Thursday, March 13, 2014

Hoo St. Werburgh, BP Torture, Snow.

Hoo - bargesI moved to Hoo St. Werburgh when I was about 12. I don’t know precisely, and lived there until I was 20. My parents continued to live there for quite a few more years, on a Thames Barge at the Marina which my father used to run. I used to attend Christmas midnight mSt, Werburgh2ass at the church of St. Werburgh but otherwise was not a regular church goer, however, I got married there in 1962 to my first husband. Although we didn’t live in Hoo, we eventually moved back as my husband took over the business. I have since blogged about the church, but never once did it occur toGoose Miracle me to search for St. Werburgh. Tuesday I read Hilary’s post on Greenwich and London when she talks about the church of St. Alfege and his origins which made me wonder about St. Werburgh. Of course I then GoSt. Werburgh2ogled and discovered much to my surprised that St. Werburgh was actually a female. Turns out she was a Saxon Princess who became a saint. She is patron saint of Chester. Apparently her family were Kings in one of the many petty kingdoms which abounded in her day. She eventually became Abbess of Ely having been a nun for many years. She was instrumental in convent reform across England. The most famous legend about her is that she restored a goose to life. She died on February 3, 708 which is, today, wWedding Group 1962hen she is commemorated. During the Middle Ages, the badge of a basket of geese was adopted as proof of having made a pilgrimage to the Shrine of St Werburgh. Wiki have a lot more about her so do click on her link. The stained glass window is from the cathedral in Chester. The following pictures were Bride & Bridesmaidsof my first wedding with us standing outside the door of St. Werburgh Church. The bridesmaids were my three cousins. Looked cute didn’t they? However, the youngest would NOT smile for the cameras.

Wednesday was snow, snow, and more snow. We had to take my gadget from hell (BP monitor) back so we went at 8:30 a.m. before the roads got impassable. The monitor hurt a lot every time it took a reading, it was really painful. Then around 7 it started beeping for no apparent reason, then it starting blowing up, stopped, blew some BP MOnitormore, stopped and then ended up blowing right up. That got even more painful and it did that several times. Then when I went to bed I discovered the wiring had got caught up with my bra and I couldn’t take it off. I was perplexed as to whether I should take off the cuff which I knew I couldn’t put back on on my own, or unplug the monitor. I did the latter and then, guess what, I could not re-attach the hose. I called Matt (luckily he wasn’t asleep yet) and he couldn’t do it either so eventually I took it off. I climbed into bed and then not half an hour later when I was asleep, it decided to start again. I then discovered a switch on the bottom. I had thought the switch at the top was it. Apparently it worked OK up to bedtime, whether that is enough info they will decide. I ain’t paying again, in fact I am not sure I would accept the stupid thing again. This guy looks OK doesn’t he? Later: I have an appointment to go see the specialist. Think he wants to put me on a different BP medication. I cannot seem to explain to doctors just how high my readings go when they do tests. Even when I am at home with this one, I get stressed and up tight.

Having got back home safely we decided to stay put because the snow was accumulating fast.

When this recipe landed in my inbox I couldn’t resist sharing it. After all, it’s chocolate.

French Silk Pie

WebMD Recipe from

French Silk Pie
Bittersweet chocolate and Dutch-process cocoa meld with a shot of fresh brewed coffee
to give an ultra-rich flavour to this creamy French silk pie. A frothy meringue is the secret to lightening the brown sugar-sweetened filling.

  • 30  chocolate wafers
  • 2 tablespoon chopped dates, pitted
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 tablespoon brewed coffee
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons unflavoured gelatine
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup low-fat milk
  • 8 tablespoons packed light brown sugar, divided
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, preferably Dutch-process
  • 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons dried egg whites, reconstituted according to package directions
  • 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Coat a 9-inch deep-dish pie pan with cooking spray.
  2. To prepare crust: Combine chocolate wafers and dates in a food processor; process until finely chopped. Add water and oil and process until moistened. Press into the bottom and sides of the prepared pan.
  3. Bake until crisp, about 10 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack.
  4. To prepare filling and garnish: Combine coffee and water in a small bowl. Sprinkle gelatine on top and set aside to soften.
  5. Whisk egg, milk, 3 tablespoons brown sugar and cocoa in a small saucepan until smooth. Cook over low heat, whisking constantly, until thickened and an instant-read thermometer registers 160°F, 5 to 7 minutes. Do not let the mixture come to a simmer. Remove from the heat. Add the reserved gelatin mixture; stir until dissolved. Add chocolate and vanilla, stirring until melted. Set aside to cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes.
  6. Beat reconstituted egg whites and cream of tartar in a large bowl with an electric mixer on low speed until frothy. Increase speed to high and beat until soft peaks form. Gradually add the remaining 5 tablespoons brown sugar, beating until the meringue is smooth and glossy.
  7. Whisk one-fourth of the meringue into the cooled chocolate mixture until smooth. Scrape the chocolate mixture into the remaining meringue and fold in with a whisk. Spoon the filling into the crust and chill, uncovered, until set, about 3 hours.
Have a great day


  1. Fascinating story about St. Werburgh. Lovely photo of you, and your wedding party. Sorry about all of the aggravation with the blood pressure monitor. Hopefully, they'll find the right medication for you soon. I love French Silk Pie, and it's even WebMD approved!


    1. Thanks Julie. I hope I get the BP sorted out soon too.

      It's certainly delicious.

  2. Hi Jo - thanks for the link across - when I met up with some friends last night they thought I was referring to St Alfege in Whitstable, Kent ... so twists and turns of saintly life in England!

    I'm so pleased you looked back and were able to find some photos ... wonderful to see - and I love the little girls' dresses ... quite delightful .. Fun to see you too and read a little more about your time down at Hoo ... I had to check if you meant the Sussex Hoo ... and I'm sure there are many others ...

    The BP thingummy - sounds so frustrating .. but your weather too - it is bliss here, though perhaps I shouldn't mention balmy Spring days?!

    The Silk Pie looks very yummy ... cheers and let's hope that snow fades away soon .. and you get the BP thing sorted .. Hilary

    1. I guess once someone is sanctified, they are used for churches all over. I never thought to specify Hoo, Kent. I lived there a long time with a short interruption.

      I can imagine you have croci all over the place too, I remember the first time we came back was in March and I couldn't believe there were so many. We don't get snowdrops here either. Everyone is sick and tired of the snow although we didn't get as much as forecast yesterday.

      So do I Hilary, so do I. I have been called in to check at the end of the month so they are not going to make me wear it again.

  3. What a great place to get married! A woman saint. Think that's the first one I've heard of.

    1. Pretty isn't it? Not the first woman saint I've heard of although I can't call anyone to mind right now.

  4. What a beautiful dress! Even if the marriage didn't work out, you had a beautiful wedding.

    1. Thanks Diane. We were still friends for the rest of his life. We stayed with he and his new wife a couple of times when we went back to the UK. Same with Matt's ex, we have stayed with her once or twice as well.

  5. Hi Jo,

    I'm typing on behalf of my human, Gary. Indeed, such a lovely, peaceful setting. A a picture perfect place for a wedding. I'm glad you remained friends with your former husband for the rest of his life. Much better to be amicable.

    I also appreciate the way your post ties in with Hilary's.

    I'm sorry you've experienced so much pain with your BP monitor. Wishing you a very nice day, my human friend.

    I would like you to know that I've tried to link into your followers section. For the last two days, blogger has been acting up and that function isn't working. Blogger is such an aggravation.

    Pawsitive wishes,

    Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet superstar! :)

    1. Dear Penny, thanks so much for trotting by. It was Hilary who started me down this lane.

      It is so nice to see you visiting my blog, so sorry you haven't been able to link to the follow section. I am pawsitive you will be able to in a day or two. Wag your tail at Blogger and maybe it will work. My regards to your human too.