Wednesday, 16 July 2014

A rather nice cake, some flowers and a Crispy Greek style pie!

I do have rather a lot of recipe books, especially ones with cakes in, plus a large ring binder file and saved ones online, so choosing a cake to bake can take rather a long time. Do I go for a new one or a well tried and tested? last week it was the later. Due to strike action the library where we have our knit and natter was going to be closed so a leading member of our group asked us all round to her garden instead. Now although I hadn't ever had a good look round this garden I knew that it was a very, very nice one and big at that. The whole idea of knitting and nattering in a garden like that seem to lend itself to a rather nice cake so I decided on raspberry and white chocolate, here is the recipe

and here is how it looks stage by stage

and of course the finished cake

You do need to keep an eye on it after about an hour and I do tend to make one large and a small just so I can put one in the freezer. I have only ever made it with frozen raspberries as it says but if you try fresh let me know how you get on.

Now our garden is nothing compared to the knit and natter one but this year I am making a real effort with it. It's nothing exciting, north facing, on a slope with a very uneven partly subsided lawn, no interesting corners for pots or step ladders like this

A few paving slabs outside the back door which don't get the sun till the afternoon and then looses it as it goes behind other peoples trees in the early evening BUT despite all that I have got some flowers this year in fact I have picked my first bunch of sweetpeas today, here they are

and here are some of the others I've got 

The fushia was in a pack of 4 for £1-99 from Lidl , likewise the geranium below. Pretty good value I think

The clematis is called Rebecca and was bought for me by David to climb up the pergola he was going to build(?) several years ago, in the end I just planted it outside the back door. I though I had lost it this year, it had been lovely last but no sign of life in the spring, then I spotted the tiniest of green and it came back to life but with only the one flower -you can just see it at on the left side of the wall at the top of the picture

I guess these are some sort of lily, I was asked if I wanted some plants when I went to the garden centre and these are what came up. Lovely colour and rather gorgeous.

I've got a bit of a thing about hydrangeas at the moment, think it's something to do with David's father planting so many in Ireland. I've noticed some lovely coloured ones around, there is a beautiful purple one in the garden at the clinic which I am going to have a go at taking cuttings from. 
I am also growing courgettes again so I can make courgette and ginger jam. They are very tiny at the moment, but am sure when we get back from our trip to Ireland they will be ready for jam making

I made my Greek style pie, my first go at using filo pastry which I did not find at all easy as all the layers were stuck together.

 I think it looks a lot better in the pictures that what it tasted like, mainly due to me putting too many layers of pastry in as I couldn't separate them!. Don't think I'll be doing it again, you may have better luck.

Well it's all go @ number 6 for the next few days/weeks. We have Jonathan's graduation on Friday, a family party to celebrate my cousin and family being over from America and then we are off to Ireland for about 10 days so the next time we speak it may well be August, when I will be telling you something rather special, so good bye till then. L Anne x

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Tour de France

I know many people have written about the Tour de France but I've not seen or read much about where we were so here's how our weekend went. As you might expect the caravan played a large part and we were lucky enough to get it on a site up Littondale before Arncliffe. (If you follow Lucy at Attic 24 it's the same site she had her van on last year)

An ideal spot with gorgeous views all round

As we had arrived Thursday teatime we had all Friday to do something, that meant a trip into Skipton - how I love that place! Here are just some of the pictures we took

A diversion into Taste meant we were soon filling our shopping bag with goodies

There was some amazing embroidery in Fat Faces window

and yarn bombing at Wild Oats Cafe

I even managed a visit to Purl and Jane to look at all their wool

All that and then coffee and cake at Coopers Cafe Bar

sitting in my favourite corner

Seeing that Skipton was starting to get busy, we went back to the van and avoided the traffic. We were entertained during the afternoon by the wildlife on the site 

The rabbit was one of a family of 5 who were just playing around the caravans, running under them when people walked passed. The hedgehog just seem to appear and walked across the internal road in front of our van.

We had an early start on Saturday in order to pack a picnic and walk down from the site to where we were going to watch the race. By this time we had been joined by C and A who were staying further up the dale at a local pub. It was already quite busy when we arrived at our chosen spot

so we got ourselves sorted and put up the bunting

We realised that we could see well into the distance 

If you look carefully right in the middle of the picture you can see part of the entourage coming down the road. There was a big shout as the 'caravane' was spotted, here is just a taste of it

I loved the wine and Miffy!
After a long wait a helicopter was seen, it got nearer and with it the first cycles in the distance, shortly they were with us

 and then gone! - but what an event to be part of.
The sun continued to shine as we made our way back to the site

where we felt that a little celebration was in order so Prosecco and homemade elderflower cordial cocktails were made and dually consumed - a fitting end to the day.

Sunday morning David and I went on the hunt for a paper in Kettlewell. The tour had passed through after they left us, and the village had certainly made itself look pretty. 

We did manage to get a paper in the village shop

I loved all the tins on the top shelf and then the old baking utensils and bottles underneath!

On returning to the van we had a belated breakfast

 which set us up nicely for our walk up the dale to Litton where the Queens Arms was waiting. Now the Queens Arm and ourselves go back a long way in fact to the late 70's when we, C and A and our other friends B and J used to go and camp May Day weekends in the field opposite. It's quite comforting going back as in many ways it's not changed too much and the corner table where Fizz, Buzz was regularly played is still there.

We had another gorgeous evening ending in this sunset

 Have to say that was the calm before the storm as although Monday started fine, the heavens opened as we were packing up and poor David was soaked to the skin! It did delay us but I managed to arrive at work with 5 minutes to spare. 
But now I need to say bye as I have to finish a 'Crispy Greek-style pie' for tea, pictures and recipe next time if it works out. Till then enjoy the rest of Wednesday, Anne x