Showing posts from 2014

Y stands for Yorkshire and Yorkshire Pudding.

When we have our traditional Sunday Roast Beef it is always served with Yorkshire Pudding.
You will see the slice of Yorkshire Pudding nestling on the back of the plate with a good lashing of rich brown beef gravy drizzled over it.
The Yorkshire Pudding is a mixture of at least three large free range eggs , plain flour, milk and water and ground black pepper. I whizz all this together in my food processer then pour it into a hot baking dish which has a good chunk of sizzling hot beef dripping lining it.

 It is then placed in a hot oven for twenty minutes, then another twenty to twenty five minutes on a medium heat.

IndividualYorkshire Puddings are very popular too but I prefer to make one large one and cut it into portions as it has more flavour. I'm pretty certain our dear Denise Nesbitt will agree with me, being a Yorkshire lass, through and through !

Yorkshire is known as 'God's Own County', not without good reason too!
We have had many wonderful holidays in the UK  and…

X stands for Xmas.

Xmas really stands for Christmas, howeverA lot of dedicated Christians object to the  most celebrated occasion in the Christian  calendar being called Xmas, the time when the dear saviour, baby Jesus was born.
I am a Christian but don't object to the celebration being referred to as Xmas. Many non Christians celebrate the festival and as they don't recognise Jesus Christ as the son of God I think that's how the X crept into the wording of such a significant festival in the Christian calendar. Yesterday I watched yet another film about Christmas called Scroogebased on my favourite storywritten by Charles Dickens.As I have already written about Dickens in a previous post I shall say no more other than, Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without my favourite story. Many cynics believe that the X substituted Christ in the word Christmas as a snub to Christians so they could still enjoy the festive season without recognising Christ.I can remember going to church one Christmas w…

W for Whirling Dervishes

The Whirling Dervishes of Konya. Mevlana Museum in Konya .Konya is the spiritual home of Meulevi, (Whirling Dervishes)  a Sufi order of holy men,  founded in this sacred city. Konya  was formerly the capital of ancient Anatolia a region in southern Turkey.  This the smallest hand written Koran in the world which is housed in the museum. The museum is also a mosque and mausoleum  There are several tombs of Sultans and important holy men, including Jalalad Din Muhammad Balki-Rumi a thirteen century Persian Sufi mystic. He was a poet, Islamic jurist and theologian.  He was also  known as  Meulana or Sifi.His most devout followers were the Whirling Dervishes, known as such, due to their famous practice of whirling as a form of Dhikr  (Remembrance of God). We have had many wonderful holidays in Turkey and I can't fault any of them.... Each one a different place and a new experience!The Turkish people are a most welcoming nation known for their  and hospitality.  Their cuisine is divine, we…

V for Vox Populi

Vox Populi means 'voice of the people' Another poem by one of my favourite writers H.W.Longfellow.

Vox Populi.When Marzaran, the magician,Journeyed Westward through  CathayNothing heard he but the praisesOf Badoura on his way
But the lessening rumour endedWhen he came to Khaledan;There the folks were talking onlyOf Prince  Camaralzaman.
So it happens with the poets,
Every province has it's own;Camaralzaman is famousWhere Badoura is unknown.

Badoura eventually meets her Prince.I'm not really familiar with this poem but feel it has some connection with The Tales from The Arabian Nights. I've searched Very hard to find out what was in Longfellow's mind when he wrote this? To no avail.
 Perhaps the message is in the final verse where he goes on to say.....
So it happens with the poets,Every province has it's own;Camaralzaman is famousWhere Badoura is unknown. I can't believe I've  volunteered to host the letter Z, I'm still wracking my brain! My sincere t…

U stands for Under,

The Village Blacksmith.     by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.UNDER the spreading chestnut tree
The village smithy stands;
The smith a mighty man is he,
With large and sinewy hands;
And the muscles of his brawny arms
Are strong as iron bands

His hair is crisp and black and long
His face is like the tan;
His brow is wet with honest sweat,
He earns whate'er he can
And looks the whole world in the face,
For he owes not any man.

Week in week out, from morn till night,
You can hear his bellows blow;
You can hear him swing his heavy sledge
With measured beat and slow
Like a sexton  ringing the village bell,
When the evening sun is low.

And children coming home from school,
Look in at the open door,
They love to see the flaming forge,
And hear the bellows roar,
And watch the burning sparks that fly
Like chaff from a threshing floors.

He goes on Sunday to the church,
And sits among his boys;
He hears the parson pray and preach,
He hears his daughter's voice,
Singing in the village choir,
And it makes his heart rejoic…

T stands for Trees and Tall Ships.

I love trees and woodland. I live in a leafy part of Liverpool a large city in the UK.  We are lucky to be surrounded by landscaped Parks and beautiful woodlands,  The trees in the two photographs below are taken in the woods across the road from where we live. Although we live on a main road leading into the city, the avenue is resplendent in the springtime when the beautiful apple and cherry blossom trees burst into bloom. There are various forms of wild life including foxes, a snowy owl, woodpeckers, some beautifully marked thrush and kestrels, Two herons have been spotted recently. In the summer of this year The Tall Ships came to Liverpool and what a spectacle it was, thousands of visitors lined the docks to see them, it was a wonderful regatta with sailors singing sea shanties and singers giving concerts on board the ships. The famous Albert Dock was overcome with tourist from all over the world to see the spectacle , There wasn't a spare hotel room in the city, So wonderful…

S stands for The Sea

Sea Fever.                                                           by John Masefield.

I must go down to the sea again, to the lonely sea and the sky
And al I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by;
And the wheel's kick and the wind's song and the white sail's shaking,
And the grey mist on the sea's face,
And a grey dawn breaking. 

I must go down to the sea again, for the call of the running tide Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied; And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying, And the flung spray and the blown spume and the sea-gulls crying 
I must go down to the sea again, to the vagrant gypsy life, to the gull's  way and the whale's way where the wind's like a whetted knife; And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow- rover, And a quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick's over. I h I have to say that John Masefield is one of my favourite poets, he often spoke longingly about the sea and as a young man…

R stands for Rabbits and Remembrance

I just love rabbits and have had several as pets. This is Rocket the naughtiest rabbit ever! He was called Rocket because of the speed he could gallop around the garden.When our first grandchild was born I went to stay with our daughter to help out, such a joyous occasion, only to be spoiled by my husband's frantic phone calls to tell me that 'The B..... Rabbit hasescaped again'.  What he thought I could do to help when I was two hundred miles away, I don't know, just a shoulder to cry upon I guess.  Attempting to thwart the rascally Rabbit from any further rambles around the neighbourhood, said husband was on his knees fixing a gap in the hedge, from where he suspected Rambo Rocket was escaping, when he was  floored by a revved up rabbit, thundering down the garden, leaping onto his back and hurtling over his shoulders into a neighbouring garden.  This  knocked him over into some prickly shrubs that had been planted to deter the little 'sod's ( quote by exasp…

Paul McCartney

I cannot let the opportunity pass without mentioning 'The day I met Sir Paul McCartney.....This how he looked then....just so handsome ! We were in a stream 0f traffic driving along a congested street in Liverpool city. It was 1964 I was a very happy teenager and had fallen in love with the guy I was to marry three years later.  We drew alongside a very smart, silver Aston Martin DB6 and who should be driving it but Sir Paul McCartney. I nearly passed out, he was so handsome. He wound the window down to speak to me, I spluttered to him, "I absolutely love your latest record, 'I want to hold your hand". He asked if I would like to hear it, then pressed a button on his 6 track tape recorder and played ' I want to hold your hand'. Then he proceeded to sing along with recording. I bet there's not many girls can boast that they were personally serenaded by Paul McCartney. His father was sitting alongside him, smiling proudly. Although, I'd seen The Beatles per…

Octopus and an Odd Ode

In it's raw state I love Octopus, the first time I tasted it was on one of our many holidays in Turkey. I know, in it's raw state it is most unattractive, but when it's prepared and cooked, it is most delicious.     It takes on a pretty pink and creamy hue, the flavour of griddled Octopus surpasses most other seafood delicacies, (that is, in my humble opinion)! Altinkum in Turkey is where I  had my first experience of Griddled Octopus, we dined in a simple little Locanta on the edge of the beach, we saw the fishermen out in their brightly coloured boats in the morning, hauling in their catch which included our dinner! The stunning beach at Altinkum. Now an ODD ODE! The Owl and the Pussy Cat.   By Edward Lear. The OWL and the Pussy-cat went to sea In a beautiful Pea-green boat They took some honey and plenty of money Wrapped up in a five pound note The OWL looked to the stars above And sang to a small guitar "O lovely Pussy O Pussy my love What a beautiful Pussy you are You are, Y…