Thursday, 16 October 2014

The week so far

It's my Scottish grandchildren's half term this week.  The wee one in Melbourne doesn't get these breathers just yet.  "Thank goodness" I hear her parents sigh!

The children here have such a hectic life these days, now that they have to commute into Edinburgh to school every day, that the first few days of this week have been chill out time.  They have spent far too long on their various bits of technology but I have just gone with that.  They needed to be still for a while. The only other thing we have been doing is cooking. Each day one of them has cooked the supper for all six of them to sit down to in the evening, when their parents got home from work.  I have tried to teach them a few skills attached to each dish. Apparently the family have been scoring each meal, and so far the older boy, of the younger set of twins, is in the lead by 5 points.  On Monday they sat down to chicken casserole followed by a mango smoothie for pudding;  On Tuesday, cheesy gougeres with a bacon sauce, followed by an apple and cinnamon round, and yesterday, beef stroganoff and then chocolate brownie and ice cream! Tomorrow it's my granddaughter's turn.  She is rather more experienced than the boys. She loves to bake and gets on with it on her own.  But she is going to make a quiche, so I think she may need some guidance - although she may have other ideas!! 

Yesterday morning was glorious so we took the dogs for a walk, while it was still early.  The sun filtered through the trees and there are some lovely colours to be found amongst the undergrowth in the wood.
The sky was blue and whilst we didn't have a birds eye view of the world, it all seemed pretty good from where I was standing.
One of my favourite moments of the week so far has been my first sighting, in my life, of a coma butterfly.  At first I thought it was just a tatty tortoiseshell butterfly and then yesterday I got a closer look and realised it was something new to me.
I sent this photo to the Countryside Ranger for East Lothian Council.  They are not rare butterflies but apparently this one is a late flier!  So he asked for more details which he has sent on to the Council's butterfly guy!  That must be a nice job!


  1. Such a great idea to get children cooking for the family and making it into a fun challenging activity! I'm still nervous about letting mine take over although the youngest at 2 and a half is really keen! What do you think are good supper recipes for young ones to try out (with adult supervision)? x

  2. It is tricky to know what to let them do on their own, but with careful supervision - especially where knives are concerned. Trying to tell them that sharp knives are safer than blunt ones is always a worry! And I have a horrible habit of taking over, particularly when they are mixing stuff in a bowl - the spoon always skids over the top of the ingredients and then fly all over the place! My grandchildren are 8 and 10 so they are a bit older I think. For younger ones, just simple things - maybe toad in the hole - they can help mix the batter, or fishcakes, mashed potato with a tin of tuna, parsley etc, and they can get their hands messy mixing that up and fashioning the patties! Drop scones are fun too - and they LOVE eating them! x

  3. I've never tried making drop scones, they sound Scottish to me, but I'm sure I have a recipe somewhere so will give it a go. They love having a Cornish cream tea with big scones so I'm sure this will be a winner too! x

  4. Drop scones are very easy and quick to make.
    4 oz/100 g self raising flour
    2 level tblspns caster sugar
    1 egg, beaten
    125 - 150 ml/about quarter pint milk
    Mix the flour and sugar. Make a well in the centre and stir in the egg and enough milk to make a batter the consistency of thick cream. Beat out any lumps with a balloon whisk.
    Drop the mixture in spoonfuls into a hot frying pan, or griddle, which has little more than a wipe-over with a drop of sunflower or vegetable oil.
    When you see little bubbles appearing on the surface of the little pancake, flip it over and cook the other side.
    I pile the scones as they are made on to a plate, covered with a clean tea towel to keep them warm, until the mixture is all used up.
    The children love them with caster sugar and fresh lemon squeezed over them. Or golden syrup, jam or honey - whatever! Good with butter too. They disappear at an alarming rate!