Cakes, Cul de Sacs and Cows

Muddy Moooooooooooooooo

So today saw the weekly meet of our mummy and baby mates crew and this can mean only one thing – CAKE! Having a baby has bought with it many delights, one of which is the ability to meet up mid-week and eat cake (one must keep up their strength whilst breastfeeding)! Today Josh and his mummy Sian were our hosts (it was extremely exciting as Josh has recently become the proud owner of a mega stash of new toys) and Harry and Isla and their mummies Sara and Vicki were our bakers!

We munched our way through a plate of Sara’s millionaire shortbread with extra added chocolate – oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo and Vicki’s gingerbread cats and ghosts with extra nutmeg and cinnamon! Both recipe’s will be appearing very soon on our new recipe page! Exciting dot com! The other lovely baby in our crew is called Daisy and has a mummy who makes brownies to DIE for, she doesn’t know it yet but we’re hoping she’ll allow us to photograph a step by guide to share in a future post (what a shame we’ll be there when the brownies come out of the oven ;))!

Sara’s millionaires shortcakes

Vicki’s Gingerbread Cats and Ghosts

During cake munching the challenge of no supermarkets was discussed and some of the party felt that shops like Wilko should in fact be on the boycott list! The jury is still out so your thoughts and comments will be gratefully received!

After stuffing our faces we went for a walk (Sian showed us the local costcutter, a family run shop but is it a supermarket??!!!) and the heavens opened, never mind all the babies stayed dry. We left our friends with strict instructions on a shortcut to get back to our humble abode that avoided our usual route of the muddy field! We listened very carefully to the route but this mummy and this baby by association have the worst sense of direction Ever! We got stuck in cul de sac city and 45 minutes later emerged soaking wet, out of breath and desperate for a wee at the same spot we left our friends! So we headed for the field and got extremely muddy as were the cows!

A quick update on the seed growing – the peas are slowly sprouting, the cress is a little more impressive but would not feed many at the moment! We have learnt that we need to be a little more prepared with these and grow them a week or 2 before we will be using them! As a result this week we have been saladless, which has meant we have had to eat lots of nice winter veg – Yummy!

Cress day 4

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An Education, Mint Tea and Pork Choppery!

Jessica and her ‘ready reckoner’

So today Team Pugh had a day of learning! Ohhhhh – we’re getting an education (just what Tony Blair ordered)! The day started with Becksie and the kitchen floor learning that Lizzie is not a fan of porridge! Lizzie learnt the art of sorting washing with mummy (Incidentally this is a great game to entertain any small human, all you need is a large space, we use our living room floor, and a pile of clean washing. Simply allocate each family member an area of the floor and sort and sing away – singing is optional but we like to use the tune of ‘here we go round the mulberry bush’ and words along the lines of ‘we are sorting washing out, washing out, washing out’)! The cats learnt that just because 2 of their 3 masters/servants are at home they will not be fed more and when they continue to meeeeoooow the cat flap gets shut! Ian learnt the spray bottle in our kitchen is very nearly empty and that means only one thing – its nearly time to make his homemade spray cleaner (that is so worth following us for)! So all this learnt in a morning – wow and then 1pm struck and it was time for Becksie and Lizzie to skype Uncle Phil to have the next tutorial in all things blog! Regular readers will have noticed a new page on our blog – entitled Recipes! Oooooo watch this space for some delights coming to a blog near you very very soon! All we can say is #thankyouunclephilakaourlovelybrother/brotherinlaw!

After our education we met with some lovely friends for a cup of tea (well technically we went to go to baby clinic but we met them as they were coming out and we decided that we could roughly guess Lizzie’s weight by the weight of her fellow 2012 babies (approx 15lb 7oz). After a lovely time we came home and had a cup of tea, did some hoovering and had a cup of tea! I think one third (Becksie) drinks way too much tea! So for all you other tea bellies out there here’s an idea for a healthy alternative!

Mint tea – Place fresh mint leaves in a mug add hot water and drink!

 

Mint Tea in hand, dinner was prepared – pork chops with roasted apples (we are still using our stash of apples), roasted carrots, leeks and couscous! Yum!

Dinner!

 

So all this aside back to the point of this blog, alongside washing sorting, skyping and weight guessing some time was spent today calculating just how much money we have spent in supermarkets since January 1st 2012! Well I can report it’s not too bad (keep visiting our blog for details which are coming your way very soon) but I can reveal that our dirty little secret is erm, our local Budgens! Over dinner a serious conversation took place and we have decided that we will start our challenge on Monday!!!!!!!!!! EXCITING! SCARY!

 

Remember, remember the 5th of November – the first official day of ‘a year without supermarkets’!

 

Little’s Tea Towel Apron!

Little person tools of the trade!

As you may have gathered by now a strong theme in our family is our love of food! We are the kind of folk who sit down to eat one meal and already have our next meal on our mind! Liking good food takes an investment of time both to cook and eat – this is something we are very keen our littlest member embraces from a very young age. She is already doing really well on the weaning front and it is a joy to see her get excited at a new taste or texture so now all we need to work on is the cooking part! But…. we can hear you all thinking ‘she’s not even 6 months yet she can’t be involved in the production of food’ – this is where we disagree! Ok, ok we know she can’t chop the veggies or fry an egg but already we have found many ways of involving her in kitchen activities!

So far we have discovered that she is an excellent wooden spoon holder and sucking on a wooden spoon seems to bring her great delight! With a little help she can hold the spoon in a bowl and play pretend mixing. She can also hear and see us getting excited by the food we are making and it is a pleasure to tell her kitchen tips – she smiles and laughs and we are convinced some of this information will sink in.  She is also fascinated to watch the likes of Jamie Oliver and Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall cook on tv!

It struck us that any good chef needs their own apron and a quick google told us that a tiny person one would set us back about a tenner!  Don’t think so! So a quick look in the fabric cupboard produced a tea towel we got in a multipack a while back that was too nice to dry dishes with. This was not only the right kind of fabric but with some clever cutting it meant we could use some of the original seams saving time and effort!

So here’s what we did……….

Take a clean tea towel, some ribbon, paper and scissors

Make a paper template – we did this my taping 2 sheets of A4 paper together to make the length we require (its difficult to keep a baby still whilst measuring them with paper but hey ho) – fold in half length ways and cut out a curved shape on the open side – open up and then pin to fabric and cut (line the bottom with the existing seam and save sewing time!

Hem all the way around

attached apron strings as shown

add a little pocket – again clever cutting will save seam sowing time!

The finished article

Oh and here’s a photo update of our sprouting seeds – Chickpeas and peas have swelled as promised and we can see a few teeny tiny shoots on the cress seeds!

seeds seeds seeds!

Seedy Sunday and a very healthy bake up!

As we mentioned yesterday we have spectacularly failed to obtain any lettuce or salad leaves this week! Now normally we’d simply pop to Budgens and buy a bag of rocket costing at least £1.00, yes we could still do this as we haven’t yet started our supermarket boycott but already this feels like cheating, oh and our local Budgens is shut for renovation!  So in the spirit of the challenge we must either go without or find another way.

So….. lurking in our junk drawer (does every house have a junk drawer or just us?) were these, from our forgotten gardening adventures which are soon to be revived ……

Seedy or what?

We are both ashamed and grateful we have not opened the packets sooner!

So sprouting seeds galore, Cress, Chickpeas and Green Peas will make us a lovely micro salad for the week, very simple and easy to do.

First off cover a saucer or dish with cotton wool, which thanks to the littlest member of the team we have in abundance, if you are not quite so well stocked kitchen roll or toilet paper will do just fine.

tasty!

Soak the cotton wool in water, sprinkle the seeds on and leave on a window sill. Voila, job done, in the morning we should have some sproutage! We shall of course keep you all posted.

The Chickpeas and Green Peas are a little more complex, but not much. Find yourself a jam jar, a patch of muslin (or jay cloth) and a rubber band for each. Drop each type of pea into a jar and fill with water, pop the cloth over the top and place the rubber band around it. Tomorrow drain the water through the cloth and fill up with water again. Repeat this each day soon these will be sprouting too!

Chickpeas and peas

As a little Sunday treat we decided on what we like to call a bake up, baked version of the greasy classic fry up! Again ludicrously simple but both healthy and tasty.  Simply take a large oven dish place the required amount of large field mushrooms (from our greengrocer trip), cover with bacon, we also added white pudding (this could be replaced with sausage or black pudding) and bake in the oven (190c) for approximately 15 mins. Add some fresh tomatoes and bake for a further 5 mins then crack an egg per person into a space in the dish and bake until the eggs are cooked (approximately 3 mins). Serve with a warmed pitta bread! The taste of a greasy fry up with very little fat! Yummy! Oh and for the ‘weanee’ amongst us – roasted pumpkin (we made a large batch the other day and froze in portions) and warmed pitta bread.  Yummy!

Drop Scones and a few things we have learnt today

So today has been an exciting day, after a bit of a lie in team Pugh embarked on a breakfast of epic proportions – drop scones and fruit or as Ian likes to call them pancakes! Let’s get this straight these are drop scones (they are a) small and b) contain bicarbonate soda) but what’s a drop scone or a pancake between friends?

So here’s the recipe in picture format:

250 grams Self Raising Flour, 35 grams Sugar, 40 grams Melted Butter, 230ml Milk, 2 Eggs, pinch of Bicarbonate of soda

mix it up….
drop into pan and cook until edges start to lift
flip and cook other side
serve!

So after the breakfast we embarked on the task of moving Lizzie’s cot into her own bedroom – exciting times! Why do tasks that you think will only take 10 minutes always take hours? Another person asking this question today is Geoff (aka Paul aka Becksie’s little daddy, aka Lizzie’s little granddad). He was instructed by the boss (aka Pauline aka Becksie’s little mummy, aka Lizzie’s little granny) to go to the supermarket to get some supplies. This sounds simple but little daddy being a man of the countryside got caught in the city boy trap! Google told him that Aldi was his best bet – only 4.2 miles away from where he and Leah (aka Becksie’s sister, aka Ian’s sister in law, aka Lizzie’s aunty) had been out walking! So he left the local shop he was near as it was ‘spensive’ and he was not about to pay £1.39 for a cabbage (hold this thought, more info to follow) and drove to the Aldi – he erm hit rush hour city traffic and it took rather a long time! Sad times and perhaps a point for local shops! This had the knock affect of making them late delaying the chicken dinner Pauline had cooked us all! The chicken dinner was enjoyed by all especially Lizzie! The dinner revealed that Pauline thinks she is a fast eater (if you’ve ever eaten with our family you would know that this is a massive joke, we could give any French family a run for their money) and shock horror…………….. Little daddy who has 38 years gardening experience can’t tell the difference between a cabbage and a lettuce! He returned from Aldi avec two cabbages and erm no lettuce! This is an issue as NigellaPauline is entertaining again tomorrow! The lettuce mistake and our failure to purchase any salad leaves this week has given us an idea………. Tune in tomorrow to find out more!!