Sunday, 23 October 2011

More weekend pottering......

I've often wondered what other people do on their weekends. In our house, saturdays often involve a fair bit of cooking, laundry, cleaning up and if I'm lucky a bit of gardening.  In the mornings, the kitchen is a  nice bumbly place on a saturday - baking Janey's brownies, saves buying cake! Its my chums fail safe frugal  recipe and when we make it, using her original kind hand written note, I think of her and her lovely partner fondly.[Edited in for the squirrel family, the recipe! Enjoy]
Janey's Brownies (makes 24 brownies)
8oz granulated sugar
1 1/2 oz cocoa
3 oz self raising flour
2 eggs
2 tablespoons milk
4 oz butter melted
(or use cooking margarine can't tell the difference)

Butter a tray, 20cm by 3cm, or 12" by 8". Mix the dry ingredients, beat eggs and milk, add melted (not hot) butter. Combine the wet and dry ingredients with a wooden spoon (not difficult, like a muffin mix). Bake for 30 minutes in a preheated oven 180 o C (360 o F) oven, Gas 4-5. Works everytime like a charm - cost approximately £1-£1.50. Keep for a week or more in a sealed container. But not here. (!)
First off after a morning cuppa and a bit of baking and chores started (hens fed, laundry on, dishwasher on) my clattering normally wakes the family so the rest of the house slowly comes to life. I do not do this on purpose you understand, I'm merely noisy!
Once they've roused themselves, we make breakfast - crepes (again!) a popular and quite frugal breakfast here. Are they healthy, I don't know?   I guess its what you put on them that changes that!  I like weekend breakfasts, more leisurely.The crepe pan is well used in this house, we've joked about getting them both one when they leave home.......

Whilst we're chatting, brekkie over, I'm chopping up the last of the tomatoes to make frugal-bugal pasta/pizza sauce for the freezer - the kitchen table is well used today!
 Aren't they colourful, all shapes and sizes go into the too, all makes a good sauce. Growing your own veggies means a fair bit of plowtering about in the kitchen, all good.
 Well most of them make it to the pot eventually, I'm an enthusiastic, but messy/clumsy cook. Maybe that should be my life motto, 'she was enthusiastic but clumsy'.
I like making this simple tasty sauce, nice to have a home made hand on a busier day than today.  I do alot of cooking at the weekends, to help out through the working week. Doing this today means when we've no time later in the week, we've still got home cooked food ready to go in the fridge/freezer.

It also saves us tonnes of money as we're not reaching for instant food after work. The cellist tastes it and advised seasoning, her being the pasta expert. Aparently its 'almost as good as her own hm sauce' a compliment indeed, she makes a mean pasta sauce herself. Both kids are learning to cook and are getting not bad, excellent life skills, if you can cook, you'll never go hungry.
 As that bubbled away, a plan for the day was hatched. I like hatching plans around the kitchen table. The sauce will cool and we'll finish it by blending it, portion it and freeze most of it later.
 More on that another time.

We decide on a pop into the local town. Local flag flying high.
 A meander down the street, a look in the peedie bookshop, the charity shop (a nice scarf for 20p and two pairs of jeans for £2 each, bargain!) when we were in there,  
the dog went to prison.....he's often very naughty.
 Ok maybe he was only 'behind bars' for about 5 minutes, whilst we were in the bookshop. He's so dramatic, you'd think we'd abandoned him on the steps of the local church forever.
Then a walk up the street again towards home, we pass a few folk we know and have a wee yarn. Back home for a chatty lunch and then a while doing our own thing. Cellist, well she played her cello another exam coming up, I gardened for a bit, the boy/manchild read his newly found charity shop book. I abandoned gardening after I'd picked the leeks, bit blowy out there even for me. Picking leeks when braced against a gale, isn't fun after all, who would have guessed.
 The afternoon was whiled away by cleaning and sorting leeks, which sounds perhaps a bit dull, but I'm fascinated by plants, therefore cleaning leeks means you get very well acquainted with them. I've often wondered about leeks, so I contemplated them a while and consulted Mr Google, who else? Apparently they originated in Egypt (in their diet from at least 2000BC, who'd have known eh?) and the Romans brought them to the UK. I delve further into the life of the leek, this plant obsession thing, its difficult to avoid you know. Especially when you've an ipad at hand, remarkable little devices you know, excellent for a wee read about stuff with a cuppa when you're taking a break.

After stopping my extensive teabreak research on leeks, I'm back to the task at hand, three finished piles - nice clean whole leeks, the chopped off but usable leaves in bowl for chopping up fine later and freezing, to go in soups etc. The really yuksome bits (raggy leaves and ends of the roots and the odd slug) in a bowl to be added to the chickens 'slow cooker hot pot' of grain, they are fussy they won't eat them unless they are cooked. The nice clean leeks ready for the fridge/freezer. Nowt wasted here, not a jot.
A few more chores, everyone pitched in. I like it when the teenagers pitch in, I tell myself its good life training! The cellist noticed this sign when we were in our local town, how true eh? We do get by with a fair bit of help from friends
.....and by that I also mean family of course......

A quick walk of the dog down the track. Then time for a collapse on the sofa with tea (HM pizza using some of the newly made sauce) and a movie and a dog and a cellist and a handsome teenage chap. 

A rather fine saturday bumbling about, time with the kids/young folk, bit cooking, bit gardening, bit chatting, a few chores done then a relax - how do you spend yours?

Fancy leaving a link about your typical weekend day? If you do I'd be really interested :) but if not, don't worry, I'm just very nosey!


  1. What a lovely pottering day you've had! Would love to have been in your kitchen for crepes :)

    Inspired by you, I'll take pics today and write about a typical (ish) weekend day tonight... :) xx

  2. what a lovely day, enjoy, love marion, holland

  3. very similair day had here , baking, chatting and a movie. Any chance of the brownie recipe?

  4. Same type of day here on Lewis, apart from not having any hens (yet). Of course these events only take place on Saturday here - never on a Sunday. Ever :-)

  5. Oh how exciting lots of similar days :)

    Sharon I've edited the recipe in :)

    Tony, not on Sunday! You need some hens.......;)

    Sharon what movie? Ours was Erin brocovitch.....

    Rainbow child thank you, hope you're weekends great too.

    Cheerful jenni, how exciting! Have you seen the Barefoot Crofter, she's doing a week in photos I might do that too :)

  6. Sounds like a very productive weekend! Love your pictures, your little dog is so cute :)

    I love weekends spent puttering around the house!

  7. Sounds like a perfect day with loads done. Brownies look great!

    (love the leek info)

    Sft x

  9. Don't you just love weekends :) Yours looks great!

  10. Well my Saturday was spent at the SNP conference in Inverness.... No home cooking, but much excitement

  11. Oh kininvie that would have been exciting. Lots going on!

    Dreamer, twas a nice one with nowt planned, we were going to go one th little plane to north ronaldsay, but one part of th journey wa booked solid (9 seated plAne!) so we had to stay home. : hope you had a nice weekend too.

    Sft, love pottering days too!

    Bridget, the brownies are ace, much easier than Nigella's recipe (sorry nigella) but family baking involing melting that much chocolate etc, too costly and hard for me. Janes recipe is ace, quick and tasty. :)hope you have. Nice weekend.

    Staci the og is very cute, and he knows it! Puterinf

  12. Ok, I've written about my typical (ish!) weekend now, feel free to pop over for a nosey!


  13. I had a pottering kind of a day too, making soup, walking the dog (twice) doing the monthly accounts, catching up with blog reading...
    Every town should have a Tam's bookshop to go into for a browse...

  14. Tams was indeed th lovely bookshop. Haze asked for a job there, (Saturday) I admired her courage, he was charming, pointed out how tiny the shop was, unable to employ a Saturday girl. He continued, not o give up, sure she'd be successful - what a fine chap. What kinda soup? Peedie tips hat to your dog walking.

    Jenni, inspected ( in a good way) loved it!

  15. great looking tomatoes there! you are quite right .... Saturdays are a breed unto themselves aren't they? they aren't quite lazy Sundays or weekly routine but they are a day to usually get odd bits and pieces done that don't make it into the week. and sometimes Saturdays are just a day to sit and be still ... those are nice on occasion.

  16. Poor peedie, he looks so forlorn on the steps like that! Your day sounds lovely. My weekends tend to involve more cooking too, I tend to make "weekend" bread (foccacia this week) and perhaps something extra for lunch, but to be honest all my days are pottery days! And I'm as untidy a cook as you too, always bits of food escaping from the pan, a dusting of flour to wipe up from the floor, a pile of cookery books cluttering up the kitchen table.

  17. Jts, I'm chuffed with my tomatoes, from growing in window boxes inside here, looking at the view. A real success. I do like Saturday's very much. Pottering or lazy!

    Janet, peedie has that dejected dog look down very well. I'm glad you've got lots of pottery days. Love the sound of weekend bread. Our kitchen tables sound very similar! Glad youve had a nice weekend. :)

  18. Vix (vl2588 on mse)24 October 2011 at 20:50

    Thank-you for the lovely brownie recipe; duly copied onto an envelope (my recipe folder is very messy due to this habit) and OH very cheerful at the prospect!

    I don't have a typical weekend day since moving, my life is more or less upside down, but hope to soon! Most important is exercise though as rarely have time for that in the week - a swim first thing in the morning is great!

  19. Goodness what a fantastic weekend I've had - Yorkshire with Jenni, Orkney with you, and all the time I was in devon with Mum-in-law! :-) x

  20. Robyn how cool, you're such a jet setter.

    Vl recycling an envelope into a recipe is brilliant use of n old envelope. Think ecclectic rather than messy

    Hope life settles soon.


  21. I had to pop back to say that the brownies were lush! I was a bit dubious about the rather minimalist recipe but they were the best I have ever made.....................and will be my christmas pudding alternative for christmas dinner this year!

  22. How utterly fab. Ace shaz, so glad you found it ok I did think it was a bit minimal, but boy does it work and it's cheap.

    I'm chuffed!

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