Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Absinthe Cake

As promised for Halloween, My recipe for Absinthe Cake This is the recipe I adapted from one for Whisky Cake by Ena Baxter
For those of you who consider the taking of alcohol at Afternoon Tea a bit vulgar may I offer a more refined alternative?
Absinthe Cake
 An Elegant Gothic Cake for Afternoon Tea 

6 oz. sultanas
½ pint water
4 oz. butter
4 oz. caster sugar
6 oz. plain flour
¼ teaspoon salt
1 level teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 egg
2 tablespoons Absinthe
¼ teaspoon mixed spice
¼ teaspoon ground anise (aniseed)
½ teaspoon dried dill
1 tablespoon lemon juice


Simmer the sultanas in the water for ¼ hour, drain but save some of the liquid.
Cream butter and sugar, and beat in the egg.
Stir in the flour, bicarbonate of soda, salt, ground anise and mixed spice alternately, with approximately 2 tablespoons of liquid from the sultanas.
Star in the sultanas, lemon juice, dried dill and Absinthe.
Pour into two 8 inch sandwich tins and bake for 30 minutes at 350°F / 180°C / Gas 4

Filling and Topping

3 oz. butter
7 oz. icing sugar
¼ teaspoon ground anise (aniseed)
1 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon Absinthe

Cream butter and sugar until smooth, add ground anise, lemon juice and Absinthe and beat further until the consistency of smooth cream.
Use half to sandwich the two cakes together.
Put the remainder into an icing bag with star nozzle and pipe a trellis design across the top, or cover generously

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Partridge Breast Normandy (Revisited)

We are well into the game season now, and although I no longer have the client who gave me his kills, I am looking forward to some at the Fox and Rarebit on the way to Whitby Goth Weekend (3 days to wait) and so I thought I would redo this blog from last winter as I now have more readers.
2 Phesants, 2 Partridges
  Here’s one for Ali Ray to put in her Eat local section in the Magazine. If you want local and mostly free I bet she can’t beat this meal which I cooked the other Sunday. It was Roast Partridge Normandy I served with roast potatoes, braised red cabbage and mashed Sweede. I had been given a brace of Pheasants and a brace of Partridges - shot at Addingham by one of my clients, and some cooking apples by another client. The Vegetables and potatoes were from our allotment.

Partridge Breast Normandy

Partridge Breast Normandy


4oz butter                               2 young Partridges

Salt & pepper                         2 rashers rindless bacon

1 ½ lb. apples                         4 floz double cream

2 tbsp. Calvados or brandy            Chopped parsley to garnish

 Shoot, hang for 4-5days, skin and joint the partridges.

Set oven to 180°C/ gas 4. Heat the butter in a casserole, add the partridge breasts and lightly brown them on both sides. Season with salt & pepper. Place a rasher of bacon on each breast. Peel, core & cut the apples into wedges and add to the dish.

Cook in the oven for 20 to 30 minutes. Add the cream and brandy, season to taste and replace in oven for 10 minutes. Sprinkle with the chopped parsley before serving.

Friday, 26 October 2012

First day of winter

I think today was the first day of winter. Had to clear the car windscreen and there was frost on the lawns at work. Then after lunch it started to snow for about half an hour, it did not lay.
An old pic of the Dales

Today was also the day that I had my MRI scan, and I must thank Nightwind for introducing me to Nightwish and their album Imaginaerum and recommending that I take it to listen to during the scan. The Radiographer gave me the headphones and it was quite loud but the noise the MRI machine made was louder, anyway I closed my eyes and the time soon passed.

Only 4 days till Whitby

Monday, 22 October 2012

Monday 22 October 2012

This is one of those posts that is not really about anything, just me rambling on has I sometimes tend to do!
 Firstly thank you and welcome to my new followers and everyone who joined in the Virtual Zombie Walk on Friday. It has taken me 3 days to do it, and I have started following more Blogs. However has anyone else noticed that Blogger as not counted the all the hits from your Zombie Walk post? I have had more comments than page views and that can`t be right. You have to see it to comment on it.
Wilf, who IS a Zombie and John, who isnot
Going from the Virtual Zombie Walk to a real one there is a Zombie Walk at Whitby Goth Weekend on Saturday the 3rd. More details at www.facebook.com/events/475316859164977 for if you are in the UK 
Absinthe Buns
And yesterday I started making Absinthe Cake for the meet-ups at Whitby. I normally make it as a Cake, but this time I have done buns, (I believe young people call them cupcakes?) If you are coming I`m looking forward to having a cup of tea with you, and being able to put faces to names.
I intend to post my recipe for Absinthe Cake on Halloween, just before I set off. I have no mobile internet unless there is a connection at the camp site.

Friday, 19 October 2012

Virtual Zombie Walk 2012

Welcome to the Zombie Walk special.

I do not feel that I am qualified to post on Zombies in the usual sense so I am moving lateral a bit to my comfort zone and writing about Plants ………….Zombie Plants.

 All the views are my own, based on my experience as a gardener in the UK.

Zombie Plants
 So what makes a plant a Zombie Plant?

Well first of all it will be very invasive, not always actually wanted and well quite nasty. 

Nettles need no introduction to most, but its not only string! They also encroach or creep by means of a strong root system. The string comes from a mix of natural chemicals including Formic Acid !





TOTAL   13 Out of 15

Bind Weed
Bind Weed                         

Also known as Bishop Bind, Bell bind. Latin: Calystegia sepium. This plant climbs over and up just about anything smothering out other plants in its way as it twists around them. And can overcome fences and sheds etc. the only good thing about Bind Weed is the white trumpet shape flowers which are loved by butterflies.





TOTAL   10 Out of 15

Himalayan Balsam

Himalayan Balsam

Latin: Impatiens glandulifera. Was introduced to the UK in 1839 and escaped into the wild and is taking over riverbanks and beyond ! It is related to the lovely Busy Lizzie, but will grow up to 10 feet tall ! A rapid grower that is spread by seed, as it quickly colonises new parts it smothers other plants.





TOTAL   10 Out of 15

Japanese Knot Weed
This is the one plant (Weed) that really strikes fear into the heart of any Gardener ! First introduced to Britain by Victorian plant collectors, it escaped into the wild where it became unstoppable. It spreads by an invasive rhizomatous root system needing only the smallest piece to regrow. It growth makes a thick canopy that stops light for other plants, when its leafs fall they rot on the ground making a thick mulch stopping anything else germinating.
TOTAL   8 Out of 15
Walnut trees
Quite a dark horse this one for although the nuts are delicious, the plants leafs and husks contain a chemical called Juglone which is a natural weed killer. When they fall they kill off plant life under the tree.
TOTAL   5 Out of 15
I hope you have enjoyed this post Now to the next Zombie Walk.

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Not on my watch!

So today started like any other day in autumn leafs to be cleared, LOTS of leafs to be cleared!

Beautiful fungi coming up in the lawns

And even growing from the underneath of a branch!

At about half past three I noticed a car going really slow down the lane, I went to a gate to look and it had stopped on the wrong side of the road. At first I thought maybe it was fly tippers so I got my camera out and took a pic. And watched. Had they stopped to have a pee? After a few minutes a youngish woman got out, put on a jacket and scarf, got her shoulder bag out, locked it and checked all doors. As she walked up the road she defiantly had an heir of guilt about her, however judging by her body language I believe she was most likely up to adultery rather than terrorism. She obviously was not very good at covert operations as she had park in full view of our CCTV cameras.

Still you can`t get away with much, not on my watch

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Lawnswood Cemetery Part 2

Here are some more photos from my last visit to Lawnswood Cemetery. I am starting to get a liking for Angels.

Lawnswood Cemetery
  All these pictures were taken in the Old part.

Lawnswood Cemetery
  The funny thing is that I have been in many Cemeteries and taken photos, (Adhering strictly to the code of decency and respect.) but in Lawnswood where my Parents and Grandparents are it seems a bit strange!

Lawnswood Cemetery
 I have always been fascinated by this memorial. I was told that it is the wife waiting for her husband to join her in heaven.

Lawnswood Cemetery

Monday, 15 October 2012

Feast of Lanterns 2012

Following on from Thursday`s post here are some pics from the weekend.
Feast of Lanterns 2012
Sadly it was a very poor turnout and then only a few bothered to decorate their vans, which meant that once again the one judged best was ours.
The theme was Circus Big Top, but I went a bit sideways from that and made a Side Show type Haunted House in our awning!
Feast of Lanterns 2012
It was rumoured that this could have been a practice for Whitby, but I could not possibly comment on that!

Feast of Lanterns 2012

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Feast of Lanterns

This weekend is our camping groups Feast of Lanterns meet


The Feast of Lanterns is a Camping and Caravanning Club annual event. It is when you decorate your caravan or tent with lights and other props. There is a National event, but most local groups (Known as DAs) hold their own. My group ~ Spen Valley DA; hold theirs at Ripon, North Yorkshire. Every year there is a theme, and a small prize for which is judged best. This year it is The Big Top.

Now we have not entered for a few years, we were getting a bad reputation, we kept winning!

This theme was “Board Games”……
We did Dungeons and Dragons…... And won
This theme was Christmas………..
We kept it small and cute but ………And won.
So we missed the next 3 years.
This year we`re back!
I cannot stand circus, so I`m starching the point or thinking sideways I won`t say too much till after the weekend in case anyone who`s going reads this
Pictures of this year`s event will follow after the weekend

Sunday, 7 October 2012

It`s Just A Phase

A top ten, but not in any particular order, of situations where I have used “It`s Just A Phase”

A word of warning the use of “It`s Just A Phase” can sometimes be dangerous 

To people dressed up for the races
To Chelsea Pensioners at a museum
When asked when kids will stop slamming doors
As a comment on my cousins “Once Navy always Navy” Facebook post.
To Morris Dancers outside Otley pub
When I hear the McDonalds Ad. “Mmmmm I`m loving it”
Used as a reason to leave a committee
When taking a 250volt spur from 415 volt mains
When my neighbour joined a religious cult.
And finally when I make these silly lists.

Trigger and Holly, a few years ago.

Loving Greyhounds is the one thing that is not a Phase.

Friday, 5 October 2012

The Most Fantastic Gothic Grave Memorial

I called in to Lawnswood Cemetery to visit the grave of my Mum & Dad, while I way there I had a walk around the old part. There I found the most fantastic Gothic Grave Memorial I have ever seen. It was for a Sam Wilson, A JP in Leeds who lived from 1851 till 1918.

The photos are mine, but the following is from the website of British listed buildings http://www.britishlistedbuildings.co.uk

Memorial of Sam Wilson
Memorial of Sam Wilson
Memorial of Sam Wilson
Memorial of Sam Wilson
Memorial of Sam Wilson
Memorial of Sam Wilson 

Memorial and grave of Sam Wilson. 1918. By E Caldwell Spruce. Black marble, bronze figures and plaques. On a corner site; central plaque with raised lettering: 'IN LOVING MEMORY OF/ SAM WILSON JP OF LEEDS/ BORN JAN 16th 1851/ DIED DEC 13th 1918/ AND OF/ ANN WILSON/ HIS BELOVED WIFE/ BORN FEB 27th 1862/ DIED FEB 27th 1931/ 'MORS JANUA VITAE''. Above this is a plaque with symbols of death and mourning in relief, behind is an angled screen 'wall' surmounted by a tall angel holding a torch aloft; side panels ramped down to form bases for statues representing 'Faith' (left, a shrouded figure with book and crucifix) and 'Benevolence' (right, a kneeling female figure holding cross and cup). Samuel Wilson, was chairman of Joshua Wilson and Sons, worsted coating manufacturers of Bean Ing Mills, Wellington Street. His principal public works were connected with Leeds Art Gallery and he left his collection of paintings, porcelain, bronzes and furniture to the city on the death of his wife. He left »100 in his will to the Headingley-cum-Burley Burial Board for the upkeep of a grave and tombstone. (Leeds Obituaries Volume 5, 13 and 14 December 1918). 

More pics will follow later from this trip in other posts.

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Autumn`s Here.

This morning was fine and quite sunny at home, but as I climbed out of Otley on my way to work I drove into the mist. By chance I had chosen to play First and Last and Always again today and Black Planet seemed rather fitting,
I took this picture when I got to work.
 When I got to work my client had a nice cup of tea ready for me LOVERY!
There are signs of Autumn (Fall) all around but I love the fungi on dead tree branches in the woods.

Later when the sun did burn though the valley looked beautiful and it was quite warm.
Cows in their winter shed.

That looks like a good tree to put a Goth up!

So all in all not a bad day.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

I Have Gilbert`s Syndrome.

Image from google
Today the Doctor gave me the results from last week`s blood tests. In a way it`s not as bad as I feared.

I have high levels of Bilirubin in my blood, which is called Gilbert`s Syndrome.
This may cause yellowing of the skin and in the whites of eyes (Jaundice).

But according to the NHS Direct website http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Gilbertssyndrome/Pages/Introduction.aspx  there can be symptoms of;-
  • Stomach Cramps….. (A bit )
  • Feeling very tried…..(Yes this why I had the test.)
  • Problems concentrating and thinking clearly… (Emmm, yes.)
  • A general sense of feeling unwell……(Yes.)

Sometimes there are certain `triggers` e.g.
  • Being dehydrated
  • Going without food for a long time
  • Stress 
Living with Gilbert's syndrome
Gilbert’s syndrome does not require treatment because the condition does not pose a threat to health and is not associated with any complications.

I had the Blood tests because I seemed to be always tried; now I know why. The doc also said that my cholesterol was good at 4, this was surprising bearing in mind what I eat !

Two nights ago I had a dream, two people who are dead told me that I had cancer. I spent all day Tuesday preparing myself for getting the results.

At the beginning I said “In a way it`s not as bad as I feared” but in another way it is.
This is the worst of both worlds.

There is no treatment because it is not life threatening.

So I will still live to be 70 or so, but every day I will feel shit !
The chances are that cancer would have killed me in 6 to 12 months.

Apparently Relentless  may help, if not I`ll try Whisky… or both!

I well have a more cheerful post tomorrow 


Got my appointment for a Gastroscopy at LGI Friday 4.00pm Chris is away, so cannot have a general. Can`t eat/drink from 8.00 am. Ha...