Saturday, 30 January 2010

Family gathering / kittens update

Jon had told me earlier in the week that he was meeting up with his brothers, Martin and Simon, at lunchtime today. Simon is over from Chicago on business and although he comes over fairly regularly we don't always get to see him. Emily and I decided that we would pop down to The Broadway today and see both Simon and Martin.
Simon Mike and Martin
It turned out to be a bit of a family gathering. Deb and Dave said they'd pop in to see the guys, Mike usually meets Jon on a Saturday anyway and when Claire heard we were meeting up she said she'd pop down in her lunch hour. In this photo from left to right going round the table are:
Emily, Deb (Jon's sister) & her husband Dave, Mike (Jon's brother), Martin (another brother), Jon, Claire and Simon (another brother). That wasn't bad going, 4 brothers and a sister in one place - we just needed the other 3 brothers and their sister to complete the family ;). Jon is one of ten (nine still living). As I'm one of five children, if we wanted to have a party we'd just need to get all the families together and we wouldn't need to invite anyone else lol!! Just a pity we're not all close enough to do that.
Martin and Simon were heading back up to London just after two and after saying our goodbyes, Emily and I headed down to Cats Protection. We'd had our house visit at 12 and everything went well so we were able to go and pick up the kittens. Mac didn't particularly like being in the car but, fortunately, we don't live that far from the Center. They are now settling in to Emily's room and she is finding out that although she had done a tidy up, these kittens are still likely to cause havoc! They are having great fun exploring everywhere and can reach even the higher up shelves - she may be hunting for what she wants as the days go by. We're hoping we'll only have to have them shut in for a few days and we'll be starting to introduce the kittens to Tom and Charlie as soon as they seem a bit settled. I did try and take some photos this afternoon but they didn't want to stay still for long.
Emily with Bellatrix (one way of keeping her still)
Mac with a couple of little toys the CPC sent home with them
I told you she was quizzy ;)
Now I need to go and sort out dinner before the family come asking what we're having. Saturdays are more laid back but from next week I'm hoping to have a menu organised so I don't have to keep thinking about what we're going to eat. I did it for a while last year and it made life so much simpler. I just need to be more organised!
Have a good weekend

Chocolate Brownies

This morning I decided I should use up some of the Bournville chocolate I had so that I don't eat it all. Everyone seems to love Chocolate Brownies and these ones are delicious. Please note that they are on the cake stand :) Thanks Deb!!
For those of you who may like to try these out, here's the recipe
Makes about 16 large and 25 small ones
180g (6oz) butter
180g (6oz) good dark chocolate (though I use Bournville and they're fine)
3 eggs
250g (9oz) caster sugar
110g (4oz) plain flour
100 - 150g (3.5 - 5.5oz) chopped walnuts or muesli (optional)
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Line the bottom of a 20cm (8") square tin, or a small 23 x 33cm / 9 x 13in) swiss roll tin, with greaseproof paper or tin foil. Carefully melt the butter and chocolate in a pan on a low heat.
In a separate bowl, beat the eggs and sugar. When the chocolate has melted, let it cool for a minute and then mix it with the eggs and sugar in the bowl. Stir in the flour and nuts (if using) and beat to combine. Empty into the prepared tin and place in the oven. Cook for 32 - 42 minutes (depending on the oven). When cooked it should be crisp on top but still slightly dense and fudgy inside.
Cut into squares, and when it has cooled, take it out of the tin.
I line the tin with parchment paper and omit the nuts because Claire doesn't eat nuts. Please let me know if you try the recipe and if you enjoyed the brownies as much as we do.