Hi from sunny Wales…I smell cake, do you?

Technology is a funny thing, just when you think you have gotten away from it all, there pops up this internet cafe in the local town and wifi connection on our campsite. All is not lost I will spend a few mins sharing 😉

Caravan food is like normal food. People think because you are away in a van that you have to eat baked beans all the time. We don’t, I think if we did our tummies might explode or our rear ends would be extremely noisy!

Big man and I baked a cake the other day. The problem isn’t ingredients but what to mix in? Well a pan does just as well as anything with a wooden spoon makes for big muscles and a well-earned cake!

I don’t always bother with scales or cups at the best of times (unless it’s a new recipe) so why bother now? So we put in a few scoops of this that and the other, crack an egg or three, into a tin then the oven.

Voila….all the campsite desperate to know whose van the gorgeous smell is coming from and jammy smiles and sticky fingers from us!

So for normal people with scales, bowls, kitchen mixers or wooden spoons and pans like us here’s how to do it.

2 small baking tins, ours were cheap ones from Wilkinsons. About 80 something pence each if I remember right. Because it’s a caravan with a gas oven we used gas 5, at home I would probably use 180 deg C. I don’t know if that’s the right equivalent but you could look it up with google or in a good recipe book. As for ingredients, you could play guess the weight like we did!

6oz soft butter or marg

6oz sugar, any type

6oz self-raising flour

3 eggs

Do the usual, mix together butter and sugar in the pan with wooden spoon, beat it up like crazy till your muscles look (or at least feel like popeye). Crack eggs into something, anything to hand, a plastic cereal bowl, cup, whatever. Beat the egg with a fork. Mix in a bit of flour and a bit of egg gradually till it’s all mixed in. Put into greased, lined tins. I won’t say what to line them with, it depends what you have, you could use leaves off of the closest bush but we prefer greaseproof, although I have used foil when we didn’t have any.

 

Place in the oven for about 20 mins, wafting the smell out of the windows all the time.caravan cakecaravan cake
caravan cake Cool and spread with the Damson Jam you made. You aren’t going to want the big stones on there so don’t forget to suck them like sweeties before you put them in the bin or give them to someone smaller minding that they don’t choke when laughing at the confusion on people’s faces as they walk past smelling that cakey smell.

Sandwich together then take wedges onto the lawn for your guests or just take a wedge outside the caravan and sit on the grass getting yourself nice and sticky like we did.caravan cake

We made crumble for pudding with some plums that we found too. Yes that was a different day-we don’t look like weeble people! I’m running out of time so will add that another day. 

Nice to see you guys again anyway…..

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Things going on…

There is an awful lot going on in our house at the moment. Bathroom and toilet freshly decorated, the bedrooms are all mid-change, summer hols coming too quickly and to top it off Little Big man is changing school on return of the holidays. We will be away for a while, taking a break from the abnormality!

I have many recipes to share since I haven’t been here for a while. They are all noted in my big yellow file where I keep all our family favourites. I hope autumn doesn’t come too quickly *sigh* because I can’t keep up with myself. All I want for Christmas is time in a jar…

See you back here soon. Take care, BigPurpleDragon love to you all. x

What a big fat jellyfish!

We went away in the caravan for the half term holidays last week. Spending a lot of time on the beach at Porthmadog, building sandcastles etc. We had so much fun, it really was a great break.

Anyway here’s a pic I took of really big fat jellyfish that we found. I have no idea what kind it is. I’d be very interested to find out. If you know what it is please let me know. I wasn’t able to measure it but I think it was maybe about 12inches across. The largest I have seen. I would like to think him still alive and that the tide would have taken him home.

Porthmadog jellyfish

Vegetarian Sausage Rolls

Don’t be scared it’s just nuts and stuff! Breadcrumbs and a few other ingredients mixed together. The mixture is thrown into some pastry and shoved into the oven! Some people run at the mention of vegetarian food. I have actually managed to fool people with these. I mean meat eaters asking what kind of meat it was!

I have to say that everyone in our family like these, meat fanatics also. Not just for the vege person. They are tasty and easy. You can freeze the leftovers as the made up sausage rolls or just the mixture to put in pastry later. I’m not trying to sell these or anything but honest, give them a go. I don’t think you will be disappointed.

I made short pastry with 12 oz flour, 3 oz trex and 3 oz butter or (vege margarine if you prefere) then chilled it in the fridge for about an hour whilst I did various jobs around the house. It was probably longer than that but it was workable and not too hard. If it does go too hard just leave it out of the fridge for 20 mins or so to soften up. There are plenty of good recipes for pastry out there on the web so you could do a google search if you needed to. If you wanted to make it really easy go buy a pack at the shops!

2 slices bread, made into fresh breadcrumbs
150g mixed nuts, ground up in a processor or chopped very finely (This was the amount in the bag that I bought. A few grams either way shouldn’t really make any difference.)
A handful of fine oats or ordinary ones blended for a few seconds
1 vege stock cube, crumbled
salt and pepper
I have fresh sage growing so I snipped a few leaves and chopped them. You could add dried or another herb if you don’t have any or miss it out.
2 small onions, finely chopped or minced
1 pack silken tofu (If you don’t have this or don’t fancy trying it, no problem you can use 2 beaten eggs  instead)
2tbl sp soy sauce
Small squeeze of tomato puree to help with the colour and flavour
Milk or egg to glaze

Let’s get to it then.

Mix together the breadcrumbs, finely chopped nuts, oats, crumbled up stock cube, salt and pepper, sage and onion. Put the bowl to one side.

In a processor or blender make the silken tofu into a smooth paste. Or if using eggs crack two into a bowl and beat.

Mix into the tofu or beaten egg.  The soy sauce and tomato puree. Add these to the bowl of previously prepared ingredients. After giving it a good mix. Roll the pastry out into four rectangles and brush around the edges with water. Pile the filling into the middle and shape into a sausage shape. Fold the pastry over and press down to seal. Cut the tops with a sharp knife then brush with a little beaten egg or milk. If you remember you could save a tiny bit of the egg if you used it, or just use milk. At this stage i’m usually making a cup of tea anyway so I use milk ;-D

If you don’t want to make big ones you can make tiny cocktail ones. Make one long sausage shape then cut into lots of small ones. I haven’t timed the baking of these but i’m sure you could just keep an eye on them and take them out when you need to. I would think to check them after 15 mins.

Put the rolls into the oven at 200 deg C for 20-40 mins or till nicely browned.

I find these very filling so salad would go well. The boys like homemade chips and baked beans though. I think that goes back to having pie and chips from the chippy!

Now as for a picture, there is one somewhere…this post has been so long in the making that I can’t remember where I stored it. When I find it I will add it. It just looks like a sausage roll to be honest 😉

 vege sausage roll

Finally for today Happy Birthday to our bigger lad whose special day it was yesterday. Hope you had a great day! x

Deserted!

Hmmmm yes. My blog has been for a little while.  Life gets busy sometimes and I think to myself, “yes I will blog about that.” Then it doesn’t quite happen! It’s been crazy around here and I missed blogging our Easter hols and Little Man’s 7th Birthday, how mean of me! I added a few pics for you to catch up….

We visited some bluebell woods in Wales not far from our caravan. They smelt beautiful to say the least. We tiptoed through them so that we didn’t trample or spoil them.

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We found a freshly mown field up the hill to picnic in. This was one little corner of it.

Little Man finds it amusing to steal the camera whilst i’m putting my shoes back on, ready for the last leg of our ramble! I ended up chasing him to get it back. It all ended up with a tickle fight and a lot of giggles. Little Man managed to get his finger in the way and chop my head off all in one photo ha ha!

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Whenever we set up camp some ducks or other seem to find us!

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Choosing which Easter Egg to eat first was a hard decision….PICT0128We found time to colour in the packaging and make whirly snakes to hang up.
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We all felt like this some of the time, especially after one of our long walks!
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We had fun digging on the beach.

Little Man who really isn’t Little anymore was 7. After 3 years of hankering after a Hornby train set. All his dreams came true ;-D
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Blowing out candles was exciting…PICT0201

…but then realising that the cake I had made had a painting of his “most favouritest train ever” on it, was just the best!
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Little Big Man found the left over icing bag from the decorating of the cake and re-designed the kitchen which made me smile.

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Possibly the happiest boy in the world
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…with his “most favouritest train ever”

A very long post but I hope you are still awake. Happy belated Easter to you. We hope you had a lovely time wherever you were and whatever you did.

 Happy belated 7th Birthday Big Fella XXX

Also for today, a Happy Birthday to my good friend Mrs. J. XXX

Next time, a recipe that I have been hording….

Happiness is….

 

…Tiny seeds that you have planted, starting to grow.

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Our little fruit trees with flowers on.

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Seeing small people with big smiles and enjoying themselves so much that they can hardly sit still. There should have been a picture here but by the time the camera had taken it they had gone!

Painting is good but painting on fabric is fantastic!

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Happy bendy smiley man

A funny little bendy man that appears all over the house….looking after our paint here but we have even found him hiding in the fridge!

Creating yummy things to eat

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…and all the lovely sunshine we have been having.

Hope happiness is in your home too.

Happy New Year

Happy New Year to all of you even though I’m a bit late in saying it.

I hope you all had a fun time over Christmas and New Year. It’s been busy with visitors here. I have been poorly with the flu but now getting back to normal. The time with my feet up, allowed me to tie up some loose ends of projects, the blanket that Little Man and I began has made its merry way onto the bed and I finished some embroidery that I started forever ago.

Little Man, Jade and I went for a short wobbly walk a couple of days ago. We manage a little further each day. Steamy hot cups of tea welcome us when we arrive back home. I’m glad my hubby thinks of the little things even if I have to remind him when bigger things like birthdays are!

We had a bit of snow today. I wonder if you had any where you are? I hope we get more soon, enough to build a snowman maybe. I will stay here, warm and snug for now though. Thinking of new projects for a new year. x