Friday 31 October 2014

Pumpkin Pie

As we had three huge pumpkins Mark decided to make a pumpkin pie. This is the recipe that he used.


450g pumpkin
375g shortcrust pastry
175g brown sugar
175ml milk
4 eggs
250ml double cream
50ml brandy
2tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp salt

Chop the pumpkin flesh into small pieces
Steam the pumpkin for about 10-15 minutes until soft, leave to drain, preferably overnight.
Line a 25cm dish with the pastry and chill for 15 minutes
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C 
Place the pumpkin in a food processor with all the other ingredients and blend to a smooth puree
Pour the filling into the pastry case and bake for 1 1/4 hours until set.

I was really unsure about pumpkin pie however when I tasted it it was completely different to what I expected. It was more like a custard tart and tasted more of cinnamon and brandy than pumpkin. It was definitely a good way to use a pumpkin and made a nice change from pumpkin soup.

Wednesday 29 October 2014


With Halloween fast approaching we spotted these huge pumpins for sale at the local greengrocers, they were a bargain at £5 for the three. Luckily Mark was with me and the car was parked close by so between us we managed to carry them all.

Luke wanted to carve one so he started by taking all the seeds out.

It is quite a messy job but at least it was a big pumpkin so it was easy enough to get his hands in and get rid of all the seeds and loose strings of pumpkin.

He drew a face on the front and I helped him cut it out. Instead of a candle we used a pumpkin talker that Auntie Fiona sent in her Halloween parcel. It is really good as it lights up the pumpkin with a flickering light and also has a sensor so it talks when someone passes.  

We have been cooking with the other two pumpkins, so far we have made pumpkin soup, pumpkin fritters and pumpkin pie which I will write about later.

Sunday 19 October 2014

Chocolate biscuit cake

On Saturday Luke decided that he wanted to make a cake "all on his own" like William does!
When I asked him what he wanted to make he decided to make chocolate biscuit cake. This is a really good cake to make with children as not only does it taste delicious you don't need to put it in the oven.

The first thing he did was weigh out the chocolate so it could sit on the aga to melt whilst he was making the rest of the cake. 

He then weighed out the digestive biscuits.

Next came his favourite part, breaking the biscuits with the rollling pin. He put the biscuits into a plastic bag and then put this on the bread board before he started bashing the biscuits. 

Once the biscuits were smashed he weighed out the margarine and syrup.Mark was roped in to hold the syrup whilst he weighed it so it didn't go everywhere.

He then put the pan on the aga and stired it until it melted and then added the cocoa powder, cherries and biscuits and mixed them all together.

The mixture was put into a baking tray, pressed down and then the melted chocolate was added to the top.

He smoothed the chocolate out and then covered it with cling film and put in the fridge to cool.

When it came out we cut it up into squares and he was really proud that he had made it all himself. 

Sunday 12 October 2014

Luke's birthday

It was Luke's birthday last week so we went out for the day to the Science Museum and then to a Chinese buffet restaurant. Luke wanted to take Ed with us so after seeing if  his wheelchair would fit in Grandad's car (which it did) we set off for Manchester.

Luke spent most of the day riding on the back of the wheelchair and we were pleased that we could take the electric one as it meant the boys could go and look at whatever they wanted.

We spent a couple of hours there and then went for lunch at a nearby restaurant. Luke tried mussels for the first time and wasn't keen. This is the advantage of a Chinese buffet as you can try different foods and find out what we do and do not like.

Ed wasn't as brave and stuck to chicken and chips!

We had a lovely day out and Luke really enjoyed his birthday trip and Ed enjoyed the day out too.

Tidying up the garden

Today was a lovely autumn day so we have been busy tidying the garden. We cleared all the old pots and potted trees and rubbish from around the shed and it looks much better now. The cloche has been moved next to the playhouse and you can now see the concrete on the floor.

The hedge was also trimmed back as it had become very overgrown.

Mark and Luke worked very hard all afternoon getting everything tidy.

Whilst they were busy I spent the afternoon weeding and once I had finished we put bark down so hopefully the weeds won't get through as easily.