Category Archives: Interest

Warming Comfort Food on the Stove!

Real Rocking Dog

Real Rocking Dog


With the expected frosty cold spell expected later this week it’s time to get the warming comfort food on the stove! I love Jane Lawson’s “Snow Flakes and Schnapps” – sorry for the grubby cover!
I always tell the kids that you can tell a favourite well used recipe book when the pages are stuck together! I’ve got a few sniff and lick books!!! Jane’s book is full of wintry recipes with unusual flavouring ingredients. My favourite thus far is her Meatballs with Vodka Dill Cream Sauce. Look out for it in TK Maxx – I have in the past seen the book heavily discounted. The illustrations are beautiful, I’m a sucker for a lovely picture!
The other gorgeous book is slightly more of a challenge because I think it’s Norwegian .. but I just put on my reindeer slippers, my long traditional apron and a Nordic blonde wig and pretend I am Norwegian. It’s amazing I think I can really read Norwegian! Cook to “The Snow” by Elgar – delicious music to have you crying into your meatballs!! Keep cosy like Real Live Rocking Dog.

Jane Lawson's Book

Jane Lawson’s Book

Bircher Pancakes

Bircher Pancakes

Winter Food

Winter Food

Special Apple Pie!

Apple Pie

Why do I give into the demands of my son?! My gorgeous girls come home and accept whatever is put on the table, but Golden Boy tongue in sort of cheek goads me for Yorkshire Puddings, Apple Pie.. etc.. etc… Anyway today’s pie Alex.. While we are on the subject of men .. one of my photo’s shows my beloved rolling pin.
The said rolling pin was a present from my parents, locally crafted from beautiful cross-sections of wood and truly coveted. One day I could hear all this banging from our cellar – and found Andyman defrosting the freezer by bashing the ice with my rolling pin! I could have wept.
It survived pretty much unscathed, but I did feel like hitting the enthusiastic rolling pin wielding thug ! Sorry must go and get The Special One’s pie baked!!

Pastry Cutters

Pastry Cutters

Rolling Pin

Rolling Pin

Halloween – My Own Scary Offering!

1. Luminous Mary

1. Luminous Mary


I’m such a killjoy I hate Halloween -so this is my own scary offering!
SPECIMEN 1. A romantic Birthday present from Andyman- Luminous Mary, she keeps real live Rocking Dog company at night.
SPECIMEN 2. A secret bookcase with the books our son liked best i.e… ones that
he legitimately couldn’t read! The skull -because a skull should be for life and not just one poxy Halloween night. SPECIMEN 3. The headless horseman. He was meant to have Bill Turnbull’s head. Shame that. It would have definitely been the master bedroom!
SPECIMEN 4. Get your lace edged Victorian hanky out- it’s a Charles Dickenesque paupers coffin plate.
SPECIMEN 5. Instrument of torture ? no a French bottle drier, who needs a dishwasher?!
SPECIMEN 6. The scariest specimen of the lot….my unopened bank statement….now that REALLY is scary! Please care and share! Happy Halloween if it floats your boat.

2. Secret Bookcase

2. Secret Bookcase

3. Headless Horseman

3. Headless Horseman

4. Coffin Plate

4. Coffin Plate

5. Bottle Torture

5. Bottle Torture

6. Unopened Bills

6. Unopened Bills

Windy Weekend Away

Boy, Am I happy!
Real life Rocking Dog deliriously happy after very last minute camping trip. Bracing winds, brunch with friends, sunsets and starry nights together with a delicious bottle of red (though hot chocolate may have been more appropriate!)

Floats and buoys

Floats and buoys

Sea foam

Sea foam

Dorset Sunset

Dorset Sunset

Membrillo and Memories

Garden Quinces
Truly the most delicious smell in the world has to be quinces simmering in a pan. The year Sorrel and I cooked together in a cafe bar in Bristol we made a vast quantity of Membrillo….happy days! Delicious with Manchego, in Frangipane tarts and as a glaze for baked ham. Be sure to constantly stir because I can assure you that burnt quinces sure don’t smell that good! Have a fantastic weekend, foraging, leaf clearing, keeping warm!
Membrillo Recipe

Dad’s Cabinet of Curiosities

Dad's Drawers

This is my late Dad’s cabinet of curiosities. If we ever were at a loss as to what to buy my Dad for Christmas and Birthdays we would buy him an oddity! So there’s a brass pipe cleaner, a leper’s bell, Jew’s harp and lots of items of unknown use and origin! One of the most interesting curiosities is a tiny bottle of wood shards. They come from the foundation log of the Murphy Cabin of the Donner Party. In 1846 an 81 strong party led by George Donner set off on the 2,500 mile trek from Illinois to San Francisco. In the winter of 1847 they were caught in blizzards in the Sierra Nevada mountains in California. Dying from hypothermia and starvation they resorted to cannibalism. Lots were drawn to see who was going to be the next meals meat! More than 30 people were eaten before the survivors were rescued in the spring. One survivor who boasted about how many people he’d eaten, grew rich in the gold rush and opened a successful restaurant serving “a variety of rare meats”. Wednesday’s macabre tale before we all head off to the butchers!

Photos + Curios

Photos + Curios

Dad's Curios

Dad’s Curios

Donner Shards

Donner Shards


The Sierra Nevada