Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Babba Nana Bread

I am enjoying making things from Tana Ramsay's Family Kitchen. Last night I had a couple of too-ripe bananas to use up, so I tried her version of Banana bread. It varies from my usual recipe in that it has apple in it (rather than sultanas), and no vanilla essence. I thought Babba Roo might prefer it, now that he has gone off food with 'bits' in it. So here's the version I tried, only without salt and with wholemeal self-raising flour.

85g soft butter
150g sugar (soft brown Muscovado, etc)
2 large beaten eggs
4 mashed medium ripe bananas
1 grated apple
250g wholemeal self-raising flour
¼ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp grated nutmeg

Cream the butter and sugar. Add the eggs gradually and beat.
Mix in the apple and bananas. Sift in the flour and spices and mix well.
Scrape into a lined 2lb loaf tin and bake at 180ºC for 40-45 minutes until a skewer comes out clean.
Allow to cool in the tin for 20-30 minutes on a wire rack. Eat. Make appreciative noises, such as 'mmmmm, tayshy, myummy'.

Monday, 29 June 2009

Just sending this picture of our now clear veggie patch. Thanks to Lee for all his hard graft in scorching heat on Friday to clear the weeds and grass -a haven for slugs. Anything we plant should have a chance now.
It's back to our old roles again now...

Sunday, 28 June 2009

Spotty & Shaggy go to the Fair

Yes, that's a goat pulling the cart. They reserved the right to refuse people on the grounds of weight.

We visited Charleville show today on the last day of Lee's holidays. Here are some of the things that caught our eye.

An old Steam tractor. Little Red was there too.

Roo took this photo of some of the vintage cars. There was a huge array of them.

And this little cutie is a baby alpaca. With the longest eyelashes ever.

Saturday, 27 June 2009

Bad news for slugs

I can't understand why there isn't a queue of birds around our vegetable patch. I've just been out there and it is full of slugs munching on various bits of our plants. Big ones for main course, small ones for starters. Yum Yum. If you're a bird. All we seem to have is a skangery family of magpies. So I've been squishing and slicing. I'm not squeamish anymore. I used to give them a beery send-off, but now I despatch them quickly, so angry am I at their gluttonous robbery.

Sunday, 21 June 2009

Yesterday, over some coffee and some iced lemon slices, we caught up with a dear friend over from America.
It was her first time meeting Lou, who she gave lots of cuddles. He in turn gave her plenty of smiles.
It's so great to see her and I always feel very fortunate to catch up with her as she only has a few days' holidays and she has a lot of relatives and friends to squeeze in. This time we met her fella for the first time and he seems a grand solid dependable lovely chap. They make a really cute couple.

Happy Day Dada!

We had a great day today involving bouncy castles, bric-a-brac bargains, book browsing, ham and tomato sandwiches, sausage hot dogs... Yes it was the Village Fete today.
In the evening we had Chocolate cake in honour of Father's Day. 'Happy Days Daddy' as Roo put it.

Thursday, 18 June 2009

Sofa wars

We were in Kilkenny yesterday looking at second-hand stuff. The weather wasn't as promising as the day before. First we visited a salvage yard where we saw nice wrought iron gates and a circular seat that is designed to go round the trunk of a tree. It was very well-organised with everything laid out in easy to find piles- handy if you know what you're looking for. We just need a house and garden to put the things in! Then we headed into the city centre to find the Vintage Design Studio. It's in the Irishtown area, run by the extremely approachable and helpful Noel Green. He advised us on the best (cheapest) place to park and didn't seem to mind Roo clambering over the cool 20th century furniture including the egg chair in the window (pictured) which really took his fancy and looked like it was straight out of a Bond film. We were in search of a sofa and saw two with different merits. We went away to think about it and came back to find another couple looking at the same sofa which they'd seen online for considerably more than this one's asking price. Noel was quite shocked, not least because it had been sitting in his shop for a while and then suddenly had a few people interested in it.
We spent some time strolling around Kikenny's streets, stopping for lunch in Cafe Sol and coffee in Caffe 1 just down the street from the furniture shop.
It's become clear that Babba Roo has got very grown up in the last few weeks with great progress in his language and other areas. He can get quite cross if you try to get him to do something he doesn't agree with, such as eat one more mouthful or use a spoon instead of a fork (regardless of how big it might be). Poonch, meanwhile, is cutting his first tooth, although you'd never guess from his ever-cheerful exterior.

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Sun, sea and shilly drinks

'What is an espresso martini?' I asked. The waiter smiled and explained: Kahlua, vanilla vodka and a shot of espresso: 'it looks a bit like a Guinness'. 'You must get one of those!' I said to Lee. It's what 007 drinks when he really needs to stay awake. And so it arrived. The perfect end to a lovely meal at the Tannery.
We called in for a special treat after a busy day on Clonea strand. This holiday lark is tough, you know, but it's got to be done!

Saturday, 13 June 2009

Bijou residence for sale

Roo spotted this lovely howf while we were out and about today. We stopped into 'Petmania' and it is full of amazing pets (unlike some petshops which only sell accessories). Gerbils, rabbits, hamsters, dagus (I'd never heard of them either- they're like big gerbils), chinchillas, rats (not the type that raids your compost heap), a huge variety of fish and birds including an African Grey parrot that Roo was a bit afraid of.
Anyway, the little house in the picture is actually a cute little bird cage. The perfect starter home for a pair of lovebirds, perhaps?

Friday, 12 June 2009

first playday and last workday

We got to the playgroup for the first time at last!! There were four other friendly mums there, with little boys of various ages. Just one little girl, a couple of months younger than Poonch, who also won't drink from a bottle. Her Mum and me compared notes, rare enough as it is to meet a fellow breastfeeding mama.
Poonch stayed awake for most of the hour and a half. He was very interested in watching the big boys play and smiled at the mums who commented on how 'placid' he is. Roo, meantime, had great fun messingwith PlayDoh, browsing unfamiliar books and hanging out with other little guys his age. It was another unforecast sunny, warm day and he kept trying to go outside to the very enticing playground.
Eventually his wish was granted and everyone went out for the final half hour. The little girl's mum has a boy a few months older than Roo and by the end of the session, the two were sitting inside a little playhouse on opposite sides of a table. One of his favourite things was definitely this gorgeous little 'cosy coupe', which, like the cars in The Flintstones, is powered by your feet. Fortunately there were three more of them, as they were very popular with all the other boys too.
I think all three of us enjoyed it and we hope to go back soon. Roo actually asked for 'bed' on the way home and is due up any minute.
Today is a special day, because it is Lee's last day at work for two whole weeks. I can't really remember the last time he had that long off in one go, but I think it was on our sadly truncated rail trip across Europe. I hope he has a lovely relaxing time and doesn't worry about work.

Thursday, 11 June 2009

It starts today!

The novena to the Sacred Heart starts today and there is a lovely website which guides you through it. You can write in your intentions/ requests and it incorporates them into the novena prayer for you.

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Grrr. . .

So much for growing your own. After all our efforts at organic veggie growing, the landlord comes along with his knapsack and sprays skull and crossbones labelled gunk everywhere!
So here's a picture of our inaugural broad beans before they wither and die.
I really wish someone would buy our house so we could stop renting, move from here and avoid worrying about my family absorbing herbicides through their socks.

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

I love my boys!

Just got the urge to say this. I am so grateful for my boys (all three of them). I really am blessed with them, they are wonderful gifts. Thank you God!

The Feast of the Sacred Heart is coming up and the Novena starts soon. You can pray along on the Sacred Space website from the comfort of your own computer!

Monday, 8 June 2009

I wish I could sew...

Just sitting here next to Poonch, waiting for him to nod off and squeezing in a row of knitting. I love knitting but the trouble is, it takes me SO long to get anywhere with it. This is a cardi for a little baby who's just a couple of weeks old but I'm so slow, she mightn't have it before she fits its 6-9 months' size.
On the other hand, I'm telling myself that being able to use my sewing machine would mean I could make things much quicker. So I'm on the lookout for classes. So far no success, so I will probably have to wait til the evening classes start in September. I suppose it's more realistic than wishing I could fly...
Well my littlest man is asleep now, so I'll stop rambling and finish that row.

Garden notes

We were all four of us out in the garden today. Lou was on my front in the Ergo carrier as I finally planted the sweet pea seedlings and other bits out, thanks to Lee sorting out the pots, shovelling manure and drilling holes.

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Here's the back of the card.

Sunny inspiration

The sun is shining, so it provided the inspiration for a card for my Godmother. Along with a little help from the Boden catalogue. The character on the front reminded me of her own dog.
The weather is absolutely wondrous and it was lovely to be able to sit out at the picnic table with our Bank holiday visitors, eat homemade ice cream cones and watch the children run about.