Bargain picture frames, book clubs and the Heffle Fair
Bargain picture frames
I picked up 2 sets of painted picture frames in the charity shop recently.
Last year, I bought an RHS diary, and liked it so much I got another one for this year.
They are packed with beautiful line drawings and I thought those frames would make them look beautiful on the wall.
I tried a couple from last years, and was very pleased with the result.
But then – aha! I had a better idea. I thought I could put pictures of the family in them and display them all together. I found some from Facebook, my phone etc and printed them on ordinary paper. I might reprint them on photo paper, although when I tried to do one of my Mum recently, the ordinary paper one was fine, but the photo paper one made her look like she’d been rotisseried!
I’ve still got another three frames left, but I’m really pleased with that and will keep them updated.
I picked up this months book club books from the library.
Amazon say this about On Beauty –
Why do we fall in love with the people we do? Why do we visit our mistakes on our children? What makes life truly beautiful?
Set in New England mainly and London partly, On Beauty concerns a pair of feuding families – the Belseys and the Kipps – and a clutch of doomed affairs. It puts low morals among high ideals and asks some searching questions about what life does to love. For the Belseys and the Kipps, the confusions – both personal and political – of our uncertain age are about to be brought close to home: right to the heart of family.
And this about The Cleaner of Chartres –
There is something special about the ancient cathedral of Chartres, with its mismatched spires, astonishing stained glass and strange labyrinth. And there is something special too about Agnès Morel, the mysterious woman who is to be found cleaning it each morning.
No one quite knows where she came from – not the diffident Abbé Paul, who discovered her one morning twenty years ago, sleeping in the north porch; nor lonely Professor Jones, whose chaotic existence she helps to organise; nor Philippe Nevers, whose neurotic sister and newborn child she cares for; nor even the irreverent young restorer, Alain Fleury, who works alongside her each day and whose attention she catches with her tawny eyes, her colourful clothes and elusive manner. And yet everyone she encounters would surely agree that she is subtly transforming their lives, even if they couldn’t quite say how.
But with a chance meeting in the cathedral one day, the spectre of Agnès’ past returns, provoking malicious rumours from the prejudiced Madame Beck and her gossipy companion Madame Picot. As the hearsay grows uglier, Agnès is forced to confront her history, and the mystery of her origins finally unfolds.
The Cleaner of Chartres is a compelling story of darkness and light; of traumatic loss and second chances. Told with a sparkling wit and captivating charm, but infused throughout with deeper truths, it speaks of the power of love and mercy to transform the tragedies of the past.
I’ll enjoy reading both of them, and let you know what I thought of them.
The Heffle Fair
We walked up the road to the Heffle Fair today. It’s a very English thing. Right down to the fact that we haven’t had rain for weeks and weeks here, and what did it do today? Yes, rain!
We listened to the silver band and strolled around admiring the stalls. I bought a little bracelet with my grand daughters name on it. I was tempted by the jam and preserves stall, but we have more than enough jam. You can see just how dark it was at that point!
We admired the beautiful birds on display, and the imaginative scarecrows for the competition.
A friend had a model traction engine up there. It’s a beautiful bit of machinery, but I really wouldn’t want one around the place.
There was stall with some very yummy sausage rolls, ooh, they were tempting!
And the spinners were out in force
Can I get a cheap enough pork pie?
Mike had an extremely good pork pie in the pub. While he enjoyed it, I was musing about how I could get one cheap enough for this site. I wondered if I could pad out the pork filling somehow, with some flavoured puy lentils perhaps. I’m not sure if it’s possible, 50p doesn’t allow for much meat, and pork pies are all about the wonderful meaty filling and the hot crust pastry. I’ll muse on and see if I can come up with something.
Thank you so much for this, I’ll have a play and see what happens!
A year or so ago I put together a presentation on food in WWI and cooked a number of wartime recipes for it, including a ‘galette’ which contained very little meat but produced a tasty and very porky flavoured result. The original recipe calls for minced beef (4oz to feed 12!) but I imagine with some extra pork mince it would be even better. It reminded me very much of haslet and formed a firm sausage. Here’s the recipe along with my cook’s notes, in case it helps in your quest for how to produce a pork pie filling for pennies.
4 oz raw beef
8 oz cooked red lentils
4 oz sausage meat
6 oz fine dry bread-crumbs
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1 grated onion
2 teaspoon mixed herbs
salt and pepper to taste
Method: Mix all the ingredients with one raw egg beaten up
with about one gill of stock. Form into a roll and tie in a well-floured
clean cloth, leaving room for the roll to swell. The cloth must be
wrung out in boiling water before flouring or the flour would not
adhere. Place in boiling stock or water and simmer for two hours.
Remove and strain and glaze with melted glaze. If preferred, add two
ounces of chopped nuts to the galantine. The stock or water it was
cooked in, if well skimmed, should be used as a foundation for a
• The end result, a huge grey sausage, looks a bit daunting. Some
parsley on top cheers it up no end, or you could cover with some
rashers of streaky bacon and brown in a hot oven for 20-30 mins.
• Tasted much better than it looked – very like haslet. Good hot or
cold and able to serve at least 12. It tasted very meaty despite the
tiny amount of meat used – using a well flavoured sausage meat
also helps but I used a supermarket everyday sausage.
• Using all fresh herbs would make it even nicer – about 3tablespoons in all.