Steve ponders the need for more dog food and posts this post

Hi All,

I think that the pork pies that I made for our canapé platter on Christmas day were the only thing that mum never got around to replicating before she died. She made the scotch eggs and the mini quiches. I dare say my sister had to throw some of them out of her freezer. I am so very glad that I got the time to share the communal healing art of cooking with my mum. We made bread and she enjoyed some nice meals with us and as frugal and savvy as she was, she made sandwiches to take the next day with her on the plane. I too see no point in wasting money simply for the sake of it. It might be convenient to buy a $6 polystyrene cup of packet cup-a-soup but it most certainly isn’t worth it! I will be echoing mums journey and will be taking my own little plastic wrapped bag of sandwiches as I head back to Western Australia. This is the last of the posts that I did prior to mums death. Yesterday (Thursday) I posted a real time post (well sort of, an after the event post anyway) and tomorrow will be back to “reality” but for now, let’s just enjoy this brief moment of sunshine before the sun went away for a while…

We have just been to Exeter to walk the dogs. Our main reason for going was to pick up some pork and belly pork from Nigel’s Gourmet on Tamar to make a double batch of the incredibly delicious pork pies that I made for part of our Christmas canapés. By the way…note to self…”don’t make Christmas canapés next year as no-one had much room left for eating the main event!”… The pork pies, the recipe sent to me as part of her 12 recipes for Christmas series, were from Ruth Clemens of “The Pink Whisk” fame. Ruth was the runner up in the television reality programme “The Great British Bake Off” but really should have won in my opinion. Should you want to check out her great site with lots of amazing recipes you can go here…

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I think that Ruth must be on a break at the moment as we haven’t heard from her since the final recipe for the year. The pork pie recipe was the best yet and will become a regular treat for Steve who sometimes (especially at Christmas time when he would have had these things) misses out on what makes him feel Christmassy when it comes to food. It’s not the same having a hot turkey roast with all the trimmings in the middle of a sweltering Aussie summer no matter how stubborn and stoic you are. This year he got his mini Scotch eggs thanks to the internet and he also got his individual pork pies and now he can have them whenever he likes which makes him even happier. Thanks Ruth, that recipe was idiot proof and worked the very first time that I tried it and the pastry was wonderful and incredibly easy to make, handle and use. I will be messing about with other pies using this wonderful pastry. Check the link above for the recipe should you want to try it. The only difference was that we didn’t use the cranberry jelly listed to flavour the pies.

Most of my attempts to sit down and post for this blog end up being adventures. I head off looking for how to do something or where to find something and end up after about an hour’s hiatus, in a totally different place to where I started. I was just looking for a little wooden carved mouse house door that Steve saw in one of my image searches the other day. We couldn’t remember what we had been searching for and I doubt that we will ever find the little door that he wanted to have a go at making again. I found fairy doors though. Lots and LOTS of fairy doors and I am very tempted to carve one or two for down in the garden in unexpected areas. I hate tacky things out in the garden. We have a fountain and a small boy statue in the garden. Neither of them is tacky, but I don’t like them so we have given them away to friends who are yet to take on ownership of them (till we can be bothered liberating them from their respective jungle situations and put them into the trailer to take into town). I love simple things. I love using natural colours, shapes and simplistic styles to replicate things to use in the garden. Not for me a brightly coloured fimo door, I want to use wood from the trees on the property very carefully put together. I want to add little hinges and little natural touches to try to replicate exactly what I would think that a fairy door should look like. No jewels, no bright pink feathers (I have seen some absolute shockers online!) but simple homespun and natural like a fairy would actually use. I am not a great believer in fairies. I don’t wait for them to make their appearance on mid-summer nights, but I do love a little mystery and childlike delight when it comes to our garden so there are some holey trees that are going to get a little makeover.

Steve just had a look at the fairy door website and has decided that we are going to have our very own fairy door like one of these (see the website below) in the house on the skirting boards in the kitchen. Steve’s router packed it in the other day and he is going to have to take it back on Monday and exchange it for something better. It was an example of picking one of the cheaper models that didn’t work out (one day he will learn to listen to me when I say that cheap is generally nasty…). It did promise to have more power than other models but what good is more power if the bloody thing won’t work at all in the first place! It is going back in disgrace after being owned for 6 months and only being used 5 times before it decided to turn itself from a multi speed unit to a single speed sporadic version. Once the disgraced router gets dumped and a new more appropriate router makes a shiny appearance, Steve is going to make at least one of these doors. Do you like little adventures in fantasy in your house or do you think it is tacky? Steve is going to make miniature steps and his fairy door is going to actually open unlike those on the site below, but he likes how they look so they will be his template for what he eventually makes…

When my children were younger they used to get visits from “The Magic Lizards”. The magic lizards would bring them small things that they had found and little requests written out painstakingly by small hands would occasionally yield results. I love that my children had a childhood where they were free to explore the world around them and enjoy “childish” things. I am saddened beyond belief when I see a tiny little mini me accessory trotting around next to its mother dressed in the same fashion and already enrolled in a specific university because mummy and daddy need them to succeed. Our kids are no longer kids. They all walk around from early school age toting their mobile phones and texting the masses in the playground during their breaks. Watch them in the street and they are head down, skateboard tucked under one arm and rows of them texting. Kids used to talk to each other. Now they walk in a totally absorbed line all texting. No need to read any more. You have every “I” device under the sun giving you instant gratification and from a very early age children are encouraged to “grow up”. We put too much pressure on our kids. It’s no wonder most men (and many women) don’t want to grow up and we have a generation of old aged skateboarders, B.M.X. riders and balding surfers who steadfastly refuse to admit their age. How sad. We force our kids to be old before their time and then spend the rest of our lives trying to regain our lost youth. Growing up doesn’t mean getting old. Growing up means taking responsibility for your own actions and not relying on someone else to take the fall when you stuff up. Steve and I are grown-ups but I doubt that we will ever be mentally old. It’s simply not part of our make-up and we maintain our mental childlike wonder by exploring this amazing world and everything that it contains. See you all tomorrow when we can share our newfound wonderment at everything on Serendipity Farm and perhaps we will find those bloody eggs!


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