Sunday, 31 October 2010

7 in 7

Love that I'm getting so much inspiration from Shimelle's class :-)

Love that this post by classmate, fellow blogger and friend Deb reminded me to finally document the fact that we lived in 7 different houses in our first 7 years of marriage! :-)

Love titles that use lots of different alphas, especially when those alphas include Thickers, yum :-)

Love this scrummy Crate Paper range that came with last month's kit from Gotta Craft :-)

Love the little chipboard houses from Crafty Individuals - especially that there were exactly 7 in the pack! :-)

Love that a bit of misting, stitching and hand-drawing of a border can add such interest to a simple layout :-)

Love that stepping out of my comfort zone to make a double layout for once wasn't as intimidating as I thought it might be! :-)

This is my post for the 31st day of Blogtoberfest - 31 days. I made it! Still time to enter my giveaways here and here - you've got until midnight tonight (GMT); winners will be announced tomorrow afternoon. Good luck!

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Imagine my joy and delight to discover that several of the badges I'd painstakingly sewn onto The Boy's cub uniform could be painstakingly unpicked and painstakingly sewn onto his scout uniform! (Must give The Mother credit here for offering to do this for me, but unfortunately there wasn't time to take her up on her kind offer...)

I found out recently that Asda now do their own version of the Go Ahead biscuits I like. They don't taste quite as good, but they're cheaper! On 19th October I had some of the apple flavour:

Saturday, 30 October 2010

So just what is it exactly that I do?

Being as she is a renowned international superstar, many people have wondered exactly what it is that Mel of I Speak Melsh actually does for a job. To help us answer this question we asked some of those closest to her for their thoughts...

The Girl:

My Mum's job is a teacher. She works in a school. She feels happy about her job because it is teaching kids. She often has to teach me. I think her job is fantastic.

The Boy:

My Mum's job is a teacher. She works in a school. She feels happy about her job because it is interesting and short. She often has to wake up early. I think her job is satisfactory.

The Friend:

My friend's job is teacher. She works in a school. She feels enthusiastic about her job because it is her vocation. She often has to control the pupils. I think her job is difficult.

The Doctor:

My wife's job is teacher. She works in a maelstrom. She feels ambivalent about her job because it is exhausting. She often has to drink. I think her job is remunerative.

Mel herself:

My job is teaching and being a wife and mother. I work in a school, in my home, in my car, and anywhere else the kids need to be. I feel happy enough about my job because it is challenging but rewarding. I often have to drink coffee. I think my job is my vocation.

Many thanks to all our interviewees! We do feel though that we should point out that The Doctor had partaken of wine before we were able to interview him....

This is my post for the 30th day of Blogtoberfest - 30 days and still on track, nearly there now!

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Yup, definitely Autumn now. This was the playground at school. And I arrived at school to discover that because of staff absence, my lessons were being swapped around a bit and I would be teaching PE. PE!! You can stop laughing now....

I consoled myself at home with one of the pumpkin cupcakes (which are indeed made very moist by the pumpkin content, Lizzie, and I couldn't really taste the pumpkin itself at all):

Friday, 29 October 2010

Two takes on a challenge

Amy challenged us. I've seen a couple of people's responses already (apologies if I've missed yours) - here are mine; two very different layouts using the same template (kindly sent my way by Amy).

On Tuesday we went bowling as a family. I experimented with a few close up photos - plenty of duds, as the lighting in the bowling alley was atrocious, but there were enough reasonable photos to make this layout:

But I also used a photo and journaling from this post for a layout with a very different feel:

And I suspect I'll be using this template over and over again! Thanks, Amy xx

And while I'm being inspired by Amy, here's a layout I made the idea of which I completely stole from her, and indeed the layout itself is a total scraplift of her gorgeous design:

Thanks again, Amy - full credit to you for this entire post! xx

This is my post for the 29th day of Blogtoberfest - 29 days and still on track!

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Church on 17th October. I've been meaning to photograph these unusual water vents along the side of the church hall for ages!

And oh, what am I supposed to do when Asda has an offer on Ben & Jerry's ice cream: £4.79 each, or two for £3?! This is the Half-Baked flavour (part chocolate chip cookie dough, part chocolate fudge brownie....)

Thursday, 28 October 2010

Weekly Wordle: 43 of 52

Sorry for so many posts in a day, but I don't want to get too behind with my Wordles! I've talked plenty this week already so I won't say much about this, except to note that my icing that I so carefully make is never much good unfortunately....

Blogging by numbers

As of 27/10/10:
  • 14 months
  • 804 posts
  • 9522 page views
  • 4 headers
  • 51 Wordles
  • 288 Project 365 photos
  • 26 online classes and projects
  • Many, many blog friends xx

This is my post for the 28th day of Blogtoberfest - 28 days and still on track!

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On 16th October, The Boy became a Scout :-) He was invested at the fete (along with 7 others - it's a thriving group!)

For dinner that night I made Thai green curry chicken parcels for me and The Doctor:

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

An A-Z of advice

My darling boy,

Here are a few words of Advice for you at age 10. Continue to Be yourself. I love that you have the Confidence to do that, and not to worry that sometimes you might be Different from other people. I really admire that in you. Remember that doing the right thing isn't always Easy, but it's important and it's always worth it. Don't Forget people's birthdays, especially mine! Make sure you enjoy a Giggle often, a sense of Humour can make all the difference. Never forget that I love you unconditionally. Be Just in your dealings with others. Justice matters. Keep that thirst for Knowledge, it will stand you in good stead. Never miss an opportunity to Learn something new. Be careful with Money, but not too careful. Try to have a bit of a Nest egg tucked away, but make sure you have some fun, too. Don't be afraid to Open yourself up to someone you trust, it isn't good to bottle everything up. Choose your life Partner carefully, with your head and your heart. Prioritise your Quiet times. Make sure God is always an integral part of your life. Never lose your love of Reading. It will give you so many hours of pleasure throughout your life. Look out for your Sister. She looks up to you - keep it that way. Travel as much as you can and take in all those new experiences, but remember where your home is. You are Unique and special, never forget that. Know the difference between what is Vital, what would be nice, and what really doesn't matter. Worship the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. Enjoy your treats but in moderation, try to eat healthily - keep yourself out of size XXL, OK? You are so special, and so loved. Have Zero tolerance for anyone who tries to tell you otherwise.

Love from Mum xxxxxxxx

This is my post for the 27th day of Blogtoberfest - 27 days and still on track!

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On 15th October I made some pumpkin cupcakes (second post down on this link). The idea was that some of them would be for the cake stall at The Boy's Scouts fete, and some would just be for us to try. I made 6 large (muffin size) and 24 small; unfortunately they didn't rise as much as I'd hoped so the small ones weren't really large anough to sell, so only the 6 large ones went to the cake stall. (I did top up my donation with a batch of the chocolate chip shortbread cookies, though!) Also, I don't know what it is with me and icing, but although I followed Shimelle's recipe very carefully, my icing was very soft and so had to be spooned onto each cake rather than being piped into pretty stars :-( But hey, they tasted good, and sold very quickly at the fete - pity I hadn't made more at the larger size! :-)

Yes, of course there was quality control.... But instead of that photo, here's one of the carrot and pumpkin seed roll I had with some cheese for my lunch that day:

Tuesday, 26 October 2010


Ladies and gentlemen, we're delighted today to welcome international superstar Mel of the renowned internet sensation I Speak Melsh. We've invited top journalists and TV personalities from all round the world to ask their burning questions to help us get to know Mel a little bit better.

Kate: Shall I start us off? I'm guessing that 'Mel' is short for something. Are you a Melanie or a Melissa, or something more unusual and exotic?

Mel: In my first teaching job I used to pretend to the pupils that my full name was Melandra! (Now I just tell them that the initial 'M' stands for 'Mrs'...) I'm actually a Melanie. When I was growing up I was always called by my full name, except by my Dad who often called me Mel. When I went to university it was my chance to establish myself as 'me' and start to decide who I was - part of that was taking on and 'owning' the name Mel. Now it sounds odd to hear Melanie! A couple of old school-friends still call me that, but otherwise it's probably just The Mother, when I've been naughty. So, obviously, I don't hear it very often!! ;-)

Alexa: We all know you in your super-trendy hat, as it's what you wear most often for your public appearances. Are you an avid hat-wearer - would you say that it's your signature look? And have you always been such a style icon?

Mel: Well, I wouldn't say that I've always had such an influence within the world of fashion - I suspect that brown polyester dresses won't ever really catch on, and neither will lemon yellow ski pants worn with lemon yellow jumpers (as sported by me during my 'banana' phase...) But yes, I'd say that hats are part of my personal style, and I own quite a few. I probably wear one or other of them at least once a week. They're great for fashion purposes, of course, but I wear them more often in the summer (for shade) and winter (for warmth). They're also ideal to help disguise those bad hair days!

Ruth: I was wondering about your career path. Was teaching a long-held ambition for you or did you just 'happen' into it?

Mel: I've wanted to teach pretty much for as long as I remember! There was one short phase when I was aged about 8 that I could clearly visualise my future, and it involved living next door to my best friend, having a stream at the bottom of my garden, being a writer, and having identical twin daughters who had blue eyes and long, blonde hair (but, apparently, no father) but apart from that it was teaching all the way. The only decision I then had to make was regarding the age range and subject specialism - and I changed my mind about those several times!

Kate: Which leads me nicely into my next question! When did you discover that you were a mathematician, and what does that actually mean to you?

Mel: I enjoyed most of my school subjects (well, apart from PE...) and was quite an all-rounder really, which made choosing my options a bit trickier! I always liked Maths, especially any problem-solving activities, but at the ages of 11 to 16 I would probably have said that my favourite subject was English. Knowing that I wanted to go into teaching I decided to keep my A-level options as broad as possible, and picked English, Maths, German and General Studies. I briefly swithered between teaching English or German but by the end of Lower Sixth I'd completely switched on to Maths. I love the logic of it, the way you can work out a problem step by step and prove an answer, and that so many areas of Maths are linked together - sometimes unexpectedly. I love that logic and problem-solving skills are skills for life, just as much as being able to count out your money and check your change when you go shopping. I love the history of Maths - Archimedes and Isaac Newton both fascinate me. Mostly I just love Maths for its own sake. It doesn't need to have a purpose or an application. I'm a pure mathematician!

Elizabeth: And so you became a Maths teacher. Have you always taught in the same school, or have you moved around? And what happened when you started a family?

Mel: My first answer to this was four pages long so if ever I share it in full I think it needs a post of its own!! Here's a summary:

My first teaching post was at a large secondary school, and I started work there just after I married The Doctor. He began his PhD at the same time. When The Boy came along, just over two years into our marriage, we still needed my wage - The Doctor received a grant during his PhD, but it wasn't enough for us all to live on - so, unfortunately, I had to return to work when The Boy was just 3 months old.

When The Doctor finished his PhD he was fortunate enough to secure funding for a 3-year post-doctorate research post, which he was free to take at any university that would have him! It meant that we could move to another part of the country where the cost of living was lower, and his income would be able to support us all - including the new baby I was now expecting! So we duly moved, and I took a career break to be at home with The Children. During this time The Doctor found a permanent post, so we moved again, to the area where we now live.

Once The Boy was at school and The Girl had started at pre-school it was time for me to think about returning to work part-time. Much as I loved teaching Maths I wasn't so sure any more about the secondary age range, and a couple of mornings a week volunteering at The Children's school confirmed that I wanted to switch to primary. I did a return to teaching course then started to do a few hours at that school, and for a while also did some work as an 'outreach' teacher for another school visiting two primaries and two secondaries for short series of lessons. Altogether then I've worked in 6 different schools, though I'd probably say that only two have them have been my 'main' teaching job at any particular time.

Yes, that was actually the abridged answer...

Mary: You referred to The Doctor's studies there - I'd been wondering if he was a medical doctor or another kind. From what you've said I assume now that he's an academic doctor, is that correct?

Rinda: And I wanted to ask, what is he a doctor of?

Mel: Yes, he's an academic doctor - he did a PhD in history. Our interests are completely different - a mathematician and a historian! His studies concentrate on the history of medieval England, and he's written several books on the subject. (I'm a very proud wife!)

Beverly: We've heard now about several of the 'loves of your life', the things that are very important to you: your husband, your children, Maths, teaching - and hats! It's clear from your blog that food is also a big part of your life. I've been impressed by how healthy-looking your lunches appear - is that an accurate depiction of your eating habits, or are you secretly scoffing crisps, chocolate and ice cream, the photos of which we never see?!

Mel: Beverly, you got me....!! OK, the truth is this: I don't generally make resolutions at the beginning of a new year, but this year I did decide - or resolve, if you will - to make a concerted effort to eat more healthily. I also began Project 365, and decided as part of that to share a food photograph from each day. The two combined have made me really think more about what I'm eating. For one thing, I'm trying to vary my food photos and never repeat the exact food or drink (though I've allowed myself to show coffee from various places and count those as different!) I'm definitely eating a healthier and more varied diet this year. There are still times when I've eaten a piece of fruit and a chocolate bar on the same day, and I'll maybe photograph the fruit as representing me in a better light.... But then, neither do I hide the fact that I do eat cake, I do eat biscuits, I do eat chocolate. (Not crisps, though - I suddenly and completely went off crisps round about February this year, and haven't eaten them since!)

Overall, I'd say that the food photos I share do give a fairly accurate summary of the kind of food I eat, but it's probably a slightly - only very slightly, I hope - healthier picture than the reality.

Amy: While we're on the subject of food, you've mentioned a couple of times that you and the rest of your family have quite varied tastes, and you try to (literally) cater for that. It sounds quite a challenge! How on earth do you manage?

Mel: It's true, we do tend to like completely different things! Sometimes I feel that I have 'made a rod for my own back' and that I should just make one meal that everyone can choose to eat or go hungry... Perhaps another time I should explain why I do it - but that was another 2 whole pages of writing, so for now, here's how I do it:

Basically, I try to build the meal around the same components as much as possible. For example, pizza is easy because I just use different toppings for each of us. Pasta's not too bad; I can cook one large pan of pasta then serve it with different sauces (or no sauce at all for The Girl!) I do a lot of batch cooking so it's easy enough to defrost and heat a single portion of a particular sauce. With roast dinners I prepare all the elements and serve up the appropriate parts to each plate. I'm so used to it now that I often don't even think about it!

Beverly: I know that at one time you were vegetarian. Can you tell us more about that, and why you started to eat meat again?

Mel: I certainly can! Though again, I'll try to keep this briefer than the 3 pages I wrote as my initial answer! I was about 13 when I became a vegetarian. I'd wanted to do it for a while, partly for ethical reasons, but mainly because when I looked at meat on my plate I saw dead animal. That's quite off-putting, you know... My parents agreed to let me try, but I don't think they thought I'd be able to stick to it.

I stayed vegetarian for about 12 years. The trouble was, I wasn't necessarily a healthy vegetarian. My nut allergy meant that I couldn't get protein from that source, and I basically just didn't eat terribly well. Then, when I was pregnant with The Boy, I started to get cravings for tuna and cucumber sandwiches. Not a particularly unusual food - not like coal, or chalk, or gherkins dipped in ice cream! - but unusual for me, as I hadn't eaten fish for 12 years. I took it to mean that my body needed protein for the baby, and as it wasn't really a case of going against strongly-held principles for me, I 'gave in' to the craving. I found that I felt so much healthier for eating a bit of tuna now and then! So, after a while, I decided to reintroduce chicken and fish to my diet. Some time after that I figured that I either ate meat or I didn't, so I stopped avoiding other meats such as beef, bacon and so on, too. And I do feel healthier for including meat in my diet now.

Rachel: My question is about a drink rather than a food! As a fellow coffee-drinker, I wondered which is your favourite coffee outlet for an espresso? Is there anywhere you'd particularly recommend?

Mel: That's possibly the hardest question so far!! I've always considered myself to be a Costa girl, as I love their gingerbread lattes (skimmed milk, Fairtrade coffee!) Now I drink lattes far less often and I'm more likely to pick up an espresso - and I'm not so sure about their espressos. I haven't yet found an outlet that makes espressos like those I enjoyed during our holiday in Italy - even those from the motorway services over there were smooth, strong and delicious! I liked the espresso I got recently from Pret a Manger, but I'm going to try a few other outlets too - I'll get back to you on that!

Folks, we're nearly out of time, and our readers must surely be losing interest by now if they haven't already.... Er, I mean, Mel has a very busy schedule, as we know - online classes, long blog posts, cooking four meals at once, etc! Let's just take three quick questions to finish:

Jo: What would you say is your favourite phrase - or the one you use most often?

Mel: Perhaps I should ask The Doctor that! I think probably the one I use most often is 'Just a minute' - to The Children or to my pupils, when I'm already doing 50 million things and they want me to do yet another! But I also often say 'Love you': it's the last thing I say to The Doctor when one of us leaves the house, or when we've been on the phone to each other, or as we drift off to sleep; it's what I say to The Children as I drop them off at school, and what I whisper into their bedrooms when I check on them at night. My favourite phrase to say could be 'I've had a lie-in!' or maybe 'I've won a prize!' - my favourite to hear is 'I love you, Mummy'.

Rachel: We know your children as 'The Boy' and 'The Girl'. Have you always called them that or are those names just their blog personas?

Mel: Here's another abridged answer! I picked those names to be their blog identities, but afterwards realised that I often do call The Boy 'Boy', and always have done - but somehow I never call The Girl 'Girl'! (She's more likely to be called 'Monkey' or 'Brat' in this household....)

Cheryl: One last question. Referring back to that busy schedule of yours, just how do you find the time for everything you do?

Mel: I guess some of it is about prioritising, a little bit of planning and being well-organised, a lot of support from my darling husband, a certain neglect of housework, and a sprinkling of being a Bad Mother at times.... I can't always fit everything in, I do tend to take on too much, and sometimes things do get out of kilter - too much rushing around so I'm not catching up with friends or spending time creating and crafting, or too much work so I'm not seeing enough of The Doctor and The Children, or too much time online so dinner is late and the house is a tip (ahem...), or too much of everything else and not enough sleep.....

But I'm at my happiest, and so is the rest of my family, when all these things are in balance. I like to be busy, just as long as it doesn't get out of hand; I need to spend time with my family; and I have a need to create, whether that be by baking, making a card or layout, taking a photograph, or writing a blog post. They're all part of my life - of what makes me, 'me'.

Thanks for joining us, everyone! If you have any other questions for Mel then please do ask - though we might need to set a word limit on her answers....

PS Apologies for putting words into some of our interviewers' mouths, but we hope we've kept to the spirit of their question!

This is my post for the 26th day of Blogtoberfest - 26 days and still on track!

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What a miraculous outcome to what had seemed likely to be a terrible tragedy - 14th October was the day that the last of the Chilean miners were rescued from the mine, and the world did indeed rejoice.

I picked up some yummy olive rolls from Asda - they remind me of the gorgeous bread I had in Italy :-)

Monday, 25 October 2010

Notes and questions

Shimelle's new class starts today :-) In honour of class, I went out to buy myself a new, pretty notebook. I had a fairly clear idea of what I was looking for; this was, of course, a big mistake, because I couldn't find it. *sigh*....

I did however find a cute A5 polka dot notebook, and decided to give it a home and dress it up a little.

I set myself the challenge of only using bits and pieces from one particular pile of 'stuff I haven't yet put away' (*ahem*).

Luckily, within this pile I found a little strip of paper from a music score (it was only afterwards that I realised the genius of using musical notes on a book for notes! Yes, my friends, I call that genius.... Humour me!); two salvaged clothes tags, one of which being printed with the phrase 'Express yourself' and the other bearing the letter 'm'; a butterfly punched from an old book page, linking with the idea of text and writing and imagination taking wing (do you think I'm maybe looking too hard for hidden meaning now?!); a little silver-edged vellum tag just the right size to hold the butterfly; a heart embellishment I made from cardstock, felt and a tiny button which just happens to coordinate beautifully - and, of course, I'll be writing from my heart... (yeah, OK, really pushing hard now!)

I did break my self-imposed rule so that I could add a couple of scraps of ribbon and some silver glitter alpha stickers, and then I remembered these perfect stamps that came in the LSNED kit from Shimelle:

I embossed them with white detail powder to match the colour scheme. The stamping's a bit dodgy because I'd already stuck everything onto the cover by this stage so the surface wasn't flat and even, so I embraced that particular imperfection - after all, I suspect my own writing will often be ragged around the edges, patchy, and uneven (well, at least give me credit for trying to link it all together, huh?!)

This isn't really a notebook to carry round with me, as I'd worry about damaging the decoration, but my diary has notepaper every other page so I already have a notebook with me at all times for when (if!) inspiration strikes. This book can stay at home for when I get time to properly respond to the prompts. There are plenty of pages, too, so I'm hoping it will keep me going for a while - I'm not completely certain what to expect from the class, but I'm hoping it will kick-start a 'writing habit' in me, and that this will be the first notebook of many :-)

Now, I don't want to give away the contents of each prompt as that obviously wouldn't be fair to Shimelle. However, I think it would be OK to say that one of the ideas today was about FAQ. I'd like to invite you to help me out here, folks! Are there any questions about me that occur to you? In the past several people asked about 'Melsh', and I added a kind of definition of that onto my sidebar. Honestly though I'm not sure if I have many other frequently asked questions! So I'd be interested to hear from you. Do you have any questions? Not that I'm promising to answer them all, though - I have to preserve some mystery, you know.... ;-)

This is my post for the 25th day of Blogtoberfest - 25 days and still on track!

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On 13th October I took The Mother to Ikea - I know, I spoil that woman! ;-) I only needed a few things, including a couple of height extension units for two of our bookcases - so this photo shows the assembly that was required when I got home.

I hadn't had time for breakfast beforehand, so we started out with a visit to Ikea's restaurant, where I grabbed a croissant and a coffee:

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Let's Eat - a roast dinner :-)

If you're here as part of the Let's Eat blog hop, welcome! You should have arrived from Hootings of an Owl. If you've just happened upon this post here, you're welcome too! We've hopping blogs and talking food, yum :-) You can get all the details on Amy's blog (she's our hostess with the mostest today) or scroll down to the end of my post for the full list of participants and details of who to visit next - and if you'd like to read my post along the way too, that would be lovely!! ;-)

Roast dinners are probably my favourite meal to prepare for my family. They're also one of my favourite meals to eat! All the peeling and chopping may feel a little like a chore sometimes, but on the whole I quite like the legitimate reason to shut myself away in the kitchen with my own thoughts, or possibly with some music on so I can dance around like nobody's watching....

Now I've mentioned many of my roast dinner tips already in various posts, but I thought for this blog hop I'd gather all these ideas together in one place - right here :-)

I'm not going to say much about cooking the meat. The sad truth is, I get mine from the supermarket - I don't actually have a local butcher any more - so the cooking instructions are printed on the packaging and I just follow them. We have chicken most often (because it's good value for money and we usually get plenty of leftovers to make another meal or two from) but we really like the flavour of gammon, and sometimes we'll have a piece of beef or pork to vary it up. The general rule though seems to be to cover with foil for most of the cooking time then remove the foil for the last 30 minutes; also, allow the meat to rest for 20 minutes or so before carving, so that the juices can penetrate back into the meat, making it juicier. I make use of this time to turn the oven up to cook the Yorkshire puddings and give the roast potatoes a final crisping - of which more later!

So, having worked out how long the meat will need and when to switch the oven on, I turn my attention to the rest of the meal, starting with the potatoes. We like our roast potatoes crispy and with lots of flavour, and plenty of them! I use King Edwards or Rooster potatoes or sometimes Maris Pipers. To help get them crispy, after peeling and cutting them to size, I put them into a pan of cold water, bring it to the boil, then cook them till they start to soften - longer than just 'parboiling' them. In fact, often the potatoes are pretty much fully cooked before I start to roast them. Then I'll drain them, return them to the saucepan, and shake to rough up the edges.

A couple of minutes before I want to put the potatoes in the oven I put a slug of olive oil and a spoonful or two of butter (or buttery spread) into a roasting tin and pop it in the oven to get it nice and hot. I don't usually roast my potatoes round the meat - except when cooking gammon, because you get a lot of extra flavour from the gammon juices, yum :-) When the fat is hot I tip the potatoes into the tin and turn them over so that all the surfaces have come into contact with the buttery oil. Then they go back into the oven for about an hour (including the extra 20-30 minutes while the meat is resting).

But a roast dinner also requires vegetables, and one of our favourites is roasted carrots - they just need to be topped and tailed and peeled, and popped into the roasting tin with the potatoes. Large carrots kept whole will need about an hour, or you can halve them to reduce the cooking time to 30-40 minutes - or if you're really in a hurry, cut your carrots into sticks and give them 20 minutes in the oven!

Butternut squash or pumpkin can be cooked in the same way - peel, remove the seeds and strands, and cut into wedges.

We also like to have a fresh green vegetable, which I just steam for about 10 minutes - broccoli, or green beans, for example - or maybe some shredded cabbage.

Sometimes I'll boil or steam some thinly sliced leeks or some cauliflower florets, which are fine as they are, but also taste good in a simple white sauce - melt a spoonful of butter (or buttery spread), stir in a spoonful of plain flour and cook for about a minute; gradually stir in some milk and bring to the boil so it thickens, and season lightly.

And this isn't all! Perhaps Yorkshire puddings are traditionally served with beef, but we have them nearly every week, because we love them so much :-) You can find the recipe I use here; I turn my oven up after taking the meat out and cook the Yorkshires while the meat rests. The potatoes and carrots can stay in the oven to finish cooking during this time, too.

But we're still not quite there - a roast dinner isn't complete without the gravy! Now, at risk of puncturing the image you may have of me as a domestic goddess (as if...) I have a confession to make.... I don't make my own gravy. I use gravy granules. Shh, don't tell!!! (Actually I do make my own gravy for Christmas dinner, just not every Sunday. Granules are fine for us.)

And then, you just need to carve the meat and dish up! Enjoy :-) Will it be chicken this week? Or maybe beef? Or perhaps pork?

One more thing though, before I finish. Deb commented a few days ago to ask if The Children were good eaters. Oh Deb, if you could have heard the hollow laughter..... The Girl will basically eat about 4 different meals, and I rotate them through the week. The Boy is practically vegetarian, but is great at eating vegetables - however, he hates cheese and can be fussy about various other foods. And then there's me and The Doctor - we have very different tastes, too! The food pics I share as part of my Project 365 are just what I eat, and often the rest of the family is having something completely different. What I try to do is coordinate the meals so we're all having pasta or we're all having potatoes, and vary the other ingredients, sauces etc to suit....

Roast dinners are an example. The Doctor and I will generally have the full meal, but The Boy doesn't have the meat - he has extra potatoes and veg; The Girl has a bit of meat if we're having chicken, gammon or pork, but the only vegetable she'll eat is carrot. And it has to be raw carrot. And she doesn't like gravy. *sigh*...

Next we're off to Jennifer's Jumbles to find out what treat she's cooked up for us! If you get lost, or if any links are broken (which may happen, due to time differences and Blogger's peculiarities!) you can pick up the trail from this list of links:

Over At Our Place
Be Glorious
Captured On Film
Chatty Crafty Arty Pig
Cupcake Queen World
Curly Scrapbooker
Deb's World
Diane's Everyday Moments
The Linar Studio
Everyday Life Of A Suburban SAHM
Faith Hope & Cherrytea
From High In The Sky
Gallo Organico
Helena's Creative Maven
Hootings Of An Owl
I Speak Melsh <- You are here!
Jennifer's Jumbles
Liberty Cottage
Life Behind The Purple Door
Life In General
Paper Turtle
Random Reflections
Scrap Dreams
The Quiet Life

Bon appetit! xx

This is my post for the 24th day of Blogtoberfest - 24 days and still on track!