"With Pomp, Power & Glory the world beckons vainly, In chase of such vanities why should I roam?While Peace & Content bless my little thatched cottage,And warm my own hearth with the Treasures of Home."*Beatrix Potter

Friday 19 September 2014

A Week Full of Blessings.

I would like you all to meet George our little Kitten.
He is full of fun & keeps everyone on their toes.
Little George is just eight weeks old.
His name came from a vintage book that the girls have called Naughty George.
I do hope we don't have to use the naughty word though!
The twins love the Blackberry Farm series from the 40's & 50's.
It was our eldest daughter Amy's 21st birthday this week.
She came & spent a beautiful day with us & we had a birthday tea.
Here are a few of the things I made for tea.
Strawberry & Vanilla cake, butterfly cakes, fairy cakes & cheese straws.
The cheese straws are one of the twins favourite tea time treats.
Cheese Straws.
4 ozs self raising flour
pinch of salt
Cayenne pepper or Mustard powder
The twins only like mild foods so I use the mustard powder.
2 ozs margarine
3 ozs grated strong cheddar cheese
1 egg beaten
Rub the fat in to all the dry ingredients, then add the grated cheese & combine with a beaten egg.
Use your hands to combine like making pastry.
Roll out on a floured board & cut in to preferred shape, at Christmas we use little cutters.
Bake 400f for about 10 minutes.

We had a trip to Anglesey Abbey on the Sunday after we went to Wimpole Hall.
This is another Estate owned now by the National Trust.
It has beautiful park land, a working water mill & house.
A beautiful old gate in the estate.
Lode Mill.
This is a lovely working water mill in the grounds.
We bought some flour that had just been ground.

The miller bagging up our flour.
I bought a little recipe book from the mill, I can't wait to use our lovely fresh flour.

Walls inside the mill.
Simple bunches of wheat.

Walking though parkland towards the Abbey.

Walking up the drive to Anglesey Abbey.

The parlour.
This room had wonderful rich panelling all the way round it.

The flower room.
They get all the flowers ready here for arranging.
The estate grows so many flowers, it was lovely seeing how they use them in the displays throughout the house.
The parkland was beautiful, the children learn so much from these days out with out even knowing they are learning.

This is a fruit cake recipe I use but this time instead of fruit I added chocolate chips in the round cake & dried cut dates in the loaf cake.
Corgi Cottage Soup from Tasha Tudor's cookbook.
This was the first time I have made this soup & everyone liked it.
Perfect with fresh bread.
George had spotted a butterfly that had flown in, he does remind me of Tom Kitten.
 Perhaps we will have to stuff newspaper in the old range in the hall, we have a hole that goes right to the chimney pot!
Little George has been sleeping on my lap while I have been writing this post, he loves to be loved & is such a funny little thing.
Enjoy your day.
Fondly Michelle

Tuesday 16 September 2014

Special Day's.

                                       This past week we had a very special day,
                                               our eldest son graduated from
                                                         Lincoln University.

                               Lincoln is a beautiful city with lovely old buildings,
                                           the cathedral is a very special place.
                 This is the area outside the cathedral with it's Georgian Terrace.
Dene & Ellie walking through the arch
to the cathedral
Up the hill is the oldest part of Lincoln,
it feels like you are stepping back in time.

Inside the cathedral waiting for the service to start.
Such beautiful stained glass windows.

Dene collecting his Master of Computer Science.

A happy boy.
I can't believe where those years have gone,
it doesn't seem that long ago when he was a little boy.

Myself, Dene & Ellie in the castle grounds.

A proud Dad with Dene.

                                                       Afterwards in the castle grounds.
                                       This was a very special day & one we will treasure.
                                                              We are so proud of him.

                                             Last weekend we went to a 1940's weekend at 
                                                      Wimpole Hall in Cambridgeshire.
                                          Wimpole is a beautiful stately home, farm & estate 
                                               owned & preserved by the National Trust.
                                             We brought a picnic & had a wonderful day.
                                      Mary chatting away to a lady wearing a 1940's outfit.
                                           This was inside the flower & vegetable garden.

A beautiful display of pumpkins
& gourds in the Victorian greenhouse.

Simple white pumpkins.

Kitty admiring the flowers.
She enjoys smelling so many of them,
quite often we will see a head disappearing in to flower beds.

They have a large amount of apple trees at Wimpole,
so many of them have been trained 
to fan the old Georgian walls.

The flower garden, so many beautiful blooms.

Climbing pumpkins.
Such a pretty idea for our garden next year.

The twins playing in the orchard.
There were so many different varieties of apples 
& plums.

Daisy smelling the beautiful old roses.

A beautiful vintage car & caravan.
The owner said he could not find a caravan 
to go with his car so he made this one.
It was so pretty inside.
I could imagine it as a wonderful little house
for the twins in the garden.

A traditional Olde English Punch & Judy Show.
These date back to 1640 but this one had a 
2nd world War twist.
Sidney, Mary & Kitty had such fun watching it.

The home guard meeting Winston Churchill at the Coach House
& stables building.

Home Farm.
This farm is part of the Wimpole Estate,
 it has some wonderful old thatched barns.
Kitty & Mary are dressed up as milk maids 
& are playing in the old dairy which is 200 years old.

We were watching a 1940's fashion show,
can you see the couple all dressed up for the day.

Mary brushing a donkey, she did enjoy it.

The grand front of Wimpole Hall.
The house was used for filming a Colin Firth film called Easy Vertue not so long ago.

Such a pretty bureau.

They had set the house out with glimpses
of the 1940's.

This is the library, there were so many books in here.
This room & the dinning room were used in filming.

A beautiful little corner of the study complete
with 40's radio & knitting.

They had a beautiful chapel inside
Wimpole Hall.
It was all laid out ready for the Harvest festival.

This was the butler's room & one of the last rooms
to view.
We had such a wonderful day & the weather was glorious.

 I thought some of my beautiful readers would like my
recipe for Tea Bread.
I have made this for 24 years now, it was one of the first
recipes I did as a married lady & so easy.
Soak in a bowl overnight
12 oz's of dried fruit ~ raisins & sultana's.
1/2 pint of strong cold tea.
4 oz's of soft dark brown sugar.
Last time I made it I chopped up some dried apple rings,
they worked well.
In the morning add one egg & 8 oz's self raising flour.
Mix until combined & place in a greased & floured loaf tin.
Bake for one hour at 170 c
I double this recipe most of the time,
they last for a week in a tin & I also freeze them.
Serve with butter.
We are enjoying our new kitten named George,
he came to live with us on Sunday evening & is adorable.
I will post some photo's of him soon.
Fondly Michelle