Saturday, 23 October 2010

My First Give-Away

I missed my1st blog anniversary which was September. So all-though it's a little delayed I though better late than never. I enjoy crochet but nothing too intricate (just basic stitches really). However my give away is an e book which takes crochet to another level.  So whether you have an occasion to wear the grand coat below or just want to do some intricate flowers..... this is the book for you.(Sorry image didn't come out too well but the books quality is much better).

The book is in PDF format and has 115 pages.  I am away on holiday for a few weeks but will select 4 followers on my return early November.  To qualify just follow my blog and if possible direct your followers to my giveaway.

Friday, 22 October 2010

Winter Warmer - Roast Vegetable Soup

Vegetables all chopped and ready to roast.

3 medium sweet potatoes – peeled and cut into 8ths.
2 medium onions peeled and cut into quarters
1 small – Medium butternut squash (don’t peel but cut in half and scoop out seeds etc.  Cut into cubes similar size to sweet potatoes
A good glub of Olive Oil.

½ -¼ tsp ground cinnamon,  ground turmeric, ground cumin.
2 chicken stock cubes. Mixed into 2 pints of stock.
Additional warm water to add if too thick.

Put some olive oil in a roasting tray add vegetables and sprinkle over some more oil.
Place in a hot oven and roast until just turning.

Meanwhile make up stock and add spices stir through.
When cooked spoon in the roasted vegetables try not to add any of the surplus olive oil.
Blend all the ingredients with a hand blender and if necessary add some more hot water to make a smooth consistence.

Stir in some single cream for a special occasion.  Serve with hot bread.  Yum.

If you make too much this soup it  can be frozen before the cream is added. 

If you have vegans/vegetarians in your house (as we do) substitute the chicken stock cubes for vegetable stock cubes and omit the cream.  It still tastes really good

Sunday, 17 October 2010

My Grandchildren - My Little Beauties

It can be quite manic when Nadine and Laura (my two eldest daughters) meet up for family events, especially when they bring along their children.  This is a recent picture of nine of my eleven grandchildren.  The event was Baileys eleventh birthday party. As you can see from the picture, our family is dominated by girl power.

Season of Plenty

A Bramley tree we planted several years ago must have heard my disenchanted mutterings under my breath last year.  "If that tree doesn't come up with the goods next year its comming down"Well it made up for the lost years with abundance this year. As penance I have buckets of apples to distribute to friends and family with a few of the choice ones for us to cook up and preserve.

Today I made three apple crumbles and two apple wedge cakes.  One for now and one for the freezer.  However that didn't quite happen, two of my daughters turned up around lunch time and the first cake was a distant memory by mid afternoon.  As it is such an easy recipie I thought I would add it to my blog as no doubt there are many of you with surplus apples this time of year.
The Finished Apple Wedge Cake
Apple Wedge Cake,

8oz self raising flour
Small pinch salt (optional)
4oz margarine or butter
4oz raisins or sultanas
10oz cooking apples (after peeling, coring and dicing)
3oz granulated sugar.
1 egg, beaten
2 tablespoons milk
Scant 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon.
Small quantity castor sugar for sprinkling on top.

Mix flour salt and margarine to fine breadcrumb consistence.
Stir in sugar raisins and apple
Add egg and milk, mix into a dough.
Firm into a tin.
Bake towards the top of the oven for 50 -55 minutes. 180 degrees.

When removed from oven lightly sprinkle the top with castor sugar

Enjoy warm with custard, ice ream or cream or simply on its own.

You are welcome to post this recipe and picture on your blog as long as credits are given to the author. However it is not to be used for personal gain or commercial use.

All Mixed and ready for the Oven

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Well, frantic knitting has kept me away from my Blogg for a while but I just don’t seem to have the time to do both at the moment.  I have been busy knitting bolero’s for the grand children.  I followed the same pattern I used for Willow’s bolero pictured below and using poetic licence adapted it according to wools available. I hope you like the results, just one more to make before Christmas.  

 Thinking of the cold frosty mornings on the horizon I found a great pattern for an easy knit cowl. I did the grey ones in Jaegar it takes 2 x 50 gram balls and a great xmas gift matched with fingerless gloves.

I have decided to join a knitting group and after lots of questions and Google searches I discovered there is one alive and well in the next village so hopefully next Tuesday I can go along and see if they will have me.  I’m rather lazy when it comes to knitting.  So I thought perhaps a little like minded company will spur me on and get me out of my comfort zone.  Have any of you got any experiences of running or joining knitting groups in your area?  If so I would love to hear from you.

How I love wandering around knitting stores just looking at the array of different colours and textures stacked on the shelves.  Wool is so tactile.  It’s nice to be able to match buttons and wool together.  I was sad to find that Derry’s in Plymouth has now closed.  A store I always visited during regular trips into town.  More and more of these stores are closing and while you can buy anything craft related on the internet today the joy of coming out of the store with a big bag of wool, new pattern and buttons is slipping away.

The Forest in Autumn

My favourite season, it musters up thoughts of log fires, crisp mornings and autumnal colours.  We are lucky to live in a beautiful part of the Forest alongside an ancient woodland splattered with beech trees which are just beginning to turn.  I tend to do more craft work this time of year too.  Despite good intentions during spring and summer there is always something in the garden that requires my attention.  I suppose it’s also a practical issue that thoughts turn to the onslaught of winter and warm woollies to keep out the draughts !! 

Nature really is wonderful, We saw our first wild bore last week, a young mum with 6 babies trotting behind he.  She decided to risk the road (strolling in front of our car at a leisurely pace) She took them onto the periphery of the sculpture trail (obviously out for an educational trip!)..  They were a sable colour with chestnut spots and stripes.  As soon as she had taken them back under the trees it was difficult to make the babies out, they blended perfectly with the browning ferns and leaves that had fallen below a horse chestnut tree.  I can see why nature is such an influence for so many designers.  I have some lovely Rowan beige and rust wools that I have yet to knit up.  Perhaps now is the time to get it out.