Leaving Mwandi

12 June 2015

Two weeks have shot by, and the time has come to leave the wonderful village of Mwandi.

Since Will and Becca arrived, we’ve been at a new stage on the house building- throwing!

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So we can get the walls of the house from this:

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To this:

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So, that’s what I did up until yesterday, but  I used the today to get my bags backed ready to head off to Botswana tomorrow!

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Festive Family Secrets

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Yesterday was a very special day on the Family Calendar- the day my Grandmother starts the secret Family Recipe Christmas Pudding.

I’ve been very proud the last couple of years to have assisted my Grandmother with this, and be taught each loving step of this recipe. This is definitely one to be added to my lovely new recipe book, but if you think for one moment it’s something I’m going to blog about on the world wide web, think again! However, when our hard work was done and the puddings were steaming away, I seized the opportunity to badger another recipe out of my Grandma… Shortcrust Pastry.

You may recall, a few months ago, I made some “proper sausage rolls” and threatened there and then that I would have my Grandmother teach me to make Shortcrust Pastry so I could produce a Festive Sausage Roll idea I had when the Christmas season arrived? Well, here we are!

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For me, these taste just like Christmas as they’re based VERY much on an Apricot & Almond stuffing the family all enjoy once a year with our Christmas dinner! I’ve been very excited to make them and share them with the family, and now based on everyone’s reaction I think a few more batches will be on the way too!

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Ooh, I really fancy a PROPER sausage roll…

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So, once again, I’ve proven a lousy blogger, having failed to post anything now for over a month and now hastily rectifying that with two posts in a row. It’s just one of those things! Sometimes work gets in the way and leaves you either no time or no energy to indulge in your hobbies.

Back in June, I proudly began a new job in Local Government which I must admit to enjoying quite a bit! The people are nice, the work is challenging and there are certain perks, such as the occasional work-from-home day. The nice thing about working from home is that I start significantly earlier than I would if I were driving to the office for one hour first… This leaves me no shame in treating myself to an extra tasty lunch!

The last time I worked from home I couldn’t shake that “ooh, I really fancy a PROPER sausage roll” feeling. So, with a little apple, a little sugar, a little spice and a lot of meat, that’s exactly what I went for!

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THE HOB IS BROKEN!!!

It’s true. Our precious hob cooker is broken, which means certain experimentation is limited and it’s time to get creative with the oven.

Now, I’ve underlined my love for a good sausage casserole in the past, but it’s really more of a winter warmer than something to be tolerated in a summer scorcher. But I had these fine sausages when I barbequed the other day, and everything about their flavour screamed summer! I let the inspiration carry me from there.

Mango Sausage Punch

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WELL HOT DOG!!

11 days ago (on the 10th of October) was mine and Josie’s 3rd Anniversary! As a rule we like to keep it simple, so I made breakfast (fruit, yog and fresh croissants) while Josie covered dinner. She took me very much by surprise by treating me to one of the best restaurants in London- The Pitt Cue Co! (No, there’s nothing vegetarian on the menu, yes, she dabbled, but we all do crazy stuff on special occasions and I challenge ANYONE not to cave to their meaty delights!)

Ahem.

Lucky us, we had recently won a charity raffle, the prize being one night for two adults including breakfast and dinner at the beautiful Savill Court Hotel in Windsor! What an absolutely breath taking place- a mile long nature-ridden driveway, jacuzzi, pool, steam, sauna, room service, the works! If anyone wants a treat that’s not too far from our Nation’s capital but far enough to feel like another planet, I STRONGLY recommend staying here!

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Room service!

As I’m sure you’ll agree, there is nothing more exhausting than relaxing in a hotel. So when we returned on the evening of the 12th we pretty much went straight to sleep and the following day didn’t care much for cooking. Solution? Hotdogs!

Jamaica Dogs
While I’m yet to have the pleasure of visiting Jamaica, I’m an enormous fan of the traditional flavours used in Jamaican cooking. These hot dogs get all that in the laziest possible way!
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When getting my precious lamb sausages from The Ginger Pig at Borough Market, I also bought some Jerk Sausages to try, which was when I originally came up with this recipe. On this morning, however, I learned the hard way that Borough Market isn’t open on a Sunday, so I had to find the closest alternative. If you can, I strongly recommend you just get Jerk Sausages done for you, but this recipe will show you what to do if you don’t have such delights accessible in your area.

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Hot Sausage Casserole

THE CASSEROLE!

Now that the weather is getting colder, it’s time to get thinking on some new cozy recipes to melt the icicles off our nose and ears when we get in from those long days at work. Being in an events based job, I usually get home around 9pm each evening, so I want something I can get ready fast. A great one for this is Sausage Casserole! It’s incredibly simple, you can cook it in bulk at the weekend and freeze off portions (also a great money saving trick) and I promise it’s just as good reheated as it is when you’ve just cooked it.

If there’s two things I find comforting, it’s sausage casserole and spicy lamb. After a little inspiration from watching Levi Roots make his Pepperpot, I came up with for a recipe for a lamb sausage casserole that will never fail to warm you up!

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