Wednesday, 26 February 2014

I just had to try it out

The Lakeland catalogue arrived the other day. In it were many, many things that I desperately needed. Well, there always are things that I desperately need in the Lakeland catalogue - I bet you find that too.

One of the things that screamed "buy me!" was the silicone chocolate marshmallow mould. Now that's a must have if ever I saw one. Mind you, I could hear my Dad's voice in the back of my mind, muttering something about neither use nor ornament, but I had to have it. I wanted to make chocolate marshmallow cakes. Those fabulous domes that were such a special treat for tea.
Do you remember how they were individually wrapped in red-striped foil and the mere sight of them set your mouth to watering in anticipation. Now I could make my own! any time I wanted, and eat them all, any time I.... ah but there is a lot of sugar in marshmallow and I am diabetic and so is Mr M so eating all of them would not be an option. In fact, eating any might not be a Good Thing.

Too late.

I had rung Lakeland and ordered the mould together with the replacement gas cylinders for our soda stream and the chocolate for the marshmallows and they sent everything really quickly, as always.

So there it sat, with it's recipe card, waiting for me to have a go at making chocolate marshmallow cakes. So I did. They are HUGE

Now I have to say that they take ages to make. First you melt the chocolate and leave it to cool. While that is happening you make the biscuits for the bottoms and after they have cooked they have to cool totally ot the chocolate won't set on them. While they are cooling you take the cool but still molten chocolate and spread it into the mould, easier to say than to do and you have to keep turning the mould around so you don't miss any bits. Then you come to the energetic part of the process. Making the marshmallow.
The recipe says that it is preferable to use an electric whisk for this bit. I don't have one so I now have muscles like knots in cotton from using a rotary hand whisk. Trust me you need an electric hand mixer because you put the ingredients into a bowl over a pan of simmering water and you whisk until they are all mixed together and standing in stiff peaks. My arms shook for ages after I had stopped whisking and the sugar did separate out a little afterwards where I hadn't quite kept going long enough.
While this cools down you use the chocolate to dip the biscuits and leave those to set and then fill the chocolate covered mould with cold marshmallow then put the chocolate covered biscuit onto the top and seal them with more melted chocolate and leave to set again.

I used the waiting time to sit and read - and wait for my arms to stop vibrating. When Mr M came home from work last night he had his sausage casserole and then a marshmallow as his pudding. 

I have to say that the combination of vanilla marshmallow with chocolate and biscuit took me right back to birthday teatimes in my childhood. I think I might have to buy an electric hand mixer just to see if the marshmallow is better ... I want to make them again but not too soon

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Simply a Moment -February

It's 1.30pm we are just getting back into the car after lunch and shopping at Morrisons (we know how to live here in South East Wales). Lunch was not a great success, it wasn't busy but we still waited more than 30 minutes for our food and somehow it wasn't quite up to standard. The whole week has been like that, and it should have been perfect because it was Mr M's birthday week and he always has that time off from work so that we can do something special. This year the weather prevented any sort of going out and even the chickens decided that staying in bed was the best option.
I had managed to wash my hair in the shower this morning and as it still wasn't quite dry before we came out I simply brushed it back off my face and out we went, we ate lunch and did the shopping.
Two things I had not connected combined to make my moment.
1.  I have been allowing my hair to grow for the last year so that it can be put into a bun on the back of my head and I will then be the perfect grandma - Miss Boo told me this. So my hair is quite long now.
2.  It was windy.
We put the shopping into the car and as I came back from putting the trolley into its little house I had my back to the wind.
It went dark.
Well, it does when your hair blows forward and completely covers your eyes and you have one hand on the door and one on the seat to lift yourself up into the car - it's a Kia Sedona, the eastern version of the Chrysler Grand Voyager so you get up into it.
It made me laugh and because I laughed Mr M laughed and then looked and laughed more. This made me happy because it's the first time this week he has smiled as though he meant it

This moment is brought to you courtesy of Alexa at Trimming the Sails go take a look but make sure you have a cuppa and a biscuit to sustain you as the moments are just marvellous

Sunday, 2 February 2014

Sometimes it all comes together

Last year I wrote about why I had to be at the Gwent FHS Open Day I am sure that my Dad was organising things, in the way that he always did, and meeting the lady called Kathryn was something that just had to be.
I sent her pictures of the Mill where her family had lived before we did and she was delighted.

I patted myself on the back for doing a good job, thanked my Dad for keeping an eye on things even though he no longer with us and thought that would be the end of it.

Until Wednesday.

On Wednesday I received an email from Pauline. She said she had just read my blog and was really interested because her father had been born at the Mill. Did I have any pictures, or information about the old place.

I did two things. I fired off an email to Pauline saying that I had loads of pictures (and attached one) and did she know a person called Kathryn who was also related to the family who lived at the Mill? Then I wrote a short email to Kathryn asking if she knew Pauline and if she didn't could I give Kathryn's email addy to Pauline.

Oh I also asked how Pauline had found my blog and she said she had simply put the name of the Mill into Google and my blog came up.

Then I waited.

To quote from "the Princess Bride" 'I hate waiting'

Pauline replied that she had a dropbox account so I could go look at her pictures that she took on a recent visit to the Mill and she had never heard of Kathryn. I sent back to say that she could now share my folder of Mill pictures and How much the old place had changed.

Kathryn replied that she had never heard of Pauline and yes please send the email address. I did that straight away and I have now received a message telling me that Pauline has contacted Kathryn. Isn't that just wonderful? They are related but, as is the way with families, the different branches had fallen off the tree. Now they are connected again - I love it, just love it.

Now that's why I had to be there!