Last week it was half term here and we all went to Portsihead, near Bristol for a few days. We stayed in a Travelodge and just across the road was a lovely marina, full of boats of all different sizes.
We used Portsihead as a base and spent a day in Bristol and another day in Weston-super-mare and I have got to say we were really lucky with the weather as it was so dry and mild for this time of the year.
The main reason for a visit to this area was so we could take a trip to a little place call ‘Clevedon’.
I had never heard of this place until a few months ago and it was a lovely, small seaside town with a wonderful pier. You can read about the pier here if you are interested in finding out more about it.
There was a special reason we visited this pier and that was because my eldest daughter is a massive ‘One Direction’ fan and they recorded the video for one of their songs on this pier, so it made her very happy to tread on the same pier as they did.
Clevedon really was a beautiful, quiet seaside town…just right for eating an ice cream whilst sitting watching the sailing boats on the sea…
Our holiday was lovely but we all couldn’t wait to come home as we had a very special lady coming to live with us…….
I would like to introduce ‘Judy’, our wonderful rescue dog:
We had been talking about getting a dog for a while now, but had decided to wait until after our October holiday. However, a couple of weeks ago myself and Mr Thrift decided to go and ask the RSPCA what the proceedure was for re-homing a rescue dog and we both fell in love with this quiet, timid dog wagging it’s tail at us.
Poor Judy had been very frightened when she first came to the kennels at the beginning of October and was also very anxious. All we know about her is she is a Jack Russell, Terrier Cross that is three years old and her previous owner was poorly and had to go into hospital, so I think the whole experience has been traumatic for her and she is a little bit underweight.
After we found her, I visited her twice a day at the RSPCA and took her for a walk and by day three I sat down and she jumped on my lap for a cuddle and I knew then that she was definately the right dog for us.
My daughters also visited her after school each day to make sure they took to her too. She didn’t jump up or bark at my daughters when she first met them, she just wagged her tail which was great for my eldest daughter who has always been a bit scared of dogs.
So on the 22nd October we had a home visit from RSPCA (to make sure everything at home was as we said it would be) and last Thursday 23rd October, we brought her home and she has settled really well.
She is still a bit anxious (especially of men), but she is having a great time with all the attention she is getting from the ‘Thrift’ family and she now jumps up all of us when she wants some ‘fuss’ and barks at passers by.
We all adore her!
So I’m sorry to say that this week I haven’t been to my allotment, as I am only leaving Judy on her own for very short periods of time so she can get used to it. But two things I did before our holiday was I added a new compost bin for my perrennial weeds at the back of my plot:
As usual, I used strong string to tie the pallets together and lined it with old bits of weeds suppressant.
I also managed to plant my winter onions which were sown in August. I covered them in environmesh to stop the allium leaf miner laying their eggs at the base of the allium stems (the second generation lay their eggs between September and November).
At home I had been drying a heritiage bean called ‘Carters Bean’ that I grew this year and this week I took all the dried seeds out of the pods and popped them into an envelope to store / share them ready for next year:
I couldn’t finish today without mentioning Halloween. So many pumpkins are carved and the insides are just thrown away, so I thought I would share a few of my favourite pumpkin recipes here with you:
***Don’t forget the pumpkin flesh can be frozen to use another day****
Spicy Pumpkin Soup….the recipe is here.
Pumpkin and Orange Cake….the recipe is here.
Pumpkin and Apple Chutney….the recipe is here.
Pumpkin Lasange…the recipe is here.
A Pumpkin, Raisin and Orange Muffins Recipe:
600g self-raising flour
220g soft brown sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
400g pumpkin puree
150ml sunflower oil
The zest of 3 oranges
200ml of orange juice
A sprinkling of muscovado sugar for the top of each muffin
Preheat your oven Gas mark 5 / 375F / 190C
Sift the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger and sugar into large bowl and stir in the raisins.
In a separate bowl beat the eggs and then mix in the pumpkin, oil, orange zest and juice.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir just until there is no flour visible. There will be still lots of lumps left (this is the secret of good sized muffins.
Half fill muffin cases with the mixture and sprinkle each muffin with a little muscavado sugar.
Bake for 25 minutes until the cakes are firm to the touch and golden brown.
And don’t forget, with a little bit of imagination you can make some spooky treats for your children and grandchildren:
I hope you enjoy some spooky Halloween treats tonight.
Thank you for reading my blog today.