Sunday, 1 December 2013

Patchwork cooking and a social conscience

I am still stockpiling shirts in order to have a go at my first patchwork quilt and this morning I have managed to acquire two more to go with the several other shirts I already have in my stash.  I still need a few more but they will come in time.
I am hoping to start cutting what fabric I do have during the Christmas break when I have some  time to myself and can concentrate once all the humdrum has calmed down. I need to ground myself and produce something practical at the same time.  I love the charm of quilts and how much love has been placed in each stitch or each creation producing something cosy and warm to snuggle up into such bliss such individuality.  To me the warmth a home made quilt brings is magical especially as so many are pieced out of the smallest scraps of fabric.

I also like home knitted or crocheted blankets as they add so much comfort and cheer.  I aim for next year to learn how to knit aran style and make some aran style throws for the home in neutral colours they seem to be very in at the moment in the shops and the prices and the quality of some of the cheaper ones is not very good or is that me just being plain fussy.

 With the best will in the world I do try and support my local charity shops but pay through the nose I will not and to some extent charity begins at home  it has to. I am very aware that there are lots of families who are feeling the pain especially where food and heating are concerned.  I just wish some of the bigger charities would concentrate on a little home help now and again instead of focusing all their efforts abroad. Supporting courses that will teach people to cook and teach them how to shop properly and feed their families instead of relying on ready meals which in our household are not a hearty sized meal.  A lot of our pensioners could help here as a lot of them have immense knowledge gained through real experience - my mother for one was a child in the second world war and has always been a practical sensible cook as she knew real hunger during the war years as there were ten children in the family in a two up two down and they made the most of whatever came their way. Granddad was in the Royal Artillery and prior to the war had had an allotment which had fed the family but on his departure they had no one of an age to tend the allotment so that cut off an important fresh food source for them.

I managed to get 3 baskets of plums the other day £1 a basket = 3kg of plums which I am bottling in sugar syrup for the pantry shelf.  This will provide at least four puddings whether turned into a pie or crumble served with custard - two of  the jars are destined for sugar plums for the Christmas festivities. 

I have also been given a load of apples and I prepared apple sauce earlier in the week which can equally be used for puddings. I have also prepared two jars of sliced apples in sugar syrup which yet again drained can go for a pie or a crumble and the juice can be added to some lemonade for a drink - there is no need to waste a bit of anything.

So I have at least 8 puddings provided for in effect.  Puddings are just as good a filler as a main meal especially when you cannot afford a lot of meat, although a main meal can be padded out with stuffings and Yorkshire puddings (we use them with all meats).  And a soup can easily be made from leftovers as a starter.  A meal for a family of four can be prepared quickly and cheaply in a pressure cooker especially with the cost of fuel these days.  There are ways and means its just accessing the information and acquiring the skills.  It comes down to choices as well you either want to feed your family properly but that requires a bit of an effort and extra work but good food also keeps your family healthy and to me its worth it.



We should be mixing the generations up and breaking down the barriers and helping each other as each  of us has something to bring to the table no matter what our age or our differences.

1 comment:

  1. I agree with everything you have said and think it is a shame that this doesn't get introduced to the less academic classes in schools, so starting the skills before the young folk leave home. Most pensioners would LOVE to pass on their skills and have a reason to get out and meet new people.

    You have been busy. I just have several of apples which are being used for fresh puddings and cakes as I make them.


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