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Archive for October, 2008

Marrow wine made

Posted by --- on Wednesday 29 October, 2008

Roll on 2010 when hopefully this will taste as good as my 2006 batch! After sitting and looking at my farm shop bargain 75p 2.3kg marrow for a week, I finally got around to making my wine tonight. The recipe is from my winemaking bible, C.J.J. Berry’s First Steps in Winemaking, I  can’t remember how I prepared the marrow for the wine I made in 2006 but this time I used the v-slicer to “grate” it. I think it should work. I also think that the ginger was a little old, the last time I made it it was very smelly (I don’t like ginger!) but this time I couldn’t smell anything. I hope I remember to do it right this time and not leave it and forget about it for an extra few days like I normally do!

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Bike repairs continue

Posted by --- on Wednesday 29 October, 2008

MY GN125 still seems to be having problems. It doesnt idle evenly, will rev up on its own and cut out too. It stinks of fuel, the plug is sooty black and yet we have turned the mixture screw right down. So far we have replaced the plug, had a new  diaphragm fitted in the carb (£35), had a new carb (£56) and a new inlet rubber (£16). It is gradually improving but still not perfect. It needs a new fuel tap now too – must go and order one – done! As with gardening, I am feeling way too cold to go outside and mess with it though!

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It snowed!

Posted by --- on Tuesday 28 October, 2008

Lots of stuff to blog about but I wanted to note for myselft that we had the first snow of the Autume/Winter today. It started with rain, which turned to huge flakes. Tonight there is a dusting of it here and there around the garden and for the first time since summer, I walked down the garden with the grass crunching underfoot. To be fair, I haven’t been out there much at night but I still got butterflies! I’ve no idea why the seasonal change gives me butterflies but every season does – yes, I know I’m strange! I can’t remember the last time we had snow this early in the year. People keep saying that it’s not normal and that it’s really cold for the time of year. I haven’t done any research but I’m pretty sure that it did used to snow in October and that it used to be this cold. I remember wearing hat, scarves and gloves and wrapping up extra warm as the days approached halloween and bonfire night. Maybe my memory is playing tricks on me, everyone knows I don’t remember what happened last week, but I’m pretty sure the weather was like this when we were kids.

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Chicken & Leek Pie

Posted by --- on Thursday 23 October, 2008

OK my first attempt at a recipe. I actually measured everything and wrote down what I did in case the family liked it and everyone loved it! It was made out of things we had already and made enough for two days meals. I was going to freeze it but it didn’t last long enough!


  • 350g Leeks cleaned & sliced
  • 200g Carrots cleaned & diced
  • 450g courgette cleaned & diced
  • 450g chicken, diced and
  • 500g bacon bits (cheap pack from Asda) roughly diced
  • 1 knorr chicken stock cube (can use any chicken stock)
  • 1 oxo chicken stock cube (can use any chicken stock)
  • 800ml boiling water (can use any chicken stock)
  • 1 tbsp cornflour
  • salt & pepper
  • olive oil to fry
  1. Pan fry the chicken in a little olive oil until sealed, place in very large saucepan
  2. Pan fry the bacon pieces in olive oil, add to the pan with chicken
  3. Add all the vegetables to the saucepan
  4. Make up the stock with the water
  5. mix the cornflour in a little water and stir into the stock, add to the saucepan
  6. Add seasoning
  7. Bring the pan to the boil and then reduce the heat to simmer for a couple of hours (can be less but I left it while I did other jobs!)


  • 400g Flour
  • 100g butter
  • 100g lard
  • about 8 tbsps very cold water (add ice cube if necessary)
  1. Sieve flour into a bowl
  2. cut fat into flour roughly
  3. briefly and with fingertips only, rub fat through flour
  4. add 2 tbsp water and mix lightly with knife
  5. keep adding water 1 tbsp at a time reducing to 1/2 tbsp until mixture starts to bind, then gently draw together with fingers.
  6. leave to rest in the fridge until ready
  7. remove from fridge, roll out to fit plate
  8. line plate
  9. add filling
  10. add pastry top
  11. Bake at 180 (turning every 5-10 minutes if it’s my oven!) check regulary and remove when golden brown

Easily enough for two family meals feeding large hungry men!

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Posted by --- on Wednesday 22 October, 2008

With the uneventful bubble & squeak we had for tea, it was a relief that the hobnobs were received with much greater enthusiasm! The recipe I used was from a forum

HOBNOBS (makes 30+)

  • 230g SR FLour
  • 230g Sugar
  • 230g Porridge Oats
  • 230g Butter
  • 2 tbsp Golden Syrup
  • 1tbsp hot water
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  1. Mix sugar, flour, and oats in a bowl.
  2. melt butter, syrup and water together ( I placed all in an oven proof bowl and put it in the oven while it warmed up)
  3. add bicarb to melted butter etc
  4. mix melted ingredients into dry ingredients
  5. form small ballsand place on baking tray, flatten very slightly with a fork
  6. Reipe says to bake at 180 for 15 minutes. In my oven I baked at 100 for 5 minutes, turned, and left for another 2 minutes.
  7. Leave for a minute or so on the tray and then using large flat spatula, transfer to cooling tray (or grill pan in my case).
  8. The hobnobs will be soft and may fall through large gaps.
  9. leave to cool, transfer to biscuit tin or plastic tub before you (or everyone esle) eats them all.

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Vegitarian Bubble & Squeak

Posted by --- on Wednesday 22 October, 2008

As I had so much cabbage to use due to my farm shop bargain, I was looking up recipes and found this

I didn’t follow the recipe exactly, instead I used the same ingredients but in larger quantities.

It uses:

  • potatoes, boiled & mashed
  • carrots, sliced & cooked
  • onions, sliced & cooked
  • cabbage, sliced & cooked
  • cheese, grated

I used very little milk & butter in the mashed potatoes but followed the recipe by layering the veg and ending with potato. It wasn’t really a success though it was edible. DFS said it was “bland” which is a shame as I made enough to make two so one is in the freezer for another day – that will go down well…

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Farm shop bargains

Posted by --- on Monday 20 October, 2008

Popped in to the farm shop today to get some potatoes and found some other bargains. This cabbage has to be the biggest I’ve seen. You wont see one that big in Asda! I was trying not to be greedy and picked a medium one but the old  farmers shouted “what are ya doin lass? If you’re gonna have one of em, pick a bloody big un. Here av this un!” and passed me one of the biggest ones there. It weighs a ton and cost …. 50p. The cauli was 60p and the marrow (yippee. Wine!) was 75p. The other farm shop I went in  – no I dont shop there – sold caulis at 75p per 1b. They also sold “homemade” jams that had an address up north somewhere.

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Nettle wine clearing

Posted by --- on Monday 20 October, 2008

Just look how clear this is becoming. I will rack it now though I’ve a feeling I’ve left it a little late as per norm.

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Out n about

Posted by --- on Friday 17 October, 2008

Today was a gorgeous day. Bro came down on his bike with my nephew and wanted DFS and I to join them on a ride. He suggested we invite PP who’s an excellent rider with a fireblade. I felt a bit of a fool going out with them; I’d be on the Lead, they’d have the VFR 800, the CBR 600 and a Fireblade! As it happened I needn’t have worried coz DFS decided not to go and the lads went off alone. My friend J (FNJ) came over and we decided to go for a ride. As she’d never rode on a busy main road we decided to tackle the A5, which is local to us. Keeping the boys sweet, we offered to go and get them a best sarnie (bacon, egg, sausage & tomato) from the local truck-stop cafe! My bro was back by this point (after having a good ride out including a trip to Matlock) and offered to come with us. FNJ was too nervous to ride with him watching so refused. I was

in the house and would have preferred him to come with us. I feel a bit responsible when I’m out with FNJ

although I’m sure she doesn’t want me to feel that way, however, I would have been happy to have my bro follow and give advice or constructive critism on my riding.  I was feeling quite nervous myself as I’d never rode on such a main road either on a bike but as per normal, I put on my confidence “yes I can

do anything” nurses face and got on with it. The scooter does little for my street cred. My son never complained when he was riding it but I’m sure he felt the same. It doesnt help that FNJ rides an X-max which looks huge compared to the Lead. It’s a big scooter! Well we made it to the truck stop without a hitch. Thank you to the rider that tooted us as we were getting back on our bikes – it made our day!

We came home because we had to drop the girls off at guides (during which we were passed by a man who saluted us with his can of beer as he drove past the church!). Then we went back out. We popped through the town centre to FNJ’s uncle’s house. When we came back, the lads had picked the girls up from guides, DFS had finished clearing out his garage and wanted a ride too so we popped out to look at a bike that was for sale by the side of the road. As FNJ was only 10 miles off riding 100 miles in total, we decided to go for another ride. We went to a local village but to get there you have to travel an unlit bendy road. I didn’t feel it was too bad but FMJ told us when we got home that she was very uncomfortable  with the ride and she was very quiet. I suggested we tackle it more often to get her used to this type of road of which she will be mainly riding. Without doing her bike test she has to avoid motorways, this means that most of the roads she can use will be like this one. If she plans to go any further than the local town, we need to get her used to them. While we were out, my bro rang my mobile (which was in the kitchen…) and rang DFS’s mobile twice. We returned the call but didn’t find out till later that he’d rang as he wanted us all to go for a ride. I was gutted again. Three time today he’s asked about us all going out.

DFS popped to see the man who is looking at my bike (the suki or brittea as I call it as the reg is PG UK…) . I’d read on a forum that the problem was probably the diaphragm, DFS had already suggested it and the mechanic confirmed it. The thread recommended NRP carbs so I’ve contacted them today. They think that it will take a week or so to fit and return the diaphragm. I know DFS will be unhappy with this when I tell him; he wants everything done yesterday if not sooner! I now have the carb on newspaper on the kitchen table with a Haynes manual so I can take the spline (?) and diaphragm out to send off.

My parts also arrived off ebay too. They look in good condition too though covered in oil or brake fluid. I contacted the seller before I bought them (they were buy it now only) to request a reduction in the p&p as I’d buy two items. They never responded and I wanted the parts. I ordered them with the  £6 per item he/she was charging and when the package arrived today, both items were wrapped in bubble plastic with parcel tape around it and a postal charge of £3.08.  £8.92 profit ain’t bad is it? I think this will be reflected in the feedback.

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Just to make you think (and look!)

Posted by --- on Friday 10 October, 2008

I’m not saying motorbike riders are blameless. I’m not saying motorbike riders are good, better, or more aware,  but the fact remains that motorbike riders die more than car drivers and in a car v biker situation motorbike riders are going to lose everytime as they are vulnerable.  If everyone had a little experience on a motorbike, maybe they would be more aware of what it’s like and take that extra second to look. We’ve all seen the adverts but unless you actually try it, you can’t know what it’s like.   I’m not going to get on my soapbox about other road users. I’m far from perfect though I think I err on the side of caution. When I drive/ride you wont find is me stuck on your bumper, you wont find me on a phone, you will find two hands on the wheel most of the time, you wont get me drinking etc and driving, you wont get be slamming my brakes on in front of a lorry that can’t stop (I drive a car that is slow to stop and take off  – no where near as bad for me but just as frustrating!), you will see me use my indicators – and properly! Why do people indicate right to come off the exit of an island? Its a left turn (in the UK before I get swamped in comments).. and a million other things that annoy the hell out of me!

Anyway, here’s the poem.

But you didn’t see me – Unknown

I saw you; hug your purse closer to you in the grocery store line.
But, you didn’t see me; put an extra $10.00 in the collection plate last Sunday.

I saw you; pull your child closer when we passed each other on the sidewalk.
But, you didn’t see me; playing Santa at the local mall.

I saw you; change your mind about going into the restaurant.
But, you didn’t see me; attending a meeting to raise more money for the hurricane relief.

I saw you; roll up your window and shake your head when I drove by.
But, you didn’t see me; driving behind you when you flicked your cigarette butt out the car window.

I saw you; frown at me when I smiled at your children.
But, you didn’t see me; when I took time off from work to run toys to the homeless.

I saw you; stare at my long hair.
But, you didn’t see me; and my friends cut ten inches off for Locks of Love.

I saw you; roll your eyes at our leather coats and gloves.
But, you didn’t see me; and my brothers donate our old coats and gloves to those that had none.

I saw you; look in fright at my tattoos.
But, you didn’t see me; cry as my children were born and have their name written over and over in my heart.

I saw you, change lanes while rushing off to go somewhere.
But, you didn’t see me, going home to be with my family.

I saw you; complain about how loud and noisy our bikes can be.
But, you didn’t see me; when you were changing the CD and drifted into my lane.

I saw you; yelling at your kids in the car.
But, you didn’t see me; pat my child’s hands, knowing he was safe behind me.

I saw you; reading the newspaper or map as you drove down the road.
But, you didn’t see me; squeeze my wife’s leg when she told me to take the next turn.

I saw you; race down the road in the rain.
But, you didn’t see me; get soaked to the skin so my son could have the car to go on his date.

I saw you; run the yellow light just to save a few minutes of time.
But, you didn’t see me; trying to turn right.

I saw you; cut me off because you needed to be in the lane I was in.
But, you didn’t see me; leave the road.

I saw you; waiting impatiently for my friends to pass.
But, you didn’t see me; I wasn’t there.

I saw you; go home to your family.
But, you didn’t see me; because, I died that day you cut me off.

I was just a biker…  A person with friends and a family.
But, you didn’t see me.

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