Lyra and I came back from a sunny walk to visit the Alpacas a few days ago to a message from my mum to say dad had been taken onto hospital after a mini stroke. I scooted over to take mum in to the hospital to see dad, who was getting very confused and distressed. It seems that he may be in hospital for a while. Having formed the view that mum was going to fret herself to bits, I kidnapped her and she has been absorbed into the Ruthven bubble where we are forcing her to eat cake. Lyra is very satisfied with this expansion to her stable of human pets. As I am Lyra’s Aunty Karen and mum is Lachlan’s Granny, mum is now designated as Lyra’s Auntie Granny. Aunty Granny is not 100% compliant with the no feeding Lyra at the table rule, which is 100% fine with Lyra.
In between calls to the hospital and such visits as we are allowed (because dad is confused they are being quite good about it) Lyra and I take Aunty Granny on healthy route marches. Our first foray was over to Butterlaw, where Spotted Dick was introduced and treated to a head rub. We came back by the fields where we spotted the alder catkins in flower and encountered no less than five deer but, to Lyra’s disappointment, no hares. Yesterday we went a circular walk round the Hirsel to admire the crocuses and see the baby calves. After much coo stalking we enticed one of the one year old calves over for a chat. He was a lovely wee fellow and on our way back one of the new calves got up to toddle about. Lyra was also in luck as the boyfriend husky was in his garden so she scored a snog and a sniff. All in all this trip was declared a great success.
The rest of the day was a bit dreary weather wise so while mum went to the hospital with Keith I had a baking day using an array of objets trouvées from the pantry/fridge. First up was the remains of the giant mushy pea tub which had come with the Plough’s (ever excellent) fish and chips the night before. These were augmented with grated potato, fried onion and gammon bits and some frozen peas and used to make experimental pease pudding pies. We have yet to break into these but I shall report back on the consumer satisfaction survey. A lonely tin of pineapple left over from the Hawaiian phase of the summer pizza making was coopted with the remains of some creamed coconut and syrup into a pineapple upside down cake (this is already performing well in consumer trials). A box of mushrooms that looked set to go over and half a round of French cheese that was starting to creep were then coopted into filling for some little bread bun things. I made these half with wholemeal bread so they were technically health food. Having made 8 (one was consumed before the photo shoot just as a tester) we have 1 left so res ipsa loquitur. Finally I got around to a chicken and ham pie (which was actually wha I was supposed to be making). Lachlan declared this quite as good as a Greggs Slice and I am slightly in two minds about this, though he insists it is high praise. A fact finding trip to Greggs is promised for post lockdown (oh the excitement……..).
The sun is out this morning so, fast on the heels of a no holds barred road trip to the butchers at Norham in the mini, Aunty Granny is destined for the Coldstream riverside walk and swan spotting with mandatory bacon rolls and cake thereafter. It’s a tough regime her at Ruthven, but it works.