Have spent half term in Wales - two days sunny walking, one day rainy shopping and reading. Snowdonia is ever beautiful. The waterfalls were looking good as I drove towards Capel Curig on Friday and much water was rushing across the road after the previous day's torrent. Lots of flood signs, that sort of thing. Winds gusting to 76mph according to Wales Today.
Then to the conference below.
In the meantime I have been added to two blog rolls. Thank you.
Fr Tim, though not there in person, is of course the Parish Priest of the organisers, as well as a number of the participants.
Leutgeb, well she was in the organ loft with a Harrison & Harrison Organ from Durham (where else?) and a fine selection of former pupils and unsuspecting conference participants who were charmed by others more charming than I (Anna Marie) into offering their musical services.
From what I could hear over the din I was making, people were in very fine voice and we sang such hymns as Hail Queen of Heaven, Immaculate Mary, Praise to the Holiest, Faith of our Fathers. At Communion we sang Franck Panis Angelicus on Sat and Mozart Ave Verum on Sun, plus Tantum Ergo, O Salutaris Hostia and the Salve Regina at Benediction, and some movements from the Missa de angelis. There was quite a bit of silence too.
Following on from sunny Saturday, a happy day of cooking and family plus Mass, coffee and chat.
After lunch, I went to a garden centre with my Dad hoping to get an apple tree and he some bulbs. We got the bulbs fine, but the apple trees didn't look great (and this in Kent - where's the pride?!) However, the blackcurrant bushes looked very healthy and as they are also on my wish list, I got two plus some onions sets. Paternal Grandmother always made blackcurrant jam and I am hoping to follow in her footsteps. She used to have a cupboard in her bedroom full of jars of jam (or so it seemed.)
Came home and got digging.
Dead chuffed that for tea I had four tiny homegrown tomatoes, 4 thinned out carrots= about one mouthful with homemade bread. Sometimes I think my efforts to grow and cook stuff is a bit manna in the desert. It's very much meal by meal and sometimes mouthful by mouthful.
In other important news it looks like having been promoted to 'maker of the family Christmas Cake,' I may be given the job of making the wedding cake for my brother. No pressure.... I shall use the Xmas cake as a practice and hopefully someone clever will ice it.
As 'Auntie Joanna' says on her blog the trees are looking very beautiful. I walked through St James's Park yesterday, enroute to the Rosary Crusade just to get in some Autumnal views. Good stuff.
A beautiful sunny Autumn day for it. Lots of people, lots of pushchairs and marshals who say the rosary whilst marshaling.
How often do you get to sing Immaculate Mary whilst walking past Harrods? Not often, I bet.
Brompton Oratory stuffed full of people singing is pretty great too.
Let's hope that has an effect on the passing or not of the HFE Bill.
The only sour note was on the way home when some pupils from my old school shouted, 'There's Miss Leutgeb,' at me a number of times outside the station. I just carry on walking when this happens. London is so crowded and my name so common, who's to say it's me? Maybe other professions get shouted at in the street, but I've never heard of it. Paramedic brother has people shout,' Oi Greenie, who's dead?' now and then, but it's not directed at him personally. I did leave that school over three years ago too.
120g self-raising flour (Nigella says plain's OK.) 90g butter, cold and diced into 1cm cubes 3 table spoons light muscavado sugar (I use the really dark brown stuff.) 3 table spoons vanilla sugar (that's way too posh for this kitchen, so I use caster sugar)
To which I add a handful of jumbo rolled oats. Nuts can be nice too. Sultanas ....
Crumble away. Do what you do with your fruity bits. Add a bit of sugar and water? That all depends on what it is and how tart the fruit is -very in the case of my Mum's windfall Bramleys just now.
Gas mark 5/ 190C for 25-35 mins.
Butter room temp or cold? I'm pretty relaxed on that, though never really soft.
My Mum just does the good ol' 3:2:1 method flour:sugar:butter and my Dad has been eating away merrily for forty years on her crumbles. No complints from that end of the table. She says it can be very crumbly or pleasingly shortbready depending on the whim of the cook. Very sweet or not so.
I like Nigella, but the grams thing and then tablespoons.... SI Units for cooking needed here methinks. Also, I have 3 different sizes of tablespoons and that doesn't seem to have messed up the crumble ever. The dark brown sugar is nice though.
So there we are. Anyone else have anything to say on this topic?
Grandma died a year ago today. To mark the occasion, my cousin requested a Mass for her, which we all went to, then we had lunch and then we visited her grave which is also where Grandpa is buried, though he predeceased her by nearly 32 years.
Her details have been added to the grave stone, which in typical Irish fashion gives the place and county of birth of each of them, the dates when they died and how old they were - 66 and 90 respectively.
I managed not to notice at her burial that the grave is in the Catholic section of the cemetery, so she is surrounded by statues of Our Lady and Celtic Crosses.