Bridget

Posts Tagged ‘new year’

At year’s end.

In Animals, arigna, sustainable living on December 31, 2012 at 3:02 pm

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Well what a year that was!  So many changes for us. Some of you already know our biggest news of the year which is that we are on the move. Prospect Cottage is sold and we are leaving Arigna. We will however still be in Roscommon but that is all I am revealing for now. We move to our new place at the end of January and I will start a new blog shortly after that.

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Changes too as regards animals. We have both become intolerant to goats milk so when we sold the house Bella and Enid, our 2 milking goats,  went to our friends Paul and Deborah in Co. Clare. They have an organic smallholding and the girls are happy there. We know they will be well cared for and we can see them when we visit. Apparently they are both smitten with male goat David who also resides there.

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That left us with Smokie the Goat and Daphne the donkey to accompany us to our new place. They had been companions since we got Daphne 8 years ago. Sadly it was not to be. Smokie passed away rather suddenly in mid November leaving us very sad and poor Daphne alone. Donkeys love company and it really is’nt fair to keep a lone animal. We decided to try and get Daphne into a sanctuary. We were so lucky to find a permanent place for her at Sai Satya Sanctuary for donkeys and ponies in Castlebaldwin. That’s not too far from us so we can visit her there. The sanctuary is run by an amazing woman called Sue Paling. Sue has a genuine love of animals and has devoted her life to them. Daphne is settled in well there. She has made friends with two older ladies, Esmerelda and Bonnie. You can check out the sanctuary at www.donkeys.ie .

016Gardening has always  played a large part in my life. I just love growing flowers and veg and get immense setisfaction from harvesting vegetables and herbs and using them in our meals. Our new place has about an acre of land with an already established fruit, veg and flower garden. At least I won’t be starting from scratch but of course we will make changes and put our own stamp on the place. We are moving at a good time as a full gardening season will be ahead of us in our new abode.

013 All that remains for now is to wish you all a wonderful 2013. May you have love, happiness and abundance in the coming year. Hopefully many of you will continue the journey with us in the new place. Happy New Year! xx

Seasonal Recipes for New Year.

In Cooking on December 30, 2011 at 2:44 pm

The shortest day is thankfully behind us but we must wait awhile before the evenings start to lenghten. The weather is windy and wet. Here in Arigna we are still in Christmas holiday mood. I go into semi-hibernation at this time of year, I just love it. Cold wet and windy outside and we are indoors, the stove is pumping out the heat, friends calling, bit of cooking, drinking and eating.

Yesterday I made an Italian Hazelnut Cake, forgive me for my arrogant self-praise but it was gorgeous! Don’t have a pic of the finished cake as our friends LJ and Elaine turned up (they were invited), and we had the cake for an after lunch dessert. Then we had some more with the Bailey’s Irish Cream in the afternoon…and so it disappeared…without being photographed! I will give you the recipe so you can make one and judge for yourself if you like it.

Italian Hazlenut Cake. (Gluten Free)

200g ground hazelnuts. I’m sure you could substite ground almonds if you couldn’t get the hazelnuts.

5 eggs. 175g caster sugar. 100g butter, melted. 1 tsp vanilla extract.

Heat oven to 180c/fan, 160c/gas 4. Butter and line the base of a 20 cm round deep cake tin. Separate eggs into 2 large bowls. Tip sugar onto the yolks and whisk with an electric hand whisk for about 3 minutes or until the mixture leaves a trail on the surface when the whisk blades are lifted. Gradually whisk in the butter, then fold in the hazelnuts and vanilla. Whisk egg whites until stiff, then fold into cake mixture in 4 equal batches, using the whisk blades. Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 50-60 mins. It will be done when the cake feels firm and bounces back when pressed in the centre. Cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then turn out, peel off paper and cool.

I also promised Elaine, pictured above with the cheeky Freddie licking the cake crumbs from her plate, that I would put my recipe for making Bailey’s Irish Cream on here. So here it is:

1 14oz can condensed milk. 1 14oz can evaporated milk. 1 teaspoon glycerine, (to stop separation). 1 and a half teaspoons coffee essence (Irel or Camp). Cup or mug of whiskey, depending on how strong you want it!

Pour all into a large bottle and give a good shake! Enjoy and don’t drink it all at once!!

Best wishes to all of you for the New Year. May it be filled with contentment, peace and joy.

Bridget and Andy XX.