Sunday, January 30, 2011

Family recipe book- 'Dad's scones'

When we were growing up, 'Dad's scones' were a regular and much enjoyed feature of our lives. Somewhere between Irish soda bread and an afternoon tea type scone, Dad's scones tasted best straight from the oven dripping with real butter. Yum.
I bake them every so often and right now I am tweaking the recipe somewhat to make them with vegan 'sour milk' instead of buttermilk. Mainly because I don't keep buttermilk in the house but always have rice milk. Also next time I'll be using spelt flour instead of wheat as it's just that bit healthier.

Dad's scones are the first recipe in our family recipe book. This was a great present I received from one of my favorite people in the world (and soon-to-be-blogger!), Becky. She took an old book and blanked out the pages, wrote in an occasional funny comment and left it to me to fill with whatever I chose. It's one of those things I would grab first if the house was on fire! I have recipes from my family and some friends and intend on passing it onto Maisie whenever she needs it.

  The scones turned out well, not as well as Dad's, but that's not surprising.

Dad's Scones (original version)

12 tbsp stoneground brown flour
1 tbsp white flour
2/3 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp bread soda
1 tsp baking powder
3 oz marge
buttermilk to wet

1. Mix all the dry ingredients.
2. Add the marge.
3. Add the buttermilk till it's almost sticky.
4. Make into square shapes and bake in oven for 10 or 15 minutes at 180 degrees C.
5. Eat with proper real butter (salted if possible) and add a slice of cheese if your're feeling savory or if there's any homemade jam in the house then go mad!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

...this moment

{this moment} - A Soulemama invention. A single photo that captures a moment from my week.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Walk up the fields (or meet the deer!)

Another cold and frosty morning on the mountain and ignoring the dishes, the sweeping and the piles of laundry we headed off for a walk. 

                   Pass the ruined cottage and it's resident sheep.

             Taking a closer look at the grass and bracken, coated in frost.

            Then having a quick game of 'throw the ball' with Murphy.

                   These two are firm friends!

When suddenly a small herd of deer appear on the hillside. They didn't stay long, one noisy toddler and an excited doggie made them wary. They called out their warning call, which is a bit like a high pitched shriek, a couple of times then vanished into the thick forest behind them. The photo is magnified a lot, they were quite far away but it was thrilling to see them as it always is. There's a good photo and some information on sika deer here.

Cervus nippon- Sika deer

Home again, past the sheep, having their morning gossip. Into the house and the warmth and the waiting breakfast things, looking forward to our next trip out.

Monday, January 24, 2011

House happenings (or what we got up to last week!)

Last week we baked the amazingly yummy oat, hazelnut and maple cookies from The Blazing Salads Cookbook, am, three or four times I think! We ran out of hazelnuts so substituted chocolate chips.

Maisie helped, if helping can be defined as finding all the chocolate chips that fell on the floor (and lots did....since she was helping) and eating them as quickly as possible.

            They lasted just long enough to take a few photos of.......

The apple cinnamon muffins from Get It Ripe, are so easy to bake, so healthy and so tasty for no sugar, wheat or dairy! We made them for our playgroup and to take over to a friends house so we've eaten rather a lot of them this week.

Lots of tidying up happened in anticipation of friends over for dinner on saturday night then lots of tidying the next day after the seven adults, three kids and six dogs that were over. I love dogs but cleaning up the hair from six dogs tested that love somewhat!

Refilling the bird feeder several times, we've got hungry birds here on the hills! All the usual culprits, Goldfinches, Blue Tits, Chaffinches plus the bigger crows that swarm down and scare all the others away.

Made Tamale pie from this book, enough for three days. Sure you get a bit tired of eating the same dinner every night but I love not having to cook dinners!

                   What happened in your house last week?

Friday, January 21, 2011

...this moment

{this moment} - A Soulemama invention. A single photo that captures a moment from my week.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Rainy Walk

Sometimes, even when it's grey and rainy you must go outdoors.

                         Follow the path down to the bare winter forest.

Photo H. Fox

Admire the evidence of last years growth and the promise of growth to come.

Larch- Larix decidua Photo: H. Fox

                           Find a hidey tree where the fairies sleep.

Wonder if there's deer about or even better rabbits.

Photo: H. Fox

And admire the river, come down from the mountains, deeper now, moving more slowly. Holding the promise of the sea.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Trapper Hat and Brenda Band

 I can't believe these Christmas presents are still sitting here on my kitchen table and not warming the heads of the intended recipients!
The yarn is Sublime chunky merino tweed and the hat is the Trapper hat from the book of the same name. The hairband I am calling the Brenda Band as that is who it's for. It's a simple garter stitch for the band and the flower was mostly accidentally made! I knitted a small diamond shape and then stitched around the edges so they curled upwards a little, then stuck a button on.

I tried to make a cool little emblem for the trapper hat....that didn't work too well. I felted a knitted square and tried to cut out the shape of a fox but these little rabbits ears were all I got! It's not supposed to be a playboy bunny hat or anything! Oh well.
They were very easy and quick to knit which was perfect for someone with a long Christmas knitting list. Now I just have to get to the post office!

Friday, January 14, 2011

...this moment

{this moment} - A Soulemama invention. A single photo that captures a moment from my week.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

A good find

I love charity shops. I love knits. So when I visit my local charity shop and there in the €1 basket is a pile of hand knit baby clothes, well that just makes my day.


 They look hardly worn and there are a variety of sizes. A few fit Maisie now, some will fit her in a year or two and the tiny baby cardi I gave to my friend whose babe was born a few weeks ago.

And Masie's new jumper dress looked good with her black boots! Happy days.

Enjoy your weekend!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Walk up the fields (or appreciating local biodiversity!)

Tremella mesenterica- Yellow Brain Fungus

When my sister and I were small we spent our days trampling through the fields and "jumping ditches". The fields in front of our house weren't just the grazing pastures of our local farmers livestock they were called "wonderland" and the fields to the back were "fairyland". These magical lands were filled with other worldly creatures and hidden treasures not to mention all the rabbits, badgers and foxes that did actually live there. Nature and our imaginations combined to create the perfect playground and hours would pass as we explored our environment. As I got older the fields were replaced with going into town but the influence of those days must have led to my decision to study to become a zoologist. Over the years I have gotten out of the habit of heading up the fields but now life's path has once again lead me back out. It's one of "my things" that Maisie can be connected to nature and enjoy the outdoors and so exploring the hillside around our house.

 It was with that in mind that we went for a little walk up our hill to see what we could see and wow...isn't there a lot to see when you start looking?

The "lazy beds", clearly visible now that most of the vegetation has died back. The beautiful Scots Pine that looks glorious from one end of the year the other.....and in typical Irish fashion, stone walls everywhere.

Looking forward to our next field trip already!

Sunday, January 2, 2011


NYE. Good food, great friends, our family together, a fire lantern and a wish for everyone.