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Monday, 27 August 2012

The Put Down 2012

Well we are only second week into the New Year and already I have been playing with a find of 2kg of limes for £2.  As per last year I include a list of those items I manage to get put by for this New Year.  I am afraid it is looking a bit naked at the moment but no doubt it will soon fill up once I get cracking!

This year on the preserving front things haven't quite happened How I have wanted to hence the reason for popping this up again.  I hope to get busy again in the next few weeks and thought that having this to hand might prompt me to get a wriggle on, and hopefully I will be able to take advantage of what comes my way in the coming weeks.

I have also been experimenting with home made pie fillings as well; I had a go at some strawberry pie filling/puree the other day and it seems to have come out fine so far but the proof of the pudding will be in the eating as they say.  In this format you can add the puree to some rhubarb and end up with a strawberry and rhubarb crumble or pie or you can use on pancakes with some cream or in a Victoria sponge cake with fresh cream you are only bound by your own imagination.  I am going to have a go with some other fruits as well to see whether the recipe I have come up with is foolproof or just one of my failed experiments.  It looks pretty in the jar though and would also be lovely served with plain yogurt in the morning.

The Put Down 2012 - Pattypan's "Pantry"



  1. Well here are the headings as and when I get to make an item, like last year I will add the item in as it has been made.  Well that's the plan!






    Bottled Fruits/Tomatoes etc

    1.  6 small jars of strawberry pie filling.
    2. 14 medium jars of Tomato Pasta sauce (I had run out so as I use this a lot thought I better restock.

Pickles
  1.  Pickled Cucumbers 2 large jars
  2. 7 double (Sarson jars) of Pickled Onions

    Chutneys/Relishes

    1.  Plum Chutney
    2.  8 jars Glutney
    3. 8 jarsBengal Chutney
    4. 3 Jars Mint Chutney 
    5. 6 Jars Nectarine Chutney 
    6. 16 Jars Picallili
    .

    Jams
    1.  8 jars of greengage jam (yummy)
    2. .






    Mincemeat

    1.  
    Jellies
    .
    1.  Compost Heap Jelly
    2. 8 jars of Chilli jelly

    Conserves

    1.  
    Curds

    1.  

      Cheeses

      Marmalades

      1. 6 Jars of Home Made Lime Jelly Marmalade 
      2. 20 Jars of Home Made Seville Orange Marmalade
        Cordials/Syrups

        1.  

        Sauces

          Wines

          1.  

            Liqueurs

            1.  
              Beers

              1.  
                Ciders 

                1.  
                  Oils
                  1. Mixed Herb Oil
                  2. Rosemary Oil
                  Vinegars

                  1.  
                  Seasonings

                  1.  

                  Soup Stock 
                  1.  

                  Pastes/Soup Stocks/Marinades

                  Candied and Crystallised Fruit/and/or in Syrup


                  Produce put down in the Freezer

                  Dried Produce

                  1. Dried Orange Peel
                  2. Dried Lemon Verbena
                  Fruit 

                  1. 2 large pots of passion fruit puree
                  2. 6 trays of passion fruit puree (ice cube portions) for meringues/pavlovas
                  3. 6 pots of Apple Puree
                  4. 2 bags of cherry tomatoes
                  5. 1 bag of mixed green and yellow peppers

                      Busy in the Kitchen

                      Never was a phrase so apt for yesterday's fun and games as Keep calm and Carry On!

                      I eventually got the freezer all sorted but I think it will be next month before we can afford a new freezer.  I would like a chest one again  - I have an upright but I do love my chest freezer and we have lived out of it for the past 24 years and I nearly always have them stacked to the gunnels as when pennies are tight you can always make a meal from stuff esconced within the freezer.  I usually take advantage of meat pies etc (M & S) fish belly pork stuffed  by me and then rolled now that does make a cracking meal. etc. etc.

                      This morning I got eventually to go to Dunhelm Mill and I have come back with a load of preserving jars - some small ones Kilner ones but I have bought 20 250ml jars at 89 pence a throw and you can use the replacement kilner seals on them as they are the same size (I haven't told you that though).  I also bought four more small kilner ones (I have 8 of these now) and four larger sized jars at £1.79 each and also two larger ones still ready for the goats cheese in oil that I keep in the fridge for the winter months and prep up and store in olive oil lovely on toasted ciabatta or french stick and then drizzled with home made mixed herb olive oil brings the summer into winter and as you may all have guessed I do love my food  even though my appetite these days is diminished to what it was.  Cooking for me is not just about the food it is sharing my love I have for life and those within it.

                      I have some courgettes to use up as well and being a big fan of the River Cottage series I went in search of the Glutney recipe.  Here it is down below.  Will probably do this one tomorrow night.  I have plum chutney cooking at the moment.

                      http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2007/aug/11/features.weekend

                      And I have also found this recipe.  You all know my liking for different and this one uses the humble carrott.  I have made carrot jam before I like it especially in the bottom on sponges for a trifle gives a very different flavour.  But this one quite appeals.  The site is based on the Tracklements Preserves and it has some lovely little recipes.  I think the idea behind it was preserves for a year only. So I think this preserve will be the one I have a go at  next.

                      http://www.chutneyandspice.com/2011/apple/bengal-bites

                      I have also been playing with processing my own pie fillings.  I am experimenting with some strawberry at the moment thinking that I could use it with yogurt, as a filling for a home made Victoria sponge, in a pie with rhubarb or apple, with pancakes....  Will let you know how it turns out in due course.  I do like it when I get to play in the kitchen.  I have used 6 of my 8 little Kilner jars so I think I will have to be getting a few more of these little tiny jars.  It is expensive getting the jars to start with but once you have them all you need is some new seals.

                      This month is really the month that you should be starting to put things up or as in my case for "The Put Down".  An alternative pantry if you like rather than having to rely on the supermarket.  I rarely buy pre-made goods choosing to bake myself; occasionally I buy pies but I aim to kick that one into touch in the next few months or so.  I am off to potter my chutney is calling me.

                      Back to work tomorrow

                      Catch up soon

                      Pattypan
                      xxxx




                      Words

                      I saw these words written down today on a piece of wall art the words struck home and resonated with me I hope you like them too as they have their own feeling


                      Have a Grateful Heart

                      Be Yourself

                      Dream Big

                      Say I love You

                      Believe in miracles


                      ************************

                       

                      Sunday, 26 August 2012

                      Oh Dear What Can the matter be...

                      Three old ladies locked in the lavatory...... so the rhyme goes.

                      We have had a bit of a calamitous day in that everything we have touched has gone wrong.

                      We went to take Missy for a walk first thing (we we out the house by 8.30 am) on a Sunday unheard of.  However OH had promised himself a cooked breakfast only problem was we had run out of the ingredients hence he was in a rush to get to the butchers!.  Came away from walking Missy the car was mis-firing and playing up since it has done ever since we acquired it.  Enough was enough we called a mobile engineer in he couldn't get to us until 2.30 p.m.  So I did not get to Dunhelm but I am going tomorrow.

                      So we let the car rest a while and then went tot he butchers and stocked up on the meat front.  We then had a bagging session and persuaded the upright that it really did want the majority of goodies that I was trying to force feed into it.  Then realised could not get the beef joints in so cleared the top of the chest freezer when calamity number two was chanced upon.  The freezer wasn't working and obviously hadn't been working for a few days.  phew wasn't the word.We thought initially that it had merely come unplugged but when we switched it on again I rapidly realised that instead of freezing the blooming thing was heating up.  So a freezer full off food has gone up the spout and I need a new chest freezer.  But then again suppose it was to be expected it was 24 years old (bought from Iceland many moons ago) so it does not owe us anything.

                      The engineer came to look at the car and it would appear that we had used him before on the van.  He ran a diagnostic and has found out what the exact problem is so £50 lighter (but at least we know what we are dealing with and OH needs the car for work I use shank's pony).  He is coming back on Tuesday hopefully to do said repair so hopefully no more shennagins with the car fingers crossed toes plaited.

                      I then had to persuade the fridges that they were going to store the extra fresh meat that I had bought today and I have some things defrosting that I could not get back into the upright but they will not go to waste at all.  So I think we will be looking for a new chest freezer tomorrow in any event.

                      Funny how men go missing when there is a job to be done i.e remove the rotting food out of the freezer wrapping it well and putting it in the dustbin for collection on Tuesday. Lots of pontificating about the whiff but no offers of help.  Once I get everything out I can get set to work with the bleach.  Not impressed at all.  Needs sorting as I really do want to do my jam and chutneys tomorrow.  Some of the fresh stuff I bought yesterday was due to go into the freezer so I am going to have to find some alternative recipes in the jam jelly and chutney line and I have curds to do as well.  I did get my last batch of orange and lemon cleaning vinegar decanted into bottles, so that I can start another batch in due course.

                      We have had the fence done and they have done a really good job a nice really solid fence; only I fell down a hidden post hole during the week and cut and grazed my legs quite badly as well as going back on my ankle.  I shall have to take more gin in it in future.

                      And the pillows I bought yesterday for my bed they are not feather ones like I normally get but I am really impressed with them and got a really comfortable sleep on them last night.  As I say back to Dunhelm tomorrow.

                      Right now I have had five minutes and rested my side I am going to have another go at the freezer.  Doesn't look as though I am going to get an early night tonight.

                      I suppose the moral of today's calamaties is its not what happens that is important but how you cope with it at the end of the day.

                      Right dust myself down out come the marigolds and the bleach.  I will see you anon.


                      Catch you when I can

                      Take care wherever you may be

                      Much love

                      Pattypan

                      xxc

                      Saturday, 25 August 2012

                      I've been to the veg shop today

                      After weeks where I haven't had time to do anything really substantial I landed at the veg shop this morning and had a very successful shop I have the following to deal with over the course of the next few days:
                      • 4 Cauliflowers 80 pence each [destined for home made cauliflower cheese to be stored in foil containers in the freezer] £3.20 (we love cauliflower cheese but it is a bit of  a bind to make it each time you need it so I came up with this way of doing it
                      • 4 bags of peppers [basically I just deseed them and cut them into thin strips and throw into bags in the freezer] [reduced to 50pence per bag = £2.00 (they can be added frozen into my chicken and peach dish or in stir frys
                      • 5kg of tomatoes [destined for some passata sauce if I can some more jars tomorrow] £1 x 5  = £5.00
                      • 2kg vine tomatoes
                      • 2 punnets of plum cherry tomatoes (going to be used on home made pizza, with fresh basil leaves and some mozzarella or goats cheese then drizzled with home made basil olive oil and some anchovies.
                      • 1kg of red onions [destined either to go into a chutney or a red onion and garlic relish] £0.50
                      • 1 large sack of potatoes £6.75
                      • 4kg jet black plums £4.00 [Destined for some jam and some chutney]
                      • 6 fresh corn on the cob £1.20 for 3 = £2.40 for 6
                      • 2 trays of lemon £1 per tray £2.00 [destined for some lemon curd]
                      • 2 trays of clementines £1 per tray  = £2.00 [destined for clementine curd]
                      • 6kg sweet eating apples thought I would use these to make some apple puree and also some apple and herb jelly and I thought I would also have a go at some apple cheese (you get two for one out of the apples the juice for the jelly and then you pop the pulp through a sieve or a mouligrater and then make the cheese) and I have mint, chives, lemon verbena, sage and I can lay my hands on some rosemary so I thought it would be a good opportunity to get some jellies made and put up so that we can bring a flavour of summer to the winter months and if there are still any left over I may put on a batch of apple pop  and also some ginger beer too]
                      • 2 tubs strawberries (best served simply with some cream or Cornish Ice Cream)
                      • 1 large bunch of bananas (to be used in Banana Cake
                      • 1 cucumber
                      • 2 melons
                      I have been and bought some butter for the lemon curd and some sugar.  I have also bought some more white vinegar as in the  spirit of waste not want not the skins from the lemons and the oranges will get turned into lemon or orange vinegar for cleaning purposes. I have a batch to bottle up and so it would seem an advantageous moment to get the next batch on.

                      So yes I have probably spent a little more than normal but at the prices I couldn't afford not to take up the option of acquiring them I have a lot to do, but it will keep me out of mischief and its stuff I love doing in any event and my preserving is way behind this year and I am hoping to get caught up and get plenty of goodies put up in the next few weeks.

                      Tomorrow we have to go to the butchers to top up with some meat and other bits and bobs.

                       I went to Dunhelm this morning and bought some new pillows for the bed and wanted to have a look round.  I ended up having a scrap with OH because I wanted to go back in and he wanted to play with his computer -  he will take me back tomorrow as there a few things that I want to price up like new cotton sheets I noticed that Dunhelm had some Eygptian cotton ones I have a super king mattress so I buy the larger sheets.  I also need to stock up on towels bedding etc. but really I want to have a good look round to see what they have so that I can budget over the next few months for things and I do like good quality bedding linen and towels.  I also want to see what wool Dunhelm have

                      Yesterday I managed to get some more cream wool to carry on with my cream yellow and green single blanket that I am still working away at should be snuggly  and no one else will have a blanket quite like it; that's why I like making my own things

                      We have a right royal storm going on at the moment constant thundering, and showers or rain and the sky has darkened quite a bit seems as if autumn is arriving little by little must get out and make the most of the blackberries that are out.

                      In the next few weeks I want to get quite a few things done I am primarily in the first instance loooking to do a couple of batches of piccalilili and also some stock paste for adding to home made gravies.  Much of what I buy is just raw ingredients.  I am hoping to get quite a bit done we will have to see what happens.

                      Right I had better get on have quite a lot to do.

                      Catch up soon

                      Pattypan

                      xx

                      Wednesday, 22 August 2012

                      Busy mind little action

                      I seem to go into periods where my mind is overactive and all sorts of planning and plotting goes on, but in reality I seem to get very little done or I become impeded in what I would like to do.  Such is a time for me at the moment, where the thought processes are going on and I am backwards and forwards to work slogging away with a little chill out time with close friends and then back on the wheel again.  Then of course there is the thought process whereby those ideas and all the plotting and planning needs to be translated into words, thoughts and feelings ie communication and this is where it becomes very difficult for me; trying to convey those things that I would like to do without offending or upsetting anyone in the process.  Its a fine line often that we walk but sometimes you just have to do some of those things that you want to do without compromise to satisfy your own inner needs.  However whenever I try and do anything for myself I think perhaps I am being selfish, but in reality that down time is sorely needed in order to recharge and be able to put another firm step upon a long path. 

                      I desperately need some me time at the moment - but I need to rearrange the furniture upstairs and the house needs tidying again before I can sit and meditate and start finding just a little time in order to focus on what really is important and I need to do it to get things back on track again.

                      The wheel is moving again; evidence of this is that they have come to fix the fence in the garden they are replacing all of it but in the process have wrecked the garden so I envisage that if the weather is okay I will be spending this weekend starting to try and get the garden back into shape; when all I really want to do is go down to Cornwall have a holiday dip my toes in the sand and have a paddle in the sea and just chill and simply be me but I cannot see it happening just yet.

                      So back to practicalities I need to focus and get the house and garden tidy again and then perhaps once the practical furniture rearranging has happened I can start to get upstairs sorted as well and get my thoughts and plans into some sort of order so that when indeed these plans etc come to fruition that the maximum return is gleaned.  In other words I need to sort out the wood from the trees and have a bonfire with all those items excess to requirements or pass them on to another place.  Well that's the theory its not always easy letting go.

                      Right now that I have had a deep and meaningful and have started to unlock the communication issue I had better toddle off to work.

                      Love and light to everyone hope you have a super day

                      Catch you soon

                      Pattypan

                      xx

                      Sunday, 19 August 2012

                      So far today...

                      I have been on my own and it has been brilliant - no one to argue with time on my hands to play and do the things I want to have a go at and generally have a good play.  I have found the bits that I was looking for so pasta here we come.

                      I have also had a sort out in a couple of my kitchen cupboards to see what equipment I have actually got and reackerfurbitate items a bit better so they fit into the cupboards.

                      Last week I came across a very interesting article about Tiger Bread and making it at home.  Here is the link from my friend Moontide of Going my Own Way.http://goingmyownway-moontide.blogspot.co.uk/2012/08/tiger-rolls.html  I just loved the look of those buns that  he had made and  as we are very partial to Tiger Bread in this household I decided to have a go myself; so that is what I have been doing.  The mixture has gone into my Panasonic Bread machine and is busy prepping as we speak.  The paste is curing on the window sill and I have my Panasonic on the pizza setting.  It seems to use a lot of yeast, but we will see how things go.

                      Here the buns are proving



                      And here they are finished.  Must say that I love this little recipe to bits and the buns are massive some of the better ones I have made.




                      These buns are absolutely scrummy I have made a second batch and they haven't come out too badly either so we are stocked up for buns for the next few days.  I would say however that I had some paste left over from the first batch and did not make a fresh mix but used up what I had.  To get the pristine results you need to make the paste fresh with each batch.

                      The pasta will be made nearer the time that I will come to use it, served with fresh basil, cheese and the meat balls together with a rich tomato sauce it should be scrummy (we are just about to have this)


                      I am also going to make some flapjacks here's a link to my regular recipe that I use
                      http://tarragonnthyme.blogspot.co.uk/2009/07/pattypans-flapjacks.html

                      I am also going to make a couple of cakes for the cake tin.  See separate post for recipe.

                      If I get chance I might also put some tea cakes into the bread machine as well.

                      It would be nice to really get sorted with everything I have available to me to use.  My kitchen is just not big enough at the moment.

                      Photos to follow

                      Pattypan
                      xx

                      Morning

                      I have been awake since 5.30 a.m. having had all the windows upstairs open overnight as it has been far too warm as a result my sleep has been disturbed but I have just laid resting in the quiet until feeling the need to stir.  I didn't pop any of the spray on before going to bed, as I had had a reasonably good day yesterday; but this morning my back has been giving me some serious jip so I have put the one application on.  I don't intend to use it all the time just when it is too much for me to be reasonably comfortable.

                      OH has now departed for work and I have time to myself he will probably be home about 5.00 pm and I just now have some time to chill.  I am out tomorrow evening so I intend to make a batch of flapjacks to take with me a little later on and if the fancy takes me I might add one or two more items to the baking list and I have new gadgets i.e. the pie maker and the pop cake maker to use and I still want to play with the home made cheese.  I must say I feel very restricted on storage in my kitchen which is only a tiny galley kitchen with no where enough storage for all my kitchen equipment and also on the preserving storage front here as it is not big enough for what I want to do but beggars cannot be choosers and at the end of the day we have to make the best of what is available to us

                      However to start with I am on a mission; I had intended making home made pasta last evening to go with meatballs and tomato sauce but i have mislaid some of the items that I wish to use so I will have to track them down first but we will get there in the end.  I have been rather taken with the programme Simply Italian which is on Channel 4 on a Monday night about 8.30 p.m.  I love the freshness, simplicity and passion that Michaela Chiappa introduces to this lovely little programme.  It is well worth the watch a Welsh Italian presenter passionate about food it is a heady combination.

                      Here's the link for her recipe for basic pasta dough


                      I am going to take the opportunity to play and simply be today the house is quiet just me and Missy and its nice to just go aahh! I could desperately do with a holiday by the sea at the moment, just to go down to Cornwall to drink in the beauty of the whole area which is a feast in itself, paddle in the sea, go beach combing, rock pooling letting the inner child free.  I have never been one much for sun bathing but sometimes its nice just to sit and soak a little sun up even though I cannot sit for very long as being fair I get belted something rotten as a child I always had to cover up on the beach. I just wish I could live down there- there always seems to be this constant call in my heart that I belong down there which I cannot seem to get away from; it keeps coming back and each time it does the call and the strum gets louder more persistent.  I want to follow my heart but we always have to weigh up the pros and cons.  One day.  We each have to follow our own heart beat our own adventures

                      The programme is well worth the watch and Channel 4 have created their own Scrapbook facility which is well worth a look at too so that you can add those recipes and items of interest to a safe store

                      Right am off to potter hope you have a lovely day

                      Catch up soon

                      Pattypan

                      xxx

                      Friday, 17 August 2012

                      Pain Relief

                      All this week I have had sciatica and have not been sleeping too well the weather hasn't been helping either.  I have been doing all the usual things but I must say I have been in a bit of a grump because of the discomfort (those of you who suffer on a regular basis with pain will know what I am on about as the pain does wear you down), but I am intent to keep on moving no matter what.  Today I have been particularly bad as I did not sleep too well at all with the sciatica and cramp all down my right leg and pain in the base of my back a very restless sleep not helped that a couple of nights this week I have gone extremely cold.

                      I hobbled in to work this morning and my boss bless her had bought a spray in for me to try which helps with the pain relief all made from natural ingredients which impressed me even more.  I decided to give it a whirl and went to the ladies and sprayed my lower back and my left calf muscle which was particularly bad thinking that perhaps it was a novelty and would not worked.  It has worked lovely for me and I have been comfortable for the best part of the day. 

                      The spray is called Biofreeze  working with something called cryotherapy which goes on cold and then warms the muscles up in the body.  You gradually warm up. It does not smell unpleasant.  It is a temporary solution to help with pain control and I must say I am very impressed. It works by penetrating heat to give long lasting pain relief from arthritis sore muscles and joints and back pain.  Apparently you get it from Boots don't know how much it is but it is something I am going to get.  The pain I get varies drastically from day to day - I can go days with a minimum amount of pain and then every so often I get a stinker (like today) when it affects every part of your body and affects how I work how I think - in other words I don't fire on all systems; but this spray just the once over first thing and I have been reasonably comfortable for the best part of the day.  It says on the bottle not for extensive use, i.e. more than seven days.  Thought I would mention as I know quite a few of you out there have similar problems and anything that makes coping easier is well worth the investment.

                      Pattypan

                      xx

                      Whiff of Autumn

                      My apologies for not posting so much just recently real life has got in the way quite a bit - we have some work scheduled on the house (ie they are going to skim the kitchen walls as the pain will not stay on the walls I have two new doors to come sink unit and new toilet and cistern and with me walking to and from work every day now It leaves me precious time of an evening to get everything sorted in time as I have found I am also going to bed earlier than I used to.  We are also having new fencing put in th the garden and once that is sorted we may be able to reclaim the garden so that I can get it ready for growing veggies next year.

                      On my way home of an evening I have been managing to pick a few blackberries and bring them home and depositing them in the freezer.  Last night I ventured into our jungle of a garden and found blackberries.  I have picked about a kg and quickly deposited them in the freezer as I have no time to process them this weekend.  Come pay day I am going to have a bit of a session with the jams and some marmalades.  However I am going to get OH to take me to our normal blackberry grounds which are quite away from the house as I want to get quite a few put into the freezer for puddings and jam but I also want to bottle some in small jars for use with yogurt for breakfast or with home made pancakes or for thickening up and using to seal a victoria sponge together with whipped cream.  There ae lots of other things you can do like blackberry curd to spread thickly with fresh cream between scones and perhaps a few fresh berries for decoration. or blackberry whisky for a quick nip in those cooler months to come.  I have cherry wine and orange wine to get on the go and some beer (both are esconced in the freezer) so potentially a lot of things to do.

                      So things have been a bit hectic and a bit messy to say the least.  It doesn't help that at the weekends I have been busy too sometimes going out which tends to put me back a little in getting things done but everybody has to have some play time.

                      I am out tomorrow also with some very good like minded friends although the time flies when we all get together and start gassing.

                      Sunday I have for the best part to myself as OH is working so hopefully I will be able to regain a bit of ground then.

                      I am still beavering away at my crotchet blanket and my tablecloths so a little more on these might be achieved sometime during Sunday.

                      Well will have to fly I have to walk to work.

                      Catch up soon and take care

                      Pattypan

                      xx

                      Sunday, 12 August 2012

                      Escapism

                      Sorry I haven't been around again for a few days I have rediscovered one of my early passions in life of reading.  I haven.t had much time for it of late.  I was taught from an early age that if you have a book you always have a friend.  I have also found myself reading when I want to escape my real life when I am not coping with things (it happens periodically)  and just give myself a breather.  Unfortunately when I read I am anti social and tend to closet myself off and escape into the plot of of a good book where I become the character and am besotted to the end of the book.  Unfortunately I am not a the end of the book yet; I have had a lay in where I have been reading but OH has moaned to me to get up (possibly because I have left one of the back rooms in a blinking mess , so I had better go on,  if I had my way I would still be curled up with my book deeply engrossed.  Will have to wait until later on before I can continue but I am not impressed at the interruption (my first husband hated me reading and the current partner does not seem to cope either  - both it would seem wanted/want my constant attention!  

                      Talking of the back bedroom I started sorting it yesterday and I have found a couple of books that I had forgotten about together with a whole box of books I had forgotten I had.  They are now on my reading bookshelf in my bedroom there is a series of books about King Arthur the Cyrstal Cave etc; a load of Noel Barbers and books that I have kept stemming back to holidays when I was a teenager. Wuthering Heights Jayne Eyre.  I am sort of stacking things a bit better, getting rid of the rubbish and re-acquainting myself with those well loved tomes I have .  I am beyond recoverable where my books are concerned - lost cause but then I do get a lot of pleasure out of them and my books are always in constant use.   No doubt I shall find more as the day goes on.  I also have a further stack of magazines to sort out.

                      On the handicrafts front I am still beavering away at my yellow, green and cream single bed blanket.  I have run out of the cream wool but still have the green and yellow so will work the rest of that and then get the cream at the end of the month when hopefully I will be able to complete that one and get it out of the way.  I have also been hemming one of the tablecloths that I prepared with the overlocker a while or so back, That is all tacked up ready to whizz round on the machine.  I have a further two to do and then it will be Izzy whizzy lets get busy with the sewing machine. so I have been doing things just not as much as I really wanted to do.

                      Right upwards and onwards back to the back bedroom.

                      Catch you all later on

                      Pattypan

                      xx

                      Monday, 6 August 2012

                      Preserving bits and bobs

                      On Friday I popped into Wilkinsons and found quite a display of the Kilner preserving items and yet I went Ouch at the price, although bore in mind in case I could not get what I was after elsewhere.

                      I have seen packs of three medium sized jars for about £7 at  Lakeland which are not a bad buy as well.

                      Yesterday I also had an unexpected trip out to Dunhelm Mill; its the first time I have been in the last 18 months or so and I am glad I did.  The reason why I am so excited is that they are the cheapest place I have come across for proper Kilner jars and associated items, including replacement seals.  I was able to obtain four of the smaller jars at £1.19 each  Often it is the smaller jars you need for bits and bobs.  The inner seals are also £3 or so compared to nearly £5 elsewhere..

                      They also do the smaller sized glass jars ideal for making home made pate 

                      Here are the jars I obtained yesterday, hadn't got much money on me but they will come in useful.  Anyway here is the relevant web page - for ordering on line.








                      They will be the ideal size for preserving blueberries, redcurrants, mandarin segments, etc or for doing jam in.


                      They also do Le Parfait products and especially the size for making home made pate


                      They also do their own style Kilner jars which for the standard jar worked out at 89pence each (although I haven't found them on their website yet).  I shall be going back to get stocked up a little on the old bottling jars.

                      They had lots of other goodies to including a craft department.  Shows its been a long while since I last went.

                      Right am off to get ready for a busy day at work.  I will try and get back later on but I am out for a little while this evening.

                      Catch you soon.

                      Sunday, 5 August 2012

                      Weekly roundup

                       Its been a busy old week and next week looks as though it is going to be just as busy.

                      Wednesday 

                      It was the monthly meeting of the group I belong to the Psychic and Spiritual Fellowship for any of you in the Peterborough area who are interested in spiritualism and the opportunity of a reading we hold a monthly meeting on the first Wednesday in the month.  Please see here for more information http://www.jacquelinelesley.com/psychic.htm and for the programme.

                      Last Wednesday three of the mediums I train with held the evening between them and they have grown in leaps and bounds; it was a very successful evening.  And indeed some of the mediums will be holding a readings evening at the Plough Inn Farcet Fen this coming Wednesday evening for any of you wanting to get in touch with loved ones   Please see the details here http://theploughonline.com/4438/what-s-on  I do so hope that you will be able to make it; all the girls belong to the Psychic and Spiritual Fellowship and it makes for a good evening out.  So if you live in Peterborough and have a few minutes to spare why not pop along. Hopefully we will see you there.

                      Saturday

                      Yesterday I thought was going to be a pottering day at Pattypans, but it couldn't have been further from the truth.  I ended up spending the best part of the day at my friends home meeting up with two much loved friends who I hadn't seen for sometime and it was a wonderful day of shared friendship, Spiritual work, card reading and just being good friends together.  We each had a go with a different set of cards reading for each other so that was three sets of cards, passed round each of us x 3 and it was good to catch up on some skills which I thought were rusty but which were not that far adrift and with cards I wasn't used to so I was quite chuffed.  The readings were centred on a question that each of us asked for confirmation of.  I asked whether I would be moving house and the reading confirmed that this was literally on the cards and that my home life would be a lot happier, that my debts would get paid off and I would not have to struggle as hard as I have done with money in the future.  This is the second reading I have had that confirmed a house move.


                       [I would mention here that due to the Gas Board not reading the meter for the gas and electric and despite us paying £100 per month towards the gas and the electric three years ago we ended up in deep dooh dooh  (OH lost his job then as well) the cumulative total for the gas and electricity was just under £2,000.00.  To help pay the bill off and then get electric and gas that we could pay for we had a card meter installed for both services which took £5 per week towards the outstanding debt each time you filled the cards up.  I have never mentioned this to my friend or to anyone else before but last week we received confirmation that we had paid this debt off in full.  It has been a long hard three years but having the card has helped us realistically budget how much we need to put on the gas and electric.  During the winter months this has worked out at £25 per week for the gas and £15 every week for the electric.  So if you find yourself in a similar situation try and deal with things this way on it is hard but it does prove with a little patience that you can sort things out in the long run.

                      The first reading indicating a house move was one I had around this time last year with a medium that I did not know.  She told me last year that from June onwards this year I would want to move, that things would not be easy for a while.  she felt that I was better in countryside conditions and an older property house not new.  She foresaw that I would move to said conditions.  The name of the property would be closely associated with a tree i.e a name like cherry tree cottage  or would have tree in the name and that there were orchards and land for growing my own and that it was near water and that this would be my forever home.  I could only foresee this happening if I won the lottery, but it is my dream and the medium knocked the nail directly on the head with this even though she did not know me.  She also told me I was a healer!  There was a lot more but this was the bit that related to my time yesterday with my friends.

                      The other thing that came through from the readings yesterday is that it is a time of rebirth for me and that quite possibly a change of occupation.  We will have to see what happens, but it would be lovely if it did realise itself.  I will keep you informed!

                      Sunday

                      I haven't been up to much today feeling a bit under the weather couldn't sleep last night and unusually for me was up at 4.00 am making myself a cup of tea so I feel decidedly under the weather today, but that has not stopped me doing something.  I have been sat crocheting.  I am in the middle of a blanket that I started a little while ago and have managed to do quite a bit and I am aiming to get this one done as quickly as I can.  This is for a single bed and I am working it in width 4 squares across x the length of a single bed.  I had worked about 16 squares but did not think that it would be big enough so I have given the squares well 8 of them so far a cream border.  I have another 8 to work and then some more squares to work with what wool I have left am not sure am going to have enough coloured wool left but I thought that if I used the cream to pad it out it would not look too far out of place.  I must say I am pleased with my tension on this one so far there isn't that much variance between the squares.  I bought the wool a little while ago and I must say I wish I had bought more at the time as I would quite like to make another one as I have a double duvet set to match. I tend to buy things and then make stuff to go with them so you have pretty stuff with something no one else has.  Never mind will try and match the colours up with the wool and see if I can get another throw on the go later on.  The beauty of home made throws is that they are lovely and snugly.





                      We have had torrential rain this afternoon again; I ended up putting towels by the back door again as the rain came flooding in, not only through the door but the glass in the door too.  Most frustrating and I am having a new door/s these are totally shot.  

                      As a result of me taking things steady we ended up having tea far later than I had originally envisaged and I still set too and cooked the full proper roast.  A piece of pork; lots of crackling carrots, peas, cauliflower, beans, peas, broccoli, roast potatoes gravy and apple sauce swiftly followed by strawberries and cream and it went down extremely well.


                      I am not going to be late to bed tonight with it being a work day tomorrow and we have another busy week ahead of us.  I am really ready for a holiday and could do with a week down in Cornwall just to chill, (I just love Cornwall as we usually go somewhere nice and quiet like here  (and I mean this place is lovely and unspoilt and absolutely spotless; so quiet the perfect chill out holiday it is situate in a small valley in the middle of nowhere about four miles from the sea - perfect if your OH is into fishing as they have five lakes, and lots of unspoilt countryside - the deer sometimes come in the valley and the family who own it are keen on conservation).  They also have their own pub which serves lovely grub and the pints not bad too. http://www.st-tinney.co.uk/) but I cannot see it coming off somehow as I need funds to go and they are not readily available at the moment bar winning the lottery but oh I could so do with the break and the peace and quiet down there.

                      September is going to be a busy month as I am hopefully going to start the training for my Masters Level in Reiki, which I am quite looking forward to doing.  It is something that is a little overdue and there are other irons in the fire so to speak of things going on behind the scenes that I am hoping will materialise ( from small acorns mighty oaks just grow) - just waiting for opportunities or to make my own opportunities grasp the nettle so to speak.

                      And then call it serendipity coincidence whatever you would like to but one of the sites I follow popped this little gem up so I thought I would share it with you and then lets see what happens.



                      I am cream crackered and am going to snuggle up in bed.

                      Catch you all soon and hope you all have a lovely week to come.

                      Pattypan

                      xx

                      Wednesday, 1 August 2012

                      Home Made Mint Sauce

                      One of my earliest memories is being at my Nan's with her and my mother being in the kitchen working away as usual. If you wanted to be with my Nan you had to be where she was as she was always on the go and rarely sat down for a break.  I was always a curious child a trait that is still with me today.  I used to watch and listen drinking in knowledge without realising it as my Nan or my Mum went rythmically about their tasks.    One of which was making home made mint sauce first stripping away the leaves from the stems and chopping the freshly plucked fragrant mint a very finely.  Chopping with a sharp knife at the mint sprinkled either with a pinch of salt or sugar to give some purchase to the knife. Some of it I have frozen and at other times I have put up a few jars of long keeping mint sauce as well so that I can get the best of both worlds from the stores I have popped up for darker days.

                      With all the rain that we have been having this year my mint in my herb border has gone into overdrive and I have been making copious amounts of fresh Mint sauce to pep up some of the meals we have been having.  We are rather partial to minted lamb steaks which  make a quick simple meal in any event and less oven time than a joint in any event.  Although it is also superb mixed into plain yogurt to make your own mint raita for a home made curry as well.

                      First we strip the leaves from their stems and then gather together the leaves

                      Then we start to chop the leaves with a nice sharp knife, this may take a little while to get down to the required texture but it is worth it


                      To give purchase to the blade and to give it some grit in which to chop the mint down I sprinkle in a pinch of sugar or a pinch of salt

                       Once it is down to the required texture I then add a drop of vinegar and some hot water or some wine and hot water

                       And here to make your mouth water is one of my minted lamb chop meals with extra home made fresh mint sauce


                      If you want to pop up the chopped mint leaves into the freezer pop the pulp into the ice cube tray and then top up with either a little water (if going to use for general use perhaps the best way to do it or just for mint sauce add a drop of vinegar and then pop into the freezer to set.  Once solid decant into bags marked up with the relevant herb in it and then when you need a little mint just liberate a mint cube should make enough for two  as a little goes a long way with this.

                      Alternatively you could make some long keeping mint sauce for the pantry shelf.

                      Here are a couple of links to some previous posts I have published if you want some more ideas on how to use this very fragrant herb

                      http://tarragonnthyme.blogspot.co.uk/2009/05/mint_11.html

                      http://tarragonnthyme.blogspot.co.uk/2009/06/mint-recipes-2.html

                      Catch you soon

                      Take care

                      Pattypan

                      xx

                      Meet the Moggies

                      • Merlin (approx 18 months)
                      • Squeak (approx 2 years)
                      • Poppy (approx 16 years)
                      • Tyson (approx 17 years)
                      • Tinky (official name Clover approx 18 years)