Archive for February, 2014

New blog wearing my other hat!!

I want to tell all my blog readers that I have started a new blog. As well as being a bed and breakfast proprietor I am also a complementary therapist.

So I have created

http://kathyarnoldtherapies.wordpress.com

Please have a look and sign up to my new blog.  My first post is a short one on Reflexology for a calmer you!

Many thanks

Kathy

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Snowdrops abound at Otterhead Lakes

This morning, being sunny we went for a walk around Otterhead Lakes, one of my favourite places around here.  We went to see the carpets of snowdrops, they are so beautiful at the moment, all singles and they are so bountiful, its a joy to see.

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The sun was glinting on the water of the first lake, and the water was so calm today.

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There weren’t many people around today and we had the woodland path to ourselves as we walked towards the 2nd lake.

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A pair of swans and their fairly mature cygnet were making their way along the stream through the woods.

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The sun was glinting on the water as we reached the 2nd lake.

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As we approached the cascade we could see the water was flowing down it very fast.

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The snowdrops looked just as lovely on the way back.

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If you too want to see the snowdrops at Otterhead Lakes then come and stay in our B&B, its only a short drive away.

Look us up at http://www.lodgehousebandbsomerset.co.uk

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Who laid the funny little brown egg?

This afternoon we went down to clean the chickens out and we looked in the nest box for the eggs and we saw this multi coloured selection of eggs.

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Amongst the normal range of colours of eggs was this one little olive brown egg -very strange.  We are wondering which hen laid that one.  We do have a couple of French Copper Maran hens that are coming to maturity but they are supposed to lay chocolate brown eggs.  I don’t think this girl had her pantone colour checker out when she laid this one!!  It looks more like it came out of the other end!!  Oh well – I shall put it on the rack and I’m sure when I crack it open it will be the same colour inside!!

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The first signs of Spring bring us hope

Everywhere there are snowdrops – in our garden, in the hedgerows and swathes of them on our neighbours land.

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Last year we dug up lots of snowdrops from a wild area where they were growing in the back, and planted them into the borders, front and back.  Its good to see they have taken and are coming up with the daffodils.

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It’s great to see the Primulas also in flower, and we have the first crocus bulb out in one of the pots by our front door.

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Its welcoming to see the bulbs coming up everywhere, certainly gives us hope that Spring is round the corner and perhaps we will see an end to all this rain and flooding that people have endured.

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Luckily we are OK here as we live on a hill and the water just runs downhill, but so many places have been affected, I feel so sorry for people whose houses have been flooded.

Anyway we are open for bed and breakfast business as usual.

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My Hubby’s 59th Birthday Cake

It was my Hubby’s 59th birthday, so I baked him a cake.  I used a recipe for a light fruit cake that I used before, but used a few different ingredients.  I don’t like mixed peel so I didn’t put any in, and when I went to my store cupboard I found I didn’t have any currants so I used other dried fruit.  These are the ingredients I used:

  • 175g      light muscavado sugar
  • 175g      butter softened
  • 175g      self raising flour (I used wholemeal)
  • 1           teaspoon baking powder
  • 3           large free range  eggs
  • 2           tablespoons of  milk
  • 465g mixed fruit I used:
  • 110g      sultanas
  • 55g        dried sweet cherries, quartered
  • 85g        dried apricots, snipped into small pieces
  • 110g      raisins
  • 55g        dates, chopped into small pieces
  • 50g        dried cranberries
  • 1             teaspoon of mixed  spice
  • 2            teaspoons of ground ginger

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I cut up the dates and apricots into small pieces:

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I prepared the flour, sugar, eggs and milk.  I ran out of light muscavado sugar so had to top up with light brown sugar, but I don’t think it makes that much of  a difference if you just add a little.

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Preparation:

  • Heat the oven to 160C/320F/gas3
  • grease  and line the base and sides of an 8 inch round cake tin with baking parchment
  • beat the butter and sugar together until soft and fluffy
  • add the eggs one at a time and beat
  • add the milk
  • add the flour and all the dry fruit ingredients and fold in
  • tip the mixture into the prepared cake tin

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  • place the cake in the oven and bake for 1 3/4 to 2 hours or until golden brown and a skewer or knife inserted into the middle comes out clean.

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  • place the cake on a cooling rack to cool before removing from the tin
  • decorate  as required (I put marzipan and icing and candles on mine)

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Here he is just about to blow out the candles:-

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And thoroughly delicious it was too!!

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