Tuesday, 7 April 2009

The Holidays So Far.

So, the Easter holidays are here and with them the chance to escape from routines and school uniforms, to just enjoy being with the children - after all, isn't that why we had them? Lucy and I got off to a good start by making hot cross buns, something I haven't baked since I was at school long, long ago. Dave and I use our breadmaking machine several times a week and I had forgotten how lovely it is to bake bready things the 'proper' way. Lucy read out the recipe, weighing out the ingredients as we went along. It is so good for kids to get involved in cooking and I haven't come across many who don't enjoy it. Most of all it is just lovely to spend the time together chatting about why we do something and how it works. I realised as we worked away that we were also baking up more memories to be stored away alongside all the others, the ones of countless games around our kitchen table with her siblings and friends, the ones of so many huge family dinners that stretch on for seemingly endless hours, evenings of films and fireside and precious days on the beach. In amongst them all would be the ones of us cooking together.

And this is how they turned out - very yummy and we are definitely planning to make more. They really were so easy and though I am the first to admit to loving the Asda ones and the ease with which they go from packet to mouth, I did like the fact that these were so filling only one could be managed (well, another was forced down after a short intermission). Particularly delicious toasted with oodles of butter dripping over fingers and chin.

Other good things about the holiday so far? Mr Davey has been working hard in the greenhouse and it is now packed with seedling of both vegetables and flowers as he has cut out a cut flower patch at the allotment which will soon need planting out.

Inb case any one is horrified by the bright blue slug pellets apparent in the photographs I would like to put your mind at ease for they are organic pellets. Worry not.

The damson and Victoria plum have now finished flowering and are sprinkling the last of their confetti over the garden. Apple blossoms teeter on the brink of opening just waiting for a little more warmth from the chillier sun now with us.

The Cornish Aromatic is so nearly there.

And the sloe outside the boys' room is just beautiful. We always make sure that we use our own sloes as well as the ones we gather from the hedgerows to make our sloe gin in the autumn. Of course, the bottles with our own are always the best!

Just so beautiful.

Trips to the beach have obviously taken place, though sometimes they have been in cold grey weather as yesterday proved to be. No matter, a walk in the blustery winds with the sea rolling onto the shore cleared the cobwebs away nicely, especially for poor Isabella who finally recovered from a nasty tummy bug. Today, Dave has taken Lucy and Elias off to buy supplies as he is taking them camping for a couple of days (mad fool that he is). They go a few times every year to one of our favourite quays tucked away in the woods far from the world with only the birds and the sound of water to keep you compnay...proper camping out in the sticks. Isabella and I have plans involving chocolate buttons, magazines for me and comics for her, and adventures of our own. I also have great plans for a glass (or three) of wine, some knitting by the fireside and a box of chocs for the evenings...bliss.

In all then, not a bad start to the holiday.
Happy Monday x


  1. Aaarrrhhhh Pipany that is such a lovely post I'm feeling totally relaxed now and have gone into selective hearing mode!

    I love 'all' of your pictures from hot cross buns - yum, to blossom and of course the beach!

    Enjoy your Easter break and fingers crossed for the weather.

    take care,

    Nina x

  2. It sounds like a perfect start to the holiday.....especially the hot cross buns!

  3. I am struggling to keep abreast of every thing at the moment.Too many things going on, as I love this time of year. There is nothing like homemade. Have never made Hot cross buns, but they look so yummy. Tomorrow is baking day with Muffin. Have Easter Biscuits, chocolates, the Easter cake, and some Ementhal and herb muffins to make. I can imagine the mess with different coloured icing and chocolate, but Muffin enjoys the sense of occasion as much as I do.
    I don't know you manage to do so much. Hace lots of planting to do in the garden. A very Happy Easter to you all. Hope to get a walk on the beach at the weekend.

  4. Your weather looks so lovely. I think this is our last day, the clouds are gathering fast ...
    Your buns look great :-) and the blossom is soooo pretty, shame my nose doesn't like it - my hayfever is pretty horrid today. I've been out in the woods with Archie and I can hardly breathe now :-(
    Laurie x

  5. Lovely buns - mine always taste too yeasty and are too heavy so I just buy them from Lidl, year-round, yummy.
    I can't believe the difference in your blossom and ours, my plum is just tentatively putting out its first blooms and the apples are weeks off yet! It's not called the frozen North for nothing!

  6. The hot cross buns look delicious! Far nicer than anything you could buy.

  7. Yummy-looking hot cross buns! I'll be buying mine this year unless my mother goes wild and bakes a batch. Love them toasted too!

  8. Oh Pipany this was both sweet and sour for me to read. I long to have cooking times and memories with a child but am unable to have any so this was difficult but a delight to read. Your end results look amazing and have inspired me to go and make my own even without assistance.

  9. Oh you lucky thing, that all sounds so perfect...and oh to be so near the sea during the holidays.

    I am reassured to know that the turquoise things are organic slug pellets - I kept finding them as I was digging over the soil last week and worried that it was rat poison (as I've heard that is turquoise!). Phew.

    Enjoy the wine and girly time. x

  10. Your past few posts have been totally filled with charming loveliness. You really have a pretty blog, Pipany!

  11. Pipany, I am another reader who's never baked hot cross buns. Here in NYC, it is difficult to find even commercially baked ones, so why don't I just seize some time ... from where I do not know, and see if I can do some Easter baking.

    Again you inspire me!

  12. Oooo the Hot Cross Buns look delish and now I have an oven again after what seems like an enternity I think I'll have ago. The blossom is indeed beautiful, our pear is covered.


  13. Not a bad start to the holiday.....a wonderful, wonderful start, and as you say 'cooking up memories' is priceless and SO precious.

    You take such lovely photos and your text is very evocative, the reader feels like they are sharing your joy in life, truly refreshing.

    Sue xx

  14. I'm never ever going to show my girls your blog! Holidays in our house usually began with me having a good shout at the first person to cross me, followed by, 'NO, you can't cook/paint/make a mess.' A slab og home made play dough was as good as it got! Poor deprived things. And I'm starving and could murder one of those hot cross buns. Enjoy the holidays.

  15. Lovely pics. I could eat a home made hot cross bun right now!
    Blossom time is well ahead where you are. Our blackthorns 'in the back hedge' are still tightly in bud.

  16. Those glorious hot cross buns! I love the fact that you made them yourselves, that, to me, is remarkable and admirable.
    Vanessa xxx (do you mind if i knit)

  17. Gorgeous as ever from start to finish.

    I specially like your delight in spending time with your children and your line 'that is why we have them'.
    Enjoy every moment for they grow so fast.

  18. I'll take the wine over the camping certainly. your life just carries on being too perfect. All I've had out of hte children - and God knows I've tried! - so far is failed magic tricks, endless downloading of songs onto a mobile phone and making a ploody castle. Pesky boys.

  19. one a penny two a penny ...

    beautiful blossoms Pip!
    Hope you are having a lovely Easter break!

  20. Lovely post! It sounds as if your Easter weekend is going swimmingly. The buns look delicious.

    I must ask you about those organic slug pellets too. We are just starting our first vegetable plot in a little raised bed in the garden, so I've been thinking about what I can do about slugs. At the moment, they're drawn to our compost heap so they don't trouble the plants, but I think a nice row of lettuces might prove just too tempting!