The Land Rover Owners Wife


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Tea for four

Not perfect but I was really happy with how well this cake turned out

Not perfect but I was really happy with how well this cake turned out

Little Mudlet turned 10 a short while ago and to celebrate this special birthday, I decided that not only did she need a more grown up style party and I would have to come up with a cake to match the venue. We settled on the idea of a pottery painting party for Little Mudlet, two of her friends and Middle Mudlet, at the local pottery studio/shop called “Live, Love and Create”, followed by a rather grown-up tea party at “Shipley’s Curiositeas”, a lovely little tea shop opposite the studio. I’ll cover the pottery and tea party in another post because THIS post is all about the cake ……….. Continue reading

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Another year, another cake

Middle Mudlet was thrilled with her cake

Middle Mudlet was thrilled with her cake

When Middle Mudlet started secondary school last September, the one thing she was really looking forward to was the chance to study a musical instrument and specifically the guitar. The school she attends is a Music and IT specialist school and so all pupils are offered the opportunity to audition for music lesson and she sailed through her audition, even though she had never held a real guitar in her life. Now 8 months on, she has become quite adept and the sound of the guitar being played is the norm, as she puts in the practice required by her teacher, in readiness for her grade 1 exam. Continue reading


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Cottage loaves

I was quite pleased with the detail on these loaves

I was quite pleased with the detail on these loaves

My derelict gingerbread cake village has long since vanished into the mouths of the Mudlets but the urge to try and produce something using the mould, that captured all the fine detail of the windows, roofs and chimneys led me to try a completely different approach. The absence of baking beans or spare rice meant that I was still unable to try baking an actual gingerbread village just yet but what I did have in abundance, was the ingredients needed to bake bread and specifically bread buns and so I though it would be fun to try and make some cottage shaped bread buns – some cottage loaves if you like. Continue reading


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A (derelict) Gingerbread Village for Chuck

A new toy for me: my fabulous gingerbread village mould

A new toy for me: my fabulous gingerbread village mould

We received a surprise package the other day, a parcel of gifts from Chuck in America and one of the items was this really rather special looking silicone gingerbread village cake mould. I couldn’t wait to try it out but Mud reminded me that it was a Christmas Present and so I put it away and tried not to sulk too much. Then in an email to Mud, Chuck commented that he would be watching with interest to see if a post on using the mould appeared on my blog and that was all the encouragement I needed to get baking. I’ve never used a silicone mould of any description before and so I read up about other peoples experiences and with a mixture of apprehension and excitement, I set about trying to make a gingerbread village. Continue reading


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Pickle, chutney and sauce

I've pickled them, made them into sauce, used them in cooking and I've still got loads drying across two plates

I’ve pickled them, made them into sauce, used them in cooking and I’ve still got loads drying across two large plates

I’ve been quite busy just recently and realised this morning that I was  little behind in terms of my blogging, so I thought I’d take the opportunity to rectify this oversight whilst the Mudlets and Mud were otherwise engaged. The weather hasn’t been conducive to me getting outside and clearing anymore of the garden, although to be fair I haven’t had chance to get the manure and topsoil yet so there hasn’t really been much to draw me away from the warmth of the house. I’ve also been a tad occupied with knitting more fingerless mitts but this time on double pointed needles and starting Eldest Mudlets’ Christmas present, both of which will feature in their own posts, although the latter won’t be until after Santa’s done his rounds. Continue reading


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Autumn Apple Cake

Apple Cake

Autumn Apple Cake

With several apples I’d picked from my friends orchard, left over from the Autumn Chutney I’d made the other week, I decided to make one of my favourite puddings: Autumn Apple Cake. I say pudding but this particular cake is just as tasty cold, as part of a packed lunch, as it is fresh from the oven with hot custard, cream or ice-cream to accompany it (ask the Mudlets’ if you don’t believe me). Continue reading


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Sweet Chilli Dipping Sauce 2015

The recipe doesn't yield a lot of jam/sauce, so I'll need to make a second batch.

The recipe doesn’t yield a lot of jam/sauce, so I’ll need to make a second batch.

This was the same recipe I used last year but despite the use of a jam thermometer which was a birthday gift from a friend last year, and boiling the mixture twice, the ‘jam’ this year is definitely more of a dipping sauce but just as sweetly fiery as last year, although not as hot. But then we’ve found that the whole chilli crop hasn’t been as hot this year which (in spite of what Mud may think), isn’t such a bad thing really. Continue reading


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Autumn Chutney

It looks pretty good but only time will tell what it tastes like

It looks pretty good but only time will tell what it tastes like

With six 2 lb (2.72kg) bags of frozen, whole tomatoes taking up space in my freezer, I decided I needed to start doing something with them. So Monday saw me hunting in the local supermarket for cider vinegar, muscovado sugar and raisin and a couple of hours on Tuesday afternoon was spent having coffee and an natter with a friend, followed by a visit to her apple orchard to gather enough cooking apples to feed a small army. Continue reading


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A Chocolates Cake for Little Mudlet

Chocolates birthday cake

Chocolates birthday cake

Deciding on the kind of birthday cake they want is usually quite high on the Mudlets’ lists of things to do, as their special day approaches but this year, for whatever reason, Little Mudlet hadn’t furnished me with a single idea by the time we entered the week leading up to her birthday. So I put on my thinking hat and came up with a plan. Continue reading


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Freezing Rhubarb

Freshly picked, another 3lb of rhubarb for the freezer

Freshly picked, another 3lb of rhubarb for the freezer

Of all the vegetables that I grow in my garden, Rhubarb has to the easiest by far in terms of harvesting and storing, especially when a glut occurs. This year, my rhubarb appears to be enjoying something of a renaissance and is throwing out stalk after stalk of edibleness …… a glut has certainly occurred which is why I found myself dealing with nearly three pounds of freshly pulled stalks, over the weekend. We didn’t actually need any of the rhubarb for the weekend and so I set about preparing the stalks for freezing. Continue reading