Sunday, 21 September 2014

Bwyd

Who needs Tesco when I have...

...blackberries from Rea:


...runner beans from Gerry:


...eggs from Bridget:


...parsnip wine from D:


...apple sauce from Arriva Trains Wales:


...and baby root veg from my own garden!




Thursday, 11 September 2014

The world has now gone officially completely mad...


Okay, so as any intelligent cook knows, you must pierce eggs before boiling them otherwise the air trapped in the shell will expand as the egg heats up and you'll get random trails of egg white in your water...  I've always just used an ordinary sewing pin for this for years and years and years.  Then, quite some number of years ago, I acquired this lovely little gizmo -- it's quite handy because it's got a magnet on the back so you can stick it on the fridge.  I think Dorothy might have given it to me but can't even remember, it's been that long...

So today I was piercing eggs ready to make a batch of egg, potato, and bacon mayo, and the lovely little bit of plastic broke...  Oh well, slightly sad, but not the end of the world, I'll just go back to using a sewing pin...

Then I foolishly Googled "egg piercer" and found this bit of shocking-ness -- with a built in "integral safety lock" -- so we're going to let you use the stove with a pan of water full of eggs, but we don't trust you not to prick yourself on what is not a particularly sharp pin???  Save me!  What ever happened to personal responsibility???

Off to go run with scissors...

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Goleuadau!!!

At long last, it's finally here!!!!


So Saturday before last, we took the train down to Cardiff where the lovely Ian at Cyclopaedia had a chat with me about my lighting needs and he said he would sort out a dynamo kit for me and post it to me and he had complete faith in my ability to fit it myself...  Well, the parcel arrived yesterday afternoon, and I spent a good two hours last night fitting the dynamo every which way except the right way and finally, with the help of Peter White, whom I would love to visit in person if I lived even remotely near there, I figured out which way it SHOULD go...  It doesn't help that all this stuff is made in Germany and doesn't come with clear fitting instructions for English speaking people who didn't grow up somewhere where bikes are required to have lights by law and they've probably all been fitting dynamos since before they could walk...


So this is my kitchen table about 45 minutes ago when I was slightly starting to despair...


...but I persevered...  and I now have working lights!  Woo hoo!  Here's Sally II (batteries not included!!!) in all her glory:


I am going to do as my Mother said and not say anything at all unless I have something nice to say, so the MANY unhelpful bike shops in West Wales, Swansea, and Cardiff that I contacted will not get named publicly here, but if any of them happen to be reading this, they know who they are: If I've told you I'm looking for a dynamo system, please don't ignore me and tell me how much better battery lights are.  You've now all just lost my business forever...

Monday, 8 September 2014

Afalau a glanhau

In apple news, we made a quantity of apple brandy at the weekend, so now we only need to wait 8 weeks to taste the fruits of our labours!


It's pretty simple to make -- brandy, sugar, apples, and cinnamon -- and then agitate at intervals...  Am a bit sad though as I used up the last of my cinnamon stash from what Dorothy and Jim brought back years ago.  Spices really do keep forever if you don't grind them until you're about to use them...  Will have to find some more cinnamon now...  Anybody out there reading this in Sri Lanka?


In the news recently has been all this nonsense about not being able to buy higher powered vacuum cleaners now.  The EU (as usual) has focused their legislation in the wrong place.  What they need to be doing is banning inefficient cleaners of any power.  Personally I recommend the Dyson -- not only does it use less power and have more suction -- it's endlessly repairable (she says with sore fingertips after stretching that belt around the beater bar with the help of a couple of screwdrivers because of not having the proper tool...!)


The weather is continuing warm and largely sunny, but first thing in the morning it can be quite chilly and misty -- my ears nearly fell off this morning!


And to close with, some happy peppers, from my organic veg box!  :)

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Dydd Mawrth

We've unexpectedly had a bit of Indian summer.  Of course, now that the days are getting shorter, that means I can't hang laundry out when I come home from work and have it be dry before bed, so need to do it before I leave in the morning when the sun's just coming up...  Benefits to line drying laundry outside in addition to saving money and electricity/gas are that the sunlight sterilises your laundry and that it smells yummy!  (Here's where the internet fails because I'd now like to put a link to the scent of my sheets...!)


Thinned Dave's carrots this evening in an attempt to evade the carrot fly...


And I also got to use my new water butt for the first time -- since I've put it in, it's rained nearly every day!  This company has deals with most water companies around the UK and they offer cheaper deals on water butts than anybody else I could find.  Not the easiest to install (or, rather, not as easy as they would have you believe...) but if you get stuck just ask as I'm now the expert!  So all the water coming off my big massive slope-y roof is now mine for free!



Final question before off to bed -- how do you know when rechargeable batteries have reached the end of their life?  This is not a quiz question -- I actually am looking for an answer!


Monday, 1 September 2014

Newyddion

Sorry, got rather distracted by various bike related things last week which I will hopefully shortly have an update on, but bikes really do tend to take over your life!  To that end, I've sorted myself out a bike corner in the kitchen now so the bike and all the bike stuff will live here and it will stop taking over my house...!  One of the problems with living in a car-centric culture is that there aren't ready-made solutions for other modes of transport.  When I had a car, I parked it on the street in front of my house.  I suppose I could leave the bike out front, but then it would get wet, so it has to come into the house and take up space in the world's smallest house...  So I got this handy wall hanger thingie, and then the other hook that my rucksack and jacket are hanging from is something that I found in this house when I bought it...


The garden is coming along in leaps and bounds...


...and we ate the first fruits of it (or should that be vegetables?) yesterday -- radishes -- the fastest growing edible plant ever!  (With the exception perhaps of nettles!!!)



And in fact, dinner yesterday was comprised completely of foods that I know the provenance of once again...


Lamb chops and kidneys courtesy of Patrick and potatoes dauphinoise courtesy of Bridget!

Pudding was apple crumble, courtesy of Arriva Trains Wales and 10 minutes of our labour...




Now the question is, what do I do with the rest of the apples?!  We picked about 24 pounds and there are still tons more there if anybody else wants...

Friday, 22 August 2014

Caws mintys?

Next instalment on the cheese tasting -- cheddar with mint...



Again, the label says "infused" which I think means something other than -- with chopped up bits scattered throughout...  When I first cut into it, visually it reminded me of something like the Teifi with nettles -- but nettles just go better with cheese than mint IMO!  Mind you, I love mint normally...  I make my own mint tea, if I get ice cream somewhere, there's a greater than 50% chance that I'll choose mint choc chip, Uncle Joe's Mint Balls rock, but with cheese?  Meh...

Still one more to go...but thinking that cheese should stick to just being cheese...!  :)