Skip to main content

Monthly Munch: August 2015

The highlight of the month was definitely our three-day beach holiday.  We also managed to catch up with some friends in Bristol, way back at the beginning of the month, and enjoyed a day at Ashby and Willesley Vintage Festival - lots of steam engines, old tractors and vintage cars.  Graham has been out and about with the boys while I've been at work, and now we are heading full tilt towards the new school term.

Toby

In the driving seat of our holiday camper van

Shark mouth!

- has just got into proper Lego.  We've dug out a couple of boxes of Graham's old Lego and I have relived those childhood hours of pawing through endless pieces to find that one black four.

He made a helicopter and then drew a picture of it.

- enjoys watching children's craft and cooking programmes.  The funniest thing is that he commentates like a TV presenter when he makes something himself.  "And today you will need two milk bottle tops, four pipe cleaners and a cardboard box... See you next time for more crafting fun!"

- bought a Top Gear annual at a Hay-on-Wye secondhand book stall, when we stopped there on the way to Gower.  He was immensely proud of it.
On a bridge over the River Wye, with his annual

- did the obligatory Shaun the Sheep hunt during our trip to Bristol.  He also made great friends with my friend Naomi's son Luke, and with Graham's friend Sheridan.

All the Shauns are decorated differently, and will be auctioned for charity.

Theo




- looooves picking and eating fruit.  Gooseberries, plums, tomatoes and blackberries have all been enthusiastically consumed.


- runs outside when I get home from work - but not to see me, oh no!  He wants to get in the car.

Or a vintage tractor will do.
- has been driving Graham crazy all summer by getting into some kind of trouble the minute he's left alone.

- chats away like anything but still sees no need for actual words.  Why bother, when "Ba! Ba? Baaah!" clearly expresses everything he wants to convey?  And he can understand us, so that's all fine.  Obviously.


Thankful for:

- time to see friends in Bristol.

- those days of sunshine at the beach - I don't know what we would have done if it had rained.

- free fruit!

Recipe of the Month - Gooseberry Pie




Our local pick-your-own farm has some good old-fashioned English fruit.  This year we were a little late for strawberries, but we stocked up on gooseberries.  I usually default to fruit crumbles, as the easiest baked pudding, but this time I was requested to make a pie.  I make pies so seldom that I don't even have a proper pie dish, so the making of a gooseberry pie may well be a once-in-a-lifetime event.  Or alternatively, it may become an annual tradition.  Who knows?

According to Nigella Lawson, putting cornmeal in the pastry helps to stop it from going soggy.  It also helps to use up some of the large bag of cornmeal in my cupboard.  If you don't have any, I wouldn't worry.


Pastry
125g baking margarine or butter
200g plain flour
50g fine cornmeal
a few tbsp iced water to bind

Filling
500g gooseberries, topped and tailed
50g sugar
1 tbsp cornflour (cornstarch)

Make the pastry.  Rub the fat into the flour and cornmeal, then stir in the water gradually until it starts coming together, and gather into a ball.  Or whizz the fat, flour and cornmeal in a food processor, add the water gradually and pulse, then tip out and form into a ball.  Divide into two, one portion a bit larger than the other, wrap in cling film or a bag, and put into the fridge for half an hour.

Meanwhile, stew the gooseberries with the sugar for five minutes until they've softened a bit and gone juicy.  Mix the cornflour with a splash of cold water and stir it in.  Leave to cool.  Taste and see if it's sweet enough.

Preheat the oven to 190°C/ 375°F.  Roll out the larger piece of pastry to fit the base of a 20cm pie plate or springform tin or whatever you're using.  Tip in the gooseberries, then roll out a lid and lay it over.  Crimp the edges together in whatever fashion you prefer.  Brush the top with milk and put in the oven for about 30 minutes.  Serve with ice cream or custard.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Theme Week: Air

A beautifully wide theme which can cover everything from blowing bubbles to spotting planes.  Sorry for the belated blogging! Activities 1. Straw painting Toby loves straws at the moment and usually has at least two in his drink, sometimes up to five!  So I thought he might enjoy a spot of straw painting.  We dolloped watered-down paints onto a big sheet of paper, and blew air through the straw to spread the paint out.  The results weren't quite as spectacular as I'd hoped, but it was quite fun.  2. Balloon on a string Toby had already been introduced to the idea of blowing a balloon up and letting it go whoowheeewhooo around the room, so we tried the next stage up - racing it along a string. Thread straw onto long piece of string. Tie string across room. Blow up balloon. Tape balloon onto straw. Let go.  Wheeeeee! Duck! 3. Paper aeroplanes Yeah.  This and the balloon on a string was my attempt to keep us entertained on a wet Bank Holiday Monday.  Ver

Reckoning with righteousness

  'Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness.' The preacher was reading from the book of James. It was a passage all about how faith is useless if it isn't accompanied by good works - actually feeding the hungry instead of just saying you'll pray that they'll have food! And James used Abraham, that patriarch of the Jewish faith, as an example of someone whose faith showed up in action. 'Hang on,' I thought. 'I'm sure I've seen that quote in one of Paul's letters, too.' I flicked back a few pages and found it in Romans 4.   'Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness.' But in this passage, Paul is arguing exactly the opposite thing! The whole chapter is about how we can't  earn righteousness through works, but only by faith. And Paul uses Abraham as an example of this, too. Abraham was righteous because he trusted God, not because he followed the law. So the exact same quote is use

Reading for Spiritual Formation 2021-22

Do you read books in order to live a better life? I read books for lots of reasons, ranging from escapism and enjoyment to information and obligation.  In some sense, every book we read lodges somewhere inside us, affecting who we are and how we react to life.  I am the product of many books (far too many, some would say!) Not my library! (Image: Pixabay) Last year, though, I read four books with the specific intention of growing spiritually.  These four books were chosen by the Renovaré Book Club.  Renovaré Book Club Renovaré wasn't a name I'd come across before.  Turns out that it's a Christian group founded by Richard Foster (who wrote Celebration of Discipline ) and involving Dallas Willard (who wrote The Spirit of the Disciplines ), which probably gives you a good idea of their emphasis!  I was impressed with the quality of resources offered with the book club - podcasts, articles, discussion boards, online Q&A - and I also thought they'd done a good job get