Cooking for Easter

Cooking for Easter was the theme of today’s meeting. We looked at healthy fish cakes, savoury tartlets, hot cross buns and Simnel cake.

The healthy NHS Fish Cakes got good feedback they are quick and easy to make, although it was thought adding fresh herbs would have made them even better.

Next on to the Savoury tartlets all agreed the pastry was excellent, different filling were discussed one being Slimmers World Corned Beef Quiche.

Hot cross buns were next, people who had made these were disappointed with their results, however there was no need to be, although they looked different to shop bought ones they tasted better.  After discussion it was agreed that due to the time and expense involved this is one recipe we would not be recommending.

Next onto the show piece the Simnel cake,  eat your heart out Mary Berry,  this was out of this world and we would all recommend this recipe. Go to Waitrose site and look under recipes and Simnel cake

Simnel cake

We discussed making ginger beer in the future, and we had a look at warming and cooling foods, if you are interested have a look at  How to determine your body type

Our next meeting is on Friday 19th April, this has been re-arranged from 18th April as there are other events being held by U3A on that day, so after checking our busy diaries we have found the 19th suits, the theme will be soups.


Foodie Group

Foodies w

At our second meeting on 14/3/13 we discussed how successful (or not) our making of soda bread had been.  On the whole individuals had been successful although in some cases the birds did get some extra crumbs.  It was good to discuss different method/recipes used.   Then on to the highlight of the meeting, homemade pasta and sauce, which received a resounding thumbs up.  Our thanks to Eileen who did all the prep work and Denis who supplied the recipes.

Easter is the theme for our next meeting on 28th March, when we will sample hot cross buns, simnel cake and savoury delights made by some of our members.

Themes we would like to cover in the future include: Chinese, Japanese, Tapas, Pizza, Canopies, Cakes, Soufflés, Cheese, Desserts, Fish, Left over’s, Potatoes, Vegetarian/Glutton free, Energy/health, Flapjacks, Summer pudding,  Economy, Gadgets, outdoor eating.

Paul Hollywood’s recipe for soda bread  discussed at our first meeting.  Recipes will be added on a monthly basis.

Nordic Walking

The Nordic Walking Group has now officially started.  All 17 members who attended the ‘Learn to Nordic Walking Technique’ course in February  have now completed the course with Sefton Active Walks and have obtained their certificates of competency.  I have also been trained as a Walking Group Leader and we are all now registered with Nordic Walks UK. Our first walk took place, on  Monday, 11th March, in cold and snowy conditions. It was a circular walk commencing at  Maghull Baptist Church car park, using the Liverpool to Leeds Canal path and the Green Park estate.  Thirteen member took part.
The group braving the cold

The group braving the cold


Setting off on our walk

Setting off on our walk

Future walks will take place on a weekly basis, with time and day varying each week,  in order to facilitate those who have other commitments.    Only those who have completed the course can take part in the walks, so if you are interested and want  to put your name down for a future course, please let me know.     

Braving the snow and doing our cooling down exercises after the walk

Doing some cooling down exercises in the snow after the walk

Details of all our walks will be announced at the coffee mornings or by e-mail to the group.            

Happy Nordic Walking,  Ian



We set off from the Square, weather was not good – cold and wet.  However, we arrived in Leeds complete with our street map giving directions to hostelries, tea rooms, pubs, shops etc.  What a surprise Leeds is.  Fantastic City Centre, superb shops, lovely arcades with individual shops, brilliant real old pubs and an excellent market where Marks and Spencer began their life.  A stall is shortly to open here commemorating their start here.    Plenty of bargains to be had.  We arrived in good time to take our seats at the Theatre – and very good seats they were.  In the stalls at the front.  The show was most enjoyable with plenty of variety, a good Chairman and excellent comedians who gave us a real laugh.  The theatre awarded prizes for the best appropriate outfit and 3 of our ladies won – Beryl, Rosina and Mikki.  They looked great.  There were other good outfits as well – it all added to the atmosphere.  On our way back on the M62 we came through heavy snow and fog but arrived back safe and sound in Maghull – still raining!!  I think we all agreed a good day had been had by all. 


Foodie Group

The new group which has a good mix of original and fairly new members have met and as you can see now has a new name. The group will meet twice a month, the last Thursday in the month and another date to be agreed by the group. Because of other commitments not all members can make all meetings but everyone will try and attend as many sessions as possible. We will meet at 10-12pm at 57 Deyes Lane.
We looked at what each person wants to get from the group, a question which we will regularly revisit to make sure we are meeting the needs of individuals in the group. What most people wanted is inspiration and some new ideas, whether cooking for one, or hosting a dinner party or family gathering.
Our first challenge is to cook soda bread using Paul Hollywood’s recipe and report back to the group. For most people in the group this is the first time they have made soda bread. To carry on this theme we are having a go at making pasta at the next session, which we think will be a good fun team building activity, and will top this off with sauces to go with the pasta at the following session.
We briefly looked at ways to save money by bulk buying, which we will incorporate in future themes, Chinese being an example. Having an expert like Denis is a real asset. He has already provided us with a list of essential ingredients needed to cook Chinese. I think a Chinese banquet could well be on the menu in the future and I am sure with Denis’s guidance we as a group can achieve that.

Magaret’s paintings unveiled

Maghull Station Volunteers have done much to enhance the appearance of our local railway station in recent years and won wide recognition for their efforts. In the light of this year’s celebrations marking the 150th anniversary of the birth of Frank Hornby, the inventor of Hornby trains, their latest project was to commission a series of paintings depicting the ‘Frank Hornby’ era in Maghull. Step forward a most talented artist, Margaret Walton of the Maghull and Lydiate U3A painting group. Margaret produced a series of seven delightful works depicting scenes of yesteryear at the station and in the surrounding district. The paintings were ‘unveiled’ at a special ceremony on Tuesday 5th March, by the Mayor and Mayoress of Maghull Cllrs Steve and Gwen Kermode accompanied by representatives of Merseyrail, led by Sally Ralston, Corporate Social Responsibility Manager, members of U3A and of course the Station Volunteers. Here are some pictures of the event.


Nordic Walking


Congratulations to all those who completed their four-week training course in Nordic Walking Technique, with Sefton Active Walks (Nordic).  Their last session was on Monday 04/03/13 at Maghull Leisure Centre.  At the conclusion of the session, all 18 U3A members were presented with a Certificate of Competence by their Instructor, Georgina Morton.  They will now be able to register with Nordic Walks UK.

A meeting was held after the presentation and a date for our fist walk was agreed.  The walk will take place on Monday, 11/03/13 between 14.30 and 15.30hrs.  We will meet outside Maghull Baptist Church, when we will do our warm up exercises on the grassed area opposite, prior to the commencement of the walk.  The route will be a circular walk using the Liverpool Leeds canal footpath, local roads and footpaths, returning to the starting point for cooling down exercises.

Due to the commitments of our members in numerous U3A activities, our walks will be held weekly with the time and day varying from week to week, in order that everyone can attend at least one walk every few weeks.  As the walks will only be open to those who have attended the course, the time, date and place will be advertised to them in advance.

If anyone else is interested in taking up Nordic Walking, please contact me by e-mail or by telephone (0151) 526 7736.  I will also be available at our weekly coffee mornings.

Happy Nordic Walking

Ian Gent