Sunday, 30 January 2011

Bread Making Course

Schiacciata Con Uva (good with blue cheese)
Aberdeen Butteries
Plain White Loaf
Cinnamon Rolls
Today I spent the day at Let's Cook Scotland, just down the road at Abernethy, where I attended the Perthshire Breakfast Course in 2009
The day commenced at 10.00am. All the recipes were based around a white bread dough and how versatile it can be. We started by making a big batch of basic white bread dough all by hand. Whilst this was proving we made a quick and easy and delicious Irish Soda Bread. Sarah the owner of the cookery school then showed us how to make a basic tomato sauce for the topping on pizza's. Once the dough had proved it was knocked back and split in two. With one half we made a basic white loaf in any shape you fancied and the other half was used to make cinnamon rolls. For lunch we made our own pizza. Sarah showed us how to make Moroccan Flat Bread and Aberdeen Butteries. Butteries are a similar taste to croissants and originate from Aberdeen, I attempted to make them years ago and they were a disaster, so it was great to see them demonstrated as really quick and easy. We then made up a dough for Focaccia and once it was ready I topped mine with red onion,sun dried tomato, olives, blue cheese and some rosemary. The focaccia dough can also be used to make Schiacciata Con Uva which has grapes and fennel seed in it and is very tasty on a cheeseboard with blue cheese. The day finished at about 4.00pm and we all left happy with all our goodies and a nice selection of recipes to try out. A very enjoyable day and have picked up lots of tips I can use in the kitchen, and now I hope my brown bread will hit the mark as well, as it has been a bit hit and miss in the past.

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Tiling Finished

The tiler has been in this week and finished grouting the en-suite this morning all ready for I hope some installation action tomorrow. Have to say it is an excellent piece of tiling and I am very pleased with the finished result, much cleaner and up to date looking now.

RRS Discovery Dundee

A busy day for photographs. My eldest daughter went with the school today to Dundee to visit the ship RRS Discovery which sailed to Antarctica with Captain Scott. She came back delighted with her visit and lots of photographs of the indoor displays and the ship itself. One for your visit list when in the area.

X-treme Off Road Driving

Last year it was Mr Gilmore House's 40th birthday, so it was a difficult decision on what to get him as a present, I eventually decided on a gift voucher for some off-road driving. Today he finally got around to taking the challenge up and he thoroughly enjoyed himself. The 'experience' I bought him was a 3 hour off road session going up and down hills, through water etc. Shame he couldn't video as he drove, but he took a few pictures for me. The off-road driving place is based just outside of Strathmiglo which is no more than a 40 minute drive from Blairgowrie.

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Opening of the Fishing Season

Saturday 15th January was the official opening day of the 2011 salmon fishing season on the Tay. The pictures above were taken on behalf of my husband who was given the task of 'blessing' the river/boats with a dram of whisky. The river beat in the pictures is the Ballathie beat. As far as I am aware the majority of the big salmon rivers in Scotland now operate a catch and release system and certainly no female salmon are allowed to be kept. If fishing is of no interest to you, it is still lovely to wander along the many accessible river banks we have in Perthshire, wildlife is everywhere and you may be lucky to spot an otter or even a beaver, yes there are wild beavers in these parts, but that's another story.

Friday, 14 January 2011

More from Room 2

Since work started on Tuesday the en-suite is slowly but surely taking shape. After everything was ripped out, the plumber put in all the new pipework and a joiner has been on sight re- plaster boarding all the walls, which has involved a lot of new woodwork as a lot of the existing framing was in bad order. An electrician arrived yesterday to do the necessary wiring and cut out the holes in the ceiling for the spotlights.

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Room 2's En-suite

Today was the start of the refurbishment of Room 2's en-suite, above is how it was. It is a good sized room, not clear on the photos. When we originally moved here there was no en-suite to this room, but the bathroom was private to the room accessed from a door in the corridor just a couple of steps away, so it was a fairly straightforward task to make it en-suite which we did in 1998 or 1999, can't quite remember now. So here we are in 2011 doing it up again. There will be a new bigger shower, a new toilet and a new basin and the whole room will be fully tiled. I will be keeping the old basin and panelling for use somewhere else in the house. It was quite a big decision for me as to whether or not I should remove the panelling as I rather like it, but quite a bit of it is damaged and it is not really fresh and clean looking for a guest en-suite. I am also rather attached to the basin, but it was never very 'clean' looking with cracks and pitting and an ill fitting waste etc. The toilet has an old style 'S' ceramic waste which goes into an old cast iron pipe and despite being cleaned on a daily basis also looked a bit murky around the join. We will also be installing new recessed spotlights and a new towel rail/radiator. I know many people enjoy to have a bath, but we decided just to stick with a shower as many of my guests are not as 'able' as they once were for getting into a bath and also so many of my guests are literally just 'in and out' when staying with me they are happy for a quick shower. Room 1 has a lovely big bath and separate shower if you were particularly wanting a room with a bath, however I have noticed since we did Room 1's en-suite up the bath is hardly ever used, which also assisted me in my decision about omitting a bath from Room 2. I looked out some photos of the bedrooms and how they were when we first moved here, so I shall scan them in and share with you the evolving rooms at Gilmore House.