Discovering Shropshire – NT Dudmaston – summer edition

Nice weather, not much time to plan and daughter’s friend staying for weekend made us choose Dudmaston. Mainly, because it’s local, but as well to see gardens in the sunshine. Tried to catch some dragonflies – but they move far too fast.


naughty me, not writing as often as I should, too busy!

however in two weeks since last post I managed to squeeze in work (9 to 6!), trip to Ikea (and furniture assembly in same day!), daughters birthday and leaving primary. I am a busy bee.

And I tend to neglect things and people who can manage without me. Even if I care, just never have enough time or energy or both.

Today to unwind we went on one of our family trips, Croome NT and Worcester- was hoping for Greyfriars (they are closed on Sundays!) visited the Cathedral instead. And however much I don’t like the institutionalised religion, I must admit, they knew how to build things to last. And “Capability” Brown made heavenly gardens – perfect for bee hunting.

Day in photos.


Lemon orzo pasta with chicken. Perfect sunny day meal.

Wanted to write today about beautiful place, but cooking got in the way, so I am going to share with you accidental discovery of perfect sunny day family meal.

Starting with the chicken – if you are a small family (like mine), when you make a roast, there is always at least half of it left. Peel the meat of the bones and refrigerate it. Put all the bones and bits into a big pan, use the juices (unless you utilised them in gravy), add some carrots, parsnip, celeriac (or celery), bay leaves, some allspice berries and lovage, cover with water and simmer for few hours. Add some salt to taste. Here we are- perfect chicken stock, you can freeze it in smaller portions and use for lots of recipes.

As for  lemon orzo pasta with chicken and asparagus, you need orzo pasta – use some of the stock to boil pasta in it,  add your leftover chicken meet and cook it through, add chopped asparagus ( I always put the stalks in about 5 min before I put the tips) cook it until is just done, finish it off with few thyme springs and juice of 1 and half lemons (can be more, can be less- up to you), serve with freshly ground black pepper.

Enjoy eating outdoors!