Bara Brith

With St David’s Day coming up soon, I’ve been flicking through my little book “Favourite Welsh Tea Time Recipes” which I got from a little shop in the Gower, where we go camping every year. I think it’s a book you can get in a lot of gift shop type places in Wales, and there are probably English, Scottish and Irish versions all over too. But I got mine down the Gower, and so just reading the book makes me feel happy feels. Good memories.

Despite having read the small recipe book cover to cover at least a hundred times, I think I’ve only made one recipe from it, and that is the traditional Welsh treat, Bara Brith, which means Fruit Loaf. But it tastes better when you use its Welsh name…obviously ;)

As the book suggests, this is a great tea time recipe, but I’m also partial to it as a breakfast alternative! Any guesses as to why I’m trying to lose weight! No, it’s not something I eat for every breakfast, I rarely bake this more than once a year really, but I always mean to. It fills this house with such comforting smells!

10oz mixed dried fruit (today I used a mix of raisins and sultanas, because it’s what was in the cupboard!)

2/3 pint hot tea (no milk)

3oz soft brown sugar

Grated rind of 1 lemon

12oz self raising wholemeal flour (I’ve made this with white flour before and that’s fine too)

1 tsp mixed spice

1 large egg

Soak the dried fruit in the hot tea, cover and leave to stand overnight.

The next day, preheat the oven to 180c, and prepare a 2lb loaf tin (grease, or be lazy like me and use the paper liners!)

Strain the fruit, and reserve the liquid.

In a large bowl, mix the fruit together with the rest of the ingredients.

Add the reserved liquid a little at a time, until a soft dropping consistency is reached. If, like me, you’ve left the fruit stand for too long (and they’ve soaked up more liquid than you need to reach the right consistency) just add a little water or tea if you’ve got some cooled. I used water because I couldn’t be bothered to wait for tea to cool!

Pour the mix into the tin and bake for 45-55 minutes, until risen and firm to the touch.

Once cool serve sliced and buttered.

I’d recommend baking this when you’ve got visitors due, it’ll make your house smell scrummy, and it’ll stop you eating the entire loaf. Unless you’ve baked it just for yourself, in which case, enjoy!

Mrs H xxx
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Story Time Is My New Favourite

There are so many times of the day that I love, they’re all my favourite things and times, and there are also times I like less (bottle washing for example!). But lately we’ve got better at this whole routine thing with G, especially at bedtime, and teaching him to put himself to sleep without the help of my cuddles and rocking, so I have to make sure I get some good cuddle time in before I put him in the cot.
I’ve also had great fun growing a little library for G, I splashed out earlier today on 3 books to add to the collection…£1! That’s right, one whole pound for three books! Many of you will know the secret of course; it’s one I’ve indulged in for my own book collection for many years, the wonderful charity shops!

Another thing I love about our new daily addition to the routine is the bi lingual books I got given by my sister. I get to practise using the little Welsh I know, and learn a bit more and I get to share a new language with G.

Nothing beats sleepy, snugly cuddles with my gorgeous little boy, especially now he’s getting far too lively to sit still long enough in the day to cuddle!

Mrs H xxx

Writers Block Sucks

I’ve been suffering from ridiculous writers block. Nothing seems to be good enough or exciting enough for public reading. But after a chat with the #welshbloggers on twitter, who knows who’s reading this or what you may find interesting. How would you or I know unless I wrote it, whatever it may be. And what’s the worst that could happen? You’d stop reading and I’d be talking (writing) to myself, it’s hardly life ending. I’m usually found waffling to myself anyway :D

So here I am. Waffling, whinging, and moaning about writers block, hoping that it might clear my writers block!

Do you have any tips for curing writers block, or anything you can suggest as a topic? Please let me know!

Mrs H xxx

Weekly Wishes 15th December 2015

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There’s just one wish for the Herniman House….for illness to go away!! All three of us have made our way through a really crappy cold for the last couple of weeks. It’s been particularly bad for Mr H who’s had so much work in the run up to Christmas. Me and Baby H have been able to stay indoors feeling sorry for ourselves. And if the cold wasn’t bad enough, poor Baby H has had his second tooth arrive, so teething on top means he’s developed a rash right around his mouth and chin. Poor little guy, he has me trying to plaster cream on him day and night.

So we’re feeling pretty sorry for ourselves, and the energy levels are rock bottom. It’s taken so long for me to finish this post, because I haven’t had the energy to keep writing! Fingers crossed we’re on the last of it now. There’s so much to do before Christmas that I haven’t got time for this!

And if I haven’t moaned enough, my migraines are back. I’ve been a sufferer since I was about 7 years old, and had the worst/longest lasting one I’ve ever had when I was nearly 3 months pregnant. But since then I was migraine free! I usually suffer at least one a month, several a week before getting my medication sorted, so just over a year without one was heavenly. And it came to a very sad end this week. Thank goodness I still had medication in the house, because today was the 4th attack this week!

It’s been two weeks since the last wishes post, so I could have done better, but considering how ill we’ve been, it isn’t as bad as it could have been!

Order online presents – yes! I possibly have one more order to place, but it’s not an essential one, so that’s a definite win!

Make a Christmas present – it wasn’t the one I had planned, but I have got one done for Baby H. And I’ve started stocking up on ingredients for the hampers. It’s going to be a big rush getting back on top of everything but at least there is somewhere to start.

Get more media/blog savvy – well I changed the theme of the blog…see the new festive theme J And I did download tweet deck, had a little practise with that, but not nearly enough as I wanted to. No posts scheduled, keep forgetting to schedule tweets, but I did get the guest post finished and mailed off so it’s not all bad.

This week I’m just going to say I want us all to get better (like within the next hour I want a complete cure) and then it’s crazy time getting everything ready for Christmas. I’m not going to make a list because there’s just too much to do!

Wish me luck! Hope your Christmas preparations are going better than ours!

Mrs H xxx

Weekly Wishes 1st December 2014

Happy Christmas month!! Christmas is my most favourite time of year, and the build up has me more excited than some children! Our decorations usually go up on the first of December, but because of Mr H being so busy in work, it looks like it’s going to be the 2nd or 3rd…..I may cry!

There is good news though, I’ve managed to clean up the mantelpiece we bought off of ebay for the very expensive price of 99p!!! It had a lot of dried on masking tape which wouldn’t peel off cleanly, so after a google search (and a check of the cupboards to see what supplies I had) I gave peanut butter and hairspray a go. It only bloody worked! I was pretty sceptical, smear peanut butter, let it sit for a while, scrape off and buff with cloth and hairspray. I am so excited to have a proper mantelpiece to decorate and hang stockings from this year.

This week I did much better with my wishes than last week! Probably because they were a lot easier and more of an extension to the everyday chores, but I’m still pretty pleased that they’re done.

Finish the big clean – Yes! I finally got all of the deep cleaning done just in time for the decs to be going up. And even better than that, I cleaned the mantelpiece too (see above!).

Cook more for the freezer – it’s not full but there’s more in there than there was. Still meal planning and making extra portions too which is good. Also my NomNomKids food pouches have arrived (review coming soon) which are helping loads with getting more homemade grub into my little munchkin!

This week I’m going to backtrack a bit and try to get on with last weeks wishes, mainly because they’re mostly Christmas present related and handmade so I really really need to get a start (and finish hopefully) on a few.

Order the online presents – I’m getting very aware that postage times are going to be getting riskier soon, so I really need to get some ordered.

Make a Christmas present – I’m having a bit of an issue with my sewing machine, but i need to stop procrastinating and get it fixed, and get sewing! There are two main presents to be sewn, and they’re for my godchildren, so they’re pretty important. I’ve also got several hampers to put together, so it would be nice to get some of that started.

Get more media/blog savvy – I’d like to get more posts organised, because I’ve only just found out that you can schedule when they’re posted *embarrassed face*, which would help me be a little bit more regular. I’ve also just heard about tweetdeck (although I can’t find that app, is it still going? Is there a new name? New app??) so it wouldn’t look like I completely disappear every so often. Seem to have volunteered to ‘guest post’ for another blog soon *terrified face* so I need to get that sorted. I was never great at getting, my homework done on time….no comment Dad!!

Have a great week!

Mrs H xxx

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