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Everything posted by pouyade

  1. Good afternoon. We are returning from the Gemozac (17) area to the Home Counties on 9 April with an empty 9 cubic metre van. Happy to discuss taking load(s) back for a contribution to costs. Please PM me if interested, Pouyade
  2. We use HIFX and have been quite happy with both rates and service. Pouyade
  3. Idun I haven't kept the butter based one for more than a month. The suet based one tastes better after being stored. I am logged on just to get the mascapone pastry recipe - just off to make some mince pies using mincemeat I made in 2012 - it is absolutely fine! In fact some members of the family say it is better after 2 years.......... Just make sure the jars are sterilised and it is kept in a cool dark place. It is rare that it hangs around that long though! Christmas puddings the same - they keep for a good couple of years if I over cater. Pouyade
  4. When making mincemeat for gluten intolerant guests, I merely froze a block of butter (same quantity as the suet in recipe below) dipped it in GF flour and grated it - a bit more work that the suet, but worked a treat. So, if you are suetless, you could easily do that. This is the Mrs Beeton recipe I use/ have adapted - it is the simplest thing to make and repays the short time it takes, over and over. 1lb prepared weight finely chopped or grated apple ( leave skin on) 1lb currants 1lb raisins half pound sultanas 1lb suet (or butter) 1lb demerara sugar 2oz flaked or chopped almonds 2oz chopped glace cherries 2oz candied peel (if liked) 2oz fruit of choice - I like finely diced dried apricot, could use any dried fruit incl cranberries. grated rind and juice 2 lemons or (I prefer) mix of orange and lemon half a nutmeg, grated quarter teaspoon each ground cloves and cinnamon (optional - I leave out the cinnamon) eighth teaspoon each ground ginger and ground mace (extra pinch nutmeg if mace not to hand) half teaspoon salt Mix all the above in a huge bowl. Add 3/8 pint (220ml) alcohol (or I guess fruit juice?) She says a mix of brandy and rum. I use whatever I fancy, perhaps some cointreau or grand marnier, rum, brandy. Stir again and fill sterilised jars. Keep for at least 2 weeks to mature. I make it a good year ahead, if I can. When opened it may be a little dry - add a splash of rum etc and mix! It doesn't want to be wet like the sloppy shop bought stuff but should need coaxing to leave the spoon. As far as pastry goes - I am going to try the mascapone recipe tomorrow. Normally, I make a sweet shortcrust (8 oz plain flour, 2 ounces lard, 2.5 oz butter, 1.5 ounces sugar and a teaspoon (5ml) water per ounce of dry ingredients, so around 45ml here. For mince pies, though, I use orange juice instead of water - really brings the pastry and filling together, IMHO. This freezes well - I often freeze the mince pies in their raw state and cook them later - put back into the baking tin to defrost - but they do reheat well from cooked, too. Oh, I think pastry is better cooked on the traditional 'top and bottom' heat setting, rather than fan. Don't know why this is, just my experience! Pouyade
  5. My personal view is that those who rave about bought mince pies/ Christmas puddings, together with many of those who say they don't like these products, have not tried proper home made recipes for them - there is no comparison! I make my own Christmas puddings for a growing number of people who say they now could never eat a bought one or who say it is the only one they have enjoyed. (Old family recipe available!) Similarly with mince meat - there is no comparison between the sickly, sticky, gooey bought slop and the real thing (Eliza Beeton with a couple of twists of my own is my preferred recipe). As for bought pastry - no thanks. How can mince pies bought today be still fresh in January, which according to the 'eat by dates' I saw yesterday, they will be? When on secondment to M and S some years ago, I was invited to taste the new recipes for their Christmas Puddings. I did. I gave feedback which surprised the development and merchandising team, who thought their product amazing. Neither of them had, however, ever tried a homemade one, amazing in someone who claimed to be interested in recipe development and setting high standards. Pouyade
  6. I didn't catch the full detail of the Q and A with the Mayor of Calais, but hope that the question that I have wanted an answer to was asked of her. That question is, 'What is the status of the people gathering in Calais - are they in France legally or not? If the latter, why are the French not expelling them?' If they are there legally then in relatively short time I presume they will be eligible to get travel documents/ passports which will allow them movement around Europe, when , if they are still so inclined, the French will see the back of them as they head to UK. Pouyade
  7. small hedgelet of 5 planted today; look great. Thanks again Pouyade
  8. That's it! Thank you so much - and I thought my french was improving!! Pouyade
  9. Hi A neighbour has told me that a shrub I rather admire is called (if I heard correctly) 'Mille puits perdus'. Does anyone know what they are? I wondered if they are potentillas? Thanks in advance Pouyade
  10. pouyade

    Dog food

    I have used zooplus (both .co.uk and .fr) and received excellent service. Our dog is now on a special diet as she has IBD and this is bought from the vet in UK or France as needed. Prior to this she was on 'James Wellbeloved'. I asked the vet if, by giving her this food, I had caused her stomach problems - he told me that in his opinion it was the best food on the market for 'normal' dogs. Hope this helps Pouyade
  11. Try using Thai Jasmine / Hom Mali rice and make with tinned coconut milk, serve with some fresh mango...............................Amazing! Pouyade
  12. IIRC, the Pakistan Govt paid the costs of her medical care and agreed that prior to her arrival in Birmingham. Pouyade
  13. 1 In a recent edition of MCN, it states that motorcycles in France are limited to 100bhp. OH and BiL are off last minute (see below!) for a 5 day ride around France with bikes which are over that limit. Is the article accurate and are there restriction on non French registered machines too? 2 The opportunity for the trip has just arisen and, as between now and the start of the trip OH is canoeing the length of the Thames for charity and BiL is working away from home, tis I (who will never, ever goes on the b bike) who has been asked to research possible routes/ itineraries. They would like to visit a very hilly region or even mountains leaving Coquelles lunchtme day 1 and returning there 5 days later. Any links to good web sites which might assist me or ideas of particular area which would be generally suitable? The Alps and Pyrenees are obvious ones, though the latter is perhaps too far for this trip. I wondered of there were less obvious, interesting places? All help most gratefully received............. Pouyade
  14. Sebo - we have 3 all working well at 25, 20 and 10 years old respectively, with regular tlc obviously. Spare parts v easy to get - brushes, filters etc - and easy to fit. Pouyade
  15. I wish that all sheets and duvets were labelled as to size - it's hard to be sure between say a double and a king at first glance - and that duvets were labelled for 'side' or 'end' again problematic with king or super kings. Idun - I am with you. Ironing is a vastly over-rated occupation! Pouyade
  16. Please could anyone who knows let me know where these things can be bought - pref in UK. Think once the law comes in, the price at the tunnel will be at rip off levels. Poiuyade
  17. What concerns me is not whether or not FG keeps his Honour, but the manner of its removal - which seems to me to be ad hominem. There should be a system of review, with power to remove ANY Honour from its recipient. The standards of behaviour below which an individual will be deemed to have lost the right to the award concerned should be publicly transparent. Then an assessment can be fairly made. Whilst he may well deserve to lose his K against such published standards they as yet do not exist and the means of achieving this particular rescinding leave me uneasy. Pouyade
  18. pouyade


    Thanks to all both of you - am enjoying the planning! Pouyade
  19. pouyade


    We are off for 4 night stay in Rome in April - our first trip there. Would really appreciate any tips re hotels. restaurants or anything which might make our trip a success! Thanks Pouyade
  20. OMG! Thought it was only me suffered that! Ever tripped over a cold dirty pail of water, left where it stood after OH has washed the floor?! Yes, it went over, too.......... Pouyade
  21. Will be interested to see what the service is like, too. In UK, on the Monday before Christmas, I sent off 2 passport applications for renewals. I sent then SD so would have arrived on the Tuesday, 20 Dec. They were each successfully issued, one arriving back on the Thursday 22 Dec, the second a week later. I call that excellent service! Pouyade
  22. You may need to buy 2 separate elements - they can still be fitted to look as if they are 'a unit'. Look at say Bosch or Aeg on line to get what I mean - I have done it this way to get exactly the combo I wanted. Pouyade
  23. So many thanks! hadn't realised - have just renewed 3 cards, awaiting news as to whether daughter number one also has an expired card.......... Pouyade
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