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Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Things to do

I hope you all had a merry Christmas with your loved ones.  We have had a quiet Christmas here at Pattypans pad, but I still have an awful lot to do.  OH and I decided not to buy each other a present; but to spend the money available to us on food - that was our Christmas present to each other.  

I am due back to work tomorrow after a very few extremely busy but enjoyable days over Christmas. I have billing to do tomorrow.  I am back for two days and then off on Friday and Monday going back to work on the 3 January.  Today has been the first time available to me to do as I pleased and I have had a very lazy day where sometimes I have found myself dribbling on the setee having "nodded off" and then woken up with a crick in the neck. I have also been planning and plotting, watching River Cottage repeats and nosing through my recipe books as well as my diary making an aide memoire and check list as well as plotting pertinent items to make at specific times such as the Christmas cake and Christmas puddings and home made Mincemeat, cider, beer, stout and lager.

I had had all sorts of plans to do this and that in readiness for Christmas, but unfortunately time  and the lack of funds at a pertinent time got the better of me and I had to ditch the plans and go with the flow.  But then by making mistakes is how we learn.  However this coming year will be different I am very determined about that.  I intend to set up if and when I have a few pounds spare an account purely for taking advantage of preserving foods when they are in season whether that entails a walk through the hedgerows or a trip to a fruit farm and also for buying kilner jars, jam jars and cordial/sauce bottles.  At the minute I intend to do a lot more bottling than I have in previous years.  Unusually, this year I also did not prepare a few things which have become household staples which also do double duty as a small Christmas present to  a friend.  I do not intend to repeat the mistake of not making these in the future I am particularly speaking about making crab apple jelly and apple chutney which everyone seems to love. One thing I would say is that when the fruit is in season if you do not have time to process it into jam or chutneys freeze it down and then make it when you have more time rather than miss out completely.

I am particularly keen to have a go at curing bacon and making my own sausages for which I will require meat and sausage casings - hence the idea of the preserving fund so that I can eventually have a play, but I want to do some more research on this first before dipping in the proverbial toe.

I intend also to have the sewing machine out on Friday.  I bought the first batch of fleece material to make an inner curtain for the front door to keep draughts out and to make the house more cozy.  It has taken me a while to save up as I needed 2 1/2 metres of fabric per door - it cost me £13 for just one door.  I also intend to buy more fabric in the next few weeks or so to do the same for the back door.  It should not take me long to do but now the dining room table is clear (yes you heard right)  I am going to make the most of it.  

I also need to make some ironing board covers, and some throws for the front room sofas - I have been collecting furnishing fabrics in set colours, like golds and reds and intend to do some patchwork style throws out of them.  I have a lot of fabric upstairs begging to be used so I need to get a wriggle on and get cracking. The only thing I will need to buy is the backing fabric and the wadding/batting.  I may have to pay a visit to Dunhelm to see if they have anything suitable like an appropriately coloured cotton sheet.  I also need to get back to the rest of the UFO's and the blankets and throws and get the items completed.  I have been very unsettled of late and not able to settle.

I had also hoped for a crafting day with my friend during the period I was off work - which for one reason or another did not happen.  So we are going to start early and have crafting days through the year to make bits and bobs in readiness for next Christmas

I have mentioned that I have taught my friend how to cook in recent months.  She made her first ever Christmas cake and Christmas pudding under my guidance.  I am pleased to say that the cake turned out very well indeed.  It was a recipe I had never made before, but which has turned out to be delicious and is a cake I will make myself in the future, not necessarily as a Christmas cake but it was delicious. Unusually you put chunks of marzipan into the mix. I also helped her make a "round" Christmas pudding which smells absolutely gorgeous although she has not road tested this yet.  I am used to making Christmas puddings but this was the first time that I had made a "round one".

Will catch up later

Hope everyone is keeping well and that you have enjoyed the holidays

Take care 

Pattypan


x

10 comments:

  1. As usual you are full of plans for the coming year - I haven't even really thought about it yet. Good idea to have a preserving fund though, I really must try and make at least marmalade and a few jars of jam. I intended making marmalade last winter but didn't quite get there!

    ReplyDelete
  2. great post
    re sausages- do check out this blog

    http://adventureswiththepig.wordpress.com/

    blessings

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  3. Interesting to hear your plans for next year. I will bear in mind the idea about freezing down stuff because you are short of time. My apples were enjoyed more by the birds because of a lack of time.

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  4. So many plans Tricia, I get tired just thinking of them, lol!

    Hope you & yours are well *H*

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  5. Hi Pattypan!

    Looks like you've been busy & there's lots of posts for us to catch up with...

    You have so many great ideas & inspire many, so you shouldn't beat yourself up - you've done as much as you possibly can!

    Take care & look forward to catching up properly soon!

    Love Kxx

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  6. Rowan

    I know that feeling well not getting to what I really wanted to do or make - hence the Preservation fund and I also want to heavily invest some more in kilner jars this year and do more bottling than I have done before. But I love proper Seville Orange marmalade - and you can use it in so many things.

    Hope you are keeping well

    Take care

    Tricia

    x

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  7. Hi Angela

    Thanks for the link - I have been following his blog since you gave me an earlier nudge - he is responsible for me wanting to have a go with the meat etc.

    Hope you are keeping well and enjoying your trip to Fakenham

    Take care

    Pattypan

    x

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  8. CS my grandmother had apple and plum and pear orchards that surrounded her bungalow/cottage over an acre plus. As kids we were always sent out with the buckets to get the fallers and Nan used to make apple puree, apple pies, apple slices for the freezer or cider or apple wine from the fallers. If you just peel and core the fruit and then slice or puree it there is still quite a bit that you can do with it at a later stage like make chutney or puddings. Cherries can be pitted and frozen or frozen with the pits, seville oranges frozen whole, plums frozen whole. I wish I had those orchards now - sadly after my grandparents passed the family home went out of the family.

    Hope you are keeping well and that this New Year is everything you want it to be.

    Take care

    Pattypan

    x

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  9. Hi Kadeea

    Unfortunately I cannot sit still for long even when I am watching the TV I have some needlepoint or crotchet on the go. We are keeping well although have had a nasty cold that keeps hanging hopefully have now seen the last of it.

    Hope everything is okay with you too and that this New Year is everything you want it to be.

    Take care

    Pattypan

    x

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  10. Hi Kay and Sime

    I can't stand still for long - there's always lots to do and plenty to explore and do. I'm always chasing rainbows and trying to do lots of things in between. Hopefully will catch up soon

    But wish you both well for this New Year

    Take care

    Pattypan

    x

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for popping by. I love to receive comments and to make new friends so please say Hi. Pattypan

Meet the Moggies

  • Merlin (approx 18 months)
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