Summer 2019 Bucket List

So now that we’ve pretty much broken up for the summer, I’ve been dreaming up ways to spend our lazy hazy days to get the most enjoyment out of them, as I don’t know about you but it always feels like I blink and it’s September already. So here’s a list of all the lovely things I’ve got planned for this summer:

  • Make cute little cotton nightdresses for the 3 little misses.
  • Make citronella beeswax candles, with the girls to keep the bugs away on summer evenings on the patio.
  • Pick strawberries and make jam (we do this every year), I’m hoping to entice Hollie into the kitchen with me to pass on my jam-making skills before she becomes so mature and grown up that making strawberry jam with Mamma isn’t more of a punishment (I fear I may be too late) .
  • Bottle peaches for pies and ice-cream, yummy!
  • Pick gooseberries and make fools. You know I think they call them fools because you’re a fool if you don’t love them lol.
  • I love me a good book, and my ‘want to read’ list is as long as my grocery receipt, but here are my top 3 for this summer. 1: ‘Summer: An Anthology For The Changing Seasons’ – Edited by M. Harrison. I have literally devoured the other three of these anthologies, everything you love about the season, in a million of the best words. I can’t wait to get my nose into this one, just as soon as ‘the boy’ returns my kindle lol. 2: ‘Nella Last’s War’ – edited by R. Broad and S. Fleming. This one is a recommendation I’ve been given, it’s a collection of diary entries, written by a housewife, throughout WW2, and it apparently contains tons of sweet little housewifey notes that give a real insight into vintage homemaking, so that’s me in, lol. 3. ‘A Perfect Cornish Summer’ by Phillipa Ashley, cos who doesn’t need a little Cornish romance in their lives, right?
  • Buy some perfectly ripe, round fuzzy apricots and make enough jam to coat all my iced cakes (and non-too-few slices of toast) for the next 12 months.
  • Spend a day filling the freezer with as many ice-pops and yoghurt lollies as the blender can tolerate, there’s such a thing as emergency lollies don’t ya know?!
  • Make buckets and buckets of strawberry ice-cream (it’s my fave).
  • While away a lazy hour or two making daisy chains with the 3 little misses.
  • Visit one new national trust garden per week, gotta make the most of that christmas present membership (and fill up that reward card to get my free coffee haha).
  • Pack up some flasks and blankets and go star-gazing on a clear night, nothing teaches the awesomeness of creation quite like billions of stars in a midnight sky now does it?
  • Let the kids practice their map reading on a few walks in the countryside, they will know their horses from their cows (ahem …. mentioning no names … Aimee*cough*).
  • Visit the seaside, at least for the day, hopefully longer. Build the most enormous sandcastle anyone has every seen; dig the biggest hole; paddle in the sea, or swim for those of us brave enough lol; eat Fish and Chips and huge drippy ice-creams, the whole 9-yards.
  • Toast Marshmallows over a campfire, or more likely over the incinerator in the back garden hehe.
  • Have a water fight, balloons, guns, whatever we can find. Bagsy the hose-pipe.
  • Host a BBQ. A summer must at the Jaggard residence, complete with bunting, burgers and booze.
  • Make some pavement chalks for the kids to create magnificent works of art on the driveway.
  • Laze on the grass and do some cloud watching with the little misses, slip in some learning about the water cycle and cloud types hehe.
  • Purse willing, visit the zoo or safari park. Days out like this can get pretty expensive with a big family so I’ll be watching out for discount vouchers like a hawk.
  • Make Lemonade.
  • Put the kids bikes in the back of the car and take them somewhere where they can really practice their peddling.
  • Feed the ducks.
  • Pick wild blackberries, hopefully we’ll get enough to freeze for pies and crumbles later in the year.
  • Have a movie marathon day, Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings, who will win? Very probably Toy Story lol.
  • Visit an art gallery, might make this a Mummy/Daughter ‘date’ with Hollie as the little misses just don’t ‘get’ art galleries, but then again neither does the Mister, lol.
  • Create a Spa Day at home. Face masks, foot baths, manicures, all that jazz,
  • Go to the cinema to see The Lion King. They have air conditioning in the cinema, when I start to feel like the wicked witch of the west, you can bet I’m picking up a bucket of home-made salted toffee popcorn and heading straight to the flicks.
  • Go on a romantic picnic for two with the Mister. Prosecco and tiny nibbles the kids would complain about? sign me up!
  • Teach Rowan to back-stitch and get the girls sewing lavender pouches, in fine white cotton. They’ve gotta earn those Martha Merit Badges somehow!
  • Pick blackcurrants and make syrup for fruit cordials and ice-cream.
  • Have a build your own sundae dessert night, can anyone spot a theme developing? haha!
  • Take the whole family on a picnic and play rounders, we should have enough players, right? lol
  • Make gazpacho, never made this before, always good to try something new.
  • Serve surprise frappe’s and ice-cream soda, just cos.
  • Spend an afternoon at the baths, cooling off.
  • Serve a summery afternoon tea, complete with salmon and cucumber sandwiches, and scones with jam and cream.
  • Have our own tennis tournament, I think I’d look very fetching in a white skirt and cap don’t you? Hahahahaha!
  • Spend a rainy day teaching the children card games, we’ve gotta have something to do when they bring the grandkids to visit me at the nursing home!
  • Read ‘The Railway Children’ aloud, a chapter a day, so if they ever happen to pick it up as adults, this summer will come wafting back to them in the pages.
  • Go for woodland walks and help the children learn to identify a few new types of trees, and make sketches in their nature journals. Well if you’re going to have a tree in your name you should know a bit about them.
  • Listen to ‘Summer’ by Vivaldi, and other summer themed music pieces, get the children to sketch what they hear.
  • Visit a pond with water lilies and/or reeds and sketch them.
  • Make soft-serve ice-cream and make up a sprinkles bar.
  • Practice my fancy braiding skills, if I can get one of them to sit still long enough.
  • Finally (you can all sigh in relief now I’ve no doubt) make a start on knitting those autumn cardigans.

So that’s the list, I think I’ll be pretty well pleased if we get even half that done. Here’s to a fun packed summer. Thanks for reading, I’d love to hear about your own bucket list ideas for this summer in the comments section.


Cronk Pie

I’m writing a recipe book for my 5 girls, Jack too if he wants one. Over the last two years I’ve asked my female relatives for their kitchen memories from childhood, what did they eat growing up, how was it made, was there anything funny? Both my grandmother’s were typical 40’s/50’s housewives, learning about their lives from their daughters has been so interesting, how hard they worked, and the effort and love that is remembered fondly gives me hope that one day my own children will look back on a childhood full of sweetness, hearty meals and comfort too.

Most of the recipes I’ve had to guess at or ‘borrow’ from elsewhere, as no one can remember specifics, but not Cronk Pie! My grandmother Sylvia’s recipe (I never got to meet her). It’s a simple jam tart filled with custard, set and eaten cold. Why is it called Cronk Pie? Nobody knows!

I hope my girls get to treasure these books (If I ever manage to finish them). Who knows maybe they’ll end up a family heirloom, kept as a window into a long forgotten past.

Cronk Pie

  • 80z self-raising flour
  • 2oz lard
  • 2oz margerine (I used butter, cannot bring myself to use marg lol)
  • 4tbsp jam (any)
  • 1 pint custard, birds is fine

First make the pastry by rubbing together the fats and flour, add a splash of water and bring it together to form a dough. Cover with cling film and chill for 30 minutes. Roll out and line a medium, shallow pie dish with the pastry, pricking all over with a fork. Dollop the jam onto the pastry and spread out. Bake in a 180 degree oven for 15 – 20 minutes. Meanwhile make the custard. When the pastry is baked through, pull it out of the oven, allow the jam to cool until reset, pour in the cooled custard, and refrigerate until set.