Tag Archives: Teletubbies

My 400th Rocking Dog Post

Exquisite Setting,Rocking Dog

Exquisite Setting

Sorry that there is no Rocking Dog gingerbread house or cake with the number 400 on it. Life has been busy shopping and preparing for a lovely wedding at the end of the week. Rocking Dog is going to be pulling out all the stops! The atmospheric photo heading this post is taken in the garden where there’ll be a marquee, an undoubtedly very glamorous bride and groom and a melee of equally gorgeous guests. I am slightly worried that my own outfit is all together rather Handmaid’s Tale – I’m just needing the bonnet! The garden this morning was young, fresh, verdant and with the happy sound of little children enjoying the first day of the summer holidays, yay! The borders are looking wonderful with Bears Breeches, Agapanthus, Hosta’s and other botanical loveliness. The old warm brick walls which formerly would have had lean-to green housing for the growing of lemons, pineapples and other “showy” edibles now hosts wisteria with its scented mauve chandelier blooms. There really is nothing like an English garden and this one is truly, yes absolutely truly lovely.

It has taken Rocking Dog 7 months to leap from 350 to 400 posts. There have been times where writing has not come easily. In fact reading doesn’t always come very easily either. I am ashamed to say that in June I read my first book in two years and that felt quite an achievement. The brain is such a difficult organ to fathom.

Importantly, there has been a new grandchild this spring and in turn the nurturing of new parents. The name Biddy (as in old) is becoming a term of endearment I really love. I haven’t given up leopard print or silver wedge shoes and yes, I know I will love him unconditionally even when he’s a grunting spotty teenager!

The seven months have seen Christmas glitzily come and go, and in fact come back again! Indeed, we hosted “Christmas in February” at the kennel and raised £550 (plus GiftAid) for Young Carer’s. We can do “Christmas in a Box” for families in need Christmas 2017. Wee Tam’, Old gout ridden Toby and Mrs Mack (the present from Fleetwood) are busy conjuring up the theme for next years Burn’s Night…watch this space!

There has been lots of walking to be done with Real Live Rocking Dog with a myriad of wildlife- deer, kingfishers, weasels, buzzards, swallows and even a Russian Waxwing! The white rabbits still seem to be multiplying in the field and I never cease to think that it’s some weird scene from Teletubbies! Real Live Rocking Dog also got to walk in France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Germany and finally Italy this Spring. Like us he likes the Umbrian way of life and he is particularly partial to the sausages stocked in the village shop!

Rocking Dog has continued to make food, sew, gallantly endeavoured to tackle two unruly gardens, volunteer, homemake, care for friends & family and always tried to be cheery (for a half empty glass gal’ I acknowledge I am).

Seven months in a nutshell! Somewhat alarmingly the next fifty posts should take me to Christmas 2017! There’ll have been Young Carer’s Christmas Boxes to pack, a charity pop up restaurant night under our belts, an olive harvest to bring in (fingers crossed), Real Live Rocking Dog having walked in the snow again and lots of happy times spent with friends and family.

Love to all those who follow my blog, I appreciate you hanging in there with me

Love Rocking Dog x

PS. Yes, another phenomenon of the 7 months is the Rocking Dog Creative Huddle. There is a Huddle this Wednesday (26th). Homemade cake (fingers crossed) creative stuff, friendly chat and you’d be very welcome 7-9pm. Donations into the teapot for Fine Cell Work inspiring and supporting prison inmates to sew and embroider.

Winter Walks,Rocking Dog

Winter Walks

Mrs Mac & Wee Tam,Rocking Dog

Mrs Mac & Wee Tam

Christmas In Feb',Rocking Dog

Christmas In Feb’

Marmalade Making,Rocking Dog

Marmalade Making

Cushion Making,Rocking Dog

Cushion Making

Creative Huddling,Rocking Dog

Creative Huddling

Field Full Of Flowers,Rocking Dog

Field Full Of Flowers

Chelsea Flowers,Rocking Dog

Chelsea Flowers

Quilted Flowers,Rocking Dog

Quilted Flowers

English Wedding,Rocking Dog

English Wedding

Spring In Umbria,Rocking Dog

Spring In Umbria

Swim In Umbria!,Rocking Dog

Swim In Umbria!

Apple Harvest- Let’s Make Cake!

Apples At The Pig, Rocking Dog

Apples At The Pig

Apples are for a picking!

I love the simply made apple cake recipe that follows. It comes from a 1998 copy of Homes & Gardens and is a firm family favourite. It can be scaled up and made into a large tray bake to feed a hungry crowd.

APPLE CAKE

250g Self Raising Flour
50g Ground almonds
100g Caster Sugar
200g Butter
450g Dessert Apples (peeled & cored, half roughly chopped, half sliced)
2 Free Range Eggs
1-2 Tablespoons Milk, Cider or Calvados
40g Light Muscovado Sugar
1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
50g Slivered Almonds

1. Preheat Oven (180C/170C Fan. Gas Mark 4). Line a Deep 9in/23cm round tin or 8in/ 20cm square tin.
2. Sift flour and stir in almonds and caster sugar. Add 175g of the butter and rub into the dry ingredients. Stir in the roughly chopped apples and the beaten eggs. Do not overmix.
3. Add 1-2 Tbsp milk, cider or Calvados to make a spoonable mixture. Spoon into the prepared tin. Arrange or pile the sliced apples on top and sprinkle with a tablespoon of sugar.
4.Bake for 40-45 minutes.
5. Meanwhile, heat the remaining butter, Muscovado sugar and cinnamon in a small pan until the sugar is dissolved. Add in the slivered almonds.
6. Take the cake from the oven and pour over the butter/almond mix. Return the cake to the oven for another 10-15 minutes ubtil a skewer pushed into the cakes centre comes out clean.
7. Leave the cake to cool for at least 30 minutes before turning it out. Delicious served with Clotted Cream!

The walks with Real Life Rocking Dog are changing. The swallows that have been here all summer seem to have flown to warmer climes, mushrooms are burgeoning in the field and plump sloes are asking to be picked. Big white rabbit and a wild cousin have been busy, and there are a brood of growing youngsters populating the field. It feels like Telletubby Land! I marvel at the fact that despite the lack of camouflage and that there is a huge buzzard nesting in a tree close by, they are surviving… no positively thriving!

The Best Apple Store!, Rocking Dog

The Best Apple Store!

Ethicurean Apples, Rocking Dog

Ethicurean Apples

Harvest, Rocking Dog

Harvest