Monthly Archives: September 2008

European Heritage Open Days 2008 – Part Two

Day two of the European Heritage Open Days (EHOD) on 14th September took me back to Carrickfergus to check out a couple of places I only viewed from the outside in the past.

Carrickfergus Museum was my first port of call. Since the place was modern, all exhibits were behind glass and the lighting not conducive to taking photographs, I managed only one image that I was pleased with.

The item had little to do with the history of the town.

It is a Valentine Card. The sections of paper like fine tissue all fold into each other until only one heart shape remains. Because of the poor light it was impossible to read either the text on the card or the notes almost at floor level inside the glass case with the back story to the card. Now if only I had a valentine to make a card like this for…..

The street signs outside on the walls were a little unusual!

Or this one beside a gate:

Alas the wall here looked as if it was recently rebuilt and the gate was modern looking through to a courtyard or garden beside modern Council offices.

I will return to the subject of EHOD later in the week with a more interesting find from last Sunday.

Food Monday ~ Chicken Stock

Steph asked before she headed off for warmer climes if i had a recipe for Chicken stock. I do and reproduce it here today. I hope it is to her and your liking.

Chicken Stock

Bones from a cooked chicken carcass including skin
1 carrot, peeled and roughly chopped
1 medium sized onion, peeled and roughly chopped
1 stick of celery, roughly chopped
6 black peppercorns
1 teaspoon salt.
1 dried bay leaf
fresh parsley
1 sprig fresh thyme

Put all the ingredients into a large pan and cover with water. Bring to the boil and skim off any scum that has formed. Cover and simmer very gently for 2-3 hours.Strain the stock into a large bowl, allow to cool and chill overnight.Skim off any fat that has formed on the surface. Use within 3 days or freeze.

To freeze, reduce the stock by half by boiling vigorously. Cool. Pour into ice-cube trays and freeze. When frozen put the cubes into a bag, label it, and when you want to use one, just put in a jug and add boiling water to dissolve the cube.

7th thou shalt not…

Bless me father, I did!

Well it is like this: I am out of the bed at the skreak of dawn for the drive to PodCamp.  Time only for coffee and a layer of warpaint before that son-in-law of mine calls out ‘Time to go!’  He is a very tall fella and when he bellows, sure I quake in my shoes!

Now for those of you not travelling you need something to think about, so I broke No. 7!

I stole this from Chrisb who got it from Barbara who got it from Yoli’s blog:

A Woman’s Poem

Before I lay me down to sleep, I pray for a man, who’s not a creep,
One who’s handsome, smart and strong.
One who loves to listen long,
One who thinks before he speaks,
One who’ll call, not wait for weeks.
I pray he’s gainfully employed,
When I spend his cash, won’t be annoyed.
Pulls out my chair and opens my door.
Massages my back and begs to do more.
Oh! Send me a man who’ll make love to my mind,
Knows what to answer to ‘how big is my behind?’
I pray that this man will love me to the end,
And always be my very best friend.

A Man’s Poem

I pray for a deaf-mute gymnast nymphomaniac with huge boobs who owns a bar on a golf course, and loves to send me fishing and drinking. This doesn’t rhyme and I don’t give a s***.

Now be good while I am busy!

How Yiz Doin?

Good morning from a sunny Dublin.  I am actually wearing a summer top because it is so warm.  Summer has arrived in earnest.

So who wants to know how I am ❓

To be truthful I am feeling rather confused…

I am a Mammy and I have a daughter.  I got that right didn’t I?  Somehow the roles have changed when I wasn’t thinking or looking or listening.  It is all very confusing and upsetting really and for a ‘lady’ of my mature years, not good at all.

Yesterday when I arrived I was dispatched to the shops for a message and then when I got back I had to sit still and be QUIET because she was working.  Needless to say I kept my mouth shut tight but danced up and down like inelegant elephant just to get my own back.

Today I thought that peace would reign since she was going into the office.  Alas, as I was sitting enjoying the lovely coffee that George made for me (not a bad lad that fella!) when along comes little miss with a pen and paper.  Yes I did say PEN & PAPER!  When that happens you know things are serious.  ”I taught that girl well!” I said to myself…. make a list of all that you need to do and that way you won’t forget them.

It was when she started talking and writing like an old fashioned school ma’am that I began to get worried.

The paper was for a list of chores; to be done…..   BY ME!

You should see the list it is as long as your arm.  One item has 2pm after it!  Talk about time and motion.  At this rate I’ll have no energy for Toyboys tomorrow!

I would eat the list but for the fact I don’t like the taste of paper.  I can’t throw it up on top of a wardrobe ’cause they all go to the ceiling.  There is no fireplace to burn it, so I need your help!

How can I get rid of the list and what should I do to get my own back?

She’s leaving Home

She’s leaving home after living alone for so many years….

By the time I get to Phoenix Newry, you will find this

‘cause I’m off to Dublin in the green.

Yes I am off to Dublin, or indeed half way there by now. It is the first stage of my trip to PodCamp. I hope to see you there. Now did I pack everything…

Clothes – yes

Pills – yes

Pen – yes

Paper – yes

Camera – yes

Curtains – yes

Now I know there was something else….

Toyboy Badges 😀

Have fun while I am away but no hanging dirty washing on my line!

Thursday Special ~ Lessons

A 4th form science teacher, Mrs. Parker, asked her class, ‘Which human body part increases to 7 times its normal size when stimulated?’

No one answered until Mary stood up, angrily, and said, ‘You should not be asking 4th formers a question like that! I’m going to tell my parents, and they will go and tell the principal, who will then fire you!’ With a sneer on her face, she then sat back down.

Mrs. Parker ignored her and asked the question again, ‘Which body part increases to 7 times its normal size when stimulated?’ Mary’s mouth fell open; then she said to those around her, ‘Boy, is she going be in big trouble!’

The teacher continued to ignore her and said to the class, ‘Anybody?’

Finally, Kevin stood up, looked around nervously, and said, ‘The body part that increases 7 times its size when stimulated is the pupil of the eye.’

Mrs. Parker said, ‘Very good, Kevin,’ then turned to Mary and continued, ‘As for you, young lady, I have three things to say: (1) You have a dirty mind, (2) You didn’t read your homework; and (3) One day you are going to be very, very disappointed.’

If you wait long enough

If you wait long enough, you will find the answer!

Back at the end of August I asked if anyone knew the name of this tree. It was the shape that confused me.

Well I don’t like to be beaten so I kept digging! Eventually I discovered that The Landscape Centre at Donegore had the contract for the IKEA site. I phoned and a very nice gentleman informed me that the trees that so fascinated me were Pollarded Salix Alba.

Salix Alba or white Willow is common in the UK. They are fond of wet ground and often flank rivers and streams. The tree above was pollarded (cut off at just above head height) several times to give a rounded shape.

White willow is a traditional basket-making material and was also woven for sheep hurdles. Cricket bats are made from a cultivated derivative of the white willow.

So now you know!

Food Monday ~ Beef Stew with Guinness

Beef Stew with Guinness
Preheat oven to 140°C

2 tablespoons olive oil
3 Bay leaves
2 lbs stewing steak cubed
1 large onion sliced
A sprig of thyme
1 tablespoon chopped rosemary
2-3 tablespoons all- purpose flour
¾ cup beef stock
½ cup Guinness stout
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
½ lb carrots, peeled and sliced
2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
Season to taste
Serves 4-6

In a pan heat the oil and the bay leaves. Cook the bay leaves for a moment and then add the meat brown on both sides on high heat. Add the sliced onion and cook for a few minutes until it is clear. Reduce the heat to low and add the garlic, thyme, rosemary and flour, and stir well until smooth.Add the beef stock and stout; simmer, stirring, until the stew thickens a bit. Add the remaining ingredients and transfer to casserole dish and cook in a preheated oven for about 2 hours, stirring a couple of times. Check for salt and pepper before serving.