Dear 2012

Dear 2012, You have definitely been busy this year :

January

Mr H and I welcomed you in at a Halloween themed party.

A very last minute witch costume for New Years Evil!

A very last minute witch costume for New Years Evil!

We celebrated our First Wedding Anniversary.

Mr H with his eco friendly walking stick, and me as the Shadow

Mr H with his eco friendly walking stick, and me as the Shadow

We got dressed up 50’s styley for a friends 21+29th Birthday.

jayne's birthday

February

Bit of a quiet month, life just ticked by.

March

I attempted the Chase Walk and Mr H actually finished it.

Celebrated my 26th Birthday and the end of the first blog.

April

Not a lot happened here again as we were gearing up for our holiday.

May

Took a gorgeous trip to Malta – promise I will post about that in 2013.

Welcome to Malta!

Welcome to Malta!

Launched my new blog, albeit a few months later than planned.

We had a Eurovision party.

June

A freak hailstorm took out our conservatory roof.

July

I saw Garbage in concert, whoo!!!!!

I put together my 101 in 1001 list.

August

Mr H and I hosted a backyard campout and released some sky lanterns.

Sky Lanterns

Sky Lanterns

September

Mr H and I went to Festwich, where I managed to get sunburnt(?!?).

My best friends got engaged in dramatic fashion.

The convervatory roof was finally fixed.

October

We went to Wales to celebrate Mr H’s birthday.

Honey Ice Cream

Honey Ice Cream

Went to a Hallowe’en party and posed Gangnam Style!

Hallowe'en Gangnam Style!

Hallowe’en Gangnam Style!

November

Busy with family stuff. but nothing really blog worthy.

December

Mr H and I had an early second anniversary get away.

2nd anniversary

Christmas and New Year came and went with the norovirus and a family bereavement.

Cherry Bakewell Cocktail and Downton Abbey Christmas Special

Cherry Bakewell Cocktail and Downton Abbey Christmas Special

Coming Up in 2013

2013 promises to be a packed year :

I will be starting my Open University course in February…

… for which I will be getting a shiny new laptop so I can blog a lot easier!

I will be introducing a new Bake of the Month feature.

Mr H and I will be finishing off getting the house done as we may be moving house! *eeeeeeee!!!!!*

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Merry Christmas from the H Household

Posted On 24/12/2012

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Norovirus wiped me out this week so apologies for radio darkness.

However, I am now well enough to be looking forward to today’s Christmas schenanigans and nibbles.

Have a very Merry Christmas everyone and …

A Premature Anniversary Weekend

So Mr H and I have just got back from an early anniversary weekend away in the Peak District, and on this occasion we stayed in a shepherd’s hut. More specifically, this shepherd’s hut :

Shepherd'sHut

We spent the weekend in the hut, enjoying the view,

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Visited Poole’s Cavern in Buxton (the Christmas lights aren’t usually there, it was for the benefit of Santa who was sat near the entrance)

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Then went onto Bakewell to debate which is better, Tart or Pudding?

I voted for pudding, Mr H was a tart man. Coincidentally, the pudding was the dessert at our wedding.

L - Tart from the Bakewell Tart Shop. R - Pudding from the Original Bakewell Pudding Shop

L – Tart from the Bakewell Tart Shop. R – Pudding from the Original Bakewell Pudding Shop

Sunday we then went to Carsington Water for the “Strenuous Walk” although we struggled to see the horizon in the fog.

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And then found a bizarre wooden house.

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Yes, you can see a piano, cuckoo clock and telephone. The lamps and TV were in the corners?!

I gave up taking pictures after we came across the sheep, as I hadn’t quite realised how out of shape I was and I wasn’t in the best mood!

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So, as a review of the hut, here goes:

When we arrived Linda, the owner, had put the fire on and a hot water bottle in the sheets so it was toasty as we arrived.

Yes, straight into bed with a book

Yes, straight into bed with a book

The hut is more spacious than the pictures show, both here and on their website.  Mr H is ~6ft2 and was able to stand up in it quite easily, just mind your head as you come in if you’re a tall one!

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Everything was well thought out and comfortable and we are looking to book again.

Also, the bacon roll hamper was immense!

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2 bacon rolls each wrapped in foil, china plates, china mugs, china jug of milk, ketchup and two types of brown sauce, napkins and you can get a thermos of coffee as well (we declined)

However, I would give some advice if you book :

If you like to read in bed, bring a bright light or head torch as the lanterns inside the hut offer a nice ambient light, but aren’t bright enough to read by. Having the light will be useful if you use the shower hut, as it’s a bit dark in there!

If you make a hot drink in the mugs, be careful as the handles get a bit hot :

Yes, that's a sock on my hand, why?

Yes, that’s a sock on my hand, why?

Because the mug is too hot to handle!

Because the mug is too hot to handle!

Food wise :

First night we went to the Bluebell Inn, just up the A515. Fantastic food, too full to even order dessert – WTF?

Saturday brunch we went to Bar Brasserie in Buxton. Fabulous French restaurant, the tartiflette was gorgeous!

Saturday dinner was at the Market Place Fish and Chip restaurant where you can eat in. Only the bread and butter let it down, but hey ho, we weren’t in Yorkshire.

Things to Do :

Poole’s Cavern in Buxton is well worth a visit. There is a lot for kids to do and there are woodland trails, but the weather was against us so we wandered around Buxton and Bakewell town centre. Strangest thing I saw in Buxton? People filling up massive water bottles from the Buxton water fountain.

We have visited Carsington Water so many times now. You can do one of three walks, each at a different energy level. There is a restaurant which we have never seen as the queue for it has always trailed out the door. There are also some shops to have a wander around – great place for families.

And on a side note, I did have a few wardrobe malfunctions this weekend because despite writing a packing list, I didn’t follow it.

Let this be a lesson to me – stick to the list!!!!!

Roll on Christmas, I am now chilled out to appreciate it!

FFGF – Yuletide Delivery

Hello all,

It’s safe to say I don’t like reading the news. I listen to it via Radio 1 whilst I work, but that is my only source of current affairs.

However, I’m glad to have caught this titbit, which didn’t make it onto newsbeat, a lovely happy story in amongst all the crap going on in the world right now.

Baby born in Shetland Coastguard Helicopter

Can anyone think of any appropriate names for the bouncing baby boy?

FFGF – A Bit of Variety

The Royal Variety Performance was on earlier this week and I have to say I was disappointed – Neil Diamond for the finale, really?

This would have made a far better finale :

And can someone explain the opera singers talking about big feet to me?

Parkin for Papa

Posted On 05/12/2012

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First of all, this isn’t a post about driving skills. For those of you not in the know, parkin is a traditional Yorkshire ginger cake made for Bonfire night.

My dad (not really papa but I like alliteration) loves the stuff and as it was his birthday at the weekend (hence being off the grid), I made him a Parkin Birthday cake.

For the full recipe and instructions, please visit the BBC website.

To start, I lined my square tin. The instructions call for a “small, deep baking tray”, which sounds an awful lot like a cake tin to me!

Most of the dry ingredients (flour, oatmeal and ginger) were mixed together in a bowl.Parkin - Dry Ingredients

The sugar, butter, treacle and golden syrup are melted together in a saucepan – this is a heavenly smell and I struggled not to dip my finger in!Parkin - Melted Gooeys

Ooh, as a tip I saw on TV once, when spooning out treacle or golden syrup, douse your sppon in very hot water, this will stop the syrup or treacle sticking to the spoon and slide straight off – making it easier to measure.

Pour the contents of the saucepan into the mixing bowl and add the eggs and milk.Parkin - Complete Mix

Stir well. If you have a large mixer give it a go, but this is the kind of recipe I find needs a bit of muscle.Parkin - Ready to Go

Pour the mix into the tin and put in the oven, as per the instructions.Parkin - In the Tin

When it’s all cooked, let it cool slightly before removing from the tin. Leave on a wire rack to cool completely.Parkin - Fresh out of the Oven

When the cake is completely cold, wrap tightly in cling film and store it for three to five days to mature.

As a side note, when I did a trial run of this cake earlier in the month, I used rolled oats instead of oatmeal.

The cake did sort of work, but it was a bit drier than it should have been, so don’t worry too much if you can’t find oatmeal – but do check the cake to keep it at the sticky stage, rather than relying on the normal timing.

And on a final note, the verdict from me father is “Right flavour, texture is a bit close”

I might try another recipe next year.