Saturday, 19 July 2014

Wet Nellys in Hydrangea Heaven.

We enjoyed a lovely day with friends Neet and Chas and after a good natter and lunch the day's heavy rain left us and so we took advantage of some sunshine to visit a nearby National Trust property....
Speke Hall.
After touring the hall and basking in history we strolled the gardens and we were overwhelmed by the hydrangea walk.
This white variety was amazing and HUGE!
as you can see ....there's Neet behind them.
Of course, the purple shades were my favourites and I loved all the shades over just one plant..

We went crazy taking photograph as each plant offered something different and we were especially fascinated by the fluffy tops of this variety right at the back.

This was my favourite for the beautiful centres.....

but then I adored this one's vibrant colour....
and this one is very special and really lovely! 
Then there was this fascinating pointy one.
The bees were in Hydrangea Heaven
and so were Neet and me.
What's this you may ask? Well let me tell you about a local delicacy.
We went for a welcome cuppa before we left and just had to try.......
a Wet Nelly! It certainly tastes better than the murky lump it looks.

It evolved in Liverpool during times of hardship as a means of using up leftovers and any stale crumbs of cake or bread. It varied according to each family and also what was available day to day.

Here's the recipe from the National Trust at Speke Hall, Liverpool, if you'd like to try one.

Wet Nelly


  • Serves:8
  • Preparation time:4 hours and 15 minutes
  • Cooking time:1 hour and 15 minutes
Try making your own! © National Trust/Alex Muir
Try making your own!


1 loaf of white bread (day old becoming dry is perfectly fine for this recipe) with crusts cut off and cut into chunky squares
100g butter
140g brown sugar
¾ pint milk warmed
500g mixed fruit
1 dessert spoon mixed spice
3 medium eggs


  •  Soak bread in milk for at least 4 hours and preferably overnight.
  •  When fully soaked, add all other ingredients, mix together well and pour into a greased deep sided roasting tin.
  •  Bake at 180°C/Gas Mark 4 for approx 1 – 1 ¼ hours until soft but springy to touch.
  •  Delicious served hot with custard or cold with a cup of tea.
  •  Enjoy!

Saturday, 12 July 2014

A Fragrant Trip

This week we've had to demolish our 8 x 6 foot garden shed and dispose of it before our new one arrives, and is constructed, on Monday so we took a much needed break and escaped from all the toil at home as we've had enough of muck and mess. This was the perfect little, relaxing, trip to fit the bill.
I realised my lavender plants are in full bloom so it was a reminder to visit  Inglenook Farm in Rainford, near St Helens and Liverpool, to enjoy the fields of lavender before they are shortly harvested. This farm produces the only organic lavender in UK and I love the oils and other products that they make and sell there.
There are several shops on the farm selling a variety of products and it is slowly expanding it's range. 
There are several animals to see...a donkey, sheep, goats and chucks.
Check it out here as it is well worth a visit for a short trip, an afternoon or just for a good lunch.

There are several varieties of lavender and I had never before seen this one with it's long thin flowers.
I think this will be a smile to post on Annie's blog, although I'm late for Friday, it's good enough to share.
Pop over to see more here for week no 77

Here are a few things to see around the farm...

It's amazing to see these wood sculptures being carved in the woodyard and this eagle is as tall as me.

The owl is about 4 feet tall
This is a cross section of a tree that had to be felled due to storm damage and shows history through it's growth rings.

They now have a small local history museum showing many local artifacts, most were found in the farm fields around Rainford.

Tiny fragments of porcelain including dolls limbs, ornaments etc., and that little leg at the bottom was around 1 inch in length.

The chucks wander freely and I loved this fine fellow who was quite an amusing character.
The wise ones were around our feet waiting for crumbs from our meal but the management was wiser and requested us not to feed them.
We were aghast when DH's home made steak pie arrived as it was so HUGE! It reminded me of Desperate Dan and his cow pie in my childhood comics!
I ordered fish and chips from the children's menu and it was still too much for me. The chips are hiding under the crispy fish and there was tartare sauce too. The green pile is mushy peas, which I love.
Everything is fresh cooked and has always been delicious each time we've visited.
We will probably return on Sunday for the monthly Artisan Fair.