Archive for July, 2010

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Miranda, Mum & KirstyÉowyn & KirstyGrandad Tony & Sleepy ÉowynGrandad Tony & Splashy ÉowynMiranda, Gran, Grandad Tony & ÉowynÉowyn UnderwaterMiranda Underwater n+1Miranda Underwater nStu & Éowyn SwimmingMiranda & Kirsty SwimmingJo UnderwaterHe Didn't WinAll UnderMiranda, Jo & Rob UnderwaterJo, Rob & Miranda UnderwaterRob & Jo RacingMum, Éowyn & Seb SwimmingSeb & Smiley Éowyn SwimmingStu, Éowyn & Seb SwimmingSeb Underwater IISeb Underwater ICoat of Arms & RobÉowyn Swimming IStu, Éowyn & SebSwim ByMiranda Underwater IIIÉowyn & Seb UnderwaterMiranda Underwater IIStu, Éowyn & Seb UnderwaterMiranda Underwater IRob Underwater IIRob Underwater IHarthill PoolBuxton Ceiling

Flickr Pics 31st July 2010

on July 31, 2010 by kirsty

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Can chance make you a killer?

Nice article explaining how difficult it is to decide whether the variance between results is down to pure chance or not, using hospital death rates as an example.

Collected on July 23, 2010 Leave a Comment

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Rainbow Lunch

Flickr Pics 22nd July 2010

on July 22, 2010 by kirsty

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Balloons for Mr Murgett IIIBalloons for Mr Murgett IIBalloons for Mr Murgett ISports Day IISports Day I

Flickr Pics 20th July 2010

on July 20, 2010 by kirsty

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One by One in the Darkness

One by One in the Darkness by Deirdre Madden

In books read on July 17, 2010

I got hold of this because I'd loved Molly Fox's Birthday and thought this was almost but not quite as good. Will be seeking out more by the author in future.

This was a kindle eBook.

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Holmfirth Tiger IIHolmfirth Tiger IMiranda & Star IIIMiranda & Star IIMiranda & Star I

Flickr Pics 17th July 2010

on July 17, 2010 by kirsty

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Teddy Bear's Picnic IVTeddy Bear's Picnic IIITeddy Bear's Picnic IITeddy Bear's Picnic I

Flickr Pics 13th July 2010

on July 13, 2010 by kirsty

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Fruit Picking

In cooking,rambling on on July 11, 2010

I took Miranda up to our local pick your own fruit farm this morning. Local-ish, we live in hilly livestock farming country, not rolling crop farming country. I mostly wanted to make a batch of strawberry jam. It’s been a couple of years since I made any jam – last year was a rainy summer where I didn’t manage to find a dry spell that coincided with the freedom to pop up to the PYO.

So we went and picked strawberries. The strawberries were lovely – planted up on tables under poly tunnels – no back breaking leaning down to ground level and loads of just ripe fruit.

Strawberry Picking

Then we went and got a few raspberries. I’m not such a fan of raspberry jam so these were intended for  breakfast with yoghurt.

And then my five year old fruit fiend wanted to know what other fruit we could pick. So we ended up picking a portion of gooseberries and some blackcurrants too. We got mildly confused because the currently yielding crop was red gooseberries. I rather expected Miranda to turn her nose up at the gooseberries as I wasn’t at all sure I liked them myself, but she turned out to love them, as indeed did I. Maybe this variety weren’t as tart as I remembered them.

We arrived home with our haul.

PYO Haul

I’d already earmarked the unexpectedly nice gooseberries for gooseberry fool – with only a vague idea of how to make a fool. [I more or less followed this recipe, you just fold together whipped cream, cold custard & gooseberry puree.] I wondered what to do with the blackcurrants. I googled for a recipe for blackcurrant jelly… and got sidetracked by a recipe for cassis….

I know people make flavoured vodkas with soft fruits – I’ve mostly heard of it as a way of using up a glut of hedgerow blackberries – but I’d never tried it myself or realised you could use any old spirit and/or turn these into liqueurs at  a later date. Plus I think I had it in the same box as home brewing and winemaking – which I like but can’t currently be bothered with the ins and outs of.

A quick flick through numerous recipes led me to believe that there was no right or wrong way to go about making liqueurs. The basic recipe seems to be

  • a) cover fruit in a spirit,
  • b) agitate over several months decreasing frequency with time,
  • c) decant liquid (you can stop at this point and drink the flavoured spirit)
  • d) stick in a saucepan, add sugar and reduce down to sticky liqueur consistency,
  • e) drink, on it’s own, over ice, with wine, champagne, sparkling water, whatever!

The recipes I found were all over the shop with regard to quantities, but the only major variations seemed to be whether you included the sugar in step a) or waited until step d).

I played it by ear and made up some blackcurrant vodka, some raspberry vodka, and then acting on random internet post decided to try half white rum & half vodka with the strawberries. I’m already thinking blackberry brandy might be a good future addition.

The plan is to leave the bottles until sometime before Christmas and then see about carrying on at step c), probably following d) for some of the produce and certainly partaking of step e).

I’m very pleased with the results of my (and Miranda’s) labour and am planning on going back for more fruit now!

Fruits of Labour I

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Fruits of Labour IIFruits of Labour IStill Life ArtistPYO HaulStrawberry Picking

Flickr Pics 11th July 2010

on July 11, 2010 by kirsty

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Ordinary Thunderstorms: A Novel

Ordinary Thunderstorms: A Novel by William Boyd

In books read on July 9, 2010

I think this was the first book I bought to read on Kindle for iPad. I didn't enjoy it that much. Like the reading experience, but not the book. Although I don't like not being able to read my book because my daughter is playing with my iPad... Need a dedicated reading device... maybe...

This was a kindle eBook.