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  • FIRST POST
    • Greying Pilgrim
    • By Greying Pilgrim 28th Dec 14, 5:28 PM
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    Greying Pilgrim
    Living richly; simply and debt-freely
    • #1
    • 28th Dec 14, 5:28 PM
    Living richly; simply and debt-freely 28th Dec 14 at 5:28 PM
    Good Afternoon

    I've decided to start a new diary, just prior to the New Year. My old diary has been instrumental in helping me through a slight sticky patch 18 months ago, and has really helped me to start to lead the life that I want to live with my DP at Greying Towers. If you want to read the background, here's the link; Living on next to nought is that the key?

    2014 has already seen us declutter whole drawers and rooms of *stuff* (and we don't own much!) and make a start on the redevelopment of Greying Towers And we've remembered to have fun along the way, so have kept up with our preferred method of entertainment, which is cycling, walking, picnicking and visiting Natty Trust places

    2015 and beyond is going to see us hurtling towards retirement - well, if the goalposts didn't constantly shift, we'd be hurtling, but let's just say, that as you get older, the years pass by much more quickly, so we're getting older, quicker We don't necessarily want to be living where we are now, as we get older. We don't need a smaller property, Greying Towers is quite wee, but it's relatively high maintenance, not terribly energy efficient and doesn't fill us with joy to live here.

    Therefore, we have been trying to plan for our futures. I've certainly always been of a frugal, thrifty, self-sufficientish vein. DP is a late starter, but has fully converted, and now often nags encourages me to do better! Therefore, we're used to living within our means. And certainly my previous diary has helped to galvanise our determination to live within our means, and yet lead a *rich* life, full of fun, memorable moments and lots of laughter. Of course, a *rich* life is open to individual interpretation, but I've found that the simpler my life becomes, the *richer* it is. And to this end, I'm determined to live a rich life, of simplicity - enabling us to live within our means and avoid debt. We would like to move house, and I currently have no idea what impact the changes in mortgage rules may or may not have on us. But I do know that we would be wise to have as much money saved as we can, and to avoid any poor credit ratings. So, the important part of our lives now is to remain living a *rich* life - doing all the things that we do now; simplifying our lives only focusing on what is needed or important and remaining, firmly, out of debt.

    As in my previous diary, there are only 2 adults to consider the impact of any crazy schemes we may have to employ - if our teeth fall out or we keel over with malnutrition, then that is our own look out!

    Keeping an eye on budgets is key to simple living, and the one I keep the beadiest eye on, is always the food budget. We are a vegetarian household with a budget for £100 per month for food. Toiletries, alcohol, haircuts etc etc is from a separate budget of £80 total.

    I'm very interested in food, eating and cooking. I talk about it a lot. I even take pics of me tea I hope to continue that strange habit in this diary

    We have a *significant* event in 2015, that we would like to mark. We are currently trying to work out if we could afford to do it, alongside all the work that needs to be done on the house. I haven't got high hopes that we can do it all - but if I've learnt one thing, it is that if you don't have a plan at all, then you definitely fail before you start. In 2013 and 2014 we have definitely achieved much more when we've had a plan, than without - even if we've had to change course, or in fact, had a different outcome to that intended

    So, fancy joining me for the ride?

    Greying
    Last edited by Greying Pilgrim; 28-12-2014 at 5:37 PM.
    'Ich habe genug'

    'I am not in the pursuit of happiness, only in the discovery of joy' - Joyce Grenfell
Page 84
    • Greying Pilgrim
    • By Greying Pilgrim 20th Sep 16, 7:53 AM
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    Greying Pilgrim
    Good Morning

    No two ways about it Cheery, had we 'decent' takeaways in the vicinity of Greying Towers, I would have been on the telephone quick smart last night!

    So, today has started well, and I have no reason to believe that it will go anything other than well We have an appointment to keep this afternoon, that will be purely pleasure and leisure, and enable us to spend time with one of the people that has come into our life in the last year or so, and helped to transform it

    Tea this evening will be soup and pudding. Not too sure of the ingredients of either at this point. But I'll cobble summat together

    If i get time to go up the high street, i will need to spend some money today. If I just go out this afternoon, there will be no need, as I will be in housing estate central, and there is nowhere to spend money - well, apart from the over-priced corner shop, but they'll have nothing that i actually need.

    Right, I'm away to make myself look gorgeous I may be some time

    Thanks for popping in and reading and for your ongoing support. It is greatly appreciated.

    Greying X
    'Ich habe genug'

    'I am not in the pursuit of happiness, only in the discovery of joy' - Joyce Grenfell
    • Greying Pilgrim
    • By Greying Pilgrim 20th Sep 16, 8:29 PM
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    • 31,515 Thanks
    Greying Pilgrim
    Good Evening

    We've had a lovely day - a NSD to boot!

    Makes you wonder how two consecutive days can be so different. But there you go 'Tomorrow will be another day' got me through the first few weeks following the birth of Baby Greying and it is so true.

    And the sun came out later in the afternoon, and i had a lovely walk home in the sunshine, at a time I'm not normally out and about - it was lovely, just right heatwise. I am very, very blessed.

    It's been a bit of a rush since we got home, but DH came in not long after us and was on hand to help, so it all got done

    Tea was indeed soup. Although I went for a 'chunky' one as I've not 'made' pudding afterall (that's not to say some icecream may not leap into a bowl just now with some tinned pineapple....... ) I made Tanzanian black-eyed pea and coconut soup. I've not made it in a while. OK, so we've had black-eyed peas two nights on the trot, but the recipes were significantly different enough to make the meals not taste similar Picture here;



    Served with a dollop of natural yoghurt (DH has replenished stores ) with some sumac sprinkled over. It was a little bit more liquidy than it looks, but perhaps not totally soup-like. I like the spicing in it though - nice and fragrant

    Today i am grateful for these 3 things;

    Love - in its many guises

    Friendships - old and new

    Laughter -

    Ta for popping by and reading. It's appreciated. It really is.

    Greying X
    'Ich habe genug'

    'I am not in the pursuit of happiness, only in the discovery of joy' - Joyce Grenfell
    • Cheery Daff
    • By Cheery Daff 20th Sep 16, 9:03 PM
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    Cheery Daff
    Glad you've had a better day Greyng that soup sounds tasty! I am pleased (and surprised) to report we had a Proper Tea today No thanks to me Mr Cheery had made a kidney bean risotto for when I got home from work

    Hope tomorrow continues in a cheerful vein
    Saved for house move: £7230
    • Greying Pilgrim
    • By Greying Pilgrim 21st Sep 16, 8:29 PM
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    Greying Pilgrim
    Good Evening

    Gosh, days are speeding up. Can't believe that it's past 8pm already!

    Oh Cheery it's just fab when you're cooked for isn't it - and so much better when it's the one you love and who loves you. DH always claims sandwiches taste better when I make them

    I spent money today, but it was all 'needed' stuff. I was grateful to receive help in w1lkos, from a passer-by, as i really was struggling to get something off the bottom shelf. My fault for having my arms already laden with stuff and a baby, but an extra pair of hands was just the ticket

    In true confessional stylie, we had an 'easy' tea. (oven) Chips, veggie sausages and beans. Slathered in hP sauce The planner said 'something with rice', but we'd had rice Monday and Tuesday, so I didn't fancy it a third night straight. I didn't take a pic - but that's as much because it was plated up and munched; as it was about not wanting to insult your intelligence......

    Today I am grateful for these 3 things;

    help when I needed it

    a nice text from a friend

    gifted produce


    Thanks for popping in and reading. Mucho mucho appreciated.

    Greying X
    'Ich habe genug'

    'I am not in the pursuit of happiness, only in the discovery of joy' - Joyce Grenfell
    • rtandon27
    • By rtandon27 21st Sep 16, 8:49 PM
    • 1,672 Posts
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    rtandon27
    GP - so very true that food made with love is the best food!
    My lovely OH made a delicious (mostly veg) stir fry for dinner - we are now true converts of riced cauliflower!
    Very happy full belly and watching the bake off now!
    Mine/Hers:
    May 2011£10835.33May 2016£4709.46Sep 2016£5026.70
    Not Mine/His:
    June 2016£8175.38Sep 2016£7652.22
    Grand Total£12678.92
    • Greying Pilgrim
    • By Greying Pilgrim 22nd Sep 16, 9:02 PM
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    Greying Pilgrim
    Good Evening

    rtandon - I was going to use 'riced' cauliflower in the base tonight, following your lead But I figured we were 'veg rich' and so have kept it for another day. Have filed it away though...... it'll make an appearance

    Today has been lovely. I spent some time with a 'mum chum' and we chatted, set the world to rights and munched cake

    I spent money up the high street - not just on cake I stuck to pretty much what I needed, plus I got some 'stockpots' from h3ron f00ds. They are 0x0 brand and were 3 packets (8 pots in a box) for £1.

    Tea this evening was a buddha bowl. I wanted to incorporate avocado, because I wanted to see how the frozen avocados were when defrosted. Firstly, greenbee was spot on (not that I doubted her, but I like to experiment for myself ) and the avocados stayed pretty green. They went 'slightly' (everso slightly) discoloured on the 'stone' side - but nothing like they would if they were 'fresh' and exposed to the air as long as they were sat defrosting on the bread board. I also wanted to see what the taste/texture was like. Considering that they had been frozen and freezing anything alters its texture, I thought that they were very good. I would use them 'defrosted' again. Which begs the question, why have mrT discontinued the line???????

    So, firstly i boiled up some brown basmati. I put some cooked red onion, celery, garlic and mixed peppers through it. Then I sauted some courgette, added some chilli flakes, salt, pepper and plenty of lemon juice. Then I cooked up some little bean 'burgers' that had been sat in the freezer for a while. Made a dressing with lemon juice, tahini and miso and sliced up the avocado on the side. sprinkle of sumac over the top. Picture here;



    I haven't enhanced the picture - the avocado really was that green still I do love citrus in and on food, it really lifts things. The courgettes were lovely, they'd kind of made their own dressing.

    Today i am grateful for these 3 things;

    an honest 'mum chum' - we share our highs and our lows and laugh at it all. Refreshing.

    people who 'have a go' and plunge in - new small businesses especially. Brave.

    Correspondance from my friend the Learned Lady of Letters - always informative and entertaining. Valued.

    Ta for popping in and reading. Appreciated. Always.

    Greying X
    'Ich habe genug'

    'I am not in the pursuit of happiness, only in the discovery of joy' - Joyce Grenfell
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 22nd Sep 16, 9:06 PM
    • 44,429 Posts
    • 153,062 Thanks
    beanielou
    Great bargain on stock cubes
    No H3rons up here.
    Lou~ Debt free Wanabe No 55 DF 03/03/14.
    **Credit card debt free 30/06/10~** **Weight loss 3 stone **

    "A large income is the best recipe for happiness I ever heard of" Jane Austen in Mansfield Park.
    ***Fall down seven times,stand up eight*** ~~Japanese proverb.
    It starts with you, it starts from now. ***Keep plodding***
    • rtandon27
    • By rtandon27 22nd Sep 16, 9:55 PM
    • 1,672 Posts
    • 9,689 Thanks
    rtandon27
    Oh GP what a lovely lush looking dish! Yum!
    Mine/Hers:
    May 2011£10835.33May 2016£4709.46Sep 2016£5026.70
    Not Mine/His:
    June 2016£8175.38Sep 2016£7652.22
    Grand Total£12678.92
    • Greying Pilgrim
    • By Greying Pilgrim 23rd Sep 16, 9:22 AM
    • 2,882 Posts
    • 31,515 Thanks
    Greying Pilgrim
    Good Morning

    Thinking about h3ron f00ds, I've not seen mculloch about - and your profile lists no activity since 5/9. I do hope you're OK, and sunning yourself on an exotic beach somewhere.......

    Beanie is there no 'equivalent' of h3ron? The jack fulton shops are very very similar - and I know they are north of the Watford gap, but not if they extend up into Scotland. FArmF00ds too, but again, I don't know how far ranging their stores are (and whilst they stock alot of similar things, they are awful places to shop in and find stuff ) Our h3ron used to be a c00l trad3r before it got taken over - got any of them?

    Friday night is pizza night Will have a look to see what the tatties are like before automatically buying oven chips. Not too sure what 'flavour'the pizza will be yet - decisions, decisions

    'Do yer best' vibes sent out to the 'Welly-clad One' today

    Right, best go and get sorted.

    Ta for popping in. Appreciated

    Greying XX
    'Ich habe genug'

    'I am not in the pursuit of happiness, only in the discovery of joy' - Joyce Grenfell
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 23rd Sep 16, 1:38 PM
    • 44,429 Posts
    • 153,062 Thanks
    beanielou
    Not heard of Jackk $ulton or cool trad3r.
    Farmfoods are dire but may try to pop in more when in nearest town that has one. Last time I was in they had no red or orange milk
    Lou~ Debt free Wanabe No 55 DF 03/03/14.
    **Credit card debt free 30/06/10~** **Weight loss 3 stone **

    "A large income is the best recipe for happiness I ever heard of" Jane Austen in Mansfield Park.
    ***Fall down seven times,stand up eight*** ~~Japanese proverb.
    It starts with you, it starts from now. ***Keep plodding***
    • Cheery Daff
    • By Cheery Daff 24th Sep 16, 1:04 PM
    • 6,922 Posts
    • 32,020 Thanks
    Cheery Daff
    J@ck Fult0n is up here, in fact i was in there this morning Hard to plan what to get from there as I think they just take end of line or nearly out of date stuff from all over so it's a bit random. Today, for example, we got some slices of edam, and 5 packets of nuts and seeds for work snacking for £1.

    Hope you're having a good day Greying and all I actually cooked last night just pasta and made a simple tomato sauce with onions, mushrooms and garlic, with a bit of fake parmesan but it was ever so tasty just had leftovers for lunch too
    Saved for house move: £7230
    • Greying Pilgrim
    • By Greying Pilgrim 26th Sep 16, 10:15 AM
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    • 31,515 Thanks
    Greying Pilgrim
    Good Morning

    Excuse the radio silence. Greying Towers is on a few days R&R, so we're taking it easy

    We have 'done a Cheery' and set aside some 'no quibble' money to make any purchases we may want. We may already have spent some of that on notelets to keep in touch with folk (20 notelets featuring Alex Clark designs for £6!), a birthday card (for next Feb ) and some yummy apples at a Natty trusty place we visited yesterday We did however, pack a picnic and spend our time sitting in the garden eating it, and then doing one of the estate walks, so simple pleasures We also went a different way to the property - shaved about (seemingly) 1 hr off the journey time and at least 400 miles! But I am sure it was quicker and a shorter route, so we'll go that way, next time that we go

    Saturday night remained 'curry night' and I made Sweet Potato Jalfrezi from the 'meat-free monday' cookbook. I can't find an verbatim copy of the recipe on the net anywhere, the nearest version is HERE. Having said that, it is a recipe that is endlessly adaptable, so...... I also use Jaymee O's jalfrezi paste recipe, but the version in the recipe i linked to is also good. Picture here;



    Last night, we had quite a 'grown up' tea Can I be honest and say it was a nice change We had a version of Creamy Zucchini Fettucine, which is a Leanne Brown recipe from her superb free cookbook 'Good and cheap'. It utilised the last of the gifted courgette (which was a wannabe marrow ) and I substituted natural yoghurt for cream. Some white wine did get put into the pan though (alcohol burnt off, but a lovely flavour remains). I did actually forget to put some chilli flakes in, which is a nusiance, as I now have two types!!! (get me! ). But we enjoyed it none-the-less. I got the spirali from mrS, we rarely eat fettucine/spagetti/tagiatelle. Picture here;



    We followed it up with apple crumble, made with apples bought at the natty trusty place. Served with the last of the vanilla icecream, which means we can start on the kEllyz C0rnish icecream (with raspberries) next I didn't take a picture sorry

    Tunathecat - you were asking about nigella seeds the other day. I happened to go into mrS on Saturday. It's not a supermercado I frequent. However, I noticed that they have revamped their 'own brand' herbs and spices. They are now in little jars that could double up as chichi display items in your kitchen! They are very similar to the jars stocked by that high street clothes shop that has food alls........ However, the good point is that these jars are £1 each. They had nigella seeds, and there were 48g in the jar for £1. Not as reasonably priced as in an asian supermarket, but not bad. MrT jar size is 45g for 85p - cheaper, but the jar isn't so nice!

    I indulged and got some chipotle chilli flakes for £1 The jar is just the right height/width to fit in my cutlery drawer. I can see some more purchases occuring

    Meals this week will veer between picnics and anything that I can conjure up when we come back from wherever we have been Hopefully a couple of treats will be possible.

    We'll have a nice time, so no need for absolute scrimping, but no need to descend into bad habits and splurge everyday either. Life is pretty rich at present

    Thanks for popping in. Know that you are appreciated. Always.

    Greying X
    'Ich habe genug'

    'I am not in the pursuit of happiness, only in the discovery of joy' - Joyce Grenfell
    • joeyjimbles
    • By joeyjimbles 26th Sep 16, 12:47 PM
    • 1,439 Posts
    • 6,767 Thanks
    joeyjimbles
    I noticed the MrS revamp of the herbs/spices too and agree they are very attractive. And they are stackable - some of mine are tapered or have shaped lids. Several of my jars have poor plastic lids with ageing or missing seals so I have decided to treat myself to a new pot each time I run out of anything. I tend to top up spices/herbs with much larger bags resealed with my L@kel@nd gadget so this might be a long process especially when I look at the industrial sized bag of cumin in the larder. Hope they don't change the design in the meantime.
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 26th Sep 16, 4:19 PM
    • 44,429 Posts
    • 153,062 Thanks
    beanielou
    I have an Alex Clark coaster but dident realise.
    Love their cat stuff.
    Lou~ Debt free Wanabe No 55 DF 03/03/14.
    **Credit card debt free 30/06/10~** **Weight loss 3 stone **

    "A large income is the best recipe for happiness I ever heard of" Jane Austen in Mansfield Park.
    ***Fall down seven times,stand up eight*** ~~Japanese proverb.
    It starts with you, it starts from now. ***Keep plodding***
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 26th Sep 16, 4:52 PM
    • 10,292 Posts
    • 29,234 Thanks
    moneyistooshorttomention
    Lurker popping in again - as I've recently encountered a new-to-me website and been reading through the recipes there thinking "I know just who would like this.....".

    So, it's:

    www.veganricha.com

    Personally - I've sent off for a copy of her book - as that's how I like things (ie in book form). But she has loads of recipes on her website..
    For every person that tells you you are overthinking - there will be at least one commending you on being "two steps ahead"/planning well/etc.
    • Greying Pilgrim
    • By Greying Pilgrim 27th Sep 16, 5:28 PM
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    • 31,515 Thanks
    Greying Pilgrim
    Good Afternoon

    We are having a spiffing time here at the towers, but as ever, time is whizzing.

    Yesterday afternoon, we went out to see the parentals and the gardening parental came up trumps with some gifted garden produce Sweetcorn freshly picked off the stalk and some potatoes that make the most wonderful wedges and mash Yay! for wiljas

    I used one of the sweetcorn cobs right away in us tea. I had a roll of puff pastry lurking in the fridge, that I had taken out of the freezer with the intention of making 'sausage' rolls with. Well, best laid plans of Greyings etc etc. It was 'looking' at me every time i opened the fridge So I grabbed the punnet of mushrooms that DH picked up in the mrL 'pick 'o t'week' and sliced them up with onion and garlic and fried them off. I cut the sweetcorn kernels from the cob. Whipped up a quick, thick savour white sauce and combined. I then left this to cool. I took the pastry, unrolled it and bunged the now cool filling in. Folded. Pressed. Made pretty. Sprinkled with sesame Cooked for approximately 25 minutes in the oven at 180 degrees, with some tatties (m&$ YS'd marfonas). Served up with carrots, peas and broccoli. The pie did 4 portions, we ate 2 last night hot, and had the remaining 2 cold for lunch today. Picture of whole pie and 'us tea' here;





    The pastry was barginacious stuff I got from h3ron foods, yonks ago, at 3 for £1. Lush

    The other sweetcorn will be utilised in tea tonight. I'll be making sweetcorn chowder, also using up some peppers that I bought from a roadside stall on Sunday I don't know whether to use some of the gifted tatties, or use the YS'd ones, and save the gifted ones for pizza night......... Decisions, decisions

    I went into a mAtAlan today. Haven't been in for yonks. It showed, as the gal behind the desk laughed at how out of date our 'card' was They have some pretty spiffing kiddies clothes - nice designs and colours. Not just the ubiquitous 'gender specific' guff. On a par, price-wise with the supermercados too - and a heck of a lot cheaper than b00ts! As it turned out, DH was the biggest 'winner' of the purchased basket

    Oh, and I also called in at FArmf00ds. I got some of their frozen veg. It's not quite the bargain it once was, as it is 4 for £3 and alot of the packet sizes have changed. I got 2 x spinach (700g), 1 x broad beans (550g) and 1 x chopped leeks (900g). But I did notice that they include sweet potato chunks in the deal. The bag is small, 400g I think, and I know you are all about to shout - go to mrA's and get fresh Greying! I know, they are MUCH cheaper 'fresh' BUT, there are times when frozen veg is a godsend, and I know that our friend greenbee is able to have a range of veggies available frozen, even if not at the homestead for a while. I also thought if you just needed a small amount for say a casserole, or burgers, or a curry or something, then this would be ideal. Of course, the bag would only be 75p if you bought into the deal, they are.... £1 (I think) otherwise.

    B& 'em also have their large tins of coconut milk for 50p and the small ones for 29p - Full m00n brand. However, as you know, stocks are very hit and miss - so please don't make a special journey, as your local store may not have the deal. Ours did also have tins of beans for 29p, cannellini and I think....... butter beans? I got 3 tins of the cannellini anyway (240g drained weight). The red kidney and one other type were dear at 39p a can - you can get them cheaper elsewhere.

    Well, I had best shift-a-tail-feather. We've achieved lots of 'bits' today. Constantly on the go, but there is still more to do!

    Thanks for popping by and reading. Mucho appreciated.

    Greying X
    Last edited by Greying Pilgrim; 27-09-2016 at 5:31 PM.
    'Ich habe genug'

    'I am not in the pursuit of happiness, only in the discovery of joy' - Joyce Grenfell
    • greenbee
    • By greenbee 27th Sep 16, 7:03 PM
    • 11,242 Posts
    • 204,645 Thanks
    greenbee
    I'm currently experimenting with buying frozen fruit for my smoothies as well GP. Although I prefer to buy fresh, unless it's from the farm shop I'm not convinced that it really is. I had to go to the supermarket on Sunday, and am still traumatised While I was there I thought I'd give the fruit a go. The Sainsbury's mixed berries are OK, although they have blackberries and blackcurrants in which mean they have rather a lot of pips when used in smoothies. I have blueberries and mango to try too.

    I never managed to do anything creative with fresh sweetcorn. I just cook it as soon as possible (8 minutes in boiling water) and eat it with a bit of melted butter or lemon juice and chilli powder/flakes
    • Greying Pilgrim
    • By Greying Pilgrim 27th Sep 16, 8:48 PM
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    • 31,515 Thanks
    Greying Pilgrim
    I've bought more frozen fruit lately too greenbee. I'm hopeful that we will at some point get out and pick some blackberries - if we've sufficient, I'll freeze them, but given the amount of apples we've acquired, they risk getting used up PDQ!

    I also like the frozen raspberries from h3ron f00ds - and I've yet to try their 'forest fruits' - they are £1.49 for..... I think it is a 300g box. I also used mrW's 'essential' frozen blueberries for a cake t'other week. These really are quite good - £2 for... mmmm, I think it is 500g, I made 3 lots of the cake anyway. They are really quite plump, and the good thing is that they are covered in 'frozen' juice, so when you douse them in flour to prevent them from sinking to the bottom of the cake, they take on just the right amount of flour, don't sink and your cake looks spiffing! I did however, buy a small punnet of 'fresh' blueberries to decorate the cake with. Frozen fruit does have its limitations. However, very much a used product at Greying Towers

    Greying X
    'Ich habe genug'

    'I am not in the pursuit of happiness, only in the discovery of joy' - Joyce Grenfell
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