Thursday, 27 October 2016


Good Morning to you,

I am having a sort out.

Well, that's not strictly true.  What I should have said is, I am trying so hard to have a sort out.

.... and it's proving really difficult, because during the process of sorting, I am coming across so many sentimental items.

For instance, I discovered baby cards, which I received from family and friends when Natasha and Danielle were born. Some family members, sadly, are not with us anymore, which makes the cards even more precious.  How can I not treasure a card, which reads,

'Thank you for our first Great Grand Daughter. Bring the bairn to see us as quick as you can'.

With lots of love,
Great Nanna and Great Grand Da

So as you can imagine, the process of sorting is taking even longer, because I am reading all the lovely messages written in the cards.

Should these cards be thrown away? 


Should I keep them?

Quite honestly, I really can't make myself throw them away.  These cards have travelled with me through out the last 40 odd years. They have been packed and re-packed with each move we have made.

So what to do. I have decided to return the cards to their respective boxes and when the girls come to visit, I will share the memories with them and they can decided what they want to do with the cards.

For now, that is one issue sorted. It hasn't released any space, but I feel content with my decision, because it means I can hold on to the cards a little longer, without feeling guilty.... how clever am I?

I even found some Wedding Telegrams.... now that is something we don't receive nowadays.  Do you remember when we received telegrams?

.... and then there are the clothes.

With clothes, I do not have too much of a problem, but you are going to laugh, when I tell you, that I have a pair of M&S culottes from the 1980s which I love.  The waist is a little tight, no it would be fairer to say, the waist is much too tight.... looking at the waistline I have to say, I had a very trim waistline back in the 1980s. Am I going to donate the culottes to charity..... the answer to that would be a resounding no, although I can hear you saying you think I should. After all, they have been languishing in my drawer for quite a while.   In their prime, when the culottes were new, they hung neatly on a skirt hanger... colour co-ordinated with my other clothes.... yes even I'm impressed that I used to colour co-ordinate my clothes in the wardrobe.  Then as time went on, they were rolled up, which was the new way to keep clothes crease free, and relegated to my chest of drawers. Now they are neatly folded, taking up residence in a drawer, underneath our bed.

I have thought this through.... and it's those precious memories that come to the fore once again.

When I first met George, as a young 16 year old teenager, I was wearing a navy blue pair of culottes, which were very fashionable in the 1960's.  I wore them with a pale blue jumper, navy blue tights and a navy blue pair of shoes.... you can see I loved to be colour co-ordinated.... in fact I still do. Oh yes and a pair of daisy earrings.... which I loved. It's amazing that I can remember these details and yet, sometimes it is the polar opposite. I have been known to walk up the stairs, reach the top, and not remember why I had gone up the stairs in the first place. I walk back down again, have a think and bingo, I remember.... and back upstairs I go.

.... but I digress.

So back to the culottes. They are not the original 1960's navy blue pair, but they are linked with my first memory of meeting George.... so I think, for now, I will leave them where they are, neatly folded in the drawer. Each time I decide to have a tidy, I will look at the culottes and remember the first moment I saw George.... and as young as I was, I fell in love with him instantly. I knew he was the man for me.

.... and talking of memories.  I was reading some of Ivy and Phyllis' old cookery books and came across a recipe for,

Bread and Butter Pudding.  I always made Bread Pudding for my father, because he loved Bread Pudding, which is much denser than Bread and Butter Pudding.

This recipe is not dense, there are no currants or raisins, instead I have used dark chocolate. The end result is a light delicious pudding. Perfect for the colder weather.

So it's on with the pinnie and the music I am listening to today is,

I do love listening to Country Music. I came across Mark quite by accident, and I love what I heard.

So while I'm singing, the words, 'Dance, Like There's No Yesterday', yes, honestly, I love singing along to songs. George always says, he knows what mood I am in, by the amount of singing he hears coming from the kitchen.... on that note, I will organise my ingredients.


1 x 350g brioche rolls
50g unsalted butter
2-3 tablespoons of Demerara sugar
4 rounded tablespoons of Dundee marmalade
100g dark chocolate. (74% cocoa)


4 medium sized eggs (at room temperature)
75g caster sugar
200ml double cream
600ml full fat milk
1 teaspoon vanilla paste


1 large roasting tin
13" x 9" pie dish
(Make sure the pie dish fits inside the roasting tin with room to spare)
1 medium sized mixing bowl


Slice each brioche roll in half.... horizontally.

Place the butter in a small pan along with the marmalade and using a low heat, melt the butter. 

Stir the butter and marmalade together. You will  find the marmalade will become a little runnier, which makes it easy to spread onto the brioche rolls. 

Spread the butter and marmalade onto the halved brioche rolls. 

Then cut the brioche rolls in half again, vertically.

Arrange the brioche neatly inside the pie dish.

Break the dark chocolate into small pieces and tuck into the buttered brioche.

Set aside for the moment.


Crack the eggs and place in a medium sized bowl. The bowl needs to be large enough
 so that you can whisk the ingredients well.

Add the sugar,

the double cream,

the milk,

the vanilla paste

and whisk the ingredients together.

Ladle the custard over the brioche. 
Gently press the brioche so that the custard can soak into the brioche.

Sprinkle over the demerara sugar.

Leave to stand for 25 minutes.

Whilst the brioche pudding is standing, pre-heat your oven to 180C/160F Fan.

Place the dish containing the soaked brioche into the roasting pan. 
Boil a kettle of water and gently pour the boiling water into the roasting pan, being careful not to splash the brioche. Use enough water so that it reaches halfway up the side of the pie dish.

Carefully place in the pre-heated oven and bake for 40 minutes.  The custard should be set with a little wobble.

and the top a rich golden colour.

Believe it or not, it is a light pudding, but you do not want too much, although after the first mouthful, you will want to eat more.

George loves to pour single cream over his pudding.

The flavour reminds me of a Terry's Chocolate Orange, which incidentally I am quite partial to. The rich dark chocolate, with the bitter orange marmalade and the lightness of the custard makes for a wonderful pudding.

I usually buy a brioche which I slice, for this pudding, but Lidl's had some brioche rolls at a good price, so I decided to use them.... and they worked a treat. Oh and the dark chocolate came from Lidl's as well.  This is not a promotion for Lidl's, I just find that Lidl's have some very well priced ingredients.

I have added Dundee marmalade to the recipe, because a lovely friend gifted me some Dundee marmalade. Usually I make my own, when those lovely Seville oranges arrive from Spain during January.  If you would like to make your own English Marmalade, pop back to 2013 for the recipe.

This week I have decided to feature my Shepherd's Pie made with Lentils.... perfect Autumnal food.

Take care and I will see you next Thursday.

This week I will be joining, 

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Best wishes to you.


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