Saturday, September 10, 2011


First up- Scarlett Oak Equestrian. My lovely riding school is finally officially open today. I was very excited to go there today for my lesson. My darling big boy Sam was very pleased to see me. He had a lovely warm, happy expression. I am allowed to groom him and get his gear out and tack him up by myself. After our lesson I untack him and wash him down, then get him ready to go back to his paddock. My instructor, Celine, knows how much I love him, and she lets me pretend he's mine and spoil him. I gave him a lovely massaging rub to get some more of his winter coat out, as he is shedding like mad. He was almost groaning with pleasure. Today most of the horses were down in the yards, so I enjoyed chatting to them all. Tonto was a wee monster and didn't want to be caught and brought down to the yards. He is a little skewbald (brown and white patchy) Shetland pony. Celine and her two staff had been trying to catch him for 1/2 an hour when I got there. I gave them a hand, and a good idea, and he was soon in custody, with a belligerent expression on his face.

Today I worked on a dressage move called "shoulder in" which is a tricky business. Not as tricky as getting cantering right. I'm learning some challenging moves as Sam is quite a talented dressage boy, even though he isn't what is called a "push button horse." That means you have to actually ride him properly and intelligently to get the best out of him, which makes him great to learn on. I get all excited when we do clever things. I think Celine is a real inspiration because she has achieved so much so far. I really hope Scarlett Oak Equestrian is a huge success, and that I get to be a part of that with my darling Sam.

For my second introduction of the day, please meet Mrs. S.D. Sherriff. I've decided to experiment with a bit of old fashioned cookery and thought that Mrs. Sherriff would be a trusty guide. After all, her qualifications and experience (the women's division of the Federated Farmers, no less) speak for themselves.
This is her cookbook. I think it was among either Grandma or Aunt Beth's belongings. Who wouldn't be impressed by that collection of colourful food items on the cover? This wee gem comes with a first aid guide, complete with a paragraph on rescue breathing, and advice on how to deal with a black eye (cold compress or ice) and lightning strike (dash cold water over victim). On the recipe front, there are many classics, perfect for experimenting with. There are a few I wouldn't touch with a lunging whip- liver loaf, brain fritters, mutton broth and kidney soup.
Today I decided some cheesy, herby scones might be yummy pre and post horse riding. Mrs. Sherriff has a simple cheese scone recipe, and I have a herb garden and some parmesan and vintage cheddar cheese.
I picked some Italian flat leafed parsley, red spring onion leaves, thyme, and a tiny amount of sage, marjoram and rosemary. Plus a clove of garlic.
I cup of flour and 2 teaspoons of baking powder sifted with 1/4 teaspoon salt.
I rubbed in a big tablespoon (serving spoon sized) of butter.
Butter rubbed in.
In went the herbs, some cheese and pepper. Mrs. Sherriff said 1/4 cup of grated cheese. I took a few liberties with her instructions at this point.
I poured in enough milk to make a soft dough.
Then I lightly kneaded and patted the dough out, and cut it. The scones went on a floured tray and into a "hot" oven.
Yum. Out they came after about 13 minutes. I think 10 would have been enough.
Hot scones with butter. The perfect brunch. Thank you Mrs. Sherriff. I wonder what we shall do together next time?

My darling Johnny had an awful headache today. He was seeing lights and felt sick. A migraine, I think. Poor sweetie had to spend most of the day in bed. I think he has been exposed to too much Rugby World Cup and needs to lay off watching it. Since last night was the opening ceremony and we've got about 7 weeks to go, it is going to be hard for him to take my advice. I find it terribly traumatic watching the games because I find them very dull, but want our team to win so badly that I get stressed when they don't. I've got the perfect solution- crafting!

Tomorrow I hope to get outside for some close inspection of my daffodils, and to plant the first tomatoes and cucumbers in my greenhouse. I love weekends so much!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yum..those scones look fabulous. I am sad to say my scone making isn't great, they are usually dry and a bit hard...having seen mum making a batch not that long ago I have decided I don't make my mixture wet enough. Anyway, last scones made in the house were made with Edmunds scone mix...just add water!! They were really nice! (Shame on me!!).

Glad the riding is going well and you have good garden plans.

Poor John...I fear Ryan will head the same way. I arrived home from work yesterday to see the living room decked out in balloons, streamers and a big all blacks flag and both Henry and Ryan wearing rugby tops!! (will email you some photos now)

Love to you both, Meg xxx