Wednesday, 2 July 2014


Good Afternoon to you,

I think, by now, you will know that I love scouring Charity Shops and Car Boot Sales, because it is amazing what can be found.  It is a lovely way to spend a couple of hours on a Sunday morning, especially when the sun is shining.  We tend to be up and out by 7.00 am...... you've heard the saying 'the early bird catches the worm'.... well it is true, the earlier we arrive, the better the bargain. We normally arrive at the car boot sale by 7.15 am and we are done and dusted by 9.15 am..... returning home to a cup of coffee, our breakfast and of course our 'show and tell'.

We arrive together, but George and I tend to split up, as he heads straight for the tables which have tools, military memorabilia, and any bits and bobs which he feels will fit either into his den or into his garage.  I however, am open to anything.... yes anything, because you never know what you will find.  I have become quite adept at spotting closed boxes, containing china and items which look like nothing of particular interest, but when opened contain little gems.

.... but this week, when we went to the Car Boot Sale, it did not take a keen eye to spot a 1920's mangle, as it was directly in front of us and it was huge. George said he remembered when he was a child, his Nana used a poss tub for her washing and a mangle for wringing out the clothes..... I am kicking myself because I forgot to take my camera and it would have been a fabulous photo to share with you. The old gent who was selling it was so colourful.... a real old Geordie, with a strong Geordie accent. George, being a Geordie could understand everything which the old gent said..... me, well I had to focus and any words I did not understand, look to George for translation!  It reminded me of the first time I met George's Nana and Grandad in the 1960's..... they had such strong Geordie accents, that I  had no idea what they were saying to me, I just smiled and nodded my head, hoping that was the right thing to do..... but then George had the same problem when he visited my Grandad, as he had a very strong country accent, and the first time George met him, he could not understand what he was saying either..... luckily we helped each other out. We are a small country, but with so many regional accents.

.... but back to the mangle. Standing in front of me  were two young girls about 18 years of age, and they were fascinated by the mangle, but did not have a clue as to what a mangle was or what it was used for, so the old gent explained. They could not believe that women had to use such a thing, and asked if they could have their photograph taken beside the mangle, so that they could ask their Nana's, if they remembered using mangles. The old gent obliged and I wondered afterwards, what sort of conversation the girls had with their Nana's. 

Now, I remember, in the late 1950's, Phyllis owning an electric washing machine with a hand mangle attached.  The washing was washed in the tub and then Phyllis had to use a large pair of wooden tongs to take the clothes out of the hot water,  then the clothes would be 'eaten' by the mangle (that's what it looked like to me) and ejected out the other end, into a huge stone sink, full of cold water.  The clothes would be rinsed in the water, put through the mangle and then rinsed again and again until the water was clear...... what a chore.  I love my automatic washing machine..... the hardest thing I have to do, is sort the clothes in to colours.... the machine does the rest.

So while we are counting our lucky stars that we live in the age of automatic washing machines, it is time to tell you what I am making today,


Spaghetti Puttanesca.  It does not require a lot of work, there are not a lot of ingredients, but my oh my, it makes a lovely supper.

So it's on with the pinnie and I have a treat for you today, if you like jazz you will certainly enjoy this album by Jay McShann,

'Just A Lucky So and So'.  When Jay sings 'Once Upon a Time' it really pulls at my heart strings and listen to 'When I Grow Too Old to Dream'.  Once you listen to this album, you will play it over and over again.

So whilst I am listening to 'Just a Lucky So and So' I will organise my ingredients.


250g spaghetti
2 cloves of garlic
1 teaspoon of dried chilli flakes
1 tablespoon of dried oregano
1 400g tinned tomatoes
160g black olives - de-stoned
2 tablespoons of capers,
drained and rinsed
30g tinned anchovies,
handful of fresh basil
2 tablespoons of olive oil
salt flakes
(or salt of your choice)
1/2 tin of water


Remove the skins


crush the garlic.

Place the olive oil into a wide pan


add the crushed garlic.
Cook for 1 minute

Add the 
chilli and the dried oregano 
to the pan and cook for a further 2 minutes.

Add the chopped tomatoes
1/2 tin of water
(I use the empty tomato tin)

When the mixture starts to bubble,
reduce the heat and simmer.

Add the capers,

the black olives


and simmer for
10-15 minutes to reduce the

Whilst the sauce is simmering,

Bring a pan of salted water to the boil
cook the spaghetti as directed by the manufacturer.

When the spaghetti is al dente,
drain the water.


remove the basil leaves
from the stems
and add to the tomato mixture.

Place the cooked spaghetti
the cooked sauce

and toss together.

Find a suitable dish
and twirl the
Spaghetti Puttanesca onto the dish.
Add a few basil leaves
for decoration,
pour a nice glass of red wine
there you have it,
 a really lovely supper.

I just wanted to say, please don't be put off by the anchovies, as they are essential to this dish.  When the anchovies are cooked they impart such a lovely flavour.  I only wanted to mention this, as I have friends, who are not partial to anchovies and when I asked, what they had eaten them in, they said they had not tasted them, they just did not like the look of them..... sadly, they are missing out as this is a lovely spaghetti dish, with so much flavour. 

Just as an added note, it is important that you add the spaghetti to the sauce and toss in the pan.  Have you ever placed the spaghetti on a plate, then spooned the sauce onto the spaghetti, and wondered why the sauce is diluted..... well that is the reason.... just a little nugget of information which you might find helpful.  

So take care and I will see you on Sunday.

This week I will be joining, 


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Dear Friends,

It is so wonderful to know you enjoy reading Ivy, Phyllis and Me! Thank you so much for taking the time to leave me a comment. I really do appreciate it.

Best wishes to you.


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