Oh Sausage!

For Christmas, Stuart was given a sausage making kit, and we thought it was high time we put it to use! So we bought one and a half kilograms of pork mince, and set to work. The plan was to make delicious farmhouse sausages and to bake them into a stunning toad in the hole. Yes, a toad in the hole can certainly be stunning, which I can well testify to. This is the kit:

sausage kit

Stuart took great delight in squishing the mince and stirring it in well with the herb/breadcrumb mix, and we set about putting it into the casing. The plan is to put it in a big piping bag, and then pipe it into tubing (made of some part of a cow I don’t care to question). It’s essentially a giant condom. But it proved to be more difficult than we’d anticipated…

stuart sausage

After much squishing, squeezing and harumphing, we gave up. I divided the mix into meatballs – voila a delightful, if sidetracked meal! Nothing ventured, nothing gained. And we do have the Cumberland sausage kit to try next weekend… maybe… We still have two big lumps of sausage meat in the freezer, with no tubing to go with it. So don’t be surprised if we invite you round for spaghetti and meatballs some time soon!

katie sausage

Gone to market

Do we need cloth? Then we shall go to the market.

On Saturday Stuart and I popped up to London to see the Lichtenstein exhibition (a very lovely and original wedding present!) which was fantastic. It led to an almost chance encounter of the most magical kind. Someone at Stuart’s work had mentioned Borough Market to him, which sounded like a most wondrous place. So he Googled it and found that it is, in fact, right below London Bridge train station.


So, we went along. And it was wondrous indeed! English countryside market stalls selling turnips and radishes nestle together underneath cast iron railway station decor (painted a most festive green), mixed in with exotic street food stalls and boutique olive oil stands. We sniffed the delights and gave in,  I explored Vietnamese chicken curry while Stuart (of course) ordered a steak sandwich… the tallest, fullest sandwich I’ve ever seen.


Of course, we couldn’t stop at lunch, and felt the need to make a longer lasting purchase. Something we wouldn’t find somewhere else. Something we wouldn’t necessarily buy. Something that would be quirky and fun, but useful and broadening, too. So we bought a bottle of truffle oil. A tiny bottle that cost a whopping £7, but after tasting a bit on a piece of bread, we couldn’t say no. What will we do with it? We’re not sure – but it surely will be delicious!



According to the forecast, the weather on the first May bank holiday Monday was supposed to be a scorcher! So, Stuart and I went down to the garden centre on the Saturday before (when it was raining) and bought ourselves a little barbeque.

Monday came, and the sun was shining! It was a gorgeous day, so Stuart lit up the fire lighters and waited.


… and waited… and waited…

While we waited for the coals to light, and get warm, we (ahem, Stuart) made some home made beef burgers, and some homemade BBQ sauce, both of which were hugely successful! I made some lemon sorbet, which failed to set in time… and some jelly.


The coals DID light, and we started grilling away. Burgers, onions, cheese, corn on the cob (smothered in butter) and even some chorizo made it onto the grill, and the smell was delicious. The result – very successful. Stuart is officially the BBQ king! Roll on the next bank holiday!


The Great Holloway Sewing Bee

I am a crafty one. I love to knit, sew, stitch, crochet, cut, glue, and generally make a mess. The knitting had taken over for a while, as wedding fever kicked in and I (of course) decided to knit bow ties for all of the ushers, knit a tie and pocket square for Stuart and knit our cake toppers and decorations. But, with the airing of the BBC’s The Great British Sewing Bee, my fingers were itching to get at the sewing machine once more. Here’s a picture of my lovely little sewing machine:


Her name is Florence, because she is both a machine and a Singer. It seemed very witty at the time. Florence’s last project, in the run up to our marriage, was this patchwork quilt! I’d never quilted anything before, and for some reason decided that making a quilt for a double bed was the best way to start! Yes, it was an epic start to my quilting journey, but one that I don’t regret! I think the results were well worth it, and I got to use up scraps of my favourite dress, which I’d sadly torn but couldn’t bear to part with!


But that was some months ago now, and I was chomping at the bit to start a new project. Well, we’re in a new home, so it was the perfect opportunity to get sewing something for it! We’ve been contemplating lately how many people we can squish into our lounge at once (for Bible studies and such – as you do!) and we reckon we could get 14 in, if you really like all of the other people in the room, and you’re all wearing strong deodorant. But we knew that actual seats would be a problem. So, I decided to sew a beanbag!

I grappled with the zip (wonky and definitely visible), I stitched, unpicked and re-stitched squares into the original (wrong) place, unstitched and restitched again, and we together faced the challenge of filling the bag up. I’d read that filling a beanbag in the bath is helpful as if the polystyrene balls escape, at least they’re contained. So, Stuart and I climbed into the bath, with this massive red cotton sack akin to something Father Christmas would wear/carry, and attempted to fill the bag. It was fairly unsuccessful, but Stuart had the bright idea of using a jug. Now, we’d been bought a particularly gorgeous Le Creuset batter jug as a wedding present… which of course was perfect. Cue ridiculous scene that really belongs in some kind of sitcom. Anyway, eventually we got there, the bag was filled and I’d sewn all the right bits to each other, at long last. Here is the result!


Kitchen Antics

We’re starting to settle in now to our new flat, and there’s enough clutter that it now feels like home. We do, however, have the world’s smallest kitchen. Stuart and I are both avid cooks. He likes to cook things (meat on fire) and I like to bake (pink, sprinkly things), so between us we’ve been very well fed so far!

We have a huge array of beautiful Le Creuset cookware that was bought for us as wedding presents, and it does look somewhat ridiculous in our tiny kitchen. But we have aimed to turn the ridiculous into the sublime with clever use of space! This is one, particularly attractive part of our kitchen:


We are particularly delighting in how matching everything is. But we have certainly been putting all of these utensils, gadgets and massive pots to good use. This is no museum! Our resident Stu Chef has been chopping almost everything in sight with his fancy knives:

stu chef

But I did get him baking, too, as well as cooking:

stu cooking

Successes have been Stu’s famous chili, steak and chips and his glorious steamed Thai salmon. My successes have included Easter Sunday roast lamb, ooey gooey risotto, and this rather splendid looking pie. Mary Berry, eat your heart out!



Hello everyone, Katie here!
We thought it was high time we posted our first blog post to stuartandkatie.co.uk (how very exciting!) so we thought we’d share our honeymoon with you!

We went to Edinburgh for five nights, the day after the wedding. Stuart had spent a couple of weeks in Edinburgh before, and I’d only visited for one night, and I was longing to explore! We stayed in a hotel called the Dalhousie Castle, which is most definitely a castle! I felt like I was walking around in a Philippa Gregory novel!


We knew Scotland would be cold in March… but we didn’t anticipate quite the bitter cold that we had! There was snow every day, which, more than anything else, was very beautiful. I think we did and saw just about everything there is to see and do in Edinburgh! First of all we went to the Camera Obscura, which was fascinating! As well as the Victorian ‘camera’, the place is a museum of optical illusions. The museum featured this toilet seat (which was in some ways more fascinating than the exhibits!) We’re desperately seeking one for our home, but can’t seem to track one down!


It also featured some very cool illusions, which had some fairly startling results…


It didn’t just end badly for me, though, with the John the Baptist style dinner serving, as we went to Edinburgh dungeon, where we both got hung! It seems we weren’t very well hung though (snigger), as we did walk out again, through a delightfully grotesque gift shop!


We also visited the zoo, where we saw lions, tigers and bears (oh my!) as well as some penguins, who seemed most at home with the weather (the snowiest day!)  We also saw the famous giant pandas… who were asleep. I couldn’t find any unicorns though…


I think my highlight of the honeymoon was visiting the zoo. Maybe the deep fried mars bar… Stuart’s highlight… still the toilet seat.