Mince pie floater?!

Oops! I watched in horror as my mince pie slid from the plate, past the cat, down into my fresh mug of tea! Errr… It floated for a while then started it’s inevitable sinking. Like the Titanic movie at Christmas it was soon glugging (with bubbles) out of sight!

How had it happened? A jogged elbow, a tipped plate, the cats paw? It just happened.

Rescue mission? I took a spoon and tried to fish it out, like a trawler reaching its net down into the murky depths. But the disintegration had started and the tea was dissolving the pastry. I decided I could drink the tea, and then spoon out the pie as I drank. I did. Turns out pie pastry isn’t as nice when dunked as rich tea biscuits. But waste not, want not. But the minced fruit was nice. However I would not recommend it as a tasty treat!

Odd cat

When I put my finger next to one of my cats, instead of nuzzling he’s started to bite and chew it. I don’t know why? He will sit and Starr at my finger then grab it and chew! And it’s not like he’s hungry, he’s got lots of food. Maybe he likes the texture of my fingernail. It’s not too painful, he’s not broken the skin, it just seems like odd behaviour. He used to rub his head against my finger or hand, but as I say this is now happening. Any ideas? Is it boredom, is it because he’s trying to be dominant? Do I think if I die he will be one of those cats that survived on my corpse? Help!

Crumpets for tea

Hot buttered crumpets for tea! The little holes in the top of them allow the butter or margarine to trickle down into tiny tubes inside the crumpet. You heat them under a grill or in a toaster on both sides to heat them up. The base of them is solid so when you add your topping it doesn’t leak out. I only used to have butter, but recently I’ve added grated cheese and microwaved them for a few seconds so it drizzled inside them, also try honey or jam (America calls it jelly). Note these are NOT muffins, that’s a whole different bready food.

Using up pears

I have lots of pears off our tree, they were hard but are slowly softening. But they have been bruised by falling off the tree and a couple went mouldy. They are tasty and quite sweet. What to do with them?

I cut off the bad bits then chopped up the pears into small pieces. Then I put them in a saucepan and added a little boiling water from the kettle. I added half a tablespoonful of splenda sweetner because it tastes like sugar. I put the pears on a low heat to simmer and soften. Then I made up some powdered custard with about three quarters of a pint of milk. In the meantime I was stirring and crushing the pears till they were soft and cooked. Finally I dished out the pears. I crumbled a couple of digestive biscuits over them to add texture and crunch. Lastly I ladeled the custard over the fruit and biscuits (a bit like a deconstructed pear crumble I think). The result was hot and tasty on a cool autumn afternoon.

Pear time

Pears off our tree and oranges from the supermarket. This shows just how big our pears have grown this year. They needed picking as they won’t ripen on the tree. The tree was a small sapling from a woolworths store in Stoke twenty years ago or so, before the stores went bust. It’s now a tree about fifteen foot high and spreading branches about twenty or twenty five foot across. It grew leaning over because of the weight of the pears. I have to say they are very tasty when they are ripe. I think they are a conference style of pear. We have had around fifty or sixty pears but most of them are too high to reach, the ones in the bowl were low hanging.


Opposite the new art venue in Middleport is a small unit called Nickiebees Cupcakes. I popped in to see what they had. I asked about cakes without frosting (too much sugar in it) and we had a chat about whether it’s possible to use a sugar substitute to make the butter cream icing. Afterwards I went back and bought a couple of freshly baked cupcakes. They looked like perfect Victoria sponges. When I got home I went and got some clotted cream and blueberries. I cut the tops off the cakes, cut the tops in half, spread the cream over the cut surface. Then I put the tops back on like butterfly wings. I spooned a little more cream on top and studdied the cream with fresh blueberries. What a tasty treat! Had with a cup of decaff coffee. Tasty and not as sugary as fully frosted!


‘and shall we have crumpets for tea ?’

I don’t remember where that quote comes from. But that’s what we had for our meal this afternoon. Toasted to a slightly brown colour and hot so that the crumpet is cooked through. I usually have butter or margarine on it but today I had butter and then as a treat a small amount of Greek honey.

The porous, sponge like consistency of the crumpet makes it good for absorbing melted butter. The top of a crumpet is full of a lattice of holes, whereas the base is solid, so these lacunae stay filled and only leak slightly. Yummy! I’ve also toasted crumpets, then grated cheese on them and then I gently microwave them for a savoury snack.

This bought back a memory of using a fork pierced through a crumpet and pushed onto the front bars of a gas fire. A tricky thing to do as the fire might burn your fingers as well as the crumpet! Cook the back first then the front, then take it off the fire and butter and eat. (Childhood memories of when life was more basic).

Oh dear!

I just saw my friend eat a packet of sweets. Out of interest, because I don’t eat things like that, I wondered what amount of sugar he had eaten….

It’s hard to see but seven sweets have 16.4 grams of sugar, and the packet contains seven servings. One hundred grams of sweets contains 61.4 grams of sugar.

But that’s not all, the actual weight of the packet was 143 grams. So approximately 100 grams of that was sugar…. Like eating a tenth of a kilogram bag of sugar.

This sweet fruity treat has the main ingrelisted first, Sugar, Glucose Syrup, Starch, inverted sugar syrup, etc.

What got me the most was we have a fruit bowl full of oranges in the kitchen. Why is stuff like this sold?