Sunday, January 30, 2011

Picture the scene... (A Post About Sledging)

It's Christmas. The family is all together - from grandparents...

... to a baby and a dog.

It's your typical Christmas. Gifts are given and received, much food is eaten, silly paper hats are worn.
Seeing as it's snowy out, a snowman is built.
Well, sort of.

All clear in your mind, yeah?
Well. Matt and I, along with my two brothers, decided we wanted to go sledging. The snow wasn't very deep, and it was pretty icy by this point. Oh, and we couldn't find the sledge in the garage. So we improvised.
First up was an old skateboard from which Huw had spent some time removing the wheels. Unfortunately, the snow was somewhat lumpy, so Dave had to do a bit of smoothing with a spade.

So we moved to a different slope around the corner, where I managed to get a few action shots.

The plan here was that Matt and Dave would pretend to run behind Huw in order that Huw would look like he was moving a lot faster than he was. I think it makes it look like Huw is being pursued by the undead.

For some reason, pretty much EVERY photo I took of Dave makes him look like the undead, actually. Especially this next one.

And now a break from sledging photos in order to show you an adorable dog. Belle's gorgeous, but mad.

And we're back.
The next day, we decided we'd have to change our approach if we wanted to successfully sledge. Dave had hauled home a couple of road signs a while back, after a drunken night out, and we thought Hey! With the sharp edges and rusty patches, these will be ideal! Spoiler: No-one injured themselves beyond the odd bruise, weirdly enough.

We set up a ramp made out of one of the signs and some bricks (I know - this is sounding more and more sensible and safe by the minute, isn't it?)

And then there were races. The picture(s) below are chronologically left to right, top to bottom.

And what you're seeing here is a race between Matt and Huw. As they start out, Huw shoots into the lead. He's taunting Matt. Then tragedy strikes, and Huw comes flying off his sledge. He's determined to win, and attempts to rugby tackle Matt from his sledge. Luckily for Matt, he misses, and ends up face down in the snow as Matt glides to victory. Poor sportsmanship!
(But lots of fun.)

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Saturday, January 22, 2011

Duel of the Cephalopods

Matt and I bought a couple of octopuses at the shop. Not for companionship, I hasten to add, but to eat.
They were pretty squishy, and their heads were interestingly gelatinous when you poked them (which we totally did).

When we dropped them into boiling water, it was fascinating. The tentacles all curled up...

...and their heads became firm and rounded.

When we removed them from the boiling water, they were still a little grubby.

We'd tonged them (ummm... used tongs to pick them up) around the heads, which made the larger of the two ink everywhere. Yeah, there's also that brown stuff, but we chose to ignore it, seeing as they were getting a good wash afterwards.

Octopus duel!

Shortly after this, we decapitated them and put them in the oven. No heart-warming moral of the story here, kids!

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Sunday, January 09, 2011

Lasagne Party! Woo!

Yes, I am hanging my head in shame. It has been weeks since my last post, and I have no excuse. I am a penitent woman.

So, without further ado (and emotional self-flagellation), here's a new post!

A week before Christmas, we hosted a small and informal lasagne party.
We had a four-course all-lasagne dinner, and played games on the Wii. It was a very good night, although we were sadly down one guest. Still, that means we can do it again so that she can join in!

Pesto, spinach and ricotta. I tried to keep this light, with only two layers of pasta, as it was the first of four courses.

Spreading the spinach, pesto and onion mixture.

Spreading the ricotta mixture.

Finished (and half-devoured).

Fish course:
Smoked salmon and king prawns in a creamy tomato sauce. Again, just two layers of lasagne sheets.

Ready for the oven...

...And just out of the oven.

Main course:
Mostly a standard meat lasagne, but I made the meat sauce using bacon lardons, smoked sausage and gammon rather than the standard minced meat. And I added a healthy sprinkle of black pepper, too.


Being enjoyed by my brother.

This was somewhat (and when I say 'somewhat', I mean 'totally') experimental. Layers of marble cake mixed with chocolate sauce, caramel sauce, and shortbread, topped with a layer of ice-cream.

2-3 layers in.

Getting there - also incorporating honeycomb chunks.

Completed with ice-cream layer.

The sugar from the dessert lasagne gave us the energy to rock!

More posts soon, I promise.

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