Saturday, 24 August 2013

Gone Fishing

North Sea Fishing Trip

Last week a friend of mine came over from Germany to stay with us for the week. I was trying to think of things to do in order to explore the area we live in a little closer and for something that's a little bit different, so we decided to go on a 3-hour North Sea fishing trip about 10 minutes from where we live.

North Sea Fishing Trip

It was great fun and certainly an amazing experience, so close to our doorstep. Who would have thought?

North Sea Fishing Trip

After some initial remarks from some of the guys aboard saying how having women on the boat would mean bad luck for fishing, we showed them as my friend and I were amongst the first 3 to catch a fish (= my friend was the 2nd one to catch one and I was 3rd). From that first catch onwards we caught fish after fish all the way through to the end. Needless to say the guy who criticised us being there soon shut up.

North Sea Fishing Trip

I ended up with 4 mackerel and my friend caught 3, so 7 fish between the two of us on a 3-hour trip, that according to the skipper wasn't the most successful one, isn't a bad result, especially considering we didn't even use any bait.

Line-caught North Sea mackerel

Here are all our mackerels lined up and ready to be cleaned and gutted:

Line-caught North Sea mackerel

Having caught our own fish meant having to prepare it ourselves as well. So after watching a few videos on YouTube explaining how to go about I gained enough confidence to give it a go.

Preparing a mackerel

Preparing a mackerel

Preparing a mackerel

It was actually easier than I thought.

We had a couple of fillets each the same night freshly barbecued ...

BBQed mackerel

... and we marinaded the rest over night ready for lunch and dinner the next day - very yummy.

marinaded mackerel

All in all it's been a great day and I can't wait to go again, maybe even for a longer trip to go out a bit further with a chance of catching a broader variety of fish, but before we attempt that Jamie and I will have to arrange for a new freezer as ours inconveniently broke a couple of weeks ago.

Thursday, 22 August 2013

A Summer Berry Tart

Summer Berry Tart

Amazed by the look of the wild berry tarts on Green Kitchen Stories, I just had to try it for myself.

The recipe was easy to follow and the result as tasty as it looked. My only regret was not owning a proper pie dish, but that's now on my shopping list. 

The non-flour base is extremely yummy and I can't believe I've never made one of those before. I might try another one with a rhubarb topping, or maybe apple and cinnamon, or ...

Full Moon by the Sea

On our way to the Late-Night-Pharmacist we stopped at Hornsea beach to admire the reflection of the August full moon in the sea.
Full Moon by the Sea
)O(

Monday, 5 August 2013

Straw Star Wand Tutorial

As promised here's a simple tutorial on how to make your own straw star wand for every occasion.

First take your straw (without its seed head).

Straw Star Wand Tutorial

Remove all the outer leaves that encase the straw.

Straw Star Wand Tutorial

 Then fold the top end of your straw (the thinner part where the seeds used to be) four times at even lengths, like so:

Straw Star Wand Tutorial

Start shaping your star from the lowest fold (number 4 in the previous picture) and fold it down towards you and then up again at an angle (at point 3). Do this in front of the long part of the straw:

Straw Star Wand Tutorial

Then fold the next section (point 2) across behind the long part of the straw:

Straw Star Wand Tutorial

Bend the last part of the straw (point 1) over the first section and then carefully underneath the next bit. Be careful not to break the straw during this step.

Straw Star Wand Tutorial

Then to secure your star pierce a pin in the long part of the straw and carefully wiggle it up and down a little to create a longish slot.

Straw Star Wand Tutorial

Then insert the short end of the straw into the slot to form a pentagram.

Straw Star Wand Tutorial

And that's it you've got yourself a magical straw star wand.

Straw Star Wand Tutorial

I told you it' would be easy.

The best thing about it: you can blow bubbles with it.

Straw Wand Bubbles

Sunday, 4 August 2013

Lammas Update

As you may have gathered from my last picture post I've been celebrating Lammas, the first of the three harvest festivals, on Thursday. Here's a quick update on some of the items featured in the pictures.

Lammas Mask

I made this Lammas mask using a £0.99 mask from a craft store, some barley heads and a hot glue gun. It was a really quick and fun project to do with quite an effective outcome.

Braided Lammas Loaf

Braided Lammas Loaf

I also made a braided Lammas loaf. It's a lovely wheat and rye sourdough bread. I was worried once braided the bread would spread out and go really flat, so I put it in a loaf tin to restrict it a little, which unfortunately meant it lost some of the platted effect. Maybe next time I will be a bit more adventurous and see what happens if I just allow it to rise and bake without using a bread tin.

Gypsy Skirt

Gypsy Skirt

The Gypsy skirt I was wearing was based on a simple and straight forward tutorial from Evange Style and was great fun to make.

Straw Star Wand

Last but not least I made some Lammas straw star wands from the straw that was left after making my mask. I will post a tutorial shortly on how to make a wand like this in case you'd like to have a go at making your own.