he only has to show me a pillow in the evening, and I fall asleep. If only I could deny it.

One of the upsides of being a morning person is that breakfast preparation is not a chore. I love making porridge for everyone. Or toast, which is popular in our house.

We don’t have a toaster or a grill. We use the Aga instead. No need to clutter the surface with another gadget, when the Aga will do it. The children get super excited when we go on holiday and there is a toaster wherever we are staying. New fangled magic box that makes toast!

Last summer in Scotland, we hired a cottage, with a toaster in the kitchen. That wasn’t the reason we hired the cottage. It was the location mostly. Honestly, the first morning, all three children waited to see the toast pop out of the toaster. With “whoops!” when it did. Much discussion about how the toast looked different and gave a different crunch. Novelty waning as the week went on, thank goodness.

So what is different about the toast I make? To start with it has a grid mark on it.

The bread is sandwiched between two wire meshes that are shaped like table tennis bats, but larger. Hinged at one end and long handles opposite. I can fit about 3 slices in.

The bat is put on the hottest plate of the Aga, left, then turned over when ready.

There is no ping to tell you the toast has toasted, and I cannot recommend waiting until the smoke detector goes off. Been there. Done that. Got the burnt toast to prove it.After a while, you seem to develop an inner clock and know when to turn or rescue the toast.

It is also brilliant for toasted sandwiches. No need for more butter, making it less greasy.

(That’s how we make toast, Val, with grid marks. Much easier to explain with a photo. Or two.)

So, are you a morning or night person? And how do you like to start the day?


 

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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.

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