Saturday, 23 January 2016

Happy Chinese New Year

Well, today is the first day of the Chinese New Year  ........  and, it would look most rude of us not to let it in without some sort of small celebration, so we have decided to throw caution to the wind and have a Saturday Night Takeaway ......
……. especially as we have a very excellent takeaway just three/four minutes away from Castle Greysquirrel.
However, making our own individual considered choices always takes an age, and then, after all the ermmming and ahhhing, we all end up choosing what we always usually have anyway, because it’s such a treat and we can be certain of liking what we have!  But, as we are, as I said, throwing caution to the wind, Darrell suggested we should throw it even further and go for the meal for three and all try something completely new ...... and out of our comfort zone!
So, that’s what we have agreed to do, eight dishes, none of which we have ever tried before, plus complimentary prawn crackers  ……. you certainly can’t not call us unadventurous and undaring!!!  It does sounds rather a lot, even with Nigel's erm, healthy appetite, but, as Darrell reasoned, if there’s any leftover, we’ll have a WONDERFUL breakfast to follow in the morning!!!  What is he like????
Gung hay fat choy!!!!

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Nigel Makes The Ultimate Sacrifice For Baby Iris

Baby Iris is exceedingly partial to pasta, and for a treat Nigel occasionally takes her to our very most favourite Italian eaterie in Evesham, the Buongiorno Cafe ……
buongiorno-cafe….. and yesterday was one of those special days ….. Nigel had a little spare cash in his pocket and he was going to spend it ….... on something very, very delicious.
IMG_7856Once they were settled at their table, Nigel perused the menu, even though he must know it off by heart by now, and almost plumped for the spinach and ricotta cannelloni …..
IMG_7858……until he happened to look up at the board and saw  that "Dish of the "Day" was ravioli with pancetta, sage and butter and decided that it would look rude for him and Iris not to try it.
IMG_7861Let’s just say, it did not disappoint.  However, Nigel had ordered to share, but  Iris, bless her little socks her kept clearing her plate and asking for more ……
……  so Nigel, even though he loves his food so much, made the ultimate sacrifice and gave willing unto Iris! He did say that the two pieces of ravioli he did manage to eat were absolutely, melt in your mouth, bellissimo ..... but it was Iris who was doing most of the nom, nom, nomming .....  Awwwwwww what is he like?

Monday, 18 January 2016

A Tentaive Japanese Confectionary Review–Yuki & Love Grape Mochi

Darrell had been out in town mooching yesterday and came back feeling really chuffed with himself, brandishing a very exotic and romantic looking box which contained a type of Japanese confectionery, which Hugh had told him he " ...just simply had to try, Darling” …… and what better excuse for confectionery review, than a Japanese one, an as yet, uncharted comestible territory for all of us …..
So Darrell had decided to find and purchase a box of Grape Mochi for our delectation!
He said that he’d been on wikipedia and found out that mochi are Japanese rice cakes made of mochigome, a short-grain japonica glutinous rice. The rice is pounded into paste and molded into the desired shape …….. not the most glamorous and enticing of descriptions, but they did look interesting.
The information on the back was a little interesting too, saying that the E129 colouring might have an adverse effect on the activity and attention of children, and we wondered if we should really include Nigel in this review, but in the end, said that he should not consume a whole one, but take only the the smallest of nibbles, just in case.
The mochi(s) were individually packaged, and didn’t really look like cakes at all, more like flattened, jelly type marshmallows ……
…… and felt like it too …… when Nigel’s performed a spongy test.
And ..... how did they taste? Well, very sweet and very chewy ….. a bit like a powder covered, much softer, creamy gummy sweet with a jelly type filling …….
….. with an unusual texture ……
and a gentle, subtle flavour of grape.
We liked them, but not perhaps enough to make them a staple in our confectionery cupboard, and Darrell remarked that they were far from “Yuki” (yucky) as it said on the box!  We watched Nigel very closely after his nibble and saw no difference in his behaviour for the rest of the afternoon, so that was OK.  And, after much deliberation, we are all agreed in giving Darrell’s unusual choice of confectionery review a rather reserved 6 out of 10 on our Richter Scale of Japanese Type Noms ..... and await his next review suggestion!!!!!!

Sunday, 17 January 2016

A Robustly Blissful And Peaceful Sunday Morning ……

It just doesn’t get any better than this …… the Sunday lunch (a shoulder of pork this week), is cooking in the oven and the house is beginning to smell divine …..
…… Darrell has ripped one of his pages out from his beloved Adult Colouring Book that he had for Christmas, so that he and Nigel can do some “bonding” of a colouring in type nature, while listening to the omnibus edition of The Archers…….
…. with Nigel is being very diligent not to go over any of the lines or stub the ends of any of Darrell’s new felt pens!
…… and I am just enjoying the peace and quiet, with the Sunday paper,  a cup of coffee and a chocolate hob nob  ……. bliss!!!

Saturday, 16 January 2016

Do You Wanna Build A Snowman?

Last night the gritters were out and it was sooooooo cold Nigel said that it hurt the tip of his nose when he nipped over to the village Tesco Express to get some Jammie Dodgers for our supper.
So, you can imagine the tangible and palpable expectation dans Chez Castle when we saw a few tantalising flakes of snow falling just before bedtime …. and if Darrell and Nigel hummed "Do you wanna build a snowman", once they must have hummed it a hundred times!!!!!
However, it has to be said that the few flakes that promised so much last night, disappointed in the morning …..
….. with what can only be described as a light dusting!
Needless to say, Nigel was out there almost immediately, despite his previous cold nose, without  any thought a coat, hat or gloves  … what is he like? 
Yes, it all looked very, very romantic …….
…… but after Nigel’s very close scrutiny, he sadly sighed, that it wasn’t the right kind of snow for building a snowman, it was hard, crunchy and icy, and not of the correct powdery consistency for maximum holding together.  Oh well, it was a lovely dream while it lasted …… but perhaps this was a just snowfall of a tester/taster type nature  ....... and perhaps there’s more on the way!!!

Friday, 15 January 2016

Nigel Has A Rival ........

Nigel has a rival for Iris’s attentions ........
IMG_7844……. and it's hurting BIG time!!!!!
IMG_7853It seems that everywhere Nigel goes, the interloper is in there first........
IMG_7842…… hogging the seat next to her.
We’ve told Nigel to take no notice and carry on as normal, after all, said blue interloper with his bland, monosyllabic face is just a soft toy, a passing phrase as far as Baby Iris will be concerned……..
IMG_7852…… an inanimate object that can’t do any of the wonderful things that Nigel does with her ……
IMG_7850……. and there’s really no need to feel pushed out …….. poor Nigel, love hurts!!!!

Thursday, 14 January 2016

Nigel’s Banana Wisdom …..

Banana’s must be the happiest fruit, because, they are always smiling !!!   What is he like???

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

A Bracing Last Day In Liverpool

Whilst the city pleasures of Liverpool are indeed very tempting, I decided to leave them behind via the Mersey Tunnel opting for the bracing air of New Brighton Beach instead  …….
… and it did not disappoint!
……. and cobwebs that were remaining after Christmas were well and truly blown away …..
I do soooooooo love a tempest tossed sea, but it’s something I haven’t experience very often, so there was much to embrace  …….
It was wonderful, I just couldn’t drag myself away, as the waves grew higher and higher and then sea rougher and rougher, it’s a memory that will stay with me for years to come.
When I did eventually wander on to calmer climes, there was the opportunity to do a bit of Wader Watching at the Wirral Wader Festival Tent, with binoculars available and experts on hand to point out and advise …….
IMG_6851Nigel would have loved it!!
IMG_6854 Then I noticed the romantic old shelter on the promenade, and my mind drifted to the wonderful tales it could tell of stolen kisses, fish and chips eaten in newspaper and of families, friends and couples just sitting  and taking in the view, I have to admit, it made me go quite misty eyed and gooey, which is usually Darrell's prerogative!!
 ....... And finally, what trip to the sea wouldn’t be complete with  a little squandering of  your last few pennies in the amusement arcade ……
…… but, it wasn’t as much fun as it would have been with Darrell and Nigel, and that’s when I knew it was time I got back home, I missed them!
However, I have vowed that I would be back very soon and Darrell and Nigel will be with me, then we will do it all ….. because Liverpool really does have it all for three monkeys looking for adventure, excitement and culture ......!!!!