Thursday 19 August 2010

a country mouse hides her husband

No photos this week. Instead, I'm venturing into new realms of modern technology with internet links.

I've been watching this every day this week:

Now, here's the story behind it. This young guy, Antoine Dodson, heard his sister scream in the next room and found her being attacked by someone who had climbed in her window. He bravely fought the attacker off and raged at him via the TV cameras (the family had called the news media when they felt the police were not doing anything to catch the attacker). AutoTune the News, 2 brothers who can do computer-y music-y stuff, put his interview to music and posted it on You Tube. Keep watching for the orchestra bit. You can also see the original interview, before it was edited into the song: Loads of people have since posted their own cover versions of the Bed Intruder song on YouTube, and it's making some money for Antoine and his sister on iTunes.
I think it is wonderful. Antoine is so cool, the song is just brilliant and the family were so right to take matters into their own hands. I bet any money the would-be rapist will be caught rather soon as a result.
My second obsession this week is The Great British Bake Off. OMG it's almost too much to ask from a TV programme - it's on for ages, it's on BBC so no adverts, it has lots and lots of unbelievably delicious cake in it AND IT HAS LADY MARY BERRY. Here is the link to watch episode 1 again on BBC iPlayer:
My favourite is Miranda, for her triple layer brownie and meringue cake with raspberry cream. She's terribly terribly posh but wow can she bake a cake. They are in Scotland for the next episode. Run n tell that, countrymouse.

Wednesday 11 August 2010

a country mouse is nesting

This is the carrot harvest, nurtured and frequently spot-tested by Little R. We had to think of a suitably wonderful use for these very special carrots so we made them into muffins, using a recipe from a book introduced to me by my sister-in-law the cupcake queen: Baking Magic by Kate Shirazi. It's the best baking book I've found, with lots of recipes for muffins and also good basic advice. These were carrot, orange, walnut and cinnamon muffins, minus the cinnamon because I couldn't find it.

We are just back from visiting my brother, sister in law and their little girl in Hull. We had a great time there, hitting the beach at Hornsea, seeing sharks at The Deep and having too many late nights drinking wine as if we did not have to get up the next morning with small children.
I've noticed in recent years that when I get back home after a period away I want to do some intensive nesting, cooking homemade food and ironing everything in sight. It's a reaction to too much eating out when we're away, really, and too much living out of a suitcase. I overdid it a bit yesterday though with the carrot muffins (much washing, chopping and grating), then making blackcurrant jam with the blackcurrants (above) gathered by Little R and Daddy Mouse from the garden, plus chicken pie (below). The overexposed white shape on the bottom right is half an onion. It was a nice easy pie to make - poach the chicken with parsley stalks, carrots (yes, from garden), onion, a bay leaf (from brother's garden) and peppercorns then make a roux and gradually add the reserved stock to make the white sauce. Ready made pastry, of course, then straight into the oven.
And here is my haul from Hull. They have a great Waitrose down there and I know it's tragic, but it's something I really look forward to when I visit. My brother bought these for me, kind boy. I especially love the sunshine yellow mugs. The blue silicone spoon has been in use already, making the blackcurrant jam. That would turn a wooden spoon purple but the silicone one is as good as new. Welcome to the space age, country mouse.