Monday, 31 October 2011

halloween evening

we've had a nice halloween with movies and a halloween dinner. here are some pictures.... hope you all had fun.x

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Stwmp Naw Rhyw

picture credit
Shaheen from allotment2kitchen kindly commented that she was 'Looking forward to reading more about Welsh Halloween edible treats'...and I just wanted to say that 'treat' might be too strong a word for what is essentially mashed veg.... (but go and look at shaheen's blog which is full of treats galore!)

ok. So Stwmp Naw Rhyw is a traditional Welsh Halloween food which loosely translates as 'mash of nine sorts'. The important part is the 'nine' part as it HAS to have nine ingredients otherwise it's wrong.. the nine is LUCKY!! so you could remove one of the ingredients and replace it with another... I often replace the pepper with butter (the soy version) as I don't believe you can have mash without butter.

Here's the recipe.... (which you know you can use loosely, as who knows what a 'medium potato' or a small turnip is.... and am not weighing peas anytime soon either)

4 medium sized potatoes
2 carrots
2 parsnips
2 small turnips
225g peas
1 large leek
a dash of milk
salt and pepper to taste.

so you pretty much just boil them all up and mash them (apart from the leek which I usually fry softly in some butter and add it to the mash). and that's it.

Now, if you are having a halloween get together with a group of single people.. you might want to hide a wedding ring in the mash and then all eat from the same bowl. Whoever finds the ring will be the first to marry. Hurray!

picture credit
Last week while doing my half term art activities, someone mentioned that it was similar to the Irish Colcannon... and having done some extensive research by googling it.... it kind of is but it isn't. Colcannon seems to be a more more potato and cabbage based mash, although it is eaten at Halloween and coins are hidden in it.

I don't have any pictures of 'Stwmp' as I am making it tomorrow.... so have just stolen some halloweeny type pictures from pinterest instead.x
photo credit

Ha, I like this.... have never watched Jersey Shore... tho not for any noble reasons - I have no problems watching 'The Only Way is Essex'....

anyway, saw the suicidal book picture over on laini taylor's blog.... I was over there as I have been reading 'Daughter of Smoke and Bone'... which has been fun (am not even half way through yet, so more about it when I've finished)... it's kind of fantasy.... but fantasy I like that combines the 'real' world with some kind of underworld/otherworld... if you like Holly Black, am sure you will like Laini Taylor too....

I've got the heaters on, and am all snuggled up on the sofa with cushions and blankets and pillows... am going to read today and possibly watch gilmore girls.... that is all.x

Saturday, 29 October 2011


oh, am not feeling well. shall we just look at pictures of Mick Jagger from 'Performance' until I feel better?*

*I only have a cold, but it's not pretty.  Bert says that no one wants to come to my pity party, but I reckon Jagger would come...and maybe Sadie cat.

Friday, 28 October 2011

picture from here

that picture is so sweet!
I seem to have the snuffles... or am just sleepy and sneezy.... who knows?
stay by your computers thought as over the weekend I will be giving you more 'tips' on halloween movies as well as a recipe for traditional Welsh Halloween food!
I know!

how lovely is this poppy red blanket made by tiny happy?

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

halloween movies...

we started on our halloween movies early to fit them all in. I may have mentioned that am not very good with scary films, we have a new rule that we can't watch films that are meant for over fifteens.... we watched 'an american haunting' and it gave me bad dreams... am pretty feeble, hammer horror are more my level.

'An American Haunting' starring the wonderful Donald Sutherland. This film scared me a lot, Bert did not find it scary at all.
Sian marks - 7 out of 10
Bert marks - 5 out of 10

We enjoyed this, it was quite rubbish. I like to see Demi Moore pretending to be a novelist though. Pleasingly not scary or creepy at all, I could possibly even watch this alone.
Sian mark - 6/10
Bert mark - 5/10

 'Night of the Demon' (also known as Curse of the Demon) is from 1957 and has satanic cults, witchcraft and runes. Martin Scorsese says it's in his top 11 scariest films of all time. It's not that scary though... look at the demon in the picture below... he seems to be riding a bike. We both really enjoyed it but thought the main guy was a bit smug.

Sian mark - 8/10
Bert mark - 8/10

'Pumpkin Moon' is an animated film about a cat that grows a pumpkin and a fight between all the pumpkins and all the little witches.It has songs too. It was cute.

Sian mark 7/10
Bert mark  7/10

Blood and Chocolate - while we were watching it, Bert said 'this is worse than twilight' so I think you can take that as a guide. If you like 'Twilight' you might like this although it is nowhere near as good and is about werewolves rather than vamps.  The main character is a young woman who has to choose between her werewolf family and a human boy she has fallen in love with. Even though it has Olivier Martinez in it (I adored 'Horseman on the Roof') it's not very good.

Sian mark - 4/10
Bert mark - minus a million out of ten.

more halloween movie reviews to come.....
we are open to suggestions too... more classic horror rather than slasher types please.x


bertie made lasagne on the weekend. yum and yum. his secret ingredient in the white sauce is cinnamon... used instead of nutmeg. it works a treat.

Last night I made roasted butternut squash soup. I cut the squash in half and scooped out the seeds, drizzled with olive oil and put two cloves in garlic in each of the scooped out areas. chucked a coupla sprigs of rosemary on the top and roasted in the oven until soft (about 40 minutes I think). I fried a couple of onions and some potatoes and added a little sugar and cinnamon (!!). Once the potatoes were soft I added the squash and garlic (now all roasted and squishy), cooked it for about ten minutes and blended it with some fresh coriander.

there's a drizzle of soya cream on the top too....

Monday, 24 October 2011

halloween table

a couple of pictures from our Halloween table two years ago... today is the first day of my halloween art activities in work. It was pretty crazy... I tried not to mind when my orange, white and black home made playdough got turned into only black... I just put 'monster mash' on repeat.

Sunday, 23 October 2011

sunday music:the only bones that show by baby dee

When me and Bert first got together he had to move away for a little while.  During that time he got tickets to see Baby Dee, and sent me her cd 'safe inside the day' to listen to, which I loved.  As it happened, bert and I missed each other too much, so he decided to come and see me, which meant he didn't get to see Baby Dee.  This tuesday she is playing in Cardiff, and we are not going to see her here either! we don't really have enough money for it (we are also not going to see Steve Earle tomorrow too)... but we can listen to the cds instead which are beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. It is quite strange, theatrical, magical and dark and a bit sad too, in some ways it reminds me of Antony and the Johnsons (she played harp on Antony and the Johnsons debut album). I hope you like her as much as we do.   The song I have chosen is 'the only bones that show'.

reading update

I've been reading some good books recently, so I thought I'd share... am also up for some help and some recommends...
so this is what's been happening:

Going in Circles by Pamela Ribon
I liked this a lot - the main character splits up from her husband (or they take a break..) and she gets into roller derby to get over it. Afterwards I discovered her blog, which is great and funny, and I just wasted about 30 minutes over there just now while I went to get the url....

Whip it by Shauna Cross
More roller derby, and the book that the film was based on. It was good too and pretty similar to the film. I was sad when it was over.

Rum Diary by Hunter S Thompson
Bert said I should read it... and I wanted to read it before seeing the film too.  I started this after reading the two books on roller derby, and realy I just wanted to read more roller derby, but Hunter is so good, that I didn't mind that he didn't rollerskate once in this book, but sweated, drank rum and was mean to a lady.  Somehow I was hooked, even though there wasn't a whole lot going on. yep, Mr Thompson is good.

The Story of Mr Sommer by Patrick Suskind
This was incredibly cute and it has the most adorable illustrations by Sempe...

...who also illustrated the Nicolas books which I loved when I was little...

...not that I read them in French....
anyway, Mr Sommer is a short story about a little boy learning to cycle, play piano, and make friends.  The author also wrote 'Perfume' which I haven't read... well I started it and wasn't keen, but maybe I should give it another shot.

The Reading Promise by Alice Ozma

a non-fiction book that is about Alice's father reading to her every night before bed for 3218 nights! 3218! right up until she goes to college! It's incredibly sweet and is all about how important reading is and how you can connect through books. At the beginnning of this book I thought it was just ok... but then by the end I was crying when Alice went away to college and her Dad read to her for the last time.

Have you read any of these? what did you think? what are you reading that's good?
now to helping me!! We have a reading rule (I LOVE RULES!) in this house that we have to read a classic a year.  Now, we are nearing the end of October and I haven't read my classic yet (whereas Bert has read about 4 or 5)... so what should I read? I don't want to be too ambitious as I only have two months left and the attention span of a child..... so y'know a classic that's fun and not too thick....
thank you.x

quilt inspiration

Friday, 21 October 2011

hello friday!!

hello friday night... I am so pleased to see you!!  This week in work has been super busy, but now it's friday night and cocktail hour!!! tonight we will be watching....

yep, 'Death of a Cheerleader' which is apparently called 'A friend to Die for' in the US.. although am guessing no one has seen it anyway... have you? let me know... I bought it as a gift for bert - he has a bit of a thing for Kellie Martin (of Mystery Woman)... and I do love Tori Spelling.

I shall be reading Alice Hoffman's new book this weekend, it was my payday gift this month and am double excited because it is meant to be amazing.

...this picture is over on fuck yeah domesticity which is a great site. I did send the picture myself, but only because they had picked up on a previous image of the quilt in progress.

And this is the reason I am so worn out...

 art activities start tomorrow! (not that I am doing the weekend shift)

 witches shoes...
colouring sheets....
more colouring sheets... these one's about witches bottles.... 
 cauldrons for coloured pencils, and halloween bowls for googley eyes and skull n raven confetti
 black, orange and white playdough...
and lil halloween shapes to go with the playdough....

and now I'm going to have some wine.


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