It’s not much……


Hello Dear Reader,

We’ve been gardening on and off for a few days. Not solidly but popping out to do a bit more when the mood took us. We’ve cleaned the house, laundered, ironed, put away and read and put our feet up in between. A proper bank holiday weekend. We live in a terrace of thirteen slate hung cottages with tiny gardens and the neighbours have been out cutting the lawn, or I could hear them chatting with friends in the sun. It’s been beautifully warm here today.


I’ve repotted some patio plants.


I dug up plants that were in full sun and not thriving and I’ve planted them somewhere that gets some shade. I moved a lavender that was too near the wall and put that in full sun. I’ve planted a tiny hydrangea that I bought a few weeks ago for a few pounds from Lidl and hope it makes it.


The stones? They were all in the border, I think the previous owner was going for the Bodmin moor stones every where sort of look. I’ll have to pay to take these to the recycling centre as they don’t take stones or soil. The ‘shed’ looks a total mess but I will sort and tidy. I’m trying to find some logs at this time of year so I can stock up whilst I can afford it. No one seems to be selling any.


Here’s my back lane. It’s pedestrian access only and I’ve pulled up the weeds and swept up and rubbish that was there. Now that it’s tidy I can keep on top of it. Some neighbours do their bit, by which I mean the bit by their house, some don’t and I’ll get their permission to do the rest of the lane so it all looks presentable. 



Here’s half my finished border in front of the house. You can see DB’s growing pallet collection at the bottom of the garden, he’ll break them up for fire wood this week. It’s a good job we’ve got them especially as I can’t find any logs to buy. The pink flowering shrub has had a tidy up and been pruned back. I watched Gardener’s World and remembered the advice that if you prune hard when the Chelsea flower show is on, that there’s plenty of growing season left for it to come back to full strength.



I’ve had this trio helping me in the garden all day. They are very good at barking instructions but not a lot of help with digging! (Dolly Knockers at the back, front left Scruffy/AKA Ronnie Barker and to his right is Bobby Dazzler. The garden team, special skills: using the kneeler as a pillow, chewing the trowel handle and lying in dirt when they’ve just had a bath)

I live in a tiny cottage, it’s not much but the capital left to pay gets smaller every month, it doesn’t take much maintenance and I love every single inch of the place. It’s not much but it’s very nearly bought and paid for, cheap to run, tiny to heat and perfect for DB, myself and our four legged friends.

I’m loving this staycation! We’re having a day out in Truro tomorrow and I promise I’ll take photos.

Until tomorrow,

Love Froogsxxxxx

The best laid plans!!!!

                          

  

                             

Hello Dear Reader,

We had great plans to get out and about this weekend, maybe visit a garden, get out on our bikes and hit the moors for a walk. Instead, it’s chilly, wet, and persistently raining!!
Instead we’ve dug out the brushes, loosened up the paint, found the sand paper and we’ll get some titivating done!! I’m also going to get some sewing done! I’m determined to keep hold of the wages and have fun together at home even if our previous plans of getting out and about are on hold. We’ll enjoy ourselves working together and tidying up our house a bit.
Tonight? We’ll light the fire, watch a film and keep warm!
Over to you, what are you going to do with yourselves this cold and wet weekend! 
Until tomorrow,
Love Froogs xxxxx 

Trying not to spend money at the bank holiday?




Hello Dear Reader,

You know how the conversations goes! The bank holiday approaches and everyone starts thinking of going out and usually that can cost a lot of money. If you want to hear how I will spend my bank holiday by not spending, head over to HERE to read my blog post today.



When you’ve read it, pop back and let me know how you’re going to keep hold of your hard earned cash this weekend and still have a break and enjoy yourselves.

Looking forward to hearing from you.

Love Froogs xxxxx

Celebratory lunch with a reasonable price


Hello Dear Reader,

Just the two of us today, sometimes it’s lovely to just have time to ourselves. Dearly Beloved has been out and about in the garden, I’ve finished another quilt. 

If you want to see any pictures of it then pop over to my Instagram page and check out the pictures I shared today. https://instagram.com/frugalqueen/ If I add too many here then it takes too long for some people to load. I hope you don’t mind.

Thanks for all the lovely comments from when Dearly Beloved posted about getting free magazines from your local library service. If you have an ipad, then download the BBC food app, it’s my ‘go to’ recipe book. I found today’s recipe for Greek Lamb there today. Simply go to App store, search BBC food and download the app.

My celebration menu today was: Greek lamb with potatoes and buttery greens with Tropical Mess, like Eton mess but with fresh pineapple and lemon curd.

I will start with the super easy dessert. You will need, one meringue per person, a teaspoon of lemon curd per person, a quarter of a fresh pineapple, cut into cubes and a quarter of a pot of cream per person.

Beat the cream until it forms stiff peaks. Stir in the pineapple, broken meringue and swirl the lemon curd through the mixture. I find that if you give it a good stir with a fork, in the jar, then you can change the texture to pourable. Pineapples are 68p in Aldi, the pot of cream 69p, a quarter of a jar of lemon curd is 13p and the meringues were 8 for £1 in Asda. We will eat it over today and tomorrow, I really believe in stretching out days off and really enjoying them. Our dessert was 50p per portion and that’s a great price for a special celebratory and completely indulgent pudding.

Plonk a few chunks of pineapple on top and a dollop of lemon curd and it’s a yellowy, spring like dessert. 

Lamb is a really good price at the moment and we bought our leg of lamb for £3.97 a kilo! So our leg of lamb was just under £7 altogether and we’ll get six generous portions of of it and will be eating it for the next few days too! 

To cook the lamb, you will need a leg of lamb ( a shoulder would be fine!)

6 garlic cloves,
2 teaspoons of dried oregano
zest and juice of one lemon
6 tbsp of olive oil

1kg bag of new potatoes  – we bought ours in Asda, who have the same price veggie offers as Aldi and had 1kg bags for 39p, we also stocked up on parsnips and other vegetables such as leeks and spring greens. I steamed the greens and leeks and then tossed them with a knob of butter and some freshly ground black pepper and it was meltingly spring like to have with the lamb.


To cook the lamb, mix the ingredients and rub all over the lamb, cover tightly with foil or a lid of a roasting dish. Cook low and slow on 180 for two to three hours. Cook for just one hour if you like it rare. I like it to fall off the bone.

In the last hour, I added the 39p bag of potatoes and coated them in the herby oil and allowed them to roast.

I washed and finely shredded a pack of spring greens and a pack of leeks (Both 39p a pack in Asda!)
and steamed them both together. I cooked them all in one go as I always cook on a Sunday for Monday as well as I give myself a day off cooking. I’ll also have plenty left to make bubble and squeak for breakfast one day.

A slap up lunch for £8.17 in total. It will run to four roast lunches at £1.36 each, which we’ll eat today and tomorrow. It will also turn into shepherd’s pie with a bubble and squeak topping which will make four portions so 68p per portion for that. 



When I stand in the supermarket and look at a joint of meat for seven pounds it always seems too expensive but then I stretch into into several portions and other meals and it’s not as expensive as I originally thought.

We’ve another week of our staycation and I hope to finish another quilt, have a day out in St. Ives and get some work done around the house. To be honest, I’ve really enjoyed early nights and getting up late; it’s been wonderful to recharge our batteries.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter.

Until tomorrow,

Love Froogs xxxx

Staycation Day One.

Hello Dear Reader,
I shall get this quilt top finished today. It’s not just been me. Scruffy at my feet, Dolly and Bobby by my side. I’ve had my ipad set up and I watched two episode’s of Simon Rimmer’s documentaries in the Caribbean. 
Dinner tonight is a sausage casserole out of the freezer with mashed potatoes and greens. 
I’ve lit the fire and I’m keeping warm in this horrible weather!
I add these a few minutes ago. I added a double border. I also dug out the scrappy quilt I made previously. I must get to the local craft shop and buy some quilt batting.
The staycation is going well so far!
How about you?
See you tomorrow.
Love Froogs xxxx

Easter Staycation

Hello Dear Reader,
We have time off at home this Easter and we have quite wooly vague plans, which are quite unusual for us. Normally, there are places to go and people to see. Instead, it’s all quiet here.
We will, weather permitting, get some work done in the garden and plenty around the house. 
We do hope to get a couple of trips out each week even though we haven’t decided where. 
Much of the other time will be whiled away with reading, walking the dogs, a ramble around the charity shops, I’ve some more clothes to make and of course, quilting. 
As for tonight, mug of de-caff and an hour of Poldark.
What’s anyone else up to this Easter?
Until tomorrow,
Love Froogs xxxx

Ox Pasture Hall Hotel Review


Hello Dear Reader,

As you may or may not know (what do you mean you don’t know, where have you been lovvie?) we recently went to North Yorkshire for a short break. We went at the invite of the Ox Hall Pasture Hotel, who offered me the short break in return for a review. So, as promised here is the review. Our stay, including all food, drink and accommodation was free of charge but my opinions are entirely my own.

In short, we loved the place! You might think I’m easily pleased because I don’t get out much but one of the reasons I don’t go out much is because I have really exacting standards. The hotel didn’t let us down one bit.

To us, the very best of the thing about the hotel were the staff. It has a reserved, yet efficient style about the place where the staff are friendly and welcoming without being at all intrusive. We purposefully noticed how they treated everyone, just in case we were getting preferential treatment as reviewers. They treated everyone really well. The clientele were very mixed with families with children of all ages, some elderly visitors and plenty of couples who like us, were enjoying the peaceful surrounding. A special thanks has to go out the management and staff of the hotel for making everyone feel so relaxed and welcome.



The hotel itself is in the North Yorkshire Moors National Park and surrounded by seventeen acres of parkland and gardens. Our bedroom overlooked the gardens, lake and then countryside as far as we could see in any direction. I live by a busy arterial road and that peace, even for a couple of days really recharged our batteries. 

We were given suite 25, which as I said over looked the countryside. It was really warm when we were there and as I got ready in the evening, with the windows open I could hear moor hens and the ponies in the distance. It really was tranquil.


I know I live in a small house, but really this suite was larger than the ground floor of my own home. It was huge. It also has everything you can possibly need from: iron, ironing board, extra bedding, extra pillows, extra heating, hot and cold beverages, snacks, toiletries, bathrobes, hair dryer and lots of chunky oak furniture to store everything away. We were more than comfortable. There was also a large flat screen TV in the lounge and bedroom as well as audio equipment. I would have like ipod or iphone docking but that was my only criticism. It’s a very peaceful hotel and I’m sure I wouldn’t have liked music in the room next to mine so I can see why they didn’t have it.


I loved the huge bath made for two (well tested!) and the massive rainfall wet room style shower. In my dreams, I would love a bathroom like this. I will probably never have one but at least I got to try one out for a couple of days. It certainly was luxurious.


We ate each night in the on site Courtyard Hotel. I love food and was utterly spoiled. They served the sort of food that you only hear about on Masterchef. The experience was wonderful. We sat in the hotel bar and lounge and were brought Prosecco as we selected from the menu. I checked, everyone was given this and it was a nice touch as no one felt rushed to choose or hurry in any way. We just chatted quietly, sat by the fire and enjoyed a very mellow evening.

Here’s what we ate on our first night.


Mini Ham Hock, Pea Mousse, Crispy Quail Egg, Pickled Vegetables,
Honey Mustard Dressing

Traditional Smoked Salmon
Served with Horseradish Ice Cream

Lamb
2 Bone Rack of Lamb, Braised Lamb Boulangere Potato, Curly Kale and Root Vegetables


Pork
Slow Cooked Belly, Tender Loin Stuffed with Apricot and Sage, Savoy Cabbage,
Sautéed Potato, Homemade Black Pudding, Red Onion Marmalade


Caribbean Cocktail
Coconut Panacotta, Mango Rice Pudding, Passion Fruit Sorbet, Pina Colada




Sticky Toffee Pudding
Butterscotch Sauce and Milk Ice Cream  

As you can imagine, we slept well after that lot! 

One of the best things about the hotel is the location to the North Yorkshire coast and it’s a perfect place to base a short stay. So many visitors to the UK don’t bother with the north of the country and just pass through on their way to Scotland. Stay a while and take in Yorkshire. I’ve wanted to visit after seeing the first two stages of the Tour de France which as you may know started in Yorkshire this year. The scenery was amazing. You could stay at the Ox Pasture Hall hotel and get to York, Harrogate and of course the coast. There are plenty of world famous tourist attractions nearby such as Castle Howard. We’ve already made plans to have a longer holiday in Yorkshire one day.

We decided to visit Whitby.


Steep cobbled streets and the fishing harbour; the abbey in the distance.


Cobble and back to back fisherman’s cottages……..all for rent if you choose.


The north Yorkshire steam railway.


Georgian grandeur.


The abbey…………we decided to make it look very Bram Stoker. I could just imagine Dracula crawling out of the earth………

I digress, after a fascinating day in Whitby we went back to the hotel for afternoon tea. You will need to book this as it’s so popular. We met and chatted with a Yorkshire family, with their children on half term who were also enjoying tea. They had treated themselves and their boys to an afternoon at the Ox Pasture. If you are local enough that you can just pop over there for tea, please try to. It’s a really genteel treat. We were replenished with as many pots of tea as we liked. It was bliss to warm up by the fire after such a cold a blustery day in Whitby.

     

Our final evening was just lovely. We sat in the lounge and perused the dinner menu, drank Prosecco (I could sooo get used to this!) and chose some wine to have with our supper. Delicious but the photographs were not so good after this!




Poached Salmon
With Potato Salad, Wilted Spinach and Chive Cream

The warm potato salad with puy lentils was amazing!


Beef
Mini Beef Fillet, Tender Brisket of Beef, Creamed Mash Potato,
Mushroom Duxelle, Baby Turnip and Carrot


Raspberry Crème Brulee
With Raspberry Milk Shake

(didn’t like the slate……but the dessert was perfect otherwise)



Apple & Pear Crumble
Served with Sauce Anglaise or Vanilla Ice Cream


All good things have to come to an end. Serously folks, if you are not British and you’ve never eaten one of our breakfast, you haven’t lived! We only eat a cooked breakfast on the weekends but this really set us up for the day. I can honestly say you won’t need lunch after one of the hotel’s breakfasts.

To sum up our stay: Yorkshire is an utter delight and the people we met in passing were all genuinely welcoming, Whitby was amazing and very much worth a visit and best of all the Ox Pasture Hall hotel is everything it claims to be. It is a boutique luxury hotel with a warm welcome and award winning food. 

I totally loved it and many thanks to Shaun the owner for inviting us, to the manager Lyndsey who treats everyone so well, the staff (especially the young waiter who looked after us in the evening) and everyone who made our stay so very special.

Over to you Dear Reader, has anyone visited Yorkshire? Is anyone lucky enough to live there? 

Until tomorrow,

Love Froogs xxxxx


Disclaimer – the photographs of the exterior of the hotel are from the website. It was a bit foggy when we were there and our photographs didn’t show the exterior of the hotel at its best.














Holiday in Yorkshire.

Hello Dear Reader,

I can’t believe we made it. The last time we had a holiday was our honeymoon in 2012. The move and house renovations took up last year and this year’s summer break was spent in the garden.
A break away to glorious north Yorkshire was just what we needed.

An eight hour drive so a stop half way for a double esspresso was the fuel that kept us going.

It’s great to frock up and have someone else do the cooking.

The Oxpasture Hall hotel near Scarborough, is just stunning. A modern boutique hotel, in the heart of the North Yorkshire Moors with the very essence of hospitality, welcome and service.
The public areas, especially the lounges are warm, cosy and made us feel truly at home. We had a drink here before supper……I loved the fire.

The original part of the hotel is really old and the shutters show how thick the walls are.
Our pooches are safely home with mum, but dogs are welcome here in all areas except the restaurant. This young lady was enjoying her holiday too. Everyone is catered for here. Staff fussed over the families with children, carefully looked after older patrons and genuinely went out of their way to make everybody welcome.
The food was amazing! I don’t say that lightly, remember I will send food back if I think it is not up to scratch. The food here really did live up to the hotel’s award winning standard
Ham hock terrine, pea puree and crispy quail egg.

Smoked salmon and horse radish ice cream.

  
Pink tender local lamb.

Pork, cooked three ways.

Dessert? Mango ice cream, coconut panna cotta and pina colada sorbet……brilliantly gluten free too.

Dearly Beloved, quite the traditionalist went for sticky toffee pudding, toffee sauce and ice cream. 
How ‘s the holiday so far?
Blinkin’ EPIC!
Eight hour drive to get here but the destination is amazing!
Disclaimer: we are here on a free two night stay courtesy of the Oxpasture Hotel, with dinner, afternoon tea, a luxury suite and of course a full Yorkshire breakfast on both days. We have been asked to honestly review and my opinions here are genuine.
Until then,
Love Froogs x x 

Summer lovin’

Hello Dear Reader,
34 in the shade outside and. 29 indoors with the fan running and I’ve spent 24 hours in bed with a migraine.

Thankfully, and with the aid of a prescription, I could stand up and face daylight by six this evening.

It’s been so warm this evening that we headed to the beach.

His feet and my feet…….nothing better than sand every where. It kind of epitomises a Cornish house in the summer…….full of sand!

This is what my feet will look like until September.

Over to you, what epitomises your home area in the summer?
I promise, I’ll be a lot more productive tomorrow.
Until then,
Love Froogs xxx

THE WINNER IS + Staycation day 2- Cotehele Mill


Hello Dear Reader,


Sun bathing legs in the sun at 5pm last night.



This morning, we visited a National Trust property called Cotehele Mill.



We parked on the quay and took a short walk to the mill.


Of course, as it’s a mill, there’s water every where.



Here’s the mill, owned and run by the National Trust.


Milling the flour.


Getting the water to the wheel.


The delivery door for the grain.


Beautiful walks on the way home.


Look it up on the National Trust website and try and visit if you are in the area.


I love the old bridges up and down the small river.


Quick lunch and then sit down to write that the winner is DEBS MC ANDREW

Please email me your address by 6pm tomorrow.

Thanks very much for entering and it was great fun getting the giveaway together.

Until tomorrow,

Love Froogs xxxx