Monday, 31 October 2016

Stowe and Halloween.

Today we went to Stowe,a National Trust place about an hour and half from Cambridge. It was a beautiful warm (hot even) autumn day. The girls loved stomping through the leaves, climbing trees and balancing in logs. I loved the many follies and temples throughout Stowe. There was also loads and loads of ladybirds everywhere! 

 We also enjoyed taking part in their Halloween trail where we had to hunt pumpkins which told the story of sleeping beauty after she woke up!
 We came home, carved pumpkins, made and ate pumpkin chilli and Halloween pudding.

Sunday, 30 October 2016

Halloween train ride + spooky pizzas

This afternoon we went on the rather fabulous Halloween train ride at Audley End Miniature Railway. The train ride itself was through wonderfully spookily decorated woodland with a stop for a chat with some spooky witches who presented all the children with a spell gone wrong (they had made sweets much to the girls' delight!) before arriving back at the station.  There was also crafts and a dance tent - although the girls were content just to go home and eat their sweets!

Then we came home and made Day of the Dead Calavera Pizzas.

Saturday, 29 October 2016

Family Halloween Fun @ Wandlebury

Today we went to the family Halloween fun afternoon at Wandlebury. You had to prebook and it cost £10 a pumpkin. The girls had fun picking their pumpkin from a massive selection which we then took to a table outside to carve!  E enjoyed doing her own whilst the husband helped P.

 When the pumpkins were carved we took them and put them on a stake which we then decorated with greenery! 

 The girls then enjoyed roasting marshmallows and some crafts. There was also a walk in the dusk around the ring but we had to leave early so we didn't join with this!

Friday, 28 October 2016

Victoria and Albert Museum

Today we went to London to visit a friend. I asked the girls what they wished to do and they suggested the V and A. WE started in their wonderful (but expensive cafĂ©) for lunch before spending a few hours looking around.  WE loved the collections of jewellery (no photos allowed) which tell the story of jewellery in Europe from ancient times to the present day.We all decided which pieces we would take home!

We also discovered the Theatre & Performance collection where the girls enjoyed looking at the costumes on exhibit and dressing up!  We also liked looking at the different models of theatres.

They also had, as part of the Get Creative Family Arts Festival, a change for the girls to make a placard for something they wanted to protest about! 

Thursday, 27 October 2016

Gingerbread Halloween biscuits

Today we made gingerbread men and then using white icing made them look scary! We used a Delia Smith recipie

75g light soft brown sugar
2 tablespoons golden syrup
1 tablespoon black treacle
1 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 rounded teaspoon ground ginger
pinch of cloves
finely grated zest of ½ orange
95g block butter
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
225g plain flour sifted, plus a little more (if needed)
1 tube of white writing icing (to decorate)
Put the sugar, syrup, treacle, water, spices and zest together in a large saucepan.
Then bring them to boiling point, stirring all the time. Now remove the pan from the heat and stir in the butter and the bicarbonate of soda.
Next stir in the flour gradually until you have a smooth manageable dough – add a little more flour if you think it needs it. Now leave the dough covered in a cool place to become firm (approximately 30 minutes).
Pre-heat the oven to 180°C.
Now roll the dough out to 3mm thick on a lightly floured surface and cut out the gingerbread men. Arrange them on the baking sheets and bake near the centre of the oven, one sheet at a time, for 10–15 minutes until the biscuits feel firm when lightly pressed with a fingertip.
Leave them to cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire cooling rack.
To decorate, use the icing to write names or make faces.

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Paradise wildlife park / Gangsta Granny

This afternoon we visited Paradise wildlife park which is about an hour's drive from Cambridge.It is an award winning, family run Wildlife Park set in the beautiful surroundings of Broxbourne Woods in the Hertfordshire Countryside.

We enjoyed our day at Paradise Wildlife Park and although we liked how close up we were to the animals we felt some of them were stressed! There is a wide range of different animals including lots of different big cats! There is also a lovely play area with slides and bouncy castles and a woodland train (which costs extra to ride). We took a picnic with us and there are plenty of benches around the park to eat on. We were there for about four hour and a half hours

We then drove back in time to see Gangsta Granny, an adaptation of the  David Walliams' book. The girls loved all the glorious slapstick humour, farting and talk of bottoms and poo. It looks great too with the scenery changed by ballroom dancing policemen and gyrating lollipop ladies.
David Walliams Gangsta Granny

Sunday, 23 October 2016

Apple Day 2016

Today we went to the Botanical Gardens for their apple day. We enjoyed tasting over 2 dozen delicious, locally-grown heritage varieties of apples - some of which we liked and some we didn't! The girls also enjoyed Pets alive where we cuddled some very cute rabbits, wondered around the gardens and made a hedgehog feeder (an apple with sunflower seeds poked in which we hidden in our garden and are looking forward to seeing if a visitor come!).

Saturday, 22 October 2016

Autumn cake

Today we made an Autumn themed chocolate cake based on a recipe found in the girls RSPB magazine!  First we made a chocolate cake using a 4 egg Victoria sponge recipe substituting some of the flour for a little cocoa.  We then sandwiched them together using butter-cream (100g butter, 170g icing sugar and 30g cocoa with some milk to bind it together).

We then made some chocolate ganache using 300g chocolate melted and then mixed into 300ml double cream. We left it to cool in the fridge for about half an hour before we covered the cake.

We also made some chocolate leaves by laying the leaves vein side up, painting some oil on top before painting a layer of chocolate on top. We then put them in the freezer to harden  for 20 minutes before we put them on the cake.

We also used autumn coloured M and Ms and some crumbled flakes. We also used a cocktail stick to draw some bird prints.

Friday, 21 October 2016

The Lodge

We went for a walk at The Lodge, which is is a nature reserve run by the RSPB named after the building there, The Lodge, which is their headquarters. It has
woodland, heath and acid grassland habitats covering 238 hectares, and are being restored to form the largest stretch of heathland in Bedfordshire.

The site has two Iron age forts built about 700 BC; the more impressive, on Galley Hill, has obvious banks and ditches. We also loved the woodland with beautiful oak trees and numerous different kinds of fungi!