Wednesday, 17 December 2014

A Masterclass In Stuffing


Finally the Christmas Cards have been written and will be posted today. My local cards are half done and will be delivered today too and I am slightly annoyed at myself for leaving it so late. We are hoping to go down to Broadstairs over part of the Christmas period and so I am in the process of organising care for the animals when we are away.
I think it's an easier job organising the London Olympics!
Winnie has landed on her feet.
She is off to a cheerful household in Prestatyn to a lady who takes in dogs into her own home.
George is going to my sister's house and the Welsh terriers are coming with us.
Albert will be fine with a neighbour popping in...so that leaves the birds on the field and I am hoping to pay one of the village elders a good wage to keep them safe.

The first job of the morning was to deliver Auntie Glad's Christmas card and gift. With her failing eyesight , I thought a bowl of hyacinth bulbs more apt as they are so fragrant when they are in bloom.
But the quick visit turned out to be an interesting masterclass in cookery as she was right in the middle of making her Christmas stuffing from scratch.

" Always use stale bread"

" are you getting all this?"

I was sat down at the kitchen table with a mug of tea ( male visitors are always offered a mug,
whereas all female visitors will receive a cup and saucer ) and was taken through the whole process from start to finish. Gladys completed the demonstration with all the professionalism of Mary Berry.
So much so, that I wished I had videod the whole thing......it would have made her a star on YouTube!

Apparantly the whole stuffing thing has to be kept simple...." non of this fancy rubbish"
Stale breadcrumbs, dried sage ( rubbed through your fingers) finely chopped onion, lots of salt and pepper, water and a large blob of marge!)
I promised I'd make my own this year
" your husband to be will love it" Gladys quipped her eyes twinkling!

108 comments:

  1. Pity you didn't video the famous Aunt Gladys and her stuffing. Maybe next time she is making her famous scones you can video her then. If I lived closer I would have house sat the dogs for you and looked after the menagerie too.

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    1. to underline just how independent gladys is......the other week she had a hospital appointment...not to bother anyone she started to walk the two miles to the next village to catch the bus,..this was on an early pitch black morning, along a main road without any footpath or lights...!
      The local police picked her up and very kindly drove her the seven miles or so to the hospital!
      She's 95

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    2. Good lord ... and good for the police!

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    3. I would like a fraction of her energy and drive as my Christmas gift...

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    4. Yay for the local bobbies.

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    5. Now thats my kinda gal. My Boltonian ex's grandma was made of the same stuff. Walked everywhere in her life time and lived to a ripe old age in her late nineties. They built them strong in those days.

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  2. I wish I lived nearer, I would happily chicken sit :)

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  3. Going away for any length of time must be so difficult with all that animal care to arrange. This Christmas you should ask Chris for a new, customised van - much bigger than the Berlingo, with special compartments for every one of your animal friends. Just for a laugh you could get a signwriter to write "NOAH'S ARK" on the sides. You could go anywhere then.

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    1. Not so far-fetched....we recently bought a motor home purely to enable us to travel easily, and stay anywhere overnight, with three dogs....

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    2. It's all sorted now! Thank goodness for kind people eh?

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    3. Yeah. This time it has all fallen into place for you John. You do know some good people it is true.

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  4. I love Aunt Gladys. She's already a star in my book!
    hmmmm, I'm thinking....My Shug and I could use a vacay....wonder how fast we could get there!

    Cindy Bee

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    1. I may advertise for a cottage sitter next year! We are off yo Australia !

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    2. You are? When? Let me know...

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    3. I'll remember those offers girls!

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    4. Oh no Mr Gray's adventures downunder. Dont let the blood rush to your head down here.

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  5. I rented a Berlingo in France a few years ago, it had this wonderful bin above the front windscreen that ran all the way across, I just had a flash of that filled with hens side by side as you drive across the country.

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    1. Bet it was cleaner than mine

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  6. As you say what a shame you couldn't YouTube the cookery demonstration, she would have been an overnight sensation.

    Yep, it's not easy getting away with lots of pets and outdoor birds to organise care for is it, and then the getting back to normal afterwards sometimes feels like it is just too much fuss going at all.

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    1. I know what you mean sue... But it can make a person a little too insular... I have the opportunity to go to Sydney and Ottawa next year..so I aim to get a cottage sitter in!

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  7. I would have loved sitting in on the cookery class with Aunt Glad... she reminds me so much of my great Aunt Mary, both attitude and looks!

    Enjoy your holiday away!

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  8. The bulbs were a good gift but the best present was the precious time you spent with Aunt Glad.

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  9. Dear Aunt Gladys. Dried sage indeed. And there I was yesterday, marvelling at the price of fresh sage (I currently don't have a garden so have to rely on others's bounty and my purchasing power.

    Talking of benign neglect: Remember Bounce, the massive cat, probably Albert's cousin? Never be deceived by size. He was a softy. When the Angel and I took ourselves off to the motherland for a fortnight I spared no effort nor money to find him the smallest friendliest cattery run by a woman with a heart full of fluff.

    On our return she handed me a plastic bag - apologizing. It contained the shredded remnants of what once was Bouncer's very own and beloved little mattress. During his first night at the cat hotel he was so incensed at his being abandoned by the Angel and me his fury and howls knew no boundaries. That was that. Afterwards, whenever we went away we left him and his mother Fleury in the house, a friend and neighbour making sure they were watered, fed, talked to and stroked, and the cat flap in fully functioning swing.

    U

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    1. The sage she grew herself . It was dried then rubbed through her fingers....

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  10. Oh that's so me; anywhere we go, I have to organize that the menagerie is OK first. What a star Aunty Gladys is already. I didn't know you get a ready-made stuffing. I always make my own!

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  11. George could come and stay with me! what a treat that would be.

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    1. He would adore the attention

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  12. We are sending our cards out today and were congratulating ourselves on being early... Just about to make stuffing...tell Auntie Glad I'll take her advice. A video of scone making is a great idea...if it's not a state secret!

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    1. I think she'd be on for it......I happened to have my iPad on me as I was listening to music when I delivered the cards.. It was she that asked me if I was going to photograph her!

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  13. The lady is a rock star! How thoughtful a gift for her.

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  14. She's already a star, but, you're right, she could easily be a YouTube star as well. Why is she making her stuffing so early? Is she putting the Turkey on to boil today (in the Welsh style)?

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    Replies
    1. She needed to make a batch for her daughter!

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  15. I do like Auntie Gladys!
    Jane x

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  16. A treasure she is.

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  17. Glad you've found lots of animal helpers (although you didn't mention the sheep). How is Phyllis doing?

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    Replies
    1. Phyllis is mighty fine
      Back with her coop mate safe and sound

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  18. Slowcoach! I posted my Xmas cards - all THIRTEEN of them - a fortnight ago. Hah!

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    1. Oh darn it Raybeard, I thought I was being refreshingly antisocial at FIFTEEN....now you've made me look positively gregarious....

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    2. Well, even 13 was quite enough, Wanda. It was such an onerous duty that I had to spread writing them over three days!

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    3. It's quality versus quantity ray

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    4. lol Mail merge or use a template with all the addresses on and then print them on sticky labels. then just write Love Ray at the bottom of the card.

      Efficiency of Christmas cards

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    5. The quantity is, to a large extent, outside my control, J.G. They just will keep dying off!

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    6. Sol, thanks for the suggestion, though I would prefer to retain the 'personal touch'. The last thing I'd want is for the recipient to think that writing them a card was in any way a 'chore' which I'd rather not have exerted myself to have done. ;-)

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  19. So sorry I dont live closer. I should be so happy to keep an eye on your animals,

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    1. Yawl... It's all sorted...village elder Islwyn will be looking after the hens!

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  20. We need more Auntie Gladys. Well... I live with one. Mom and I made the traditionnal tourtières this morning. She's is 79 and she claims she has made today, the best tourtières in her life so far.

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    1. What's a tourtiere?

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    2. Click on the word, John. I inbedded a link!

      If it doesn't work, click HERE

      It is a amazing achievment for her since her eyesight has substantially decreased this past yesr too.

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  21. P.s. Love the phone!

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  22. I wish Gladys was my auntie

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  23. My Alexi went to a dog carer in her home in October when we had our river cruise……he had a great time with another dog to play with and 2 kids to play with him. They thought he was the perfect guest! I hope I am as independent as Gladys when I am 95..if I make it that far. Mum made it to 98 but needing a lot of "care" in her own home. Did you get my Xmas card yet…..it was rather an odd address I put on it! X

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    1. Francis . Thank you..it arrived yesterday with the postman who chuckled at your address!

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    2. Pleased that it found you. Was the cottage name correct? Someone had mentioned it in a previous comment, asking if it was your cottage name. ( I will need it next year for wedding card!!) Nice to be able to amuse your postie.

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    3. Our cottage name is
      BWTHYN y llan
      Which means church cottage x

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  24. Gladys is a darling neighbor and that would be a viral YouTube video. Maybe next year! Harder than organizing the Olympics, I like that.

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  25. She has so much energy!!

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  26. Measurements, man - we need measurements! How much crumbs, how much onions, etc etc!

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  27. No measurements
    Just guess it, that what I was told

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    1. Oh dear, this could be a very long process of trial and error ...

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  28. Aunty Glad is a trooper. What a delightful and energetic lady, we all wish we had an "Aunty Glad", Iiving down the street.
    Off to Ozzyland, I will cottage/chicken/dog and cat sit fer you :)
    Let me know, I'll be there.
    ~Jo

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  29. Auntie Glad is so precious ! Hold her close, tight, and long.

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  30. Our next door neighbour Dorothy is 100, she lives independently in the house she spent her married life in and bought her children up in; earlier this year I spotted her scrubbing her windowsills. This year her first great grandchild was born in the same month she was 100. It's a privilege to live next to her.

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  31. Laziness would find me purchasing my stuffing, fortunately the wife is a younger version of Aunty Gladys. She makes everything from scratch just like her mum did. Stuffing, pie crust, soups….speaking of she got up at 06:00 and was making split pea soup and corn bread for our supper tonight….yum!

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    1. Corn bread........I think I've never tried that doc...off to google it

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    2. What?? Never tried cornbread? Poor John!!

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  32. She is actually amazing!

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    1. It's nice to get conformation hannah , from someone else who knows here
      How's little milo?

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    2. He's good, thank you! He turned eight weeks old on Saturday and is having his vaccinations tomorrow so we're in for a fun week, lol

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  33. Sorry Aunt Glad but I am making a new one this year with sausagemeat and dried cranberries. But she does look a delightful lady and looks as though she would give Mary Berry a good run for her money.

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  34. I love Auntie Glad. I used to have an Auntie Glad too! I will be trying out the stuffing recipe over Christmas. x

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  35. I would love to look after your birds, shame I live so far away. Good that it's sorted. Aunty Glad is a star. Loved her comment!

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  36. With or without You Tube, Auntie Glad is, in our eyes, a star already. Have a lovely time in Broadstairs

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  37. I love Aunty Glad. And your village. And your writing.

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    1. Thank you .......so nice of you xxx

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  38. If you had done a video, it would be priceless. Try to get one making her famous scones! My mother always made the best dressing. I've tried a few times and mine is barely edible! I may try this one, but I would have to add a little celery in it!!

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    1. Try it stuffed with pimento cheese, or some like with peanut butter. (Yuk!) I'll take it stuffed with cream cheese and olive spread anytime!

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  39. You and Auntie Gladys warm my heart....hyacinths are my favourite flower...perfect gift for her. Hope Winnie's not jealous that the terriers are going on tour without her .

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    1. As long as her babysitter peals her a grape regularly...she'll be happy

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    2. I thought that grapes are poisonous to dogs?

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  40. I wish I had an Auntie Glad in the neighborhood. I just have this creepy one-eyed woman who asks me strange questions about movies and wants to help me edit books. I've told her so many times that writers pay to get me and I don't show their manuscripts to other people. Auntie Glad, please move to Murray Hill in Jacksonville, Florida. I'll drive you anywhere you need to go, especially if you make the one-eyed woman leave me alone.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. A one eyed witch is the stuff of a cracking post

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  41. That time with Auntie Glad will be something you'll always remember. She's amazing. And I hope you appreciate how much awareness and enlightenment you have brought to Trelawnyd. Yr wyf yn edmygu chi! (I have no idea if that's right, but with all those consonants, it sure looks Welsh.)

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    1. My welsh is poor
      But I think you just wrote
      I respect you?
      Am I right?

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    2. Well, I guess it worked. What I tried to say was "I admire you." But if I were to try to pronounce it, it would sound something like "Your wife and Ed my Gucci."

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  42. Broad Stairs? We will be in Sandwich! If I get a dribbly bulldog ambling toward me on the beach checking for chips or scotch eggs, I will know you are near. X

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    1. Well look for two Welsh terriers
      We will be coming to sandwich too
      Chris' dad lives in sandwich x

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  43. Just re read and Winnie is not going! Might see you around, x

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  44. Auntie Glad's recipe sounds a lot like my mom's recipe. Mine isn't very different, although one year I ran short on the stale bread so added mushrooms and walnuts to take up some of the slack. We decided those tasty additions needed to stay.

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    1. Welsh recipes tend to be rather austere x

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  45. My mum makes it that way with lots of salt and pepper added. None of these boxes of chemicals for her! She makes a big batch up for Xmas dinner. It's traditionally known as farting powder in the family!!

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  46. I was feeling crap,you and Auntie Glad have too much gorgeous to keep a bad mood going.

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  47. Enjoy yourself, John! Have some merry Christmas!

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  48. Nice to hear that you & the Professor will be able to have a bit of a vacation this holiday. You both need i & deserve it.
    I cannot believe Auntie Glayds was going to walk 2 miles in the dark! Great relief to hear the police gave her a ride to her appt. Are there no taxi where you live? I too would love to see a video of Auntie G. making her famous scones. Have you ever video taped her giving an oral history of her life in Trelawnyd? When I was in college I did an oral history project of elderly people describing life in our town growing up & all the changes they had seen in their lifetime. If you ask good questions, it would be an invaluabel piece of history that is a powerful way to record history as well as a wonderful teaching tool for the younger generation. It would be a shame not to have Auntie Gladys' on video describing life in your village almost 100 yrs. ago. People her age won''t be around much longer & it would be an excellent project as part of your other historic research. Seeing & hearing her talk about making her scones would be a real treat. Do you think she know how many of us around the World admire her?

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    1. Some of her oral history is on my sister blog
      Trelawnyd voices from the past.
      I interviewed a great many of the old residents of the village for it
      X

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  49. Every single one of us should have a auntie Gladys nearby - I think the world would be a better place for it :) xox

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  50. I do so sympathise what do you do with your beloved animals when you really do have to leave home for a few days . This happened to us last week when our son who is in the Navy returned to the UK and got married . This meant a trip to the UK our only solution was a pet sitter , what can I tell you I am not the most house proud woman but I am still trying to clean the house whilst battling a stinking cold . The animals are so glad to see us back and back to normal . Thats it then no more joint trips to the UK if we have to go it will have to be singly .

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    1. I will still worry like mad about them when we go too!

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  51. Six dogs here, and going away gets mighty complicated, which is why we mostly don't. My ears pricked up at the thought of dog care in Prestatyn though, Barkby is the hounds' favourite beach. Does she only take one at a time, Winnie's new friend?

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