The Land Rover Owners Wife


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Shortbread Cupcake Thins

My favourite Biscuit recipe book and my new cupcake shaped cutters.

My favourite Biscuit recipe book and my new cupcake shaped cutters.

Saturday was a cold, damp day, following on from a string of colder, damper days and in the cottage things were definitely feeling more Autumnal than Summer like and so we made the decision to light the Rayburn for a couple of days, to help dry out the air and warm everything up. Ordinarily, lighting the Rayburn for a couple of days before the usual late September/early October official relighting, normally heralds the return of scorching hot weather. Well it’s Sunday morning and we’re still waiting but as we really do need the house to dry out and warm up, that’s no bad thing in my opinion. Mud, on the other hand is thoroughly fed up because rain has stopped play, or rather painting, in respect of Bonnies body panels….. again!

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Raindrops keep falling on my head …….

The view from my summer kitchen 'window'

The view from my summer kitchen ‘window’

Cooking at Mudville has always proved somewhat of challenge. For nine months of the year, late autumn to early spring, meals are cooked on the solid fuel, very temperamental Rayburn and it can often take several hours to boil a pan of water for the vegetables, with a further half a day to bring the water back to the boil once the vegetables have been added. Well okay, maybe I’m exaggerating a little but it isn’t unheard of for an entire meal to be delayed by an hour or more because the vegetables aren’t ready yet!

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Scones two ways

What is the point on skimping on jam and cream

What is the point on skimping on jam and cream

Okay, some of you will be looking at this post thinking “scones two ways? I can only see one set of scones and some pancakes”, so first off I think I need to qualify my title.

Growing up, one of my favourite treats was the serving of what I knew as ‘Drop Scones’. As an adult I have seen these under the name of Scotch Pancakes or American Pancakes, as well as Drop Scones. Continue reading


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Christmas sparkle

A bit more Christmas sparkle

A bit more Christmas sparkle

One of the major down sides with having solid fuel stoves, has to be the amount of ash they spread around the home and certainly with anthracite, it isn’t a super fine dust. Oh no! Ash particles in our house can range from salt grain size to chunks the size of Lego bricks which are really uncomfortable under foot. Continue reading


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I’ve got a new kitchen, potting shed and dining room

Rhubarb is ready for another harvest

Rhubarb is ready for another harvest

First things first. I’m wearing my proud mum hat at the moment – Eldest Mudlet took part in the Hull 10k yesterday (Sunday) and managed to complete the course in just over an hour. This is the first time she has ever done anything like this and I am so very proud of her. During an elated phone call from her yesterday she announced that she might consider doing other runs, as she had enjoyed herself. Well each to their own (mines a sofa/chair with biscuits, cake and chocolate) but I did suggest that actually doing some training might be a sensible idea next time. Continue reading


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The Rayburn resigned

The only problem with having a stove that does all your cooking, heating and hot water is that when it breaks, you’re scuppered.New Rayburn

Our Rayburn had been in situ when we bought the cottage and we had believed, at that point, that it was only 7 or 8 years old and had centuries of life left in it. Over the years we’ve replaced the firebricks, bought a new riddle assembly and gone through 2 ash pans but this year the Rayburn gave up the ghost and resigned without notice. Continue reading


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Wash Day Blues

Getting washing dry in our household is a task that involves almost military style planning because not only am I without a tumble dryer but I am washing line less too! And it’s Muds’ fault!

Back garden from windowI used to have one, a line that is, but having spent many days/hours toiling away to transform our garden from a bleak hard cored nothingness, into a family friendly, playing, eating and veg’ growing area, Mud decided that the washing line was an ugly addition and it simply had to go.

Fine! But then how, would he mind telling me, was I supposed to get the washing dry?

During winter I can use the old fashioned dryer which is suspended above the Rayburn and washing Back garden 2010dries relatively quickly on it, although sheets, towels and blankets are still a problem due to the amount of space they take up and, in the case of towels and blankets, the time they take to dry. Continue reading