Saturday, 30 January 2016

My girls, gifts and some food.

First my girls,


Yvonne with  Maeve

Children and Grandchildren
We had a lovely time with Naomi, Eamon and Maeve; she's such a beauty already and I'm in love again. That's six women in my life and they're all amazing!!!

Sadly for us, Georgina has gone back to Australia but we know she arrived safely and we'll speak to her on Sunday as usual. 

Yvonne has been busy with her needles and had knitted a pair of shoes to keep Maeve's little feet warm,

 Pretty good work, she also made a patchwork dog to keep her company in her cot,

and of course the cross-stitch baby card.

 And just so that we didn't feel left out down here, a crochet throw for our sofa.

As you can see she's one clever lady. And the tantalising glimpse of our front room looks good as well.

Meanwhile in the kitchen, I made a bolognese type sauce for our evening meal with pasta and garlic bread.

First the garlic bread, just slices of the seed and chickpea loaf covered in butter with garlic paste mashed in.

They go in the oven at 180°C for 20 minutes and look like this afterwards.

Not too dark but crispy and oozing!

Next the sauce, basically I fried chopped Onion, Pepper and Mushrooms, all about the same size pieces so they cook evenly,

In a separate pan I fried beef mince with a little garlic and stock,

When the veg were starting to soften and the meat well browned I mixed together, adding a tin of chopped tomatoes and some tomato puree.

This simmered whilst the pasta boiled and the Garlic bread cooked.

Next time, I make baguettes and we go for a picnic.

Thursday, 28 January 2016

3 Seed & Chickpea Bread

This one goes nicely with soup, or toasted. It doesn't rise as much as other breads due to the weight of the chickpeas in the dough but the flavour is worth it. The recipe is from somewhere on the internet and slightly modified, if it was yours originally thanks.


100g Sunflower seeds.
100g Pumpkin seeds.
100g Linseed
14g salt.
400g boiling water.
1x 400g can of chickpeas
20g olive oil.
12g instant yeast.
620g White bread flour.
80g lukewarm water.
12 hours before you’re going to bake, place all of your seeds in a medium sized container, cover with 400g of boiling water and the 14 g of salt.  

Then in a smaller bowl, place 120g of white bread flour, 80g of lukewarm water and 2g of yeast. Mix well and cover.
After 12 hours it's bubbling nicely.

12 Hours later drain your chickpeas and mash with a fork, roughly.

Place 500g of bread flour into the bowl of your mixer, or into a large mixing bowl if kneading by hand. Make a well, add 10g of yeast and the crushed chickpeas, seeds and dough mix, along with 20g of olive oil.
It should start to come together pretty quickly, but if you think it’s too dry, add 25g of water, mix again for a minute or two then reassess.
Knead for 10 minutes and cover in a lightly oiled bowl. 

Leave it to rest for 90 – 100 minutes until it doubles in size.

Knock back the dough then divide into two and shape into tins. Put oven on to 250°c

Allow to rise again for about 45 – 60 mins,

 then bake for 20 mins then reduce the temperature to 200°c for 20 mins more. When you bake, pour a little boiling water into a tray in the bottom of the oven to create steam.

I cut it took quickly but the soup was hot and I was hungry.

Saturday, 23 January 2016

An exciting week.

Big news, Naomi called me at 0615 on Monday, I'm a grandfather again!!!!! She has had a daughter who she is calling Maeve Isabella, 6lb 7oz. Yvonne and I are off to see her shortly.

More pictures to follow.

In other more boring news, I made a white sourdough loaf,

which was really tasty, I also used the discarded sourdough starter to make some Battered Onion Rings, soaking the onion first in Balsamic Vinegar overnight.

Georgina came down to see us for a couple of days before she goes back to Oz.

We took her to the Eden Project on a rainy day and she really enjoyed it. It was the second time we had been but her first, our last visit was in June 2009 when it also rained. 
They have a new walkway over the top of the Tropical Biome which was pretty spectacular, as you can see.

You can just see Yvonne in the picture below, 

 I tried the zoom on my camera,

 Wow! No tripod either.

We didn't get a chance to look around outside as it was raining really hard but we changed our tickets into annual passes so will be back in the summer. Maybe it will be third time lucky and we can have a look around the gardens when it won't be raining.

While George was here she made us something she called ANZAC biscuits, with Coconut, Syrup and Oats in. They were lovely, crisp outside and chewy inside. I have the recipe so will try them myself later.

Writing wise I'm working my way through the revision of "The Rocks of Aserol," my editor has suggested a few things and I'm seeing if they work; as well as her corrections to my grammar and all the inconsistencies she has spotted. A bigger job than actually writing the thing in the first place.

Incidentally, my Novel "Ribbonworld" is available at a special price for a short while. 

A signed paperback can be yours for £ 4, just about the same price as the e-book.
Go to this link for your copy.

I also got another 5* review this week, from an Anonymous Amazon customer,

on 21 January 2016
Ribbonworld was a fantastic read which kept me wanting more. Lots of action, suspense and a believable story, 
I didn't want it to end. If your a sci-fi reader this is definitely the book for you. 
Richard Dee - when is the next one coming out?

I'm pleased with that one.

Finally, on my dog walk last tuesday, I spotted some sort of bird of prey in the trees up at Sharkham. 
With my phones camera on full zoom I couldn't get a better picture but it was large.

Saturday, 16 January 2016

Pork Sausagemeat, Apple and Onion Pie

Warning, if you are of a nervous disposition or don't like pictures of raw meat then perhaps this post is not for you.

My mother used to make this pie with her own pastry and Sausagemeat which she got locally when we lived in Kent.

Now I'm here in Devon I get mine from Evergreen Farm at Totnes Good Food Market,

  I bought this one before Christmas and put it in the freezer.

I'm typing this on Friday and while it defrosts for Saturday I fried Onions and stewed some Bramley Apples. These I mixed together and will add to the meat when everything is at the same temperature.

Once again no prizes for beauty in the picture, .

I'm cheating and using ready made puff pastry, (life's too short to make it)

So Friday evening I mixed the sausage meat and the onion/apple together, again its not a pretty picture but bear with me on this, it will all turn out alright.

Saturday morning is now just assembly and cooking.

I greased a pie dish and lined it with the pastry,

filled it with the mixture,

and made a rather pathetic lattice with the remainder. (Spot the mistake)

Just an egg wash now and it can be cooked.

I baked it at 180°C in a fan oven for 40 minutes,

and it was perfect, it tasted fantastic, we had half tonight and will finish it off cold with salad on Monday.

There was a little pastry left so I made a pasty with some of the Mince Pie fruit I had left over from Xmas. Again the crimp let me down but it couldn't hide the taste.

Steak tomorrow, it doesn't get better than this!!!