Pea and Ham Soup.

Just a quickie write up, which Mary might enjoy.

This makes industrial quantities and is a rough and ready recipe, feel free to half, add, subtract etc.

Makes a preserving pan full of soup.

2 ham hocks, (sold at Morrisons for £1.50 each!)
2 bags of dried peas
1 celery heart
10 very large winter carrots
2 lb of trimmed leeks
1 cauliflower (sat looking lonely in bottom of fridge, optional)

Soak peas overnight in plenty of water and a large pan.

Fill preserving pan 1/2 full of water, place hocks in, bring to boil, skim any scum, add peas, diced celery, diced carrots, sliced leeks and diced cauliflower. Again skim any scum that rises.

Simmer on a very low heat for several hours. Stir from the bottom of the pan occasionally to prevent anything sticking.

remove hocks when meat is very soft and falling away from the bone, allow to cool a little, (otherwise you’ll burn your fingers) remove skin and surplus fat and shred meat. (I use two forks to shred meat)

Whiz vegetable part of soup with a hand blender until you have your desired consistency, I prefer mine with a little texture, Add meat back to pan, test for seasoning, you may or may not need a little more salt, add black pepper to taste.

Hail stopped play

Hubby was up at the crack of dawn today, to tackle the plot. He eased a bleary eyed son out of his pit to help him. By the time I had caught up with them after I had prepped Sunday lunch and prepared a pea and ham soup they had made very good progress.

I arrived at the plot, it was a blue and wonderfully warm day, I basked in the sunshine streaming through the door and window of my shed, (whilst pricking out leeks) well I did for an hour.. then.. well, the weather turned to hail, thunder and lightening..

Leeks I had just pricked out are caught in the onslaught.

In the midst of the storm, photo taken from the sanctuary of my shed.

Cabbages and leeks


More leeks (I’m trying three different varieties)

Our plot after hail stopped play and a little more work. Half of it ready for planting.

Then homeward bound with a bag of homegrown leeks the last of the season, for a bowl of pea and ham soup and a joint of pork soon to be sizzling in the oven.

The patter of tiny feet,

and not in a good way.

Yesterday evening several members of my immediate family were sitting in the hospital restaurant drinking coffee, they then went to visit my Dad, (only so many on a ward) and hubby and I were left and then, out of hubbys corner of his eye he notices a rat, pattering around in the ceiling light conduit. Okay..(we saw the rat, several times) the rat scampers across, picks something up and runs off with it. We see him scamper several times. A rather lively and alert rat it has to be said.

A long debate follows as to what he has picked up, hubby informs a member of staff, I inform the appropriate authorities in the morning as well as the hospital. The hospital authorities try to convince me it might be a mouse, well, I think I might know the difference, I don’t tell him all of this.. (a) I’ve been catching mice at the moment at the allotment so am completely aware of their girth and width and (b) I know exactly what a rat looks like.

We also notice on one of the plastic light covers what looks like either bait or dead blue bottle flies/or dead bumble bees, to conclude several there were about 10 of said items on the plastic cover, our vision is obscured, but this is what the rat is very interested in.

So, we arrive at the hospital a little early, Mum is thirsty, basically she’s run off her feet and wishes to go for a coffee, my warnings of Weil’s disease are ignored and we enter the restaurant. We sit in the same place.

I look up and there is only one of the dark spots left, where as yesterday there was ten or so.. So, I think its something dead or bait and believe that the rat has eaten it/them.

And then.. it moves.. very slowly but it moves, OMG this huge beetle which it very much looks like by this time, is moving and Mum who understands these things says, “its a cockroach”.. Eeeeewwwww.

We then discuss because, I am my fathers child, (his first employment as a farmers boy) how a rat would rather enjoy a cockroach, a nice juicy meal, etc, etc.

To other news,

and I know I wouldn’t say this, (what is a girl like!)

Compared to Wednesday, he has improved, he’s not out of the woods yet, not by a long chalk. Along with the doctors other worries (lack of movement in lower limbs, MRI scans clear) he has a bacterial chest infection along the lines of Legionairess disease, it isn’t that, but has the same line. His age goes against him.. He was much improved yesterday, but has slightly gone down again today, his right ankle and foot swelled up and became inflamed whilst we were there this evening, I really don’t know what that means, but we did point it out.

He was very disorientated on Wednesday, came good on Thursday and is a little off course tonight.

I’ve come to a decision.

I’ve come to a decision that it really isn’t fair to inflict upon my lovely knitting friends and my other blog readers, what is fast becoming my woe is me blog about Dad.

I’m never sure whether to put into my blog critical news, especially about family members, hubby thinks its poor taste, which I can see his point.

And as this looks like it is going to become a long drawn out affair, I think I should draw it to a close.

thank you all for your support.


Who does this remind you off?

I’ll just repost this before I toddle off to my bed.

As soon as I put my warm hood type thing on, that I’ve just finished, I saw an image that made me giggle.

Who does it remind you off?

There will be a small prize of some sock wool for the first correct answer. I have witnesses that will confirm who I think it is, (hubby and son no.2 cannot see the likeness themselves) which just confirms to me that I have a really weird sense of humour.

More News.

Dad has been taken into hospital. The physiotherapist rang Mum this morning to book an appointment for Monday whereupon Mum explained how dire the situation was and she arranged to come out this afternoon. The physio soon realised that he was a poorly boy and called for an ambulance, then Mum called me. Mum is going to get him settled into hospital and then I’ll go over to see him tomorrow.

Its such a relief, I’ve been like a bear with a sore head all day and when I got this positive news, I went to bed, cried for a bit then slept for a solid four hours, the most I’ve slept in days.

News on Dad

He’s still not moved from the sofa. He’s very shaky and his good knee is now as swollen as his bad knee. I’ve asked them to get an ambulance but the theory they have is that if they can just last out until Monday when the physio and nurse come in all will be well and that they will probably get him into hospital on Monday. Personally I have my doubts about him being well enough to continue at home until Monday. And if he needs a poo, he will collapse on to the floor, at that point Mum has promised she will ring for an ambulance. I’ve asked them to call the doctor out again, again they refuse. So, he’s sort of sitting up at a very jaunty angle, and has been in the same position for 48 hours, he can’t raise his leg and put it onto a cushion/stool or even raise his legs to lie back onto the sofa, as the leg is in so much pain.

I’ve tried my best to persuade them to take some sort of action, even suggesting the national health help line, but they are set into their mindset and I can’t go against their wishes without really upsetting them.

Dad’s jocular humour is somewhat diminished today, as after seeing him, is mine.

Such a dreadful day.

Late last night (Wednesday) I received a phone call of my mother. Dad’s in a bit of a pickle, his knee has seized up completely and as they are staying at mum’s sisters house in Blackpool for the week they cannot get home. Twice that day, he’s collapsed onto the floor in the bathroom not being able to get up. That day he lay in a cold bathroom for three hours, although it was one and half hours at a time, before regaining enough strength to get onto a bed/chair. Don’t ask me about my parents mentality because I don’t understand it. 999 would have been my first thoughts.

I suggested hubby comes up to fetch them the next day, in the evening (Thursday) but it was too late for them in the day, they refuse the offer, mum is confused and emotional and ends the phone call, but she has decided they will take their chances on the coach. They need to get home as they had an appointment at the hospital about Dad’s Knee, and if they don’t make it, he could end back up at square one re; the waiting list. Mum’s mobile is playing up and I can’t reach her again and I don’t have aunties phone number, who after a net surf is exdirectory, as I then find out all of the family that I can remember are..

Bugger, (I must put that on my ravelry most favourite swear word list)

Next day,

Dad collapses very early, lays on bathroom floor for an hour and a half, (their seems to be a pattern in this) a relative is called who is male and 6ft 4″ and gets him up again, then, for some reason (I’ve not got to the bottom of this yet) he collapses again, this time an ambulance is called and he ends up in a hospital in Blackpool, they look at his situation and because he is so close to having a knee replacement operation they suggest he goes home, they give him huge painkillers and a walky about thing almost square shaped with wheels (I’m sure there is a technical term) and he manages to get back to a car.

I know none of this, at 2.30 p.m. I ring mum at home, no answer, because by this time I think they might be home, I then ring her mobile again, in the vain hope that she will answer, and she does… (a very kind ambulance driver sorted her phone out and stopped it diverting to voice mail, which she has no idea how to operate, and I’m proud of her as well, because she asked someone, anyone to help her, and they did)

They are still in Blackpool, they have just got home from the hospital. She explains what has happened, we talk, I tell her to hang on for an hour, as hubby is in a meeting that I cannot disturb him in, (only on death and it would probably have to be mine) and then I learn, that Mum, bless her, has cancelled tomorrows hospital appointment. Why, do they have to jump so fast?

Hubby rings me late afternoon, soon after we are motoring toward Blackpool, we get there only to find my Dad on the floor again. Guess what? He’s been there for an hour and a half…

I walk into find a sweaty, beads rolling down the forehead kind of sweaty, sunken eyed, frail Dad, I made some sort of quip to him, which he responded to. We called reinforcements until there were three males to get him into the car. It was a bit touch and go, I was hovering at the rear end with a kitchen chair so that he could collapse back onto that rather than the floor, he needed it twice.

Fortunately the road was clear on the way back, Mum manages to raise a brother to assist.. But then there are only two men and two high steps. A chair was brought out, which Dad needed several times, his knees just buckle, those boys, hubby and my brother, they sweated gettting him in, there was a point, I really didn’t think they were going to make it.

His knee’s buckled just at the top of the steps, and there really would have been nothing any of us could have done, if he had fell backwards… But hubby, an engineer through and through, blocked his knee against dads leg in such a way that dad could rest and then my brother did the same, which gave dad a few minutes resting time, before he carried on..

They got him in, well just into the hall, it took two more rests before getting him onto the sofa.

I gave him a hug and a kiss, I have no idea what is going to happen tomorrow.


Such a beautiful baby..

Such a pretty baby came to say, ‘hello’ to our Tuesday night knitters. A gorgeous little girl with such proud parents, they are truly blessed.

A little hoodie I knitted for their first born child, which Mum, really seemed to like. (my first jumper, both back and front) You can see how tiny it is, by how large my sixteen year old sons hands are in this piccie.

And this is a joint effort from Tuesday night knitters, We all knitted a square, and then Anna, did the majority of the work, sewing it up, scratching around for everyones left overs so that she could work on the border so that it was an almost continuous colour, she did such a marvelous job. Honestly she did an awful lot of work to do all of that. But doesn’t it look wonderful. I think Mum loved it too.