Wednesday, 20 April 2011


Not only people are happy that the weather has finally warmed up. Our cats are sitting on the windows soaking up the heat and, whenever we are going out, we hear a loud "MEOW" meaning they want to come out too.

Birds should be very careful as these fluffy creatures, who have gained some extra weight during the cold winter, are eager to get some exercise trying to catch anything what's moving.

Some lazy portraits, before they rush off...

Mischievous boy with his loooong white whiskers:

And the very curious girl:

Monday, 4 April 2011

Mrs.Beeton's Bread 'n' Butter Pudding

Last weekend I planned to bake a cake or maybe a batch of cupcakes, but my plans had to be altered as I heard “when will you make me a bread and butter pudding?” just as I was reaching for the flour… I must admit it wasn’t the first time I heard the phrase this year. This constant nagging had to be stopped, so I gave in. (For Christmas, just like a little hint, I’ve been given a book called “The Best of Mrs.Beeton’s British Cooking”, so I couldn’t even use the “I haven’t got a recipe” excuse...)

It certainly isn’t difficult to make the bread and butter pudding and it tastes good, so if you ever decide to have a go, here’s what you need:

9 thin slices of bread and butter, crusts cut off

75g currants or raisins

grated rind of 1 lemon

grated nutmeg

40-50g caster sugar + extra for sifting

4 eggs

900ml milk (can be substituted by cream, if you want your pudding to be richer)

Butter a large oven proof dish. Cut the slices of bread and butter in half or into quarters, layer them in the dish. Sprinkle each layer with a bit of currants, lemon rind, grated nutmeg and caster sugar.

Beat the eggs with the milk. Strain the mixture through a sieve over the pudding. For best results leave it to stand for about 2 hours, so that the bread is well-soaked (you need at least 30 minutes for that).

Set the oven to 180C (350F or gas 4) and bake the pudding for 1 hour, until it has risen and is golden and set. Sift some caster sugar over the top and serve freshly baked.

Friday, 1 April 2011

Serious on the 1st of April

With just a few posts in March I‘m bravely taking care of this situation right at the beginning of April – I plan to have lots of good things to share. Well, there‘ll certainly be many posts on gardening and trees that turn white, sunny days on the beach and Easter. Meanwhile, even though I‘m posting on the 1st of April, I‘m going to be serious and comment on the photos that I took last Saturday.

The white stuff on the ground is snow and we didn‘t expect to see it, but as we travelled further in land, away from the Baltic Sea, I suppose it made sense for the climate to be just a bit colder. The aim of our journey was to have a look at some old manor houses, parks and pretty churches. We didn't go far and ended up in Šateikiai - a little village, now just a shadow of its previous glory.

At the end of the 18th century a noble family (Pliateriai) built a huge manor house and lots of barns, stables, a beer brewery, a water-mill, a gardener's house and other buildings, also established a beautiful park with many rare trees and a few ponds and funded the building of the church. At the time this little village must have been a cultural centre - the manor house had a concert hall and a painting gallery. Now it's hard to believe that the most famous Lithuanian painter and composer M.K.Čiurlionis chose to get married in Šateikiai.

The neglected park hides the ghostly buildings and it seemed a bit spooky with no people to be seen around...

The wooden manor house (we haven't got many of these left in Lithuania) has last been renovated in the end of the 70s! It could be turned into a nice museum or a concert hall, or a painting gallery, well, anything that would attract people who are fond of history and culture.

I'm not sure if the locals would cheer for that idea - they might be too used to their quite life and might be too busy with their agricultural duties, but I believe that our heritage has to be looked after, especially as we haven't got that many authentic manor houses.

At least the church, that looks too big for this village, doesn't seem to be falling down... I'm sure it's full every Sunday.

My poor shabby country with insufficient funds and stupid laws. I could find a lot of things to moan about... Yet it's still number 1, ask any Lithuanian!