Thursday 31 January 2019

Quiche with rice crust

I have been reading about rice crust for some time and cooked a bit extra rice the other day when we had a curry. I am never sure when a recipe calls for cups of something (even though I have the correct cups), does it mean loosely packed or pressed down.

Anyhow, I save 2 cups of long grain rice (the recipe called for 1 1/2 cups). 1/2 cup grated parmesan was added along with 1 beaten egg white. Apparently, this mixture is supposed to hold together in a ball, it didn't. I added a good handful of pumpkin, sunflower and flax seed powder - that helped.

It was pushed into a glass pie plate and baked at 210C for 12 minutes. With hindsight, should have been longer. As you can see, it was a bit underdone and too thick:
The egg yolk plus 3 other eggs, a bit of milk and season was added along with 2oz cheese and a lightly fried leek:
You can see the base is still not brown:
We had 1/4 each for tea with some salad. It was followed later in the evening with the leftover apple crumble and custard:
I may make it again using just the 1 1/2 cups of rice but would prefer add cheddar cheese rather than the parmesan and cooking the base a bit longer if required.

Wednesday 30 January 2019

Pilchard Paws...

Raw fed dogs have to have fish to give them essential vitamins and minerals. As Ruby isn't eating mackerel at the moment, I bought two large cans of pilchards in tomato sauce. Now, there seems to be some debate about dogs and tomatoes, as tomatoes contain something, which if eaten in excess, can be detrimental to dogs.

Bearing that in mind, one can had its sauce rinsed off completely, the other can had a bit poured away. They were both then mushed up with a fork and put into paw print silicon moulds.

Wrapped in clingfilm to prevent them stinking out my freezer, they spent the night in there. Once removed they looked like this:
15 little paws, one per day once or twice a week, with other raw fish, should do her, even though they are cooked. The cost, £2.20 so about 13p each, not too bad at all.

We also bought her some reduced salmon fillets for having once a week, along with some reduced haddock. Both of those she will have raw.

Tuesday 29 January 2019

Picking a chicken ....

A nice 2kg chicken was roasted for lunch and we served up 4 plates (2 meals each):
They are both the same size just an odd camera angle. As we haven't had a pudding for several weekends, I also defrosted 1lb apple puree to make a crumble. It had coconut and oats added to its topping:
It will also give us 2 puddings each. The remainder of the carcass was picked clean, the bones and scraps turned into soup for one day. The leftover meat was frozen for later use.
Ruby had a ladle of the basic stock (no onions) on her lunch along with some tinned pilchard. Pichard soup if you like. She seemed to enjoy it, hopefully, she won't have any adverse effects!

Monday 28 January 2019

Doubling up

We had several small power cuts due to the wind last night. Candles and oil lamps were lit and blown out several times. We awoke this morning to a cold house and no hot water. We hadn’t realised the backup battery in the central heating programmer was dead. Such fun trying to find a replacement online but think we might have done, so shall send for one ASAP.

I have decided to bake our bread once a fortnight, it will save just a little on the cost of cooking it. DB found another silicon loaf 'tin' in the attic and brought it down. It is slightly smaller than the one I always use so that loaf is smaller:
The loaves above will last us for two weeks, each should produce 16 slices. This time it consists of rye, brown and white flours with nothing extra added, mainly because I forgot:(

Sunday 27 January 2019

What is it with people....

And their 15 minutes of fame!

I am referring to the car accident of Prince Philip. Quite frankly, it has turned into a witch hunt!

I hate tabloid journalism and that is why I don't buy a newspaper, or read much news online. I watch morning breakfast news and that is about it.

Would there be this much interest if it was Joe Public, I think not.

The woman in question had said at the time that she hadn't received an apology. Car insurance companies urge you not to admit liability so he was within his rights not to apologise. He has now done so, whether he wanted to or not. End of!

We all have accidents and knowing that stretch of road at that time of day, the sun is very low and often blinding. When the road is wet, the whole journey from bottom to top is a nightmare as the sun is bouncing off the road. The staggered junctions along that road are also difficult to manage safely. It is an area we occasionally drive to on our walking days if we are visiting Wolferton. We have to cross these junctions, both in the car and on foot, they are a nightmare.

Referring to the fact that he shouldn't still be driving at his age is ageism. If he was always having accidents due to poor driving skills, then that is a different matter.

Allowing his private letter to her to be published is yet another shot of 15 minutes of fame. Personally, I would be framing it!

Saturday 26 January 2019

I don’t know about you...

But I am finding I have less patience as I age, with everything!

We have invested in another mattress topper and like to remove its cover for washing, which helps with the smell and allows the inside to vent remaining manufacturing smells.

Getting the old one back on was fine. It will be cut and adjusted to fit the bed settee mattress. The new and different version was a different kettle of fish. It took both of us to work it out and I got quite annoyed to say the least.

Eventually we succeeded and will now start its trial to see if it is as comfortable as the old one. If it is, I shall strip it again and swap covers!

Friday 25 January 2019

No more mackerel for now....

Ruby threw up again yesterday, about an hour after having thawed mackerel for lunch. She was sucking on extra saliva like crazy for about 10 minutes beforehand. Of course, like you do, I kept telling her to hush, completely forgetting this is what we all do before being sick.

After two throwup, a clean up and a good scrub of the carpet, watched with interest by her, she settled down to sleep. We didn’t walk her as she seemed tired.

I know it’s advised to starve them afterwards but she was just getting more and more grumpy with hunger. I gave her plain boiled rice and plain scrambled egg for tea to settle her. She was a bit distracted during the evening but settled down nicely and slept well.

She seems fine so far this morning. This is twice now she has thrown up after fresh frozen mackerel so no more for now.

Thursday 24 January 2019

A bargain.... advertising....

In Lidl this morning, they had packets of Knorr 16 stock cubes, for 99p. In Morrison’s they were still £1.72 for 8 or reduced from £3.20 to £2.00, packets of 20.

So, our 3 packets from Lidl, totally 48 cubes was £2.97. Two and a half of the large packets from Morrison’s, would be 50 cubes for £5. A clear win for Lidl methinks.

On the way home, we called in at Farmfoods. I want to try Ruby on whitefish, as a change from Mackeral. Dog section fish can be quite expensive. In Farmfoods, certain fish was on special offer of 3 bags for £10. They didn’t have a flat fish we wanted for ourselves, so We bought 3 bags of boned fillets of Alaskan pollack, weighing in total 2.7kg for £10.00. A small reduction than other supermarkets but way cheaper than a dog food equivalent. Also, a nice treat for us.

Tuesday 22 January 2019

Just 1 degree Celsius.

but we have sunshine and blue skies, for the moment. Huge amount of rain swept through between midnight and 3am.

I have done a large amount of washing but it is drying indoors, in front of sunny windows. Doubt it would do much outdoors despite the sun.

We bought a really nice 30 day matured joint of beef from Lidl. I only picked it up because I thought it was on special offer, but it wasn’t.

It was roasted for an hour and 10 minutes on Sunday. We carved enough for 2 meals each. The reminder has been thinly sliced. We are having a roast beef sandwich for lunch. What’s  left, will be frozen for another day, maybe one meal each. So 6 meals and 2 snacks for £11. Not exactly thrifty but we sure enjoyed it.

Monday 21 January 2019


A parcel arrived today. We couldn't think what it was as we were only expecting a small hat:
Inside it was this:
Yup! Our replacement jigsaw. We were told to keep our old box as we would only recieve a new bag of jigsaw pieces but we have, as you can see, received a whole new jigsaw!

Go Gibsons!

Sunday 20 January 2019

Ruby and tea...

When we got up this morning, the outside temperature was -4.9C.

The other day, I had 3 ladles of vegetable soup left over and used it to make an evening meal. I added some paprika and chilli, plus some Quorn chunks. Pasta was cooked, soup added and a generous topping of cheese went on top:
We both enjoyed it.

DB was feeling cold, in his back yesterday afternoon, so decided to squat against the tall dining room radiator. Ruby thought it was a good idea:
She is a right character!

Saturday 19 January 2019

My other nana

Was Nana J. Again, we didn’t see much of her. Her husband was also not particularly nice. Odd things I remember was their outdoor ‘toilet’, in a shed. It had two holes with two buckets underneath. When full, granddad would dig a deep hole near the veggie patch, tip them in and cover them over with soil. Black gold he called it, telling me that in a year, it would go on the garden as compost. They also had an inside toilet, upstairs, but we weren’t allowed to use it, or even go upstairs.

In their hardly used front room, was a brown wooden jewellery box. When you lifted the lid, a ballerina in a pink tutu twirled around whilst music played.

The kitchen was small, which you entered straight from the back door. The cooker was opposite and I remember bursting in one day, nearly knocking her flying. She was bent down peering into the oven, checking on some baking dumplings. I found that weird as the dumplings we ate were always simmered on top of the stew, inside the pan.

So few memories:(

Friday 18 January 2019


Someone was discussing long life milk and I immediately thought of my Nana B. She only had milk in the form of Clover. It came in a glass bottle with a red metal cap, delivered every morning via the milkman. It was a full cream uht milk and I didn’t like it at all.

I didn’t see much of either of my nana’s when I was growing up, but out of the two, she was my favourite. She had thin, flowing white hair with a very visible pink head. Her face was smooth in the centre but very wrinkly around the edge and she had lots of laughter lines around her blue eyes.

She was neither too large nor too slim, wide hips, but her boobs lived at her waist which I found fascinating as a child.

She had had a very hard life. My granddad, who died years before I was born, was by all accounts, not a nice man.

She died when I was 17 and I wish I had seen more of her but life just got in the way.

Thursday 17 January 2019

All change.....

Cold night though no frost. Second night of little sleep. Blue sky, sunshine, brisk cold wind.
Belly full with soup and a custard tart.

Had a massage this morning and some hairs on my chin removed. Two years have past since I finished having everything not wanted removed. These naughty but weaker ones keep popping up every now and then.

Wednesday 16 January 2019

Making 'bones' for Ruby

Ruby, being raw fed, needs quite a variety in her diet. The tubes of meat and minced bone she predominently has, have offal incorporated into them. However, sometimes, we go for slightly cheaper packets which don't.

However, the difference in price is about 35p per tube and the extra's I might add, are less than this.

Two weeks ago, I bought some liver and kidney (kidney is hardly ever in commercial ones) for us, but chavelled up 3/4 for her and froze them into bone shapes. This gave us 15 offal bones for about 70p.

When we use the cheaper tubes, she has one of these added plus occasionally, a vegetable/fruit based one. The vegetable/fruit based ones give her a bit more to eat but with less calories. She is one hungry girl at times but would be huge if we gave in to her!

Today, I made up, one of the above mentioned batches, consisting of:

3 large carrots, 2 handfuls of spinach, a few blueberries, a few raspberries, two tablespoons of flax, pumpkin and sunflower ground seeds, plus two spoonfuls of yoghurt whey:
 In the bone mould, ready to freeze. These probably work out at 15 for £1.00.
Once frozen, they are tipped into a bag, ready for use. Here is one of each for comparison - kidney on the left, fruit and vegone on the right:
They weigh about 25g - 30g each.

The last lot of vegetable only ones I made, consisted of carrot, green cabbage, kale and spinach.

When I mention this to people, they think we are giving her "too many treats" and that she is "spoilt". What they don't realise is, these are essential nutriments for her. She needs them to have a rounded diet. She is not being spoilt.

Tuesday 15 January 2019


I do like watching a machine at work!

We needed a new dog tag for little miss. Last time, a human operated the machine. This time, a machine did the work. Insert cassette, type what you want, leave it to happily laser etch on the information.

I reckon it took no more than 5 minutes but was very enjoyable to watch all the same.

One of the programmes we enjoy watching is how it’s made. Never ceases to amaze us.

Saturday 12 January 2019

Congrats and bread ...

First of all, congratulations to Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares for winning their first ATP title of this year. May you have many more.

Needing to bake bread, I decided to double up my mixture to make one loaf of bread and 8 baps. 10% was rye flour, 40% brown and 40% white flours. A 1/4 cup each of pumpkin and sunflower seeds was also added.

I wanted to make some baps as we all enjoyed the ones I had made for the festive period. Once cooled, I shall freeze half the loaf after slicing and freeze the baps in two's for future use. Here they are, fresh from the oven:

Friday 11 January 2019

Well done Andy....

It was painful to watch, but Andy Murray has finally made the heartbreaking but correct decision to finish playing tennis. Boy, will I miss him!

He hopes to try and carry on for another few months but I feel this is it really. Physical health has to come above everything else. Like he says, the pain is too much, he can't play how he wants to play, is no longer enjoying training or playing because of the pain.

I think anyone waiting for a hip or knee replacement would agree with him on that one.

Hopefully, once he stops playing, he can get a full hip replacement or an operation that would alleviate the worst of the pain.

Thanks Andy. You have fought hard, but sometimes, our bodies let us down and we just have to accept that. It is a shame your daughters won't get to see you play but at least you will have lots of videos and memories to share with them.

When the time comes, look forwards, not backwards and enjoy the next chapter of your life!

Thursday 10 January 2019


We actually had a bit of blue sky and sunshine in between showers of rain. Today is grey, dismal and cold which seems to be the norm for nowadays.

If all the doom and gloom merchants prove correct, we will be having bad weather later on in the season. That, along with the blasted Brexit, will really improve the nation’s mood!

I am ashamed at the shenanigans going on in parliament at the moment. I don’t know how many times they need to be told this is the only deal, but still they keep demanding more. Each faction demanding what they need and nobody, it seems, willing to work together for the sake of the country as a whole.

Surely, all the nay sayers must have realised that the EU would make an example of us daring to leave and make the exit as hard as possible.

No, we should not vote again otherwise it would set a precedent for all future voting. What, don’t like the result of a general election, well let’s vote again then. Absolute madness lies there.

Me, I am keeping calm and carrying on as best as I can. Yes, I am doing a Brexit food box. As savings accounts mature shortly, yes, I will reinvest them ASAP before interest rates collapse further. Yes, I am still tying into new fixed utilities deals for the same reason.

Wednesday 9 January 2019

Wellies ...

I had a shortish walk in my new cherry coloured wellies today. It was nice to just walk without having to worry where I put my feet! I wouldn’t want to use them for long walks but certainly, short walks around here or going on the beach and just into the sea with Ruby, will be so much better.

DB has also bought some navy town and country ones. He has been using his for a few days now and says the same.

DS and DDiL have been trying to get us both to buy some, now I understand why.

Monday 7 January 2019

Came across this the other day....

on the internet, thought you might enjoy some useful and interesting tips. You might want to mute it though as I found the music very irritating: tips.

Sunday 6 January 2019

Greyed out....

I don’t know about you, but I am getting fed up now of low grey clouds and dismal days. We have had little sustained sunshine in this part of the country and I am in need of some!

Weather forecasts seem to be indicating a change in the weather to colder days mid month, we shall see. I am going to make stew for tea, just feel the need for some comfort food.

Friday 4 January 2019

No justification.....

I needed to top up stock cubes. Over Christmas, the ones we use were reduced from £1.70 to £1.00. As is life we forgot to buy any except pork which have somehow been lost:(

Going to the supermarket, they were now £1.72, no way was I paying that price.

We have been out today and called in at another supermarket. They were £1.50 each or any 2 packets for £2.00. I bought 10 packets, some for our spare cupboard and the rest for my Brexit box. Buying them there saved us £7.50!

Thursday 3 January 2019

Darn it....

We eventually, 'finished' our Christmas jugsaw:
Only to find this:
One piece missing!

Luckily it is a Gibson puzzle and they help out in situations like this. We have to send them 5 pieces, answer a few questions, keep the box and they send us a new packet of pieces.

Each of their puzzles are individually cut so they can't send us a replacement for the missing piece.

So, when the new bag of pieces come, we shall have the pleasure of doing it again!

Wednesday 2 January 2019


I was standing in the conservatory when I heard the sound of geese flying over. In Norfolk, we have huge flocks of these arrive, predominently Canada geese. My camera just couldn't do the numbers justice, especially as it was getting dark:

The sky was filled, in all directions with geese flying from south east to north west, literally hundreds upon hundreds of them. Neither of us have ever seen that many flying over in the whole time we have lived here. Arriving, departing, we don't know. Maybe they know something we don't!!!

It was quite humbling to watch them.

Tuesday 1 January 2019

Dangerous Debris...

First of all Happy New Year to all my readers!

The dangerous debris I am referring to are the remnants of fireworks from the celebrations last night.

We stayed up until 12:45 until we were sure the fireworks had all finished. There were a large number of really big bangs.

Ruby went out for her pre-bed ablutions, and came back in, carrying the white plastic ring. DB removed it and also came in with the stick from the driveway.

This morning, before letting her out, we checked the gravel and found two bits of cardboard tubing and large thick shards of shiny and very sharp, purple plastic. Presumably these were the outer casings of said large fireworks.

As we went around our part of the village, more shards, in blue and green could be seen, littering both the paths and roads:
Neither of us remember seeings these sort of shards before. Maybe we have become more vigilent with having Ruby.