Saturday, 31 December 2011

Happy New Year!

May 2012 be a wonderful year for you and those you love.

Thursday, 29 December 2011

The evening sky

Milk Cake

This is my version of a recipe for 3 Milk (Tres Leches) Cake that TZ gave me.  There are several versions online, so have a look at those too.

Start by making a plain sponge cake. I use Mrs RC's recipe:

8oz sugar
8oz cooking margerine

Blend this together into a smooth cream.

4 eggs

Add these one at a time, whisking them in.

8oz self raising flour

Add this a bit at a time, folding it in slowly.

This is baked at 180C for around 25 minutes - make sure it is cooked!

Keep the cake in the baking tin allow it to cool and liberaly pierce the cake using a skewer.

8oz whipping cream
1 can condensed milk
1 can evaporated milk

Mix these together and then pour some over the cake.  It will soak in quite quickly.  Add more cream in stages until it is all in the tin with the cake.  Cover with cling film and then leave it in the fridge over night.  Logic says that the result will be a sloppy mess, but it is not - it is a wonderfully moist and sweet cake.  You will need a plate and spoon, though. The calories will be horrific, of course...


Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Playing with the camera

Took a few (dozen) pics and thought I would share a couple.

Sweet potatoes with marshmallow.  I was surprised at howgod this was - visitors gave mixed reviews, but I will certainly be doing it again.

3 Milk Cake.  A big hit again, and this one was even better than the first time I made it.  I love this cake!

Home made bread.

One of the flowers in the table display.

Yes, I have been very snap happy with the camera, but just love the results. Hope I don't become a photography bore...

Sunday, 25 December 2011

Testing the new camera...

Custard and Frou Frou waiting for presents.

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Happy Christmas!

My Christmas starts here - we have food on the table, beer in the fridge, bottles of wine waiting for the cork screw

The shopping is over, whether we have everything or not.  I like that feeling.  No chance of being crushed in a shop for ooh, 36 hours?  Sounds good to me!

Did you hear about the chat between God and Satan?  God said that he had just given men a great gift - a time to celebrate, to get together with loved ones, to share good times, gifts and food.

Satan thought for a moment.

"That gives me a wonderful idea - I have just given men CHRISTMAS SHOPPING!  MWAHAHAHAHAHAAH!"

Have a great Christmas!  My next post will be sent from my new laptop!  OK it is a hand me down from my daughter who IS getting a new one but hey, it will be new to ME!

UPDATE.  the ham/gammon just came out of the oven....

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Sweet potatoes with marshmallows

Having a bit of a family invasion on Boxing Day.

Thinking about doing sweet potatoes with marshmallows as part of the food.  I have never had it and to be honest I am not sure anyone will like it, but ever since I read about it on someone's blog (Terri?  Was it you?  I really can't remember!) I have wanted to give it a try.

Hah, if it is really bad I can always just claim it is the "vegetarian alternative".  Hehehe.  Sorry, my boss dropped by earlier and gave me a bottle of wine for Christmas.  I told Mrs RC that he had ordered me to drink it tonight, and she believed me.  If you knew my boss you would believe that too!  Good wine!  Thanks boss!

Any comments on this dish are more than welcome!

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Custard is 6 today!

Please join us in wishing Custard a very Happy Birthday!

This photo was taken in the summer while camping.  Today is not as hot... This day was amazingly hot, possibly the hottest of the year.  At one point Custard laid down in the shade of some trees and refused to walk until he had cooled down.  He might not be the brightest dog in the world but he does have a little bit of good sense.

I will post some new photos of the dogs soon, as I test my new camera!  Can't wait to start playing with that.

More shopping today - hopefully the last, he says with little hope that it will be.

Have a great day!

Ha Ha, just had to share this.  My daughter is giving him his presents - all carefully wrapped.  One was a dried sausage, which he just swallowed, wrapping paper and all.

Monday, 19 December 2011

Feeling better...

After spending most of yesterday following my nurse's (TZ) orders and a good night's sleep I feel much better today.  My chest does not hurt now and I only cough from time to time to bring up something that is better out than in, if you get my meaning. Frou Frou was great yesterday, snuggling up with me on the sofa like a little hot water bottle

I got up at a reasonable time and went on the morning dog walk on the crisp, frosty grass (and slippery roads and paths!) .  There was even a bit of snow trying to fall, but the weather has warmed up now and it is just raining outside.

Then we went out to buy the rest of our Christmas food, and a few last extra presents.  Just a few odds and ends to get now, like some of the vegetables and things that need to be bought fresh.  Probably going to do some more tomorrow.

More soon.

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Cough, cough, wheeze

OK, the kids have now passed their nasty cough on to me. It is the sort of cough that really hurts your chest, so I am eager to shake it as soon as possible so we can get in the last of the Christmas stuff without people thinking that a zombie plague has struck me down.

I have taken suitable drugs had a lay in and am still in my warm and fluffy dressing gown, sitting on the sofa trying to find something worth watching on TV.

Ah, poor me...

Friday, 16 December 2011

Stealing WIGSF's Christmas Meme

Just time for something short and sweet.  I don't think that Wigsf matches that description but this meme does!

Here goes:

1. What do you really want for Christmas but you know nobody will get it for you?  A horrible Christmas sweater.

2. What do you not want for Christmas but you know that somebody will get it for you?  I don't tend to get presents that I don't want - call me Mr Lucky!

3. When do you open your gifts (Christmas eve or Christmas morning)?  Christmas morning.  When the kids were younger we used to split them and have some in the afternoon too.

4. Do you prefer gifts wrapped or in gift bags?  Wrapped.  I love ripping paper, struggling with sticky tape, etc.

 5. Did you re-gift anything this year?  No.  As I said, I don't tend to get things I don't want.

 6. What’s your favourite Christmas movie?  A Christmas Story, as most of you will already know.  It is on right now.

 7. What’s your favourite Christmas TV special?  Looking forward to the Warehouse 13 one this year...

8. Do you like eggnog?  Haven't tried it in years, but Mrs RC is doing some this year...

 9. Real tree or fake tree, which do you prefer?  I love the look of a real tree, and the challenge of finding a nice one and getting it home.  We have had a fake one for years now (since we started having crawling babies), but that might change in the next year or so.

10. Would you actually use one of those fireplace DVDs if you don’t have a fireplace?  We don't have a real fireplace, but Mrs RC built one which she puts up at Christmas.  It includes a grate with logs lit up by red and orange Christmas lights.

11. Are you sick of Christmas music yet?  Of course not!  Except for the later versions of Band Aid...

12. Are you getting up early to wait in line to do some Boxing Day shopping?  No f-ing way.  Some times are sacred and this is one of them!

13. When was the last time you sat on Santa’s lap?  I can't remember EVER sitting on Santa's lap, to be honest.  I went from finding him terrifying to finding him creepy with little in between.

So there you have it!

Today is my last day of work! Yes, I know.  Don't hate be because I am clever!  Blogging will continue through the holiday, though, so don't despair!  :-)

Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, 14 December 2011


Abby Normal wrote a post about the history of her hair so I decided to write about mine.

I don't really remember paying much attention to my hair until I was about 8 years old.  I was given a hair cut that I just hated, it just seemed to stick out sideways.  From then on I fought every attempt to cut it again, and being in the '70s  (and my mom was/is a huge fan of people like Marc Bolan) that was OK! 

My hair grew.

By the time I was in secondary school my hair was growing down my back.  By my late teens it was half way down my back, and went great with the guitars and bands I played in.

I was frequently called "Hippy" and "Jesus".  This was probably meant as an insult but I had no problem with either to be honest!

When our first daughter was on her way I had to make a show of trying to be responsible, so I got my hair chopped short and found sensible work.

When I had been working at the Uni for a while I started to let my hair grow out again.  The first time I realised that it was getting long again was one time I was in Malta - a kid pointed at me and said "Christos!"  I guess the beard helped the return if this look!

Over the last few years I have kept my hair fairly wild, Mrs RC taking the scissors to it when I start to look like Albert Einstein.  I like it like this, it is how I am meant to be.


Sure thing!  First impressions are important, I don't want to mis-sell myself!

Tuesday, 13 December 2011


It started on Saturday, as I rode the bus back from a shopping trip.

I felt sick.

I felt SO sick that I had to get off the bus early and walk the rest of the way home.

I sucked it up for the rest of the evening, but on Sunday I felt like crap - no energy, no motivation to do anything other than flop in front of the TV.

Monday morning came.

I rang in sick and went back to sleep, finally emerging at 1.30 to stop my bladder bursting.

As the day went on I gradually recovered, the sick feeling subsiding and my energy returning.  In the evening started by setting up the Nativity and then progressed to decorating the front porch (the Pooh Bear Grotto returns!) and starting the hall - my old blue decorations have had to be changed because the hall is now mainly red.  I think the tree is finally going up today, but Mrs RC has to finish repainting the sittingroom first...

I finally got my new camera - well I bought it, but it won't be mine until Christmas morning.  It is a Panasonic (I think) 14megapixel, HD video camera.  It is really small but seems to do everything that I need and it was half price!  Woo hoo!  In addition, the memory cards were buy one get one free, and they practically gave me 3 year instant replacement cover, even if I drop it down the toilet and ruin it!  Can't wait to get snapping with this new toy.  Yes I will post some photos for you to see.

OK, time to finish - have a great day - what's left of it anyway!

Friday, 9 December 2011

The main feature

We had hot dogs tonight, so last night I made some chili dog sauce, loosely based on a recipe that wReggie sent me.

I started by digging into the freezer for some meat, only finding about half the amount I needed.  Oh well, carry on.

Sorry about the interruption - Frou Frou wants to play.

OK, that was defrosting in the pan while I chopped 2 large onions.  These were great onions and I was crying like a girl in a couple of minutes.

A tin of tomatoes and the onions joined the meat.

ra ra ra ra ra. hah, got the bear!  go and get it Frou!

There started to simmer over a really low heat while I added the seasoning.

A bit of salt

A generous tablespoon of paprika.

A less generous tablespoon of chili powder.

ra rararaaaaaaaaaaaa! give me the bear, frou!

A teaspoon of cayenne pepper.

Simmered for around half an hour until everything is cooked and sticking together.

Left to cool and then put in the fridge for the next day, the flavours infusing over night.

It was only later that I realised that I had forgotten to add sugar, but this seemed more to everyone's liking.  The pan hardly needed washing by the time dinner was over, and we started to ponder other uses for it - one idea that got a lot of favour was putting it in cheese pastry with more cheese and some chorizo sausage.  Chorizo seems to feature in a lot of our meals lately.  Can you get addicted to pork and paprika?

Back again.  Frou Frou just had to check the garden for cats.

The evenings here are wonderful at the moment.  A bit of a cold breeze, but the sky is clear with a huge, bright moon which makes everything look like those old horror movies where the night scenes were filmed at night with a tinted lens so the shadows look exaggerated.  Great for walking dogs - no one else walks at that time of night, so we have the fields to ourselves.  OK, we share with the foxes,  but they stay almost out of sight and don't bother us unless Frou thinks they are following us.  Custard ignores them entirely - they just don't seem to register with him for some reason.  He ignores a lot of things, seeming to enjoy a carefree life.

OK, Frou has now fallen asleep on the sofa next to me and it is time for me to sign off.

Have a great weekend!

End of Term!

Yes, today is the last day of term!  That was really quick, but as usual for this term, my feet hardly touched the ground.

Today was really busy with more than it's fair share of problems - ever have those days when you wish you had followed your instincts and stayed in bed?

Well my frazzled brain can't think of much more to say, so have a great weekend - I might make a proper post later tonight - we will see.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Bunny Vegas

You might be thinking that we have now totally flipped and put up Christmas lights for the rabbits.

You are wrong.

These are not just for Christmas - the rabbits have these lights all year round, on a timer switch.  They seem to like it, and the lights even seem to give off a bit of heat, helping the little darlings through the freezing, um, somewhat chilly British winter.

Tuesday, 6 December 2011


We were sitting at the kitchen table, playing with a wind-up penguin that does back-flips.  Well it did at first...

Daughter:  Mom, you paid £1 for that?

Mrs RC:  Yes.

Daughter:  That is something that Dad would do!  Dad buys silly useless things like this!

Seems that my niche in the house is under threat!

It starts! Christmas is really on the way!

After peddling to work through the remains of a heavy frost, on a wonderfully warm and sunny morning, I am now at work.

I have hot soup in my Life is Good mug.

I have also got A Christmas Story playing on an old Mac that sits on another desk.

Ho ho ho!

Monday, 5 December 2011

Feeling like a wimp

OK, I surrender.

I said it was cold here - around freezing point this morning.

I should have known that my friends in Canada and on the prairies were going to totally blow me away...

I won't complain about the cold for the rest of the winter - promise!


Was Frou Frou Day!  We have had our little bundle of fun for a whole year now!

This morning is COLD!  I was walking the dogs at 6.30 and, as the cold seeped into every gab in my clothing,, biting my fingers through my gloves,  I began to wonder where Global Warming had got to.  Apparently there is snow "Ooop North" and slowly heading south.  If this cold hangs around it will probably stay if we get it.  It would be nice if it could hang on for another week or so...

Just finished drinking a hot chocolate with whipped cream - seemed to be the only way to truly warm up again this morning!

Have a great Monday!  Yeah, I know, like that is ever going to happen...

Friday, 2 December 2011

Hitting the High Notes

Just about all of the big stuff for Christmas has now been bought - just a new TV for the sittingroom to go now, and the cash for that has been set aside.  Yes, I am finally moving on past the old glass tube TV set and getting an HD flat screen.  Not 3D, of course.  As some of you may know by now, I like to trail behind the technology until it reaches a sensible price.

A TV presenter (well known for his brash sense of humour) has caused a stir by suggesting that people who went on strike this week should be shot.  People are calling for him to be sacked and he has had to apologise.  Seems that a lot of people have forgotten what comedy is!  I thought it was hilarious, even though I don't actually like him for a lot of other reasons.  Some of these people should listen to what is said on some of the radio comedy shows...

A couple of days ago my younger daughter visited the doctor.  Nothing serious.  She came back and was ranting about the fact that this highly qualified, highly paid man could not prounounce her name properly.  It is not a difficult name, just slightly unusual.  I joined in.  Our combined rant developed into:

     He is a DOCTOR.  Surely a DOCTOR should be able to read a person's name!

     Unless he got his PhD off the internet.   You know, the ones where you send $100 and get a degree?

     True.  But to do that he would still have to be able to READ!

Have a great weekend!