Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Surprising Finds

I am not a great gourmet or foody, but I do know what I enjoy.
Normally, when it comes to Farmers Markets, I tend to run round them with a quick dismissive glance at the stalls and think over-priced but not really worth the time. Well I have proved myself wrong!
At the weekend, purely because it was in a very handy local position, we went to a Farmers Market at the Avenue Shopping Centre, on Sunday morning and boy, am I glad I did. The usual eclectic gathering of stalls, but not horribly busy, so we had a chance to browse.
Firstly, Cedar Cottage Country Foods - where we spent £20 on fresh meat - but boy is it worth it - simple foods like smoked Ayrshire bacon, square slice (Lorne) sausage and link sausage flavoured with leeks - and every one of them delicious and what real fresh meat should taste like.
Next stop - now this one I have to say is quite off the wall, but blew me away - Home Ground Coffee Ltd. - now I do enjoy a good cup of coffee, usally quite strong - tried a couple of samples of this guys coffee - not your usual blends that you find in supermarkets, but different beans that he sources and grinds himself - the one I bought, Nicaraguan - quite strong but my oh my - sent me to a happy place - couldn't help smiling when I was drinking it, and boy the buzz it gave me - dare I say it - better than chocolate!!! A very nice coffee that is well worth savouring.
And last but not least, again I do quite enjoy strong flavours, but not overwhelming and here Inverlochy Cheese have won me over - the Lazy Ploughman - cos I do enjoy a cheddar ploughmans when we are out for a pub lunch - mature cheddar cheese, so creamy and milky it transports you to heavenly delight - with a sweet pickle mixed into it. Oh delicious. Bought only the one small truckle - wish I'd bought more cos the Farmers Market doesn't return for another 4 weeks and the cheese is almost finished!
Just goes to show - you can't judge a book by its cover. And I will be returning to support these traders and possibly more, on their return to the Farmers Market in 4 weeks time.
If you have a local farmers market and get a chance to try any or all of the above, I highly recommend them. My simple advice today - support the small home traders or we will lose them. Fresh is best for sure.
Sorry to wax so lyrical. Rant over for today.
Laters peeps.

Thursday, 24 March 2011


Hiya peeps. Just dropped in to say hello.
Have to talk to you about this book I have just recently finished. Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness. I am an avid reader, and used (a long time ago) to read Stephen King horror books - in fact i have in my possession about 30 of them, but gave up horror as I grew up, then my BFF gave me the Twilight series to read, and she waxed lyrical about them, even though are really for teenagers and I wasn't really thinking to read them, but was bored one day, picked the first one up and got sucked in (no pun intended - if you have read them you know what I mean!) and I was so disappointed when I finished the series. My life seemed empty. Having dreamt of hunky vampires (bit of an oxymoron I know), but you get the message - for weeks and lived Bella's life vicariously with her through the books, I was lost. Then I saw this book advertised, and yet again my brain was blown away by vampires - this genre not really having been my thing for a long time, remember - but this book is AWESOME. It is a hefty tome, right enough, but well worth reading if you want to lose yourself in fantasy. Again, I was bereft when I finished it and had to come back down to earth! The worst of this being, although it is the first in a trilogy - the next book will not be available until 2012 - I have to wait a whole year!!! This said, I highly recommend this book.
To lighter things - Spring has Sprung people. My daffodils are finally getting a chance to show their bright sunny yellow faces and I have finally had a chance to wash my windows - knowing they will stay clean for longer than 24 hours!! I have started spring cleaning!. Charity collections have not been so busy from my house for a long time - amazing how in the past 6 months I have managed to collect so many outgrown clothes and shoes - well not mine, so much as the children - cos like Topsy they will insist on growing!!! A whole new summer wardrobe is required for my girlie - she has definitely shot up like a top!. My son is slightly harder to please, this time round as he has very definite ideas about what he wants to wear - and of course, it all has to be designer/sports labels or it just isn't happening Mum!
How I long for the long lazy days of summer and bright colours and bbq's.
Last night I was reading a bedtime story to my little one and it was one of the Tiara Club ones, - the princesses were attending a parade in a golden pumpkin coach - and although there are pictures in the book - they are in black and white - needless to say this led to massive complaint, why are they not in colour Mummy? So I told her about the Royal Wedding and how Princess Kate and Prince William will be travelling in a gold coach pulled by white horses and Princess Kate will be in a beautiful long white dress and diamonds - her wee face lit up like a starry sky and she said, will we get to see it Mummy and I said, yes school holiday for it and she is all agog now and excited - asked to see all the information on the websites etc. and says she wishes she could grow up to be a real princess and marry a prince - how they do tug at your heartstrings - I told she doesn't need to marry a prince to be a princess, cos she is mine - but hey its every little girls dream isn't it?! Though they do grow up way too fast!!!
One last thing - the MOON - yep, I have officially lost the plot - the last thing I do every nite, is check out the kitchen window to have a look at the moon and check out what star constellations I can see, the last few nites the moon has been so ENORMOUS and close - my husband had mentioned to me that for the next 3 weeks, the moon is to be the closest to the earth that it has been in hundreds of years and wow, is this not just the case. It looks just like a big creamy milky filled bubble and it is an amazing sight - if you get a clear nite and have a good view from any of your windows to the moon, over the next couple of weeks - take a dekko - makes you feel kind of insignifcant in the great scheme of things - I have felt like this a couple of times before, when I have been on holiday on Islay (west coast of Scotland, famous whisky Isle and our hearts home from home) and you go outside on a clear night and cos there are no lights on Islay (well not many) to detract from the night sky it can be seen in all its magnificence and well, and I'm not ashamed to admit this - it makes me feel all funny inside and brings tears to my eyes - because the dark nite sky and all the tiny stars in their thousands is just such a wonderful and again, I have to use the same word, AWESOME sight - best way to see it is to lie on your back on the grass with your soulmate beside you (can't really do it standing up - cos you just get dizzy) and just look and be blown away. Anyway, if you get the chance check out the Moon just now.
OK sorry about all the madness - blame it on the sunshine!!! frazzled my brain - not used to it see!
Hey ho, onwards and upwards - now off to make some summery fairy cakes for them coming home from school.
Laters peeps.

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Snow again!

Well here we are at 09 March and it is snowing yet again!!! Will summer, never mind Spring, ever arrive. My daffodils are bravely trying to bloom in the back garden. My poor wee crocuses are having serious thoughts about trying to open their pretty colourful faces and the lettuces and sunflowers, I have potted indoors with the children are definitely saying no go yet. Please, all I want is some warmth along with the sunshine - I am definitely not a cold weather penguin - sorry person. Give me sunny lazy summer days any time.
On a different note - just for a change my trusty car has failed its MOT again - another £300 will have to be spent to pass it - these days it is costing almost more than the car is worth to actually keep it on the road!!
And with His birthday, then Easter and then the eldests School Leaving Dance/Prom just around the corner, I definitely need a lottery win!!
Not to worry - we are now in Lent and for the next 40 days I am supposed to give something up - how about worrying! - although I did read a funny comment in Twitter this morning - one of the people I follow mentioned, giving up paying for things for the Lenten period - now I do like that idea - but somehow, I don't really think it will wash. I will do my best to give up chocolate - hey now nothing rash here - I don't mean completely - cos that just ain't gonna happen in this life - but I will try to limit my intake - better than nothing and hopefully, will have some worthwhile results come Easter - just in time to get stuck into all the Easter EggS!
Made pancakes yesterday and my daughter declared me the best pancake maker in the world! - so now you know. Makes it all worth while really.
Please bring on the summer!