Awesome Potato Salad

So we’re not in our house just quite yet but we’ve been promised that the power supply will turn up on Thursday. In the mean time, we’re snatching whatever time we can in the kitchen between B&B guests and whenever my father-in-law will allow us to feed him. As you can imagine, this is limiting our creativity somewhat. 

boiled ham
Not to worry. Today, the sun is shining, I’ve got a gammon in the pot for lunch, and I’ve just been reminded of one of the joys of having a garden again: fresh herbs growing outdoors only metres away. In my last post, I mentioned finding a wonderful fruit and veg stall in Kelso, and we have been really enjoying vegetables which taste of the goodness they provide once again. As part of that haul, we picked up some beautiful salad potatoes which actually taste as sweet and mineraly as they should, and Charles boiled them up with some salt, mint, rosemary and lemon balm the other evening, planning for lunch yesterday, but flying about between wholesalers we didn’t quite get that far yesterday. And so, this morning, while listening to the birds singing and the stock pot simmering, I put together a luxurious potato salad for later today. 

 You will need:

potato salad
A pot of boiled and cooled new potatoes (this was a medium sized pot but you can obviously increase the other ingredients proportionately to make a bigger batch)

5 tsp Dijon mustard 

3 tbsp mayonnaise

A good crack of salt and pepper 

Fresh herbs such as mint, chives and parsley, or a couple of tbsp of spring onions 

1. Chop the potatoes into good bite -sized, relatively even pieces and put them into a nice big bowl which will give you plenty of room to stir everything together. Peel them if you like but I’m let to believe the best of the goodness in potatoes is held in the skins. Plus they make it look so much more appealing!

fresh herbs
2. Gently wash your herbs or spring onions, then finely chop them. Add to the bowl.

chopped fresh herbs
3. Next, stir in the mustard, salt and pepper. 

how to make potato salad
4. Add the mayonnaise and stir together. Taste and adjust seasoning to taste.

potato salad recipe
Enjoy alongside a salad or as part of a picnic. Or indeed however you see fit!

Moving Day!

Hello, followers of Brookers of Blunty’s. As you might have gathered, life has become rather busier for myself and Mr Brooker. What’s more, Miss Campbell has become Mrs Brooker and I’ve invited myself to moving down to the Scottish Borders, meaning we are finally, officially, the Brookers of Blunty’s. I imagine we’ll bore you with some wedding photos shortly, but for now, we’re seriously busy trying to get the new house finished so that I can finally unpack. Living out of boxes will lose its novelty factor fairly sharpish!

As you’ll know, the most important part of the move will be getting our own kitchen, together, at last, so we spent a chunk of yesterday cleaning down the new units and floor, while waiting for the joiners to come and fit the hob (they didn’t turn up but we are hoping they might today), and this morning has been spent fitting the inner shelves to the kitchen units. I’m fairly sure we’ve managed to assign about 3 different areas for oils and herbs but hopefully it’ll all be ironed out when we unpack. The biggest hurdle is that I can only reach the first shelf in most of the upper cupboards, so all of Charles’ horrible horseradish sauce and so on will have to find its way to the upper shelves. My baking cupboard is also yet to present itself! 

There are all sorts of other things still to organise – namely gas, electricity, broadband and water – due to various screw ups on the part of the various providers, so there is a lot more outstanding than the new hob. Softly, softly and little by little, we’ll get there, and you’ll be hearing from us non-stop once we get there.

The best news so far is finding a little fruit and veg shop attached to the garden centre which sells the most incredible fresh produce for a fraction of supermarket prices. It’s about 7 or 8 miles away but most things are now, so we’re looking forward to plundering it weekly. I didn’t even know you could get purple sweet potatoes! 

Speak soon, ladies and gents; I might even manage to workout how to change my name by the next time! 

How to Make Lace Tealight Holders

Here we are, 4 days to go before our big day, and time to pull our socks up in terms of getting you guys some lovely interesting content to read. We’ve had bit of a month of it, for many reasons, but it’s time to get organised and start looking forward to our new life together. It sounds a bit cheesey, I know, but I really am the happiest I have ever been. So please accept our apologies!

Wedding Rings
As for a quick update on how the house is progressing, well we very nearly have an intact kitchen, the electrics have been tested and approved, and Charles is whipping the water people into shape. My office is good to go, with the carpet for the upstairs due to arrive next week along with the boiler. We have so many hard working guys who are pulling out the stops to get the project finished, so saying thank you feels a little weak!

Building a kitchen
While Charles has been busy working 14 hour days to get us into our home, I’ve been pottering around making things for the wedding, organising thank you cards and generally keeping my fingers crossed that nothing has been forgotten. We didn’t really want a theme for our wedding, but we have had an overriding ideal that as much as possible should be reusable and good value for money. For my part, I was keen to make as much as possible, both because I enjoy crafts, and because it’ll help to keep things as personal as possible. One of the easiest projects I took on was these little lace tealight holders which cost about £1 each all in all, despite going for £5 each on Etsy. 

Lace Tealight Holders
To make these you will need:

Glass tealight holders, available from craft shops like Hobbycraft

Lace, enough to encircle the glasses, 15cm for each in my case, again, purchased from Hobbycraft

A gluegun (available for £5 from, guess where….)

Plain white tealights 

A dressmakers’ measuring tape (flexible)

How to Make Lace Tealight Holders

1. Use the measuring tape to measure around the glass at the point you’ll be wrapping your lace around. I decided the lace for these ones should sit just above the bases to let the lace hide the tealight as far as possible. You should measure to allow a small overlap and a margin for error to hide the glue line. 

Using a Glue Gun

2. Cut the lace to size and plug in the glue gun to hear up, making sure there’s a glue stick plugged into the back, and that the glue gun is propped up over an old magazine or newspaper in case of dripping. 

Handmade wedding decorations

3. When the glue gun is ready, you should be able to test it out by squeezing the trigger. If hot glue comes out easily, you’re golden. Squeeze a small line of glue onto the tealight holder and rapidly stick down one end of the lace. Be very careful not to burn yourself as the glue is really hot but will set very quickly. 

Once the first line of glue has set, pipe another line of glue just behind the first to avoid the dried glue being too bulky. Stick down the other end of the lace, being careful to match the line and scallop and to pull it right but not too tight. Let the set and trim off any excess lace. 

Handmade Tealight Holders
Pop a tealight in and you’re good to go. As we’re using these for our wedding, I bought 8 hour tealights which are deeper than the normal cheaper ones, but contain much more wax so they won’t run out of steam before the end of the evening. 

More foodie posts coming soon!