Search This Blog

Sunday 30 June 2024

Hare today, done tomorrow.

 "Hare-Brained Hare"


I love the Lincolnshire Wolds!  We are not a very popular tourist spot but many of our villages are lovely.  

When I go out in to the Wolds, I think myself very lucky if I see a hare. They are not prolific breeders like rabbits.  A farmer once told me that a healthy hare population is a sign of good husbandry.  They don't like land which has been over treated with pesticides or fertilisers.

I think a good life is a bit like a hare. I don't mean I am ever tempted to try out agricultural chemicals on myself, but I don't want to beat myself up with the pesticide of driving myself too hard, nor yet over-apply the fertiliser of  self-indulgence.

So, what has this hare done in June?

One of our regular clergy has been ill and a volunteer minister (who normally does a lot) has gone on holiday so I have been in action every Sunday as well as taking a funeral.  I also run a weekly worship time on zoom.  

A friend has been here for lunch and sampled several culinary experiments.  She was VERY polite about them!

I've had several medical appointments and established that although I am in fine fettle I may need cataract surgery before long.  And I've started to work out a suitable daily exercise plan to keep myself in said fettle!

I've had three meals with three different friends whom I haven't seen in ages.  I also went to a very sumptuous bring-and-share afternoon tea when we had a talk by a food writer.  That was wonderful!  Church ladies do rather good afternoon teas.

Jack has been working his magic so it would have been very ungrateful not to get out in my garden as much as I can.

PS  The Hare-Brained Hare is a Wrendale design by Hannah Dale who lives not far from me.

Friday 28 June 2024

H is for Humber Bridge


I've driven over it, walked over it, ridden my trundle truck over it and sponsored numerous charity pram pushers to cross it.  It's nearly a mile and a half long and when it was opened in 1981 it was the longest single-span road suspension bridge in the world.  (It is now the twelfth longest.)  

I realised recently that I had never been under it. So I went to visit it again today.  I parked at Far Ings Nature Reserve and from there got on to the top of the levee running either side of the estuary.  After a week of glorious sunshine, that was the moment it started to rain!  Not a deluge, just a drizzle.  Enough to soak me.   But I was determined to go under the bridge.  So I did.  But not for long.  I thought there might be a cafe with a bacon buttie at Far Ings.

Far Ings is a national nature reserve managed by Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust.  There are reedbeds, meadow and scrub, freshwater and saltwater.  It's on a major east/west migratory route for birds and it's a breeding site for numerous species including kingfishers, bittern, marsh harrier, bearded tit, Cetti's warbler,  and barn owl.

I couldn't see any of those today as I just sat in the viewing room at the visitors' centre to keep dry.  But there was no cafe or a bacon buttie.

Instead I went to the Humber Bridge Garden Centre which is in an old brickworks.  The ornamental walls are built of local pantiles.  Aren't they lovely? 

And the bacon buttie I had there was lovely too.  

Thursday 27 June 2024

G is for Guests

It is such a joy to prepare a meal for friends!  When I was working I prepared many meals for friends and parishioners but these days almost every meal I cook is just for me.

Today my dear friend Bonnie came for lunch.  I found the first few sweet peas and arranged them in a pretty vase for the table.  I made some creamy mayonnaise and on the strength of that made coleslaw and a tangy potato salad.  That veggie box contained some lovely peppers which were splashed with olive oil and roasted.  Boiled eggs are always a treat for me so they came out too.  There was a mixed green salad, tomatoes, and soused cucumber.  And to top it all a salmon fillet each.  For pudding we had home made mango ice cream, freshly churned by me this morning.  

All food is best garnished with a large helping of love and laughter and we had both in plenty.

Ah, it is good to cook for guests!

Tuesday 25 June 2024

A Lidl Bit of Loveliness!

 This was today's haul.
 Lidl is my favourite supermarket.  Our local one has wide aisles that I can trundle down on my (mobility) scooter, loads of very convenient parking, and lovely staff.  And what's more - it's cheap!

Whenever I go I look to see if there are any "Waste Not" vegetable boxes.  If there are, that's what I buy first then I take it to my car, check what there is in it, and amend my shopping list accordingly. 

Here are the sorted contents
That's 1250g potatoes

116g mini peppers (4)

345g peppers (2)

18g chilli peppers (2)

143g pears (1)

240g satsumas (3)

806g apples (9)

195g lemons (2)

120g shallots (4)

250g apricots (8)

I costed that lot at about £7.50 in Tesco, the only other supermarket in the middle of Brigg so I reckon I got pretty good value.

Some will go into the fridge for use over the next week, some will be frozen and some will be given away.  I hadn't planned on buying apricots but I can feel apricot and mango ice cream coming on!

Sunday 23 June 2024

This has Jack's seal of approval

Annie asked me for the recipe for savoury ducks and I am really sorry, Annie, I can't find your email. 

Anyway, I'm publishing this with Jack's approval, gained by making a batch for him. 

Savoury ducks

200g breadcrumbs

200g onions.

500g pig's liver

500 g minced pork

1 tsp pepper

1 tsp mace

2tsp dried sage

 Whizz all the ingredients in a food processor.  If you don’t have a processor you will need to mince the liver before you can mix by hand.

Line a tin with aluminium foil and spread the mixture into it evenly.  Press it down.  Cover with foil.  Cook 180-200C, gas mark 4-6, 350=400F for one hour.  Remove the foil and cook a further twenty minutes.

When cold, cut into squares.  Jack likes them with salad or in sandwiches.  They can be recooked in a rich onion gravy and served hot.  

Sorry about the wide range of temperatures but my oven is rather old and the thermostat is “interesting”. 

When he graciously gave his permission for me to publish this he added this rider. "if you don't enjoy this Jack will have harsh words for you." 


Saturday 1 June 2024

My butcher thinks Jack is great!

My butcher has never actually met Jack but he's all in favour of my friend's dietary preferences.   I've cut back a lot on meat-eating, so I don't see my butcher as often as I did.  When I do see him it is to buy minced pork, pork liver and dry cured bacon.  These translate into savoury ducks and bacon butties.

You see, savoury ducks and bacon butties are the preferred enticement for the Lesser Spotted Jack.  He will also come for leek and potato soup but he can't resist a duck.

Last week he came even without a duck, though, so I gave him double helpings of bacon butties.  (By the way, he usually has his breakfast before he comes: the butties are just a minor snack!)

While he was here he sorted the flower bed.  The bacon butties must have been truly wonderful as he allowed the foxgloves to stay.  That is a huge concession.

But he also planted the vegetable garden with tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers carrots, lettuce, beetroot (and a soaker hose).  

And leeks.  They may have been a hint.