Thursday, 29 December 2011

A Few Christmas Recipes

I'ts been a while since I blogged any school recipes, so here are a couple. Mincemeat and mince pies.


This will make sufficient for a 1lb jar.

2oz raisins
2oz currants
2oz sultanas
1oz minced peel ( I used dried chopped apricots)
2oz apple
1/2 lemon
1oz chopped walnuts/almonds
4oz demerara sugar
2oz suet
1/4 level teaspoon mixed spice
2 tbsp brandy


Put dried fruit into mixing bowl with mixed peel.
Peel quarter and core the apple. Chop finely or grate and add to the other fruit.
Grate rind from the lemon, cut the fruit in half and squeeze out the juice, preferably with a lemon squeezer.
Add the rind and juice with all other ingredients. Stir thoroughly.
Fill jam jar to topcover mincemeat with wax disc. pressing down firmly so no air bubbles remain trapped underneath paper. Cover with cellophane covers, cover top of jar, secure with elastic band. Label with name and date.

Mince Pies


8oz plain flour ( self raising can be used instead)
2oz lard
2oz margarine
About 12 tsp cold water ( personally I didn't think this was enough, just add enough so the dough stays together without being too sticky).
2oz extra flour for rolling
Jar of mincemeat

Oven 200 degrees Centigrade. Use a top shelf for 15-20 minutes until brown and set.

Oven on, make pastry. Rub fat into flour, mix to a soft dry dough with water.
Knead to a circle, flatten and roll out 3mm thick.
Cut out 12 bases and lids using large and medium cutters.
Ease bases into bun tins, add filling.
Damp edges of lids, seal on well.
Put a small hole in tops and bake.
Icing may be sieved over pies when warm.

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Children Say The Funniest Things

> Children Are Quick  
> ____________________________________ 
> TEACHER:    Maria, go to the map and find   North America  . 
> MARIA:         Here it  is. 
> TEACHER:   Correct.  Now class, who discovered   America ? 
> CLASS:         Maria. 
> ____________________________________  
> TEACHER:    John, why are you doing your math multiplication on the floor? 
> JOHN:          You told me to do it without using tables. 
> __________________________________________ 
> TEACHER:  Glenn, how do you spell 'crocodile?' 
> GLENN:      K-R-O-K-O-D-I-A-L' 
> TEACHER:  No, that's wrong 
> GLENN:       Maybe it is wrong, but you asked me how I spell it.   
> (I  Love this child) 
> ____________________________________________ 
> TEACHER:   Donald, what is the chemical formula for water? 
> DONALD:     H I J K L M N O. 
> TEACHER:   What are you talking about? 
> DONALD:    Yesterday you said it's H to O.   
> __________________________________ 
> TEACHER:   Winnie, name one important thing we have today that we 
> didn't have ten years ago. 
> WINNIE:       Me! 
> __________________________________________   
> TEACHER:   Glen, why do you always get so dirty? 
> GLEN:          Well, I'm a  lot closer to the ground than you are.   
> _______________________________________ 
> TEACHER:     Millie, give me a sentence starting with '  I.  ' 
> MILLIE:         I  is.. 
> TEACHER:     No, Millie..... Always say, 'I  am.' 
> MILLIE:         All right...  'I am the ninth letter of the alphabet.'      
> ________________________________ 
> TEACHER:    George Washington not only chopped down his father's cherry tree, 
but also admitted it.   
>                    Now, Louie, do you know why his father didn't punish him? 
> LOUIS:           Because George still had  the axe in his hand....    
> ______________________________________   
> TEACHER:    Now, Simon , tell me frankly, do you say prayers before eating? 
> SIMON:         No sir, I don't have to, my Mom is a good cook.   
> ______________________________ 
> TEACHER:       Clyde , your  composition on 'My Dog' is exactly the same as 
your   brother's.. Did you copy his? 
> CLYDE  :         No, sir. It's the same dog.      
> (I want to adopt this kid!!!) 
> _________________________________ 
> TEACHER:    Harold, what do you call a person who keeps on talking when people 
are no longer  interested? 
> HAROLD:     A teacher 
Got these jokes in an email ages ago, hope you enjoy them as much as I did. 

Friday, 12 August 2011

Lonesome Dove

If you have read any of my posts recently, you may realise I have an affinity for things from the 90's. Northern Exposure is something I like reading about and watching on DVD, but around 1993 there was a mini series called Lonesome Dove on BBC1 that became a must see for me. It was written by Larry McMurty about the characters who lived in Lonesome Dove, a town in Texas. like many books that have been adapted for television, the book is an excellent read. The main characters;Captain Call, Augustus McCrae, Deets, Newt, Pea and Loren are all well thought out. The majority of the cowboys are Texas Rangers who have known each other for years, but there are a few new hands that join for the ride.  The book is set in the period after the Civil War and the Mexican Wars, and the cowboys set out with cattle stolen from Mexico and drive them all the way to Montana. The book is full of twists and turns, love and betrayal. It is so well written you can feel the same fear the riders did, feel the sun on your back and hear the bellowing of the herd. Coming from the U.K I am no authority on cowboys, but feel this must be one of the best, if not the best book written about them.

Friday, 5 August 2011

Hello Cicely, It's Chris in the morning...

Following yesterday's post about Northern Exposure, I thought I would tell folks about a second-hand book I bought off a few years ago. Chris In - The - Morning, Love Life, and The Whole Karmic Enchilada. This was compiled and edited by Louis Chunovic, and was based upon the T.V series Northern Exposure.

This is one of those books that you can pick up anytime, as it consists of excerpts from the resident D.J of Cicely, Chris. Chris was played by John Cobbett in the Northern Exposure series, and is probably more familiar to people who watch Sex And The City. Chris always seemed to have a wise impartial view of the world on his radio show. This is Chris and his experience of Christmas Eve in 1968:

Back in the winter of '68, my Dad was doing  a short term for d&d.
At least I think he did. I don't remember Buster's exact words but that's not important. What matters is a seven year old boy experienced his own Epiphany. My point? It's that Christmas reveals itself to each of us in a personal way - be it secular or sacred. Whatever Christmas is- and it's many things to many people- we all own a piece of it. It's kinda like Santa's bag - inside there's a gift for everyone.
My Christmas wish for you tonight: may your dog talk.
pp22-23, Chris In - The - Morning, Love Life, and The Whole Karmic Enchilada,Chunovic (1993).

Sometimes wacky, sometimes weird, sometimes enlightening leaving you with a warm glow that only wise words can leave, this book is a must for any fan of Northern Exposure.
Enjoy this excerpt from You Tube from series 2, A Kodiac Moment.

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Northern Exposure

Northern Exposure was a very funny comdey drama series made in the 1990's about the inhabitants and happenings in Cicely, Alaska. I am sure it was aired in the U.K on Channel 4. The main character (Joel Fleischman) was played by Rob Morrow, who played a mouthy New Yorker doctor, totally unused to the ways of the locals and living away from civilization. The diversity of the characters was great, Chris in the Morning - the DJ of the local radio station. Maggie O' Connell a sexy bush pilot, Maurice, an ex astronaut and Holly and Shelly the unlikely couple who run the local pub the Brick. I really miss this on TV, one day I will collect all the series, for now I have to make do with 1-3.
For more info there is an excellent website here: .
In the meantime enjoy this excellent clip from series 3 when the local Bigfoot, Adam, cooks at the Brick for a wager of $100 he needs for his health insurance. He isn't exactly a people person is he? No wonder he lives in the woods eh.

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Ripon Old Cars Classic Car Gathering Sunday 24th July 2011

This was a brilliant way to spend an afternoon, wandering round the old cars and motorbikes at Ripon Racecourse.    Find more out here at the website

Carlton Miniott Scarecrow Festival July 24, 2011

Today I took loads of photos of scarecrows in the pretty village of Carlton Minniot near Thirsk North Yorkshire.This craze has really taken off in North Yorkshire, with many villages doing it to raise funds for various things. I liked the theme of this Scarecrow Festival, children's stories. There was an abundance of famous characters, see if you can guess who they are.

Saturday, 25 June 2011


(Image found at: , accessed 25/6/11.)

6th June 1944 witnessed the biggest invasion fleet in history. Soldiers, marines, sailors all landed by sea, glider and parachute in Normandy, France. I never cease at the enormity of the task that the Allied forces undertook to free mainland Europe from the Axis powers,primarily the Germans. Perhaps more accurately, troops wearing German uniforms, as the Germans had recruited Ukrainians, Turks, Poles and Georgians to name but a few.

The first troops to land in Normandy were glider borne soldiers of the British 6th Airborne, led by Major John Howard. Their task was to land by the Orne and Dives rivers, then capture and hold 2 bridges to protect the West flank of the invasion. They were closely followed by paratroopers of the British airborne who would capture and put out of action a battery of guns at Merville. The American and Canadian paratroopers also landed on the Contentin Peninsular and in the area near Juno beach.

Hey I could ramble on this retelling of an historic event in a narrative fashion, but I don't want to bore everyone, instead I will recommend a few websites I found interesting, and some good books for those who want to research further. D-Day is an event that should never be forgotten, if it were not for those who gave their lives for the free world then, where would we be now?

What can't be beaten is a good read, try these:


Ambrose, S.E, D-Day June 6th, 1944 The Battle For The Normandy Beaches. (2002).

Beevor, A, D-Day The Battle For Normandy, (2009).

Hastings, M, Overlord, (1999).

Neillands, R & De Normann, R, D-Day 1944 Voices From Normandy, (1994).