Our February Book Club pick is Gillian Flynn's thriller Gone Girl.
February gardening. Read up on ferns for hard-to-manage-areas in your garden, hardy palms for that exotic and tropical touch and how to lay a patio for alfresco dining, or simply soaking up the summer sun (fingers crossed this summer will be better than the last....)
Following on from our Digital Photography course in partnership with Pearson, find out how you can scan, edit and enchance your photos.
Grandparents and childcare. As the debate over nursery costs rages this week Gaby Hinsliff asks whether grandparents should be the ones to pick up the pieces.
Competitions: Best of TV & Movies and LOGO board games; a professional family portrait photo shoot; tickets to Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s River Cottage Spring Fair; a TOMY Winnie the Pooh bedtime package; a Mum & Me luxury spa day package with Eden Hall Day Spa; Planet Phonics Kniteracy and a hand-knitted rocket and a Little Green Sheep Natural Twist Cot mattress and mattress protector.
A traditional Burns Supper would usually comprise Scotch Broth, Haggis, Neeps and Champit Tatties (i.e.swede and mashed potatoes) followed by cranach, trifle or Scottish Cheese and oatcakes, with shortbread or tablet served with the coffee. Cranach is toasted oatmeal + raspberries swirled into whipped cream and served in a sundae or wine glass - very delicious it is too.
For those who are not overly fond of Haggis, like me, a good alternative is to make balmoral chicken, which is just roast chicken breast stuffed with haggis. Alternatively do the Haggis, Neeps and Tatties as a starter, the 3 things piled up in a little stack and a miniature Saltire stuck in the top.
This isn't Arbroath Smokies, but it is made with smoked salmon and smoked haddock. Mr P & I have this every Christmas for "brunch", although it is supposed to be a starter. The recipe will make 8, but is easily halved.
They are truly delicious! We just have brown bread & butter with them, but you could serve with some watercress and hollandaise sauce.
Somewhere I have a recipe for an Arbroath smokie tart. If I can find it i will put it into the recipes section (but it is not complicated - smokie flesh taken off the bones and put into a pastry case with the eggs/milk mix you would use for a quiche, and baked golden brown. There may have been refinements to that, but not anything essential)
We went across Scotland on a Dutch barge on the Caledonian Canal a couple of years ago (smashing activity holiday) and had loads of traditional food made by the cook. Here's her one for Cranachan, serves 4:
400gr fresh raspberries (or other but raspberries are traditional) 100gr castor sugar 100g toasted oatmeal 250ml double cream 4 tablespoons whisky
Put the cream and half the whisky and half the sugar into a bowl and whip until forms soft peaks. Add the remaining whisky and sugar and whip till thick, gently fold in the oatmeal and raspberries.
Refrigerate for an hour and serve (she would serve to the guests on the barge in separate glasses, so she must have spooned them into the glasses before she refrigerated). Sprinkle with bit of oatmeal on top. Yummy.