I haven’t posted much recently, we’ve been busy looking after our lovely guests, and sorting through a lifetime’s worth of goods in Greenock. That task can be heart rending, which things from a long and full life do you keep? How can you dispose of the rest? George’s background helps, he often says that the most important aspect of archiving is knowing what to throw away.
Some things tell a story, there was the trunk, but its story was lost beyond any living memory, and there are photos whose stories can be brought to the surface of memory. And then there are other things which tell their own story.
…..can be opened up to reveal
……………………………………..and tell me the last time it was used.
And to satisfy my liking of coincidence and circularity,
………during our sorting
……………..we found books of Gaelic songs
………………………which we passed, via a friend
……………………………..to Oban Gaelic Choir.
As I write this the house is filling with the delicious scent of bananas and baking; I’m making a banana loaf ready for our next guests.
When I first started baking for guests I made Welshcakes, (though these are cooked on a griddle not baked) to share a little of my Welsh background. And of course because they’re delicious
I also wanted to use Scottish recipes, though I still haven’t perfected shortbread despite having a few favourite family recipes to choose from. Oatcakes and butteries have been more successful
and bolstered by that experiment with puff pastry I’ve had a go at the French breakfast classic, croissants.
Following other blogs has opened up a world of recipes for me, I love reading the posts here and made a batch of breakfast cookies last year.
And so back to my banana bread, it’s out of the oven and cooling down. But where did this recipe come from?
Well I tasted it first on a picnic last week and asked for the recipe. And this morning after yoga class I was given not just the recipe but a little bag containing some essential ingredients.
And now to share…
*the yoga pose
I haven’t posted in a while, but we haven’t been idle. Walls which were painted last year have been refreshed, furniture has been moved around and the dining room has a new colour scheme.
We had a little uncertainty about plans for the summer, but now any building work has been pushed back to the Autumn, so it’s all systems go for the summer season.
We woke to grey skies and rain, but this afternoon the sun has returned. Lets hope it’s here for the summer.
Well it turns out that both the croissants and me were a bit tired last night so we had an overnight rest.
But refreshed, rolled, twisted and baked (them not me) here they are……
……….just the thing with some delicious Paradise Kitchen jam.
What do you mean it’s not breakfast time yet?
We’ve been away doing our own bit of ancestral tourism and exploring a little of the Western Isles.
..and maybe enjoying the odd cup of tea
Now we’re home it’s all systems go for the summer so I’m back to the baking. Yesterday was Welshcakes and oatcakes, today I’m trying something new. Croissants. So far the technique is similar to the one for Aberdeen butteries but more, well, buttery. I don’t have a family or neighbourly recipe for them, I’ve gone back to my trusty Good Housekeeping cookbook.
They need to rest in the fridge for half an hour, and that time’s nearly up.
To be continued……
We might not have a Superstore on Seil but we do have a super store. We go there most days, for our newspaper, eggs, jam and other essentials. For the past few months we’ve been trying to make the journey on foot which though admittedly challenging on our more humid days is a much more sociable way to travel.
Bramble waiting outside the shop
The weather has been lovely for the past few days and it’s brought out a wonderful display of flowers, in gardens and growing wild. I can’t name them all, but here are just a few from this morning’s walk.
the first bluebell
and the last of the
and in gardens
And then there are also these cute youngsters
Which did give me qualms about some of the contents of my shopping bag, but it’s all part of the cycle of life, here on Seil.
I love finding old pictures of Sheiling, so I was really excited to find it had featured in a movie . I came across this site – Reelstreets which not only lists film locations, but has a clever now and then feature so that you can view a still from the movie and then an up to date photo. The “now” picture of Sheiling was taken a little while ago too. The tree has been felled and the bushes cut back since it was taken, but the gate and posts are still in place.
The film is The Bridal Path a 1959 movie starring Bill Travers and with a cast including George Cole, Gordon Jackson and Annette Crosbie. Other scenes were filmed at Ellenabeich, Oban and Castle Stalker. I haven’t seen the movie yet but it is still available, so will be joining the dvd library here.
* The Bridal Path rates a respectable 6.9 on IMDb but it didn’t win Best Picture for 1959. That honour went to a slightly better known and bigger budgeted film, Ben Hur
I tried making an old Scottish staple today. Oatcakes. I didn’t have any family recipes, though I’m sure there must be some, so I used this one from BBC GoodFood. And as I was using up some ingredients, I tweaked it slightly. My gluten free oats were coming to the end of their shelf life so in they went and then I thought it would be nice to make them entirely gluten free so used gluten free buckwheat flour. I used salted butter, again using up stocks, so didn’t add all the salt.
work in progress
The finished products suited my taste but I think in future I’ll add the recipe quantity.
This recipe and all the others I found asked me to bake the cakes but I set aside some to cook stove top on the griddle , this is how they would have been cooked in the past. The stove top version worked but the oven baked ones were crisper.
ready to bake
All in all I was pretty pleased with the result and they weren’t at all difficult. So now I have an addition to my repertoire and one I can offer to guests on a gluten free diet.
I can’t promise weather like this……
Or the prince/princess of your dreams….
But I can promise……..
A comfortable bed….
……..a delicious breakfast
….. a movie to share..
And perhaps a little extra.
So don’t be shy, give it a try (As I might have “sung” last week )
We’ve been lucky to escape the worst of the winter storms so far but Gertrude and Henry gave us a bit of a buffeting. So it was lovely when the sun peeked out yesterday afternoon and we were able to enjoy a walk more or less upright and without one layer of waterproofs.
oops! need to clean the windows
We climbed up the hill behind the house looked down on the Sound bathed in sunshine.
that’s Sheiling peeking out on on the left hand side
Although on our return we crunched through this…
hailstones on the path
Today dawned brightly and as we needed to make a trip into the town we took Bramble to her favourite beach for a run and then walked over the hill (following the cycle path ) to Dunstaffnage Castle.
inside Dunstaffnage Castle
I spotted some signs of Spring in the ditches,
but Winter will be with us a while yet, there was sleet after lunch. Still it’s beautiful here , whatever the weather.
if we didn’t have rain there wouldn’t be rainbows