Thursday, 27 August 2015

Homemade Bread Rolls - Perfect for Smothering with Organic Butter, or Better Still - Burgers!

I love bread, in all and every form.
Hmm, actually maybe it's the obscene amount of butter I like to slather on anything vaguely bread-like that I really enjoy?
Kidding! Well, sort of, I do like butter, lots and lots and lots of butter.......

Bakers kiss. Homemade bread rolls. 🍞😘😊
Bread Rolls baked by Mr.R - Complete with 'Bakers Kiss'

I digress, this blog post is about bread.
Bread that, rather unusually for me, I did not smother in extremely generous amounts of delicious creamy organic butter.

Burger! πŸ˜‹πŸ” Homemade bread roll, burger with griddled aubergine and red pepper, curried sautΓ©ed onions, homemade fat chips, and habanero chilli. πŸ˜‹πŸ˜‹πŸ˜‹
Burger! Homemade bread roll, beef-burger with griddled aubergine and red pepper, curried sautΓ©ed onions, homemade fat chips, and habanero chilli.

Oh bugger! I'm doing it again, rambling off subject.
Right, where was I? Yes, bread!
A few days ago Mr.R made some seriously tasty bread rolls for our lunch.
If we didn't smother them with butter, what did we have in the delicious homemade bread rolls?
Meat! Hahaha!
Yep, we used the rolls as a meat delivery system for a seriously good lunch of burger - and chips - homemade chips - of course!
Most bread available in the UK is very low quality, which is because of the awful 'Chorleywood bread process (CBP)' which was developed in 1961. But that's a topic for another blog post.......
Do you make your own bread?
It really does taste so much nicer than the horrible shop bought crap doesn't it?
What's your favourite type of homemade bread?

Friday, 21 August 2015

Chaplin & Cork's Somerset Reserve Cider - Cider Review

Mr.R bought a couple of bottles of Chaplin & Cork's Somerset Reserve Cider for us to share, but it was so long ago that we drank them, I can hardly remember how it tasted.

Cheers! 🍺 #cider #cyder

It was only as I sat flicking through my beer and wine album on flickr that I saw the photos and was reminded of the cider.
I do remember saying that it tasted nice, although a bit sweet for me, but other than that, I don't have much else to say.
Thankfully the label on the bottle had plenty to say about the contents.......

Cheers! 🍺  Cider 😊

From the label -
Chaplin & Cork's 
Somerset Reserve Cider
Rich Medium Dry

Our master cider makers Bob Chaplin and Bob Cork had a simple 
passion, to make a cider to surpass all others. Using only fresh juice
from the finest quality English apples, they pressed and crafted an 
exquisite range of ciders, and disguised them as Batch 417 at our 
cider mill to savour for their own enjoyment. The secret didn't last
long and word quickly spread just how special these ciders were.
Here at The Shepton Mallet Cider Mill we are now delighted to 
celebrate and share our range of Chaplin & Cork's legendary ciders. 
Contains sulphates for freshness.
500ml alc. 6.8% vol.
The Shepton Mallet Cider Mill, Kilver Street,
Shepton Mallet, BA4 5ND.
I like cider, but not as much as I used to, but on a warm sunny day a nice cold cider is very refreshing.
Do you like cider?
Have you tried Chaplin & Cork's Somerset Reserve Cider?
If so, what did you think of it?

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Marcel Proust - The Real Voyage Of Discovery

I know posting quotes is a bit of a cheat compared to blogging my own words, but I was just sitting here thinking about our old life in the South of France, which then got me thinking about Marcel Proust, which then made me think of this quote, so I'm sharing it with you.
"The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes." - Marcel Proust


"The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes." - Marcel Proust

I know some people say that Marcel Proust is hard to read, but I absolutely love the way Proust used words.
His sentences flow exactly the same way as my kind works.

When we lived in France Mr.R won a lovely set of hardback books by Marcel Proust. I thoroughly enjoyed reading Γ€ la recherche du temps perdu, or in English, In Search of Lost Time.
I'm not a particularly fast reader, unlike my mum who speed reads, but I read the first book in a few hours - it was an excellent read.

Actually I've just realised that this blog post is mostly my own words, so everything is tickety-boo.
But, back to Marcel Proust.
Are you a lover of the work of Marcel Proust?
Or do you think his work is hard to read?

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Morning Tea and Fresh Mango Treats

A friend, who lives a few streets away from us, pops round most mornings for a chat and a cup of tea.
He arrived bright and early several mornings ago carrying a fresh mango, a gift for me and Mr.R. Lovely!

It's always good to see our friend and chat over a cuppa or two. And it's even nice when guests come baring gifts - especially of the food variety.

The mango wasn't quite as ripe as we like it, so we left it to sunbathe in the yarden for a few days.
After a while we realised we hadn't eaten the mango, and the skin was beginning to wrinkle - I guess mangoes need sunscreen too. Hahaha!

Ages ago a friend popped in for a cuppa, and gave us a lovely mango. Finally remembered to eat it this afternoon. πŸ˜‹
Mango hedgehog, served in old bowls that were left in our house when we purchased it

So, as the mango was more or less ready to eat, but neither of us fancied it, we chucked it in the fridge to stop it over-ripening.
And as was bound to happen with us, we ended up leaving the mango in the fridge for ages; we're not good at remembering to to eat fruit, not because we don't like it, but because it doesn't particularly like us.
It wasn't until out friend asked if we'd enjoyed the mango that we remembered it was still in the fridge.

Anyway, one day I offered to cook lunch, a rarity in our house as Mr.R is the chef.
I said I'd make salmon with some sort of mango concoction. Mr.R took the newest member of our family, a rescue Rottweiler we've named Porter, to his weekly obedience class, and while they were out I thought I'd better get in the kitchen and start cooking.

Once in the kitchen though, I changed my mind. Not about cooking out lunch, but about making salmon with a mango concoction. I fancied bangers and mash with a rich onion gravy, so that's what I made - not much different from fish and fruit is it? Ha!

So, then as I still hadn't done anything with the mango I said I'd make some mango sorbet, as Mr.R absolutely loves it.
But then, I changed my mind again, and said, 'Feck it! Let's just eat the fecking mango before it's wrinklier than a centenarians arse. So that's what we did.
I sliced the mango into three, scored the flesh, scooped out the cubes of fruit, and voila!
We ate the mango in its natural state.
Well, Mr.R ate the mango straight out of its skin. I smothered my portion in vanilla ice-cream.

Mmm, take some lovely healthy mango, and smother it in ice-cream. πŸ˜œπŸ˜‹πŸ˜¬
Mmm, mango with piles of vanilla ice-cream - Yummy!

We thoroughly enjoyed the fresh mango, which was surprising as neither of us particularly like mango. Well, we like mango juice, and we love mango chutney, but we're not overly keen on eating the fruit au naturel.
But this mango was beautifully ripe and juicy. Delicious!
Do you like fresh mango?
How do you eat mango, on its own, or do you use it in cooking?

Friday, 7 August 2015

Dog Walk, and Sea Glass Collecting On Our Local Beach

Yesterday morning we wandered down to our local beach with our dogs, Barley the Lurcher and Porter the Rottweiler.
The main reason for deciding to go to the beach was so that Barley and Porter could enjoy mooching about off-lead, without us having to worry that they'd run off - recall is a work in progress for both of them. Although I think it's really Mr.R and me who need more training.......

Perfect morning on the beach with the dogs. I even got to mediate for a few minutes. ❤️πŸ™☺️
Perfect - I even got to meditate

Anyway, the sun was shining, the birds were singing, it was a truly glorious morning. so, once we'd walked down the steps that lead to the beach, we had a quick scan all around to make sure we were the only ones there, which we were, and then we let the boys off their leads.

Barley. πŸ•❤️
Barley the Lurcher

Thankfully the local beach, which is within a few minutes walk from the house, is usually empty, and as it was about 5:30am we were pretty sure we'd be able to stay down there for a good while without interruption.

Porter. πŸ•πŸ’™
Porter the Rottweiler

Barley and Porter immediately ran off, which wasn't ideal as this beach is all pebbles, and rocks, so as it soon became obvious that they weren't going to play nicely, and we didn't want either of them to injure themselves; break a leg etc., we had no choice but to put one of them back on a lead, while we let the other remain free.
After a good mooch, we swapped, the free dog was put back on his lead, and the other boy was set free to mooch about the beach.

Big blob.
Big rock - not a piece of sea glass

Barley and Porter both enjoyed the beach, sniffing, digging in the rocky sand, and paddling in the sea.
Mr.R and me also enjoyed it, although we chose not to go in the sea, too fecking cold for us soft Southerners - well, it is the North Sea not the Mediterranean.

452g. No wonder my jeans were falling down. Pocket full of lovely sea glass from this mornings beach stroll.
452 g, the contents of my back pocket

It was while we were walking along the beach that Mr.R started to see, and pick up, pieces of sea glass.
I also started picking up the pieces I saw.
It wasn't long before my jeans started to fall down with the weight of the glass in my back pocket. Hahaha!

527g. Total. Sea glass I collected, plus husbands pieces, and the bits I found on the steps as we walked back up from the beach. And a heart shaped pebbles, couple of pretty stars, and a random piece of metal. Not a bad haul. πŸ‘πŸ˜ŠπŸ˜
527g the total of our sea glass haul - and a few other bits we found

I don't think we've ever collected so much sea glass in such a small space, or short amount of time. We were on the beach for about 90 minutes before we all felt like we'd had enough fresh sea air. Yes, you can have too much of a good thing - by which I mean we we thirsty. Neither me or Mr.R had drank anything before we left the house, we were in desperate need of a nice cuppa. Green tea for me, lots of espresso coffee for Mr.R.

Barley. That don't look edible! πŸΆπŸ˜‹πŸ˜‚
Barley helping with the rinsing of the sea glass - Good Boy!

A slow stroll back to the house, and then I weighed our sea glass collection. OCD. I couldn't resist finding out how much we'd collected.
The total was about half a kilo, not a bad haul for a little walk on a very small beach.

Sea glass. More for the jar.
Sea glass, washed, dry, and ready to be added to our previous collection
Rope tug toy we made for the dogs - Impressive knot tying skills eh?

I'm not sure what I'll do with the sea glass, probably nothing. At the moment it all gets chucked into a glass jar, purely for decoration.
I used to make jewellery, and I know I could make some lovely things with a lot of the larger pieces of sea glass, but I'm not feeling at all creative anymore.
It will look lovely once the jar is full and the light catches the jewel colours of the sea glass.
Do you collect sea glass?
What do you do with your sea glass?
Are you creative, do you make something wonderful with your sea glass?

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

St Cuthbert Special India Pale Ale 6.5% From The Durham Brewery - Beer Review

I procrastinate far more than I write blog posts, which is why I first started this beer review in May 2015, and now it's August.......
I can hardly remember how this Pale Ale tasted because it was so long ago that Mr.R and me visited the Durham Brewery where we purchased several of their brews - which was many many months before May 2015.
So, this will be brief, which will make a change from my usual long-winded rambling nonsense. Ha-ha-ha!

Beer! St Cuthbert, Special India Pale Ale 6.5%. #ale #realale #TheDurhamBrewery #paleale

St Cuthbert Special India Pale Ale has a lovely light floral aroma with hints of sweet citrus.
On the palate it was pleasantly rich and spicy, big hoppy taste, with flavours of caramel, apple, peach and orangey-nectarine, and a hint of mace.
A complex beer with a nice dry bitter aftertaste.
I think this Pale Ale has Maris Otter and Crystal malts; Challenger, Target, Columbus, Golding and Saaz hops, but I'm not positive as the bottle label doesn't say.

I liked this beer, but as I'm not usually a fan of Pale Ales, so I didn't enjoy it as much as Mr.R. He loved it - he is the Pale Ale lover in our family.

St Cuthbert Special India Pale Ale 6.5%

From the label -

Specially brewed to celebrate Durham's 1000 years history.

St Cuthbert is a modern strong and aromatic India Pale Ale with pronounced citrus and orange notes.
Not too bitter with a golden colour, a mixture of English, American and Czech hops develop into a clean peachy bitterness.

This ale is bottle-conditioned.
There is a live sediment which continues to mature and develop the flavour and character. 

Store upright and pour gently to avoid disturbing the sediment.

Natural; not filtered.

Store at cool room temperature and serve at 10 degrees C.
This beer may be lively so have a glass to hand when opening.

Food match: Rich cheese and biscuits.

Contains water, barley, wheat, hops, and yeast.

Suitable for vegans.
3.25 UK units.

The Durham Brewery make good beer, of which this is one.
Have you tried St Cuthbert Special India Pale Ale 6.5%?
What did you think of it?