Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Does Size Matter?

A short blog today as woke late. Was having a lovely dream that I wish could have continued. Something about a group of people having to make themselves a Brave New World. Every family would be given the same amount of land, a detached cottage with thatched roof (probably built of mud or 'cobs'), each rooms exactly the same size. Big families would have more bedrooms but no room could be knocked into another to make a larger one. It was important that every one was equal. All skills would be put to use, and could be traded in some way,and we would have our own 'village shops' etc, where we could sell our own produce. Don't think money came into it, everything was more on a barter system.
Some families would specialise on keeping livestock, others growing produce, etc. When I woke we hadn't even started building the houses, but it did sound a good idea. Only wish!!

Must press on or time will be up before I've even started. So replies to comments and then probably no time for more - have to wait and see.
Will check to see if I can find a gooseberry chutney recipe for you Alison, and if so will post it up tomorrow, along with other 'useful' gooseberry recipes. This fruit freezes well (no need to do anything but bag up), and this also helps it break down a bit when thawing, which shortens the cooking time when making preserves etc.
Not sure how old your freezer is, but if it still works, it should be worth taking with you when you move. Beloved got rid of our big chest freezer (still in full working order at 40 years old, although the paintwork was a bit 'rubbed'), as he wanted to buy an American style-freezer. He also got rid of our fridge (a true 'retro' one as it was nearly 50 years old), and although the new combination had a much larger fridge space, the freezer didn't hold THAT much due to the motor being housed in part of it. This is why we have had to buy another chest freezer recently, and although there are only two of us, even now feel we ought to have bought a larger one. Anyone growing their own produce, buying in bulk etc needs the largest freezer their house/shed/garage can hold.

Your comment re buying plum tomatoes Susan G has reminded me to mention that if you have a town market, usually late on Saturday's (they often start packing up around 4.00pm) you can often buy 'fresh' produce that won't keep well over the weekend (berries, tomatoes, mushrooms etc) for almost give-away prices. The vendors would rather sell them for pennies than have to throw them out.

Thanks Aileen for your list of good crops grown in your garden. It's when I read 'broad beans' or figs etc) that my heart sinks. Seems that all the crops growing well for readers are the ones that Beloved really dislikes eating. Can't say I'm that fond of them either, so shouldn't really moan about him. The produce we enjoy most we don't seem able to grow. But at least all info on good crops is useful info, for at least we know what will grow well - and if we like it, and if it is expensive to buy, then go for it.

With school starting soon, this means the summer holiday season is just about at an end, and as you say Sairy, visitors to seaside resorts are now drifting away. Suppose there have been plenty here, but never got around to scooting along the prom to see them (only viewed from the car). The problem with 'prom-scooting' is that even though the 'walk-way' is very wide, families with small children walk side-by-side taking up most of the path, and a straight scoot along is almost impossible.
The only thing with Morecambe (and most coastal resorts I suppose) is that most of the shops on the seafront will now close down (except for a few at the weekend), so it will seem very dead.

If you mean Hest Bank Hotel/Inn gillibob, that too is one of our favourite 'eateries'. Great value for money with good-sized servings of quality food and very professional presentation. We live in Bare, only five minutes drive away from Hest Bank.

Wen who says much the same as others re Blackpool. It is not what it was, and it seems as the years go by, most of our resorts are becoming less and less attractive, certainly to us older ones who can remember 'how things used to be'. Now it seems it is all burger bars, chippies, the smell of cooking, very noisy 'arcades' with slot-machines etc, and even noisier fun fairs. Yes, we had SOME of that before, but only a few, and it seemed to be the sand and beaches we went for not the amusements (although to a child, now and again these were a bit of a treat). Is it me or did the summers be 'normal' in those days. Do know we always took our holidays late June early July and the sun always seemed to shine then.

Isn't it funny how we - living on an island - often believe the coast is too far to travel except for a holiday. They say none of us are more than 60 miles away from the sea, and to an inland American or European, this is as near as dammit to living on the coast. The larger the country the further people are prepared to travel for 'a day out'.
Remember an old friend of mine - who lives in Australia - telling me she often drove to her daughter's to have morning coffee with her ( drive of 150 miles!!!). And some American neighbours - living in England for a year's Sabbatical - mentioned to me at 10.00am one morning they were about to drive off to see Cornwall 'for the day'. True, we were living in Leicestershire at the time, but Cornwall! That was much too far to go for a day out. A week's holiday perhaps, but probably two weeks 'as it was so far'. As with anything when it comes to size - it's all relative.
So is Oxfordshire too far from the coast for a day out Sue15cat? Not really when you think about it. Perhaps we - as a nation - feel that a day trip doesn't count. The further afield we go the more it feels like a holiday, so possibly why so many travel abroad. Seeking the sun has to be a good reason, but am sure young children would be far more contented making sandcastles on our beaches than any Benidorm has to offer. But there again fond memories of the wonderful (then) clean and huge sand dunes at Hemsby (Norfolk) where we had our holidays pre-war (and once after) , and Sheringham (in the 50s and 60s with our children) have spoiled me. Brighton with a teenage girl friend (stayed with her grandparents) suited us at that age, and Cornwall (again with children in 60s and 70s) also memorable and unspoiled. So again, old age is adding tarnish to what I now see, and things will never be as good as they were. No doubt my parents, grandparents and all my ancestors said much the same thing.

Time has caught up with me. No food news as B had a thawed out chilli con carne for his supper with a salad. I had porridge for breakfast, jacket potato for lunch, salad and tuna for supper and because I ate too much, have now put back 3 lbs! So only a nibble or two must pass my lips today.

Tomorrow should have more time for writing, so will catch up with recipes then. Norma the Hair will be arriving in half an hour, so must go and clear a space for her dryer. Hope to meet up with you all again tomorrow. See you then.