Dover Castle

English Heritage – Dover, Kent

THE SECOND LARGEST CASTLE IN ENGLAND

Dover Castle has stood proudly on the shores of England for over 9 centuries. It’s foundations hug the iconic White Cliffs of Dover.

We spent a wet and windy afternoon there as we continue on our journey visiting as many Englsih Heritage sites as possible. Dover Castle is one of English Heritage’s most popular sites and is only 21 miles away from France. If you squint out to sea, you can just just see France hovering on the horizon. I didn’t realise we were that close.

Dover Castle was built between 1180 – 1185 and was built as a defence system for the British Empire. Its location makes it ideal for scoping out the enemy. The castle is flanked with towers and high walls, ramparts and moats. All of them working together to build one of the best defence systems of that era.

The castle also sits above three miles of tunnels which were used as air-raid shelters during the war. There is also a military hospital which was used to treat wounded soldiers in battle. After the war, the military hospital became a maternity hospital for a few years before being abandoned altogether

Dover Castle has the longest recorded history of any major castle in Britain. Spanning over 80 acres of ground, it has survived two world wars and is still one of my favourite castles in the UK.

It’s best to visit the castle on a clear day so you can see far out to sea. Bare in mind the castle has plenty of towers – particularly the Great Tower so there are alot of stairs – not suitable for those with limited mobility or health issues. I’m sthmatic myself and I struggle to get up to the top of the Great Tower – but if you do manage to the top, the views are just breathtaking.

Get To Know Me Q&A

I’ve always wanted to post a Q&A about myself. It’s probably because I am quite nosey myself and love knowing about people. It’s not the big things like … “where do you see yourself in 10 years time?” Blah Blah! I’m more of a “Do you like apples or oranges?” type of gal.

I recently discovered the Vogue 73 Questions (Q&A videos). I love watching them … they are not your average interviews.

So I thought I’d give myself a 73 question Q&A … here goes!

  1. To start .. do you like apples or oranges? ~ Neither, I’m more of a vegetable girl
  2. Where do you live? ~ London, UK
  3. How long have you lived there? ~ Since 1984
  4. How are you feeling today? ~ Anxious
  5. Who was the first person you spoke to this morning? ~ My husband
  6. What did you eat for breakfast? ~ Mocha and garlic bread
  7. What is your favourite drink? ~ Water
  8. What is your favourite dessert? ~ Anything with custard
  9. What is your favourite season in London? ~ Autumn
  10. What is your favourite activity in London? ~ Walking in the park
  11. Would you ever leave London? ~ Never say never
  12. What three words would you use to describe London? ~ Cultural, Expensive, Congested
  13. What was it like growing up in your family? ~ Difficult
  14. Favourite movie(s) of all time? ~ Dirty Dancing and Grease
  15. Favourite TV show(s)? ~ Grey’s Anatomy, Friends and The Twilight Zone (1960’s series)
  16. Rachel or Phoebe? ~ Neither … it would have to be Monica, I’m abit OCD
  17. What was the last movie you watched that made you laugh? ~ Home Alone 2
  18. What was the last movie you watched that made you cry? ~ Me Before You
  19. When was the last time you cried in general? ~ Yesterday
  20. Name a book that you’ve read more than once? ~ The whole of the Harry Potter series … many times.
  21. What Hogwarts House would you be? ~ Hufflepuff
  22. What book do you plan on reading? ~ A Song of Fire and Ice (Game of Thrones  – bet you didn’t know it was a book series before the TV show)
  23. On a scale of one to ten, how excited are you right now? ~ Super excited because it’s Christmas so that would be a 9?!
  24. iPhone or Android? ~ iPhone all the way!
  25. Twitter or Instagram? ~ Instagram … I don’t know how to use Twitter to be honest
  26. What’s your favourite food? ~ Cheese
  27. Least favourite food? ~ Anything spicy
  28. Weirdest thing you’ve eaten? ~ Turtle meat (don’t ask!)
  29. What’s the hardest part about being a mum? ~ Worrying about them all the time
  30. What is the best thing about being a mum? ~ Watching them grow into kind and considerate little humans
  31. If you could master one instrument, what would it be? ~ Piano
  32. Who is your music icon? ~ Early 90’s Madonna
  33. Dogs or cats? ~ Neither … hate domesticated animals
  34. Dolphins or koalas? ~ Koalas are so cute
  35. What’s your spirit anima? ~ Owl
  36. Best gift you have ever received? ~ My children
  37. What’s the biggest lesson you want to teach your children? ~ Be kind … wherever you are or whomever you meet … just be kind.
  38. What do you wish for them? ~ Health and happiness above all else!
  39. Last gift you gave to someone? ~ PS5 to my son 
  40. Person you want to have coffee with? ~ My late brother
  41. Historical figure you would like to have coffee with? ~ Joan of Arc
  42. How do you like your coffee? ~ I don’t drink coffee but I love lattes and mochas
  43. What’s your favourite curse word? ~ F*ck!
  44. What’s your favourite board game? ~ Telestrations
  45. What was the last country you visited? ~ Spain
  46. What’s a country you wish to visit? ~ South Korea
  47. What’s your favourite colour? ~ Grey
  48. Least favourite colour? ~ Blue
  49. Diamonds or pearls? ~ Diamonds
  50. Cheap shampoo or expensive? ~ Expensive
  51. Blowdry or airdry? ~ Airdry if I have time to spare
  52. Heels or flats? ~ Flats
  53. Dress or trousers? ~ Trousers
  54. Your favourite designer? ~ LV
  55. What’s your favourite constellation? ~ Orion
  56. Best way to decompress? ~ Cup of tea and Grey’s Anatomy re-runs
  57. If you had one superpower, what would it be? ~ Time travel
  58. Is there anything you wish you could re-do in your life? ~ Record more memories
  59. Can you describe an experience you felt the most nervous? ~ Waiting for my hospital test results
  60. What’s the weirdest word in the English language? ~ Gobbledygook
  61. What is the one word that you live by? ~ Understanding
  62. What are the three words that best describe you? ~ Shy, Short, Quirky
  63. What are the three words that others have describe you? ~ Kind, Big hearted, Generous
  64. What is your biggest pet peeve in the world? ~ Parents who let their kids walk all over them
  65. What is your go-to karaoke song? ~ Superwoman – Karen White
  66. What is your hidden talent? ~ I have very nice handwriting
  67. Describe your personal style? ~ Comfy
  68. What is an important life lesson for someone to learn? ~ Live with no regrets
  69. What would you like to be remembered for? ~ Kindness
  70. What are you the most scared of? ~ Losing someone
  71. What angers you the most? ~ Rude people … there is just no need
  72. What’s the most expensive thing you have splurged on? ~ My MacBook Pro
  73. Who is your biggest Hollywood crush? ~ Johnny Depp always and forever!

 

That was fun! Until next time!

~ Boss Mum xxx

Custard and Pie Adventures

Custard and Pie Adventures

What is Custard and Pie Adventures you may be wondering?

Let me introduce you to Custard and Pie.

Custard is the nickname of my son Devon. He is 9 years old and the most awesome dude I know. He is very much mummy’s boy and likes nothing more that a great “cuddle session” aka lots of hugs. Why is his nickname Custard? Have you heard of [Ambrosia] Devon Custard? No more explanation needed.

Pie is the nickname of my daughter Skye. Many family members adopted the name Skye-Pie mainly because it sounds cute and it rhymes. Skye is 12 going on 20. A sensible and bossy little human – but she is my little side-kick. I rarely need to worry about her because she has a good strong head on her shoulders.

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One of the most awesome places we have visited. Stonehenge is one of the most beautiful and mysterious places we have visited in the UK.

When I am not working, baking or cooking … one of the things we love to do the most as a family is roadtripping. We love jumping in the car and just travelling around the country, exploring and visiting landmarks and just enriching our lives with knowledge and history and having fun at the same time.

We have been around alot of the UK … but there is still so much to explore closer to home and beyond. Somebody once said to me that a holiday is not a holiday if you don’t get on a plane. Girl PLEASE! A holiday is what you make of it … and believe me, our roadtrips are not any ordinary roadtrips … our roadtrips are just EPIC!

So welcome to Custard and Pie Adventures. Here I will be sharing with you some of our most memorable visits and I hope it will offer you some inspiration to get out there and start exploring with your friends and family.

If you need any suggestions or recommendations of where to visit, especially with young children, please drop me a message. I am happy to point your in the right direction.

Happy Roadtripping!

~ Boss Mum (and family) xxx

The Lockdown: Week 16 – Time To Say Goodbye … For Now

Saturday 11th July 2020

Happy Saturday!

I have decided that this post will be the last lockdown post … for now. It’s been four months. Can you believe it?

As restrictions are slowly being lifted in England and people are now getting back to some kind of new normal and infection numbers are slowly decreasing, I think it’s fitting to call time on my lockdown blog. It’s been quite an emotional journey.

The lockdown has pushed my anxiety and mental health to the limit. I must admit, the pandemic has scared me. I was super anxious at the beginning when the virus was spreading like wildfire and the country went into chaos. I experienced subtle racism … like nobody wanting to sit next to me on the bus and people swiftly covering their mouths when I entered the vicinity. The anxiety was relentless … my emotions were pulled in all directions and I broke down many times. Not being in control of your own health is scary. What frustrated me the most was the way some of the nation were still not abiding by the lockdown rules. The selfishness of some people shocked and angered me. People could still be seen socially gathering, visiting beaches when the weather was nice, having bbq in the park when it was warm. I personally know some people who breached those rules … people that I have known for years. People that should have known better. The complete lack of compassion for others is somewhat overwhelming.

Remember when eveyone was stock-piling toilet rolls? Now, that was funny. I also remember empty shelves in the supermarket, not being able to buy flour because everyone was suddenly baking! Hand sanitizers were impossible to get and were being sold at ridiculous prices online. The roads were quiet … like a ghost town. Children were sent home from school and parents developed a new appreciation for teachers after the nationwide home-schooling fiasco! The two metre rule kicked in and the queues into the supermarkets were longer than a piece of string. The price of everything sky-rocketed and small businesses were struggling. Then the furlough scheme was introduced which was a lifeline for a lot of people who had not been able to work. We clapped for the NHS and Keyworkers on Thursdays and children were making rainbow and heart posters and sticking them in their windows.

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The real heroes. Thank You NHS Always

I haven’t been to work for four months now but I have always received a salary regardless. My workplace has been amazing … they have gone above and beyond to ensure that their employees are protected healthwise and financially. They sent home all those who have underlying illnesses and they are now actively encouraging more people to work from home. I don’t know when I will be back in the office. I am working from home and it looks like it will be like that for a while. I am not complaining. I am loving being at home with my family. I am going to make the most of it before they call me back in again.

My husband is still furloughed from work. He doesn’t have an exact date of his return. He speculates that he might be off for another couple of months. He’s a little worried as there is some talk of redundancies.

I went for a hospital appointment this morning. This is the first time I have been to the hospital in ages. (I have alot of medical problems and I am always at the GP surgery or in the hospital for one thing or another). I had an appointment with the gynaecologist this morning.  It was bizarre … before I could sit in the waiting area I had my temperature taken, I was given a mask and told to wash my hands. This is before I had even checked in at the reception desk. The waiting room consisted of 5 chairs all spaced 2 metres apart and each chair was in its own little make shift hazard square marked out on the floor using black and yellow (hazard) sticky tape. I can’t wear masks because of my asthma – so the doctor told me it was fine to take it off. There was hardly anyone there in the clinic anyway. I was only there for half an hour and quickly left.

The virus is still out there, but we need to kick start the economy for the sake of the nation. I get it! Let’s just hope people are careful out there.

Do I think there will be a second wave of infection? Definitely … watch out for Lockdown – Part 2 … coming to a blog near you!

~ Boss Mum (and family) xxx

Turnip Cake

Turnip Cake

Turnip cake is not actually made with turnip – well technically not English turnip. It is made from a root vegetable which is part of the turnip family. This root vegetable is called daikon but it is also known as mooli or even just Chinese radish.

Daikon is like a big white carrot looking root vegetable with a subtle radish flavour. It’s also lovely boiled in soups and stews, grated in spring rolls or even just grated or julienned in a nice salad.

Today we are going to make a savoury turnip cake. A popular dish at dim-sum and one of my daughters favourite dishes. It’s so easy to make and tastes great pan fried.

Get your ingredients ready …

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Get your ingredients ready

Firstly grate the daikon, I use a box grater for this. Trim the ends of the daikon and peel the skin then grate the daikon into a large bowl.

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Grate the daikon

Transfer the grated daikon to a wok (or a large pan) and add the water. Bring the water to the boil then reduce to a simmer – cook the daikon for about 15 minutes continuously stirring.

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Cook the daikon in water

Once cooked, remove the daikon from the wok, drain the water into a cup (top the water up to 250ml) and allow the daikon to cool in a large bowl.

Dice the mushrooms, Chinese sausage, shrimps, scallops and spring onions.

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Dice the rest of the ingredients

Add some scallion oil to the pan and fry them all in a wok (or large frying pan) until they are nicely browned.

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Fry the ingredients in a large wok

Put the cooked daikon into a large bowl and add the rice flour, cornflour, salt, sugar and white pepper with the drained water. Add the fried sausage and mushroom mixture to the bowl with the daikon and mix well.

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Add all the ingredients to a large bowl with the daikon

Mix well …

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Mix all ingredients well

Lightly coat a shallow heatproof dish with some scallion oil (or sesame oil) then transfer the mixture to the dish.

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Transfer to a heatproof shallow dish

Use the back to a spoon to push down the daikon into the dish to flatten it and evenly spread it in the dish.

Steam the turnip cake for about 50 minutes to 1 hour. The turnip should be nice and soft with a paste like texture.

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Steam the dish

I use a wok filled with water to steam the daikon. You can use any steaming method you prefer, but you may have to adjust the timings.

Once steamed, the turnip cake should be soft and paste like in texture. It will firm up once it has cooled down.

Allow the turnip cake to cool down completely before slicing.

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Steamed turnip cake

Once cooled, take a slice and pan fry it. Depending on the size of your dish and the thickness of the turnip cake you can slice the turnip cake through the middle so that the slices are not too thick. Do this before you fry them.

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Fried turnip cake

Once pan fried, the turnip cake with have a lovely crispy coating with a soft paste like texture.

Serve on its own as a snack or will be a great accompaniment to any meal.

See below for a printable recipe.

Turnip Cake

INGREDIENTS:
– 600g daikon (also known as mooli or Chinese white radish – peeled and grated)
– 250ml water
– 2 tbsp scallion oil (or sesame oil)
– 2 tbsp dried shrimps (washed, soaked and finely chopped)
– 10g dried scallops (washed, soaked, dried and finely chopped)
– 5 large Chinese mushrooms (washed, soaked and finely chopped)
– 1 Chinese sausage (finely diced)
– 2 spring onion stalks (finely chopped)
– 150g rice flour
– 1 tbsp cornflour
– Pinch of salt to taste
– ½ tsp sugar
– Pinch of white pepper to taste

METHOD:
1. Firstly prepare all the ingredients as above.
2. Peel and grate the daikon and place it in a large wok with 250ml water. Bring the water to the boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook the daikon for 15 minutes continuously mixing it.
3. Once the daikon is cooked, transfer it to a bowl to cool slightly. Keep the remaining liquid and top it up to make 250ml of water.
4. Add the rice flour, cornflour, salt, pepper and sugar to the daikon. Add the water and mix well. Set aside while you cook the rest of the ingredients.
5. In the same wok, fry the shrimps, scallops, Chinese sausage and spring onions in some scallion oil until nicely browned. Add this to the daikon mixture and mix well.
6. Lightly grease a shallow heatproof dish with some scallion oil. Add the daikon mixture and use the back of a spoon to press down the daikon into the dish and flatten it. Spread it out evenly.
7. Steam the dish for about 50 minutes to 1 hour. The turnip mixture will cook and form a firm paste.
8. Once steamed, allow to cool before serving. You can eat it as it is, but for even more texture and flavour, cut the turnip cake into slices and pan fry them to give them a crispy texture.

Enjoy!

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Fried turnip cake garnished with slice spring onions and red pepper flakes

I hope you give this recipe a try. It’s delicious and so simple to make. Let me know how you get on!

Head over to my Instagram page where you can see what I have been up to in my kitchen. Don’t forget to hit that follow button below to get alerts on new blog posts and leave me a comment to let me know you popped by. I love receiving mail!

~ Boss Mum (and family) xxx

The Lockdown: Week 15 – Happy Independence Day!!!

Saturday 4th July 2020

My apologies for this late post … this is what happened.

On Thursday the Hubby told me that the window fitting guy was coming round on Friday morning to do some final measurements for my home windows. I’m like great!

Let’s get this ball rolling … 9am he was coming.

Come Friday morning, a van pulls up outside my house and two tradesmen knock on my door. They are here to install some windows. I turn to my Hubby and said: “Huh? I thought they were just here to re-measure?” My Hubby thought so too … but here they are knocking out the old rotten windows and starting to put in the new frames in the bedroom windows.

The Hubby gets in touch with the company and they said there must have been a miscommunication, they were ready to install and had all the windows ready. Woah! I was pleasantly surprised. So because of this … I totally forgot to do my end of week blog. Shame on me!

They were here until 10pm doing finishing touches which was tiresome. I just wanted to get washed up and go sleep. I’m feeling super tired. They were coming back tomorrow.

So this morning, me and the Hubby was waiting around … 9am passes … 10am passes … no sign of them. We call the company and the main contact guy … no answer. We are starting to get worried … another case of rogue traders – but they left their tools in the house so they must be coming back right?

11:30am … the van pulls up and the tradesmen come out. Me and the Hubby was so relieved! I asked one of the tradesmen what happened? He said that he woke up and 5am … went for a walk round the park for half an hour … came home and fell back asleep again. Haha. At least he was honest! I told him I didn’t blame him and he must’ve been really tired after a non stop 12 hours labourious day previously. He was forgiven.

So anyway …

Can you believe it’s July already? I mean … come on! Where has the last few months gone? We are now 15 weeks of lockdown restrictions … well not really lockdown anymore – as things are easing up and people are starting life in their new normal.

I am still a little reluctant to go out and attempt a life of normalcy. The virus is still out there and I am still worried that I may catch it. So for as long as I can I will keep myself to myself. I have had some friends and family over … albeit social gatherings in my garden. It’s been nice to see them and socialise again. But I will be cautious …

Home schooling is still in session. The children’s workload is slowly dwindling – not as much as when lockdown first started. I am glad and I can’t wait for the summer holidays (just two weeks time). No more home schooling! I can’t wait to utter these words to my children when the time comes.

Got to love you and leave you for now … more home renovations needed. I will post some before and after shots in next weeks blog post. Yay!

Oh … and Happy Independence Day to all my American followers!

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Happy 4th July!!!

Head over to my Instagram page where you can see what I have been up to in my kitchen. Don’t forget to hit that follow button below to get alerts on new blog posts and leave me a comment to let me know you popped by. I love receiving mail!

~ Boss Mum (and family) xxx

 

The Lockdown: Week 14 – Summer Is Officially Here

Friday 26th June 2020

Happy Friday! How awesome was the weather this week!? I mean come on … 30°C heat. I must admit I was sweating.

We are officially into summer … yes, a whole season passed us while we were in lockdown. How do I know we are officially in the summer season? Well, the Summer Solstice just came and went without anyone noticing. It had been eclipsed by the coronavirus I guess. But yes, Summer Solstice was last Saturday (20th June) and it marks the end of spring and the start of summer and also longest day of the year.

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Summer is here

You know, for the last few weeks my husband has been on this health kick. Eating only one meal a day and just being really active … walking whenever and wherever he can. There was one day last week where he walked over 40,000 steps in one day. Yes … ONE DAY! He walked all the way to South London to meet his friend who lives in Elephant and Castle, then the both of them went on to walk 8 of London’s bridges – making their way to Westminster bridge … then he walked back home. He’s on a little health kick right now and has lost so much weight. I think I may be a little bigger round the waist than him right now – something I didn’t think I would ever say. But good on him though! It got him off that darn sofa at least.

So he inspired me to dust off my Fitbit and do some walking. I do not like walking so I won’t be doing any mammoth walking sprees like him … but I aiming for at least 10,000 steps a day.

So every day … in the late afternoon, we go for a walk around our local park. I am lucky to live opposite one of London’s nicer parks – Victoria Park. Big, lots of green open space and a nice place to stretch our legs and get some fresh air. Lockdown has made me lazy and lethargic, so I am making an effort to get off my butt and move!

Monday – 11,300 steps
Tuesday – 10,700 steps
Wednesday – 9,400 steps
Thursday – 10,700 steps
Friday – 8,900 steps

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Victoria Park

We also noticed a new ice-cream parlour opened up in our village – Vanilla Cream. They sell vegan gelato and many other flavours of luscious ice-creams and gelatos. I treated myself to a lovely pistachio ice-cream in a waffle cone and Skye had mint chocolate chip which she loved.

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Village Cream – lovely ice creams … perfect in this weather.

After a hot and sweaty week, we are forecast to have rain next week. It will be a little relief for me anyway. I don’t do well with hot weather. I suffer quite easily from sunstroke so I prefer cooler weather.

Anyhow, head over to my Instagram page where you can see what I have been up to in my kitchen. Don’t forget to hit that follow button below to get alerts on new blog posts and leave me a comment to let me know you popped by. I love receiving mail!

~ Boss Mum (and family) xxx

The Lockdown: Week 13 -It’s Been A Rough Week

Friday 12th June 2020

Hello all!

It has been a pretty exhausting week mentally for me. I’m not going to get into it in detail but the lockdown has put a strain in our family dynamic. Living in close proximity to someone can bring out the worst in you … and this week all our frustrations came out in the worst possible way.

I confided in one of my dearest friends and she brought me back to reality. Sometimes we have to take a step back from a relationship and really dig deep to find the good in another person. Something that I don’t often do. I take people at face value and sometimes it’s just not enough. Not for me anyway. Am I talking in riddles?

Life is too short to be angry and bitter all the time.

So I am trying to be more positive … looking for the good in everything around me. Negativity is just so exhausting. It really is so I am going to smile more often and try to be happy. Is this even possible?

Another coronavirus update: I think a second wave is imminent. China is seeing over 100 new cases of coronavirus infections. Brazil is in crisis … there are over a million people currently infected and their government is just overwhelmed. It is said that Brazil could have the highest Covid-19 death toll in the world by July. How crazy is that? They get over 1000 new deaths every day.

It all stemmed from the fact that the Brazilian President dismissed that there was a pandemic when the whole world was heading into lockdown. He allowed his country to continue as normal and slowly but surely their numbers increased at an alaring rate. I feel so sorry for the people of Brazil. As a country, you rely on your government to protect you but in this case they were completely let down. Pray for Brazil!

We went for a walk in the park today. The rain eased off so we attempted our daily walk. The kids rode their bikes and me and the hubby went for a stroll.

We actually went in search for something unique in the park. In Victoria Park, there is a face in a tree. We found out about the face a few days ago and decided that we were going to go look for it for fun. Considering that Victoria park is pretty big and there are over 4,500 trees spanning 88 hectares of land. That is a lot of trees to look for.

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The face in the tree

But we did find it … eventually. It’s an eerie face (I think it’s made out of clay that has worn away). I don’t know anything about the history of the face in the tree … where did it come from? How long has it been there? Who made it and put it there? I have no idea … I will have to research this properly because it’s made me super curious.

Update: I did a little digging and found out that the face in the tree is actually a memorial to the late Margaret Muller. This young lady was brutally stabbed to death in 2003 in Victoria Park at this spot [Source: Unsolved Murders]. Margaret (an art student) was jogging in the park early one morning and it is suspected that two men approached her and launched an unprovoked attack which resulted in her death. She was heard screaming but there was no signs of robbery or sexual assault. Her killers were never found. Her body was brought back to the USA for burial.

On that sombre note …

Head over to my Instagram page where you can see what I have been up to in my kitchen. Don’t forget to hit that follow button below to get alerts on new blog posts and leave me a comment to let me know you popped by. I love receiving mail!

~ Boss Mum (and family) xxx

The Perfect Quiche

The Perfect Quiche

I just love a great quiche. Nothing too fancy, just a cheese and tomato quiche will do me just fine. A generous sized portion with a side of salad … now there is a great meal.

It has taken me a while to perfect my quiche recipe. When I first starting making my own quiche, I use to use ready rolled pastry because I wasn’t confident enough to make my own. Pastry work is not my strong point … but when I deconstructed the idea, I wondered … is it really that hard? So I researched and practiced and I think I have found a wonderful pastry recipe. Trust me, if I can make this from scratch, so can you.

Firstly, we’re going to make the pastry. The flaky pastry I am going to make is made up of three ingredients: flour, butter and cold water.

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Get your ingredients together

Put the flour and a little salt into a large bowl. I like to use super cold butter then use a grater to grate the butter into the flour. Using two forks, mix the butter, salt and flour together. I like to use two forks instead of using fingers because the warmth of your fingers will start to melt the butter. You want to keep the butter cold as possible.

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Mix together the flour and butter with a couple of forks

Once the flour and butter is roughly mixed together, weigh out the cold water and slowly add the cold water to the flour and butter mixture. Gently mix together the flour, butter and water with a fork until all the water is added. Tip the mixture on to a lightly floured surface and gently use your hands to bring it together. Fold the dough together until the butter and flour are mixed well together. Do not knead the dough – just gently fold together. Do this quickly so the butter doesn’t start to get warm and melt. It is normal to see specks of butter in the dough so don’t over mix it.

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Slowly add the water

Once the dough is combined, form the dough into a ball, gently flatten it until it is the shape of a disk then wrap it in some clingfilm. Put it in the fridge for a couple of hours to firm up.

Now would be a good time to preheat the oven to gas mark 6 (200°C / 400°F).

Grease a 9″ fluted loose bottom quiche tin with a generous amount of butter.

Take the dough out of the fridge and place it on a lightly floured surface. Using a large rolling pin, roll out the dough until it is about 2mm to 3mm thick. Roll the dough into a large circle – roll outwards and keep turning the dough as you roll it to get an almost round shape.

Carefully lift the rolled out pastry and place it on top of the quiche tin. Use your fingers to gently press the pastry dough into the edges of the quiche tin. Take your time with this part, you want the pastry to fill every pary of the tin, so really take your time to push the pastry into each groove.

You want some of the pastry to hang over the edge of the quiche tin. Do not trim all of this off. This will be trimmed off after it has been baked. The reason for leaving some pastry overhanging is to anticipate some pastry shrinkage during the baking process.

Place the pastry tin back into the fridge to chill for an hour or so before we blind bake it.

Once chilled, we need to blind bake the pastry. Firstly, use a fork to prick the bottom of the pastry. This is to prevent the pastry from puffing up when baking.

Line the pastry with a piece of parchment, then fill the quiche tin with baking beads. We are going to bling bake the pastry so that when we bake the pastry with the egg mixture, we are trying to prevent getting a soggy bottom.

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Line tin with baking parchment and baking beads

Blind bake the pastry for 15 minutes until you see the edges turning light brown. After 15 minutes, remove the baking beads and parchment paper and continue to bake for another 15 minutes. The pastry should be partly cooked and a nice light brown colour.

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Blind baked … ready for the filling

Whilst the pastry is blind baking, we can get on with the filling.

Ths quiche filling recipe is like a blank canvas. You can add almost anything you want: fish, seafood, bacon, chicken or other proteins, vegetables, and salads and different cheeses. Experiment and add your own favourite fillings.

For the basic filling, combine the eggs, milk, cream with a handful of cheese and season with salt and pepper. Add whatever fillings you like at this point – bearing in mind you don’t want to add too much so aim for around 150g to 200g in weight of filling.

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Prepare your filling

In todays quiche I added a handful of spinach and some streaky bacon. Mix all the ingredients well and add to the blind baked pastry. I sprinkled some more cheese on top and finish with a sprinkling of dried mixed herbs and red pepper flakes.

Pop the quiche back into the oven for about 40 minutes. You will start seeing the egg puff up. This is normal.

After about 40 minutes take the quiche out of the oven. The egg will be nicely puffed up and golden brown. As it cools, the egg with settle down. Allow the quiche to cool before serving.

Once cooled, use a sharp knife to trim of the excess pastry that is overhanging. We want to clean up the edges, the pastry should be nice and flaky.

To remove the quiche from the tin, place the quiche on a bowl turned upside down. The outside of the tin should just slide off.

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The perfect quiche

This quiche can be served hot or cold and is great for lunches, picnics or even an afternoon snack.

See the printable recipe below.

  • Difficulty: ”easy”
  • Print

INGREDIENTS:
For the flaky pastry
– 300g plain flour
– 1 tsp salt
– 230g butter
– 120ml cold water

For the filling
– 4 large eggs
– 115g milk
– 115g double cream
– 100g cheddar cheese
– 150g to 200g fillings of your choice e.g. vegetables, meats, seafoods etc.
– Salt and pepper (to taste)
– Extra cheese for topping
– Dried mixed herbs to garnish

METHOD:
For the flaky pastry
1. Mix the flour and and salt together in a large bowl. Grate the cold butter into the flour and use two forks to mix together until it resembles small lumps.
2. Slowly pour in the cold water and gently mix together with the forks.
3. Tip the flour onto a flat surface and quickly use hands to fold the dough together until flour is incorporated into the butter.
4. Roll the dough into a ball then flatten slightly with the palm of your hand. Wrap the dough in clingfilm and pop it into the fridge for a couple of hours to chill.
5. Once the dough has chilled, take it out and unwrap it from the clingfilm. Place it on a lightly floured surface and use a large rolling pin to roll it into a large circle about 2mm in thickness.
6. Careully lift the pastry dough onto a greased loose bottomed quiche tin. Use fingers to gently push the dough into the edges of the quiche tin. Leave some of the dough to hang over the tin.
7. Use a fork to prick some holes into the base of the quiche tin. This is to allow steam to escape and prevent the pastry from puffing up.
8. Line the pastry with a piece of parchment paper, then fill the quiche tin with some baking beads.
9. Bake in a preheated oven (gas mark 6 (200°C / 400°F) for about 20 minutes until the pastry starts to brown. After about 20 minutes, remove the baking beads and parchment and continue to bake the pastry for a further 10 to 15 minutes.
10. Once the pastry is lightly browned, remove from the oven and set aside for a few minutes whilst you prepare the filling.

For the filling:
11. In a large jug, add the eggs, cream and milk. Season with salt and pepper and add the grated cheese.
12. Add your preferred filling to the milk and egg mixture. Mix well.
13. Pour the mixture into the blind baked pastry case.
14. Top the quiche with more cheese and a sprinkling of mixed herbs (you can use fresh herbs too).
15. Bake in the oven for about 40 minutes. The egg will puff up in the oven, this is normal, it will deflate as it cools.
16. After it has baked, remove from the oven and allow to cool before serving.

Enjoy!

Hope you enjoyed making this recipe.

Head over to my Instagram page where you can see what I have been up to in my kitchen. Don’t forget to hit that follow button below to get alerts on new blog posts and leave me a comment to let me know you popped by. I love receiving mail!

~ Boss Mum (and family) xxx

The Lockdown: Week 12 – How Do You Plead?

Friday 12th June 2020

HAPPY FRIDAY ALL!

black textile on white textile
Happy Friday!

HOW HAS YOUR WEEK BEEN?

Some children went back to school this week. I was contemplating it … Skye is in year 6 and this is her final few weeks of primary school before she heads off to secondary school in September. She really wants to go back to school but me and the hubby made the decision to keep her at home. The virus is still out there and we just don’t want take that risk of her bringing something home. I have severe asthma (my inhalers are not working as well anymore and I am on oral medication for the asthma) so catching the coronavirus will be a big issue for me. I just can’t take that risk. Skye has mild asthma so that is something that we have had to take into consideration.

Me personally, I feel guilty not allowing her to go back to school. Almost selfish on my part. Is it wrong for me to keep her home?

Should I trust the school that they will keep her safe?

I did notice in the playground that they had cordoned off the tyre swing and the rope climb. There’s plastic tape wrapped round it. It made the whole situation real. I mean, the children can’t even play in the playground properly. With all these restrictions in place, does it even feel like school anymore?

On the flip side though, we live right next door to the school and their playground is right in front of our house. So during the school breaktime Skye would hang outside the fence and talk to a few of her friends who had returned to school. I guess that’s something. She is grateful for that.

I have finally received my IT equipment from work and this week I have managed to set up the computer to the office network. If feels really weird working remotely. All my icons and programs are sitting on the desktop looking familiar against my purple desktop background. I’m actually looking forward to doing work that doesn’t involve home schooling.

So home schooling is still going strong … well, not that strong.

Skye wakes up at 7am and is downstairs … breakfast eaten and home schooling underway. She’s disciplined like that. By the time me and Devon wake up (around 9:30am … sometimes even after 10am) she has already finished her work for the day. She makes the emphasis of coming upstairs and waking us up just to tell us this.

Devon doesn’t get out of bed until after 10am sometimes (even 11am on those extra tiresome days) so he is not finishing his schoolwork until way after 4pm! He’s not as efficient and organised as his sister. Different strokes for different folks I guess.

How have you all been? Hope life is treating you kind and all that!

Head over to my Instagram page where you can see what I have been up to in my kitchen. Don’t forget to hit that follow button below to get alerts on new blog posts and leave me a comment to let me know you popped by. I love receiving mail!

Lots of love to you all.

~ Boss Mum (and family) xxx