2020 · Anglican · Autumn · Baking · Blogging · Chocolate · Church of England · Clergy Wife · Dairy Free · England · Food · Gluten Free · Left Handed · Rural · Vicarage · Vicarage Kitchen

From the Vicarage Kitchen – Dairy & Gluten Free Chocolate and Walnut Cookies

Here in our part of England, we have had rain for most days for the last four weeks. Every time I look out of the window, it is either raining or it has just stopped raining! We don’t usually get this much of rain. In fact, as I write this, it has started raining yet again. I am slightly annoyed that I have not been able to go for my wee walks.

There was a bar of dark cooking chocolate lurking about in the pantry and I decided that this will be the day that I make something with it so here is the recipe for my dairy and gluten free Chocolate and Walnut Cookies.

Ingredients

150g – 70% Dark Chocolate (100g for melting, 50g to be chopped in chunk)

*dark chocolates are usually dairy free but please check the ingredients.

125ml – Olive oil

125g – Caster Sugar

1 – egg (beaten)

200g – Gluten Free Self Raising Flour

50g – Chopped Walnuts

1/2tsp – Sea Salt Flakes

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180C and line a large baking sheet.
  2. Melt 100g of chocolate over a pan of simmering water or in the microwave.
  3. Beat the Olive oil, egg and sugar in a bowl until smooth. Add the melted chocolate. Stir in the chocolate chunks and the walnuts.
  4. Stir in the flour and roll the mixture into 16 small balls.
  5. Place the balls on the baking tray and press down to flatten a little.
  6. Bake for 18-20 minutes.
  7. Sprinkle the sea salt flakes as soon as the cookies are removed from the oven.
  8. Allow to cook a little and transfer to a rack.
  9. Once completely cooled, enjoy!

These will make a great edible gift!

2020 · Anglican · Autumn · Blogging · Church of England · Clergy Wife · England · First World Problems · Left Handed · Rural · Vicarage

Mr Reverend

As I was filing away documents, I came across two letters from the bank addressed to Mr Reverend followed by the Mhinisteir’s first name and surname.

What is the world coming to? These days, the easy excuse is that it was a computer generated letter. However, it required someone to input that information into the computer!

There have been quite a few instances when callers assumed that Reverend was the Minister’s first name!!!!

2020 · Anglican · Autumn · Blogging · Church of England · Clergy Wife · England · Left Handed · Rural · Vicarage

Old British Brands

It is only in the last few years that I have discovered some of the old British brands. Last year, when I was browsing for an iron in our local independent shop, I was recommended one from a brand called TOWER. I had never heard of them before but I was assured that it was an old British brand that had grown unpopular. I decided to give it a go and have not been disappointed. It even came with a two year warrantee. Sadly Tower’s customer service is poor as they couldn’t help me with the registration of the warrantee.

Just this morning, while looking for another electrical product, this time on line, I came across another old British brand called SWAN. I remember owning a Swan brand electric kettle many years ago but assumed it was a Chinese brand until this morning. Again it lasted us for a very very long time!

2020 · Anglican · Autumn · Blogging · Church of England · Clergy Wife · England · Faith · Food · Foodbank · God · Left Handed · Private Eye · Sabbath Day · Supermarket · Vicarage

Free School Meals & Hungry Children

I am saddened that the government is refusing to carry on with Free School meals during the holidays. It makes me furious when I read in the Squalid little rag aka Private Eye that the government is wasting millions on other things while also lining the pockets of its friends!!!

Two Sundays ago, The lectionary reading and sermon were from Matthew Chapter 22 about paying taxes to Caesar. For this reason, I will restrain myself from further criticising the government.

Anyway, back to the hungry children. I’ve decided that on our part, we will increase our monthly foodbank contribution. At the beginning of each month, when I do our grocery shopping, I add a certain amount worth of food and toiletries to our shopping intended specifically for the food bank. At the same time, I remove the same amount worth of our personal shopping from the list. I find it a useful exercise because it must cost me something!

The food bank is such a worthy cause and I hope that more people will contribute towards it and that in a small way, we can prevent adults and children from going to bed hungry.

2020 · Anglican · Autumn · Blogging · Church of England · Clergy Wife · Coronavirus · England · Face Masks · Faith · God · Left Handed · Rural · Vicarage

Sunday Shambles

On Saturday, I had diligently adjusted all my clocks to Winter time. I had sorted out my clothes and handbag for Church. I was particularly looking forward to Church on Sunday as it was to be a BCP service.

What could have gone wrong then? Almost everything did! When I woke up on Sunday morning, I realised that I didn’t have any spare face masks for church!!!!! Aaarrrrgh!!!! Being super organised, how did that happen? I always had a spare one! Very unusually, the Mhinisteir and I went out for breakfast on Monday and that was what happened!!!! I had used up my spare mask and they were both in jacket pockets somewhere! I do have disposable masks but I really like my silk ones as they enable me to breathe easily. I quickly hand washed them like I always do and put them on our electric tower dryer. I carried on with getting ready for Church stopping every now and then to check the status of the face masks. Thankfully, the face mask was nice and dry when it was time to leave.

Just as I was leaving, I realised that I had forgotten my gloves! I can’t do without gloves as the church is cold. The Mhinisteir went to get them for me.

Just as I was getting in the car, I realised that I didn’t have my bible with me!!!! Where did I think I was going??? I knew I would delay the Mhinisteir so I decided to keep quiet about it.

Normally , I like to go into Church after a brief good morning, sit in the pew and contemplate. I prefer chats to be after the service. Last Sunday morning was anything but normal, I got cornered by the Curate’s spouse! Oh dear!

Anyway, I did manage to get to the pew before the service but just couldn’t gather my thoughts. Unusually there was just so much noise before the service in addition to someone’s mobile ringing loudly!

Until I went to bed, I remained unsettled. The Mhinisteir agreed with me that it had been a rather strange day for him too.

It’s amazing how a one hour time difference can upset your system so much!

2020 · Anglican · Blogging · Chocolate · Church of England · Clergy Wife · Dairy Free · England · Gluten Free · Left Handed · Rural · Supermarket · Tesco · Vicarage

An Afternoon of Tidying up & Dairy Free Chocolates

I have just Marie Kondo(ed) my study. I gathered about 2 bags of rubbish. They were mainly boxes that I had “saved” to use for my craft work but as it is always the case they ended up being clutter.

As a reward for all my hardwork, I treated myself to 4 small squares of NOMO Dairy Free Hazelnut Chocolate. I am not a chocoholic but I do like the occasional treat.

I came across NOMO Chocolates last week when I was online doing my grocery shopping and so added a bar to my shopping basket.

I would say that they are the best Dairy Free chocolates that I have tried so far. I would like to think that it tastes like Ferraro Rocher! Did you know that it does not contain nuts? I love Hazelnuts and I was convinced that it contained hazelnuts!!!!!

NB: I am not paid to endorse NOMO chocolates.

2020 · Anglican · Autumn · Blogging · Church of England · Clergy Wife · England · Left Handed · Rural · Vicarage

The Wonders of a Bath

Photo by Burst on Pexels.com

I am a big fan of the bath tub. I love a good soak especially in the colder months. There have been times in my life when I didn’t have a bathtub in the house so I consider it a real luxury.

Over the years, I have developed an unusual habit. Whenever time permits, I have a bath in the morning. I find it very relaxing and it keeps me calm throughout the day.

I once had a job interview and I was a bag of nerves. I decided to have a nice long soak before the interview and my goodness, what difference it made! I was so calm and collected during the interview that I successfully persuaded my interviewer to give me a pay rise even before starting!!!!

2020 · Anglican · Autumn · Blogging · Church of England · Clergy Wife · England · Faith · Food · Left Handed · Rural · Tesco · Vicarage

The Special Bag of Petits Pois

Yesterday, I received my usual fortnightly Tesco delivery.

The Mhinisteir wasn’t available to help me but I was confident that because I had requested and paid for shopping bags, I would be able to somehow manage – at least be able to temporarily dump the shopping bags on the floor.

However, when the delivery arrived, things didn’t go as I had planned.

According to Tesco, I had ordered a total of 31 items. Strangely, 30 of the items were all cramped in the one tray liner !!!. For those who don’t know what tray liners are, they resemble huge plastic bags but are without handles!

How was I supposed to yank a huge bag containing 30 items from the plastic crate????? The bag also contained glass bottles. I somehow managed but paid the price for it later.

Now to the interesting bit…… The 31st item, much to the amusement of the delivery driver, was in a tray liner all by itself. As you can probably guess, that said item was a small bag of Bird’s Eye Petits Pois weighing a mere 545g!!!!

Thanks to moments like these that I am never short of things to write about!!!!

2020 · Anglican · Autumn · Blogging · Charbonnel Et Walker · Chocolate · Church of England · Clergy Wife · England · Food · Left Handed · Rural · Vicarage

Best Customer Service Ever!

Handwritten note addressed to me

Recently, I wrote about the lack of customer service in the UK.

Last week, I got a wonderful surprise when I ordered some chocolates from Charbonnel Et Walker. I had also taken advantage of their free personalised message service.

2 days later, the chocolate boxes arrived beautifully presented accompanied by handwritten cards! Handwritten cards???!!! This is what I call customer service and a big well done to Charbonnel Et Walker.

I was so touched by their level of service that I had to send them an email to express my gratitude.

Chocolates!

NB: I have not been paid by Charbonnel Et Walker to promote them

2020 · Anglican · Autumn · Blogging · Church of England · Clergy Wife · Coronavirus · England · Left Handed · Rural · Vicarage

Peloton Bike

Have you heard of the Peloton Bike? No, me neither!

According to last week’s Telegraph (I read the Private Eye too to balance things out!), the present Chancellor of the Exchequer owns one. What perfect timing to share these important nuggets of information with the general public when the country is on its knees with the Covid19 pandemic and as a result the mass unemployment!!!!!!!!!

Anyway, back to the Peloton Bike. The article goes on to say that you can buy one for £1750 with a £45 monthly subscription of virtual classes and cycle trails.