Deep Hull

Deep Hull

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

50 Years Young

The end of June saw me reach the milestone of my half century, how on earth did that happen?  I was only 21 last week surely!  The day before my birthday, my lovely work colleagues managed to trick me out of my office whilst they decorated it with balloons.

They then presented me with a lovely thoughtful gift of a Red Letter Day voucher for a brewery tour and pub lunch at one of my favourite places, Cropton which is based at The New Inn in Cropton, North Yorkshire.  We just so happen to have a cottage booked there for a week in November so I have been able to book our treat for that week.  Needless to say both Patrick and I are really looking forward to that.

Since last year I had been umming and ahhing about whether or not to bother with a celebration and if so, what to do. I don't like a fuss really but felt that I should do something, afterall 50 is a pretty big milestone so I decided to have a small party in my house for family and close friends.

I'm very lucky to have a fella who cooks, so Patrick offered to cook the curries.  Three HUGE curries, enough rice to feed a fairly large Indian village and other nibbles like pakoras, bhajis and samosas there was a fair old feast awaiting our visitors.  I had bought wine and best of all a 36 pint cask (along with a hand pump) of one of my favourite beers, Jem's Stout from local brewers Great Newsome, this is a family run micro brewery and we had beer from them for Patrick's 50th birthday too.  Their service and helpfulness is second to none and I really would recommend them if you're having a party or whatever and want a cask of ale delivering and setting up.  It was a lovely evening and I enjoyed having the people I love around me.  I'm quite irritated with myself that I didn't take more photos though.  My two sons had disappeared back upstairs, being the antisocial brats that they are, before I thought to get the camera out but here are just a few of friends and family.

Me and my man

Donna & Pete, Dave & Beverley, Jenny with Patrick and Me with Paul
Two of my best friends Justine on the left and Debbie on the right
The Ives (what IS George doing?)
Ray & Chris (left), Harry & Janette (right)

I must recount the story of the Bain Marie so it doesn't get forgotten in the midsts of time.  I had borrowed slow cookers from family members so that we would be able to keep the food warm once it was cooked and ready to serve and Patrick's sister Coral had a borrowed 'Bain Marie' which she offered to us to use for rice.  Well, with a bain marie, you fill the base with hot water and the dishes of food then sit in that and stay warm - easy peasy.  All was under control in the kitchen so Patrick sent me off upstairs to get myself changed and prettied up ready for our guests to arrive.  I hereby place it on record that as usual Justine was first to arrive at 6pm prompt but I digress, back to the story I go.  Whilst I was upstairs getting ready, Patrick decided it was time to fill the 'bain marie' with the hot water and using my large 2 litre jug began to do just that.  One jugful in and it didn't seem to even be halfway there so another jugful goes in.  It's during the pouring in of this second jugful that Patrick hears the trickling sound of dripping water and realises that the 'bain marie' isn't a bain marie at all and that four litres of water are now pouring out of it, all over my kitchen floor!  What's more is that it's actually an electrical hotplate that he's poured water all over!!  Luckily there were no parts for the water to seep into, it was a smooth stainless steel plate and the water had just run off it and under the frame which the food dishes rest on.  By the time I came downstairs looking gorgeous, he had cleaned it all up, which was just as well because I would have flapped and panicked.  I was able to see the funny side which if I'd been there and having kittens about the mess, I wouldn't have done.  Coral, when later tackled about this and informed that it wasn't in fact a bain marie found the whole thing hilarious and just said "No, I know it's not a bain marie but that's just what I call it".  Not much you can say to that really is there?

Monday, 22 October 2012

A Massive Big Catch Up

Oh My Word, I have been so neglectful of this blog and I'm quite disappointed in myself because I do this primarily for myself because I enjoy looking back through it from time to time.  It's surprising how you forget how you felt until you read your own words back.  So, I think I'd better try and bring things up to date as much as possible.  So much has happened that I'll have blog in installments to bring myself up to date.

First up, back in May we went to a fantastic food and beer festival in Ludlow, Shropshire.  It was held in the grounds of Ludlow Castle and rather than me trying to remember and describe it all, I'll just point you in the direction of this fabulous blog post by Patrick.  He does a great job of telling the tale and below are some photos that I took on the day.

Next event up was our annual summer holiday.  Instead of the usual cottage stay, we had opted for a boating holiday on the Norfolk Broads and off we went in mid-June.  The weather had been horrendous in the weeks leading up to our holiday, rainy, windy and just plain horrible but actually, during the week we were away we were pretty lucky and it only rained briefly one afternoon, it rained every night but we were tucked up and cosy on the boat then so it didn't matter. 

I have to say that my feelings now, four months on are still  "Least said, soonest mended"!  Let's just say that I didn't take to it and was very nervous driving the boat all week.  On the way down, we stopped off in Kings Lynn at Beers of Europe for supplies of our favourite Belgian Ales to take onboard.  The place really is a beer lover's paradise and we spent rather a lot of time (and money) in there!  We stayed in Norwich overnight and visited some of the lovely pubs there before driving to Stalham the next day to pick up our boat.  After a (very) short drive / sail (not sure what to call it) out of the boatyard and a quick tutorial on how to moor up, we were on our way.  I can't say I really enjoyed the week on the boat, although I wouldn't say I hated it either.  For me, it was just a stressful experience and I wouldn't want to do it again.

Still, we got lots of photos of ducks, geese and swans :-)

And Patrick did get to relax some of the time.

 That's this post done and dusted.  I'll try to post again before the week is out to get us a bit more up to date.