Pins but no needles

While we were on our fabulous holiday in Casteldeffels near Barcelona I was very impressed with the bougainvillea that flourished with abandon everywhere. There were bushes of this magenta beauty growing magnificently all around the pool at our apartment block (yes it was a FABULOUS! holiday ūüôā I was a little green with envy as we had bought a bougainvillea in Johnstown Garden Centre during our spring into our very late Spring. We planted it in a planter in the sunniest spot in our garden (I can currently see it’s reflection in the screen) at the corner of the office. And it promptly withered, wilted and generally looked sickly and sad. This was the second plant we had put in this spot and it had never taken off either so we chalked it up to even more experience and went off on our aforementioned holiday.

While we were away Ireland experience a heatwave, the like of which had not been experienced since 2006. I remember the Big Heat of ’06 as I was also big with child and it was most uncomfortable. We were expecting disaster on our return but thanks to my brother the plants nearest the house were very well watered. I forgot to mention our vegetable patch to him but everything was in great nick. And the bougainvillea was MAJESTIC! It hadn’t been watered for 2 weeks and it was fabulous. So much of gardening is a fluke for us. I do the odd bit of research but become flummoxed easily when I come across a term or practice that I am unfamiliar with. I go with the logic that if the weeds can grow that well most other things with a little care can do it. If Stone Age Man became agrarian surely I can too? (And thus she demonstrates her ignorance of history too – BAM!)

The other day as I attempted to encourage the bougainvillea up the trellis I accidentally snapped a piece off. As I don’t own any bud vases (I know – unbelievable) I decided this was a perfect opportunity to try out this project I had found on Pinterest. ¬†(In a side note check out¬†Pintrosity¬†who inspired this post and many of my Pinterest projects.)¬†I had also been dying to try out the Mod Podge that I had picked up while in New York at Easter. However as I had bought it in a paper shop I accidentally bought Paper ModPodge. From my reading though I got the impression that this ModPodge was formulated to work better with paper to avoid yellowing as it aged but works exactly the same way in all other manners.¬†Nipper 1.0 decided to give it a go too. We found the glue often dried before we managed to wrap the yarn over it. This was particularly frustrating for him and so he didn’t complete his cool looking bottle. You can see my finished jar in situ below.

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The Porridge that keeps on giving

Once Upon a time this was Porridge

Ah Pinterest – don’t you just love it? I was all set to uneasily send the leftover portion of porridge to the bin on Sunday when it occurred to me that surely someone in the world must have come up with a better solution than industrial composting for all this yummy leftover porridge. And lo! Pinterest had the answer which I share with you now from Soule Mama – muchos gracias!

Once Upon a time this was Porridge
Once Upon a time this was Porridge

Left over Porridge Muffins

  • 1 cup cooked oatmeal,¬†
  • 1 egg,¬†
  • 1 TBSP melted butter,¬†
  • 1/2 cup milk,¬†
  • 4 TBSP honey/sugar/maple syrup,¬†
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder,¬†
  • 1.5 cups flour,¬†
  • plus 1/2 cup ‘extra somethings’ – raisins, chocoloate chips, berries, etc.¬†

Bake at 400F/ 200C  for 20 minutes.

The resulting muffins were more scone-like than muffin like I felt. I tried to take care not to overstir, the biggest danger in muffin making, as it lengthens the gluten molecules, making the muffin more breadlike. A not unpleasant bun so, with a wholesome look. I’ve popped them into the freezer and will extract as required for school lunches on our particularly long Thursdays. It is possible also that my fairy cake sized cake pans were a little small for these cakes but I’m Irish – I make fairy cakes, not cupcakes and not muffins. The addition of some cinnamon, mixed spice or grated apple/ apple streusel might do this recipe no harm.

Note this is also an opportunity to show off my new red cake stand which I picked up in Stock, the most fabulouse but ludditesque shop in Dublin. I recently asked them to order oven gloves for me from Ulster Weavers, in a particular shade of red (sensing a pattern here?). They took my details down in a notebook with a pen. In a PAPER NOTEBOOK. With A PEN FILLED WITH INK. I’m pretty sure they¬†still don’t have a website. Their rivals around the corner are well wise to this fact and appear third in the SERP for Stock Dublin. I just want to call in and lecture them. Okay I admit I have lectured them, gently, a few years ago now.