Monday, 28 March 2016

Cheap Deal on Veg at Asda


Asda are currently offering the following for 29p each*:

2.5 kilos of white potatoes
1 kilo bags of carrots
1 kilo bags of new potatoes
500g leeks
500g parsnips
savoy cabbages
335g broccoli
(also 750g frozen green beans are only 70p, which I am pretty certain is quite a bit cheaper than usual)

The fresh vegetables will last a while in a cool dark environment, but otherwise, cook them, then cool and freeze.  I will do so with around half of the stuff we bought.

I bought enough to last us a good while in vegetables!  Score.

*I was unable to find how long this offer lasts, but as it is inspired by Easter celebrations, I would recommend getting down there as soon as you can.

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Easter Update from Acorn Towers


This Easter weekend is going to be quite busy.  We spend each weekend visiting each of our closest family (our parents, and grandparent) and taking the children to activities.  My husband and I share the activities we accompany our children to in order to complete some of our own study tasks and work.  This means that very little work gets done on the house.  Beyond the usual housekeeping, which I fit around our weekend as we flit to and fro on our outings, the garden needs to be sorted for spring - it needs a complete clearing and digging over to start again; the shed needs to be emptied, moved and restocked; and I can't wait to finally getting around to putting our washing line up!  Inside, our extension still needs completing aesthetically: the new walls need filling and covering; the walls in the old dining room and now adjoining family room needs stripping, and the whole thing through from kitchen to dining room to family room needs painting; and.I need to get around to making the window dressings (makeshift curtains not very nice at the moment.)

So...

We decided to keep our weekend free of visits. Essential outings like church on Sunday, and visiting our more-than-less-housebound grandmother, and we would see everyone else by inviting them to our house for tea on Good Friday rather than us visiting each of our parents and aunts individually (which, although it is lovely to see them all and they all enjoy hosting, makes for very busy holidays!)   The rest of the days would be filled with catching up with the garden by taking advantage of my husband's bank holidays.

And, instead of making simnel cakes as usual for everyone, I plan to offer a wee bunch of daffs for those visiting on Friday and my grandmother.  I usually hunt down post-able gifts for those living a distance away, but will send an Easter card in their place.

So far, so streamlined...

However...

We were invited to Friday morning church crafts by a good friend and whose grandson my children enjoy seeing but we don't get to see a great deal of, as it depends on when his grandma is looking after him.  And it turns out that I had booked a theatre visit for this Saturday afternoon, before I realised the date was Easter Saturday!

Our schedule for catching up on garden and house stuff now looks like this:
Good Friday morning: church crafts with friends
Good Friday afternoon: Family visiting (must make finger tea - start this on Thursday)
Easter Saturday Morning: Free
Easter Saturday Afternoon: Theatre
Easter Sunday: Church, visiting grandmother, make/have Easter dinner. Relax!
Easter Monday....Free

So turns out we only have Saturday morning and all day Monday to actually get anywhere with our jobs. Not sure how far we will get, but here's hoping!

Good Friday Tea also means that I will have to spend most of Thursday making the finger food for our guests.  This is what I am planning to make:

Thursday, 10 March 2016

Housewife and mother = Not enough?


I came across this post on Larger Family Life and, although an old post, I think it is still incredibly valid and a thought-provoking read.

Housewife and mother = Not enough?


Friday, 4 March 2016

Jam Shortcake Tarts


These are a nice way of making a substantial tea time treat or a proper pudding with custard out of jam tarts.  They also accomodate a smaller amount of jam than you would get away with using plain pastry as the dough here rises around, cocooning the fruit in lovely shortcakiness.  They also have the advantage of therefore being lower in sugar than they might have otherwise been, and they use mild vegetable oil rather than saturated fat.

Thursday, 3 March 2016

Queen Cakes for Book Day


These are lovely plain, traditional and yet really pleasing cakes.  Perfect for our literary nibbles on World Book Day, matched with some Jam Shortcake Tarts  or simple jam tarts (just in case you have skipped the jam tart making phase of life: pastry lined patty or muffin tins are filled 2/3 up with jam and baked for 15-25 minutes at 180C depending on how big your tins are.  You must leave them to cool before eating as the sugar in the jam makes these mouth-destroyingly hot.)

Queen Cakes are made with a traditional sandwich cake recipe, adding in fruit, but we prefer our usual cake batter to make them.  Our favourite cake batter makes cakes that get moister and lovelier over a couple of days, and also have the benefit of less saturated fat and sugar than the traditional recipe. Most importantly, they aren't lesser for it when it comes to enjoyment.

How we make Queen Cakes:

World Book Day 2016 - Last Minute Ideas

Happy World Book Day!

Today the kids have been dressed up since rising.  We have an eclectic mix, from Harry Potter to the North Wind to Tinkerbell.  Luckily, they are trained to look for dress-up items and clothes they already have to complete their look.  I would not want to get in a situation where I felt I had to run around looking for ready made costumes or be sewing one hurridly after midnight for the next day!

So no fear if you were caught out... here are some ideas for celebrating with little prep: