Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Cheer Up Cheesecake.

The nights are beginning to draw in already and it seems like summer is graciously slipping away, if this makes you sad then this is the perfect recipe to give you a smooth, citrus cuddle.

Ed has had a stressful two weeks, so to keep him chipper I promised to bake him my Cheer Up Cheesecake. This is a lemon baked cheesecake that is light as a feather. This is the recipe I used to make this lovely, sunny pudding. I tweaked it a little though, I added the juice of two lemons and put a large tablespoon of lemon curd into the mixture. Next time I think I will double the lemon juice and even maybe add some lime into the mix just to give it a little more punch. I didn't bother with the raspberries on top either, I think this would have complicated the subtle flavour. 

This definitely cheered Ed up and put a smile back on his face. Well worth the effort. 

Monday, August 27, 2012

Toadstools in Sherwood Forest.

As Autumn is starting to creep in slowly it means that it is a perfect time to go and search for fungus. So here are the toadstools that I managed to snap yesterday in Sherwood Forest. I have tried to identify them using my Mushrooms and Toadstools book and I think I have got some nailed but others I just couldn't identify.

This one seems to be Heterobasidion Annosum. I think the colours of this is really unusual and pretty. 

This one is Scleroderma Citrinum or more well known as the Common Earthball. If I'm right with this it has a black inside and it sometimes mixed with truffles as an adulteration! This is not good news as it is mildly poisonous and can make you have fainting spells and gastric problems. So watch out for dodgy truffle sellers. 

This one is Trametes Versicolor. I think it kinda looks like weird ears.

I think this one could be Hypholoma Fasciculare or more commonly known as Sulphur Tuft. I'm not 100% sure though.

This is a troublesome one to try and identify, I'm still pondering over this one. 

I couldn't identify this one either, but Ed said it looked like little ghosts, which I thought was quite cute. 

I think this one could be Kuehneromyces mutabilis commonly known as the Sheathed Woodtuft.

This one is Dacryomyces Stillatus or more commonly known as Orange Jelly. I think Orange Jelly is a rather forgiving name for this one, it looks absolutely gross!

This little beauty is Piptoporus Betulinus also known as the Birch Bracket or the Birch Polypore. Ed and I thought this one looked like a nose exploding out of the tree. It was a tricky one to identify because apparently it only looks like this when it is young, as it matures it looks more like a shelf fungus.

It was a lot of fun hunting for these in the forest and I spent a good part of yesterday evening trying to identify as many as I could. I must have been concentrating so hard on them that I even dreamt about mushrooms & toadstools! All I know for sure is that I don't think I would ever be brave enough to pick and eat my own mushrooms, there are just so many that you can't eat.  

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Our Adventure to The Major Oak.

"We have now arrived at that portion of history where we must tread magical ground, where beings like fairies danced, where deer sported in groups unnumbered, and in limit almost unbounded; where Robin Hood and his gay followers, performed their many and renowned exploits" Robert Thorton in his History of Nottinghamshire.

The Major Oak is often thought of as the iconic meeting place that Robin Hood used to meet with his followers. It is named after Major Hayman Rooke of Woodhouse Place after he first described it in a book in 1799.

What is left of this wood is really beautiful, I'm sure if fairies live anywhere it has to be here!

The Major Oak has a girth of 32ft 10inches! This means that this wonderful tree is thought to be around 600 years old.  

And finally here it is... I must admit I am always a little bit disappointed at how this tree is all trussed up with scaffolding. It just feels so unnatural and this is about as close as you can get to it because of all the fencing. 

This part of Sherwood Forest is very, very touristy! You have to stick to the designated paths too which can feel a little restricting at times. 

This log is just amazing! It looks like someone sculpted what they thought the texture of a log should look like then just plonked it down.

After the hectic couple of weeks it was lovely to relax in the forest away from it all. We finished off our adventure with a delicious sunday roast at a near-by pub. What a perfect day <3

Monday, August 20, 2012

My Chillies are Ripening!

My chillies are ripening and I am so thrilled (a little sad I know). I think it is really exciting to see these little fruit turn from purple to orange to... nearly red! 

I can't wait until the first one is ready to pick so I can see how hot it is.

This is my super hot chilli plant, they are suppose to be hotter than the bird's eye chilli, I think they are suppose to turn red before you can eat them though. The lady I bought them off said you can eat them whenever you want, but before they are ripe they taste like green pepper *eugh* the worst sort of pepper in my opinion. 

I hope the warm weather, we have been enjoying, means I have a few of these to try soon! Its also funny to tempt Ed with them because he is a total wuss with chilli heat hehe. 

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Frolicking at Ramsey 1940s Weekend.

We went to the Ramsey 1940s Weekend yesterday. This is an annual event in Ramsey that time travels you back to the 40s with a whimsical mix of fashion shows, light hearted dance classes, air shows and vintage stalls galore, to just name a few. There are also lots of exhibitors of vintage cars. This is probably Ed's favourite part of the event. 

It may become obvious throughout these pictures that I am a little bit in love with Morris Minors. This little beauty is also in my favourite Morris Minor colour. 

I even love the ones that are a little rusty, I hope to get a little doer-upper one day *swoon*.

This tiny little car did make me giggle, there is no way I could fit all my luggage for a weekend away in that!

Even the boxes of this era are adorable.

I was happy to take this dress on a little day trip as it is one that was made in the 40s. I was given it for my birthday by Ed and my parents. I wonder if it felt at home amongst all these little trinkets?

So many wonderfully kitsch, tempting things. I limited myself to a nut bowl with Winston Churchill's face in the bottom of it.  

Hubby and me chilling in the shade as it was such a hot day (hence ed getting his chest out) hehe.

This was the fashion show, so many cute outfits! I think this look is awesome, I'm not sure I could pull it off around the office though.

The fashion show and evening dance were held in an old circus tent.

This is one of Ed's shots, I think he said it was a temperature gauge or something, he got very excited about this so I just nodded and pretended I understood. He probably does this to me when I look at china and trinkets. 

Monday, August 13, 2012

Audio Book Review - Fifty Shades of Grey.

There are no spoilers in this review and no references to any naughtiness, so you are safe to read this if you are having your dinner.

Okay so I have to admit, I totally jumped on the bandwagon with this one. I wasn't going to give in and read it but when my Audible credits came through I found my mouse finger betraying me! This is a very adult book so it is not to be read by those with a delicate disposition or in fact anyone who enjoys a well written, saucy story. I only gave this book 1/2 star out of 5. The half star is for the little glint of interest I had in the exploration of a flawed relationship, but it got smothered by the author's need to pack as many adult scenes in this book as possible.  

I'm not sure even where to start with this book, I had read reviews that said how badly written it was and they certainly weren't lying. The language is bland and unimaginative, the author seems to use the same words and phrases over and over again. This made it difficult for me to really connect my senses to the book and it certainly didn't help me to connect to Mr Grey. Now there has certainly been a lot of hype about Mr Grey and how alluring he is, I was kind of excited about this prospect because in my books I love a troubled man. Heathcliff out of Wuthering Heights has to be my all time favourite swoon-some character. But what I found reading over Mr Grey was a man who liked to control, stalk and own his woman. And part of me wondered what Ana would have thought of Mr Grey if he had not been a millionaire and was just a weird guy living in a run down, rented apartment with a garage filled with strange apparatus and no designer underwear to his name.   

I found this book so disappointing and depressing. I don't find it attractive to read a girl telling her boyfriend to not hit her and him forcing his choice of contraception onto her. There are basic rights that a woman should have! But many women have completely fallen for these books so maybe it just isn't for me.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Eds Bike Ride

Let me introduce you to my vintage Triumph Roadster. It's an old bike. I couldn't tell you how old, because I just don't know. What I do know is it was handed down to me by Kirsty's mum, as it once belonged to her dad. It needed some tinkering to get it on the road. New tyres, an overhaul of the brakes and a fair amount of polish. It is now my second and above all most laid back means of transport.

Sometimes I just like to jump on and see where it takes me. With no gears and 50 something year old "rod brakes" hills are not this bikes natural environment. But there are a few places in Nottingham where I can cruise and really enjoy a slow pace. 

A little piece of English Victorian technology. Like my bike, it still does it's job. 

My cruse took me over the river Trent a couple of times. This is the view from the Wilford Suspension Bridge, a nice spot to get away from the city traffic. 

And this is my view from the saddle.

Geese a me don't mix.... This gang were ruling the Nottingham Embankment. I ended up riding around them because they wouldn't move!

Next to Trent Bridge I came across these engravings. I guessed they were showing the heights the river has risen to in the past. With all the rain we've had recently I'm glad they didn't need a new marker for 2012. It's crazy to think the river has been all the way up here though. 

The cycle path lead me onto the Nottingham Beeston canal. Kirsty and I often walk along the canal path, watching out for passing cyclists. Today however was my turn to cruse down the canal side.

The urban historian in me enjoys taking in sights like this. There is something about seeing old industrial buildings mixed into the landscape that gets my mind working. I guess a lot of the buildings in this area would have been used to make lace, something Nottingham was once famous for. 

Nearly all of the industrial buildings have a new life these days. This is the home of the Glee Club and a few other venues. 

I decided to turn off of the canal path as the sun was setting (and my bike has not got any lights, yet) but before heading back home I passed Nottingham Castle. The castle itself is perched on top of a huge cliff face. This is one of the cave entrances at the base of the cliff. 

After taking in the sites of the castle I peddled home. I'll be jumping on my bike to explore some more of Nottingham soon.