Saturday, 31 December 2016


For all your kind thoughts and best wishes.  I am slowly getting there but finding it difficult being inactive and i keep dropping off to sleep all over the shop.  I am resting however i see the surgeon again next week so we shall see how we get on then.

I am still experiencing major problems with the internet on my main computer. At least now i can use facebook and blogger from my phone.  I am not keen on the phone for preparing posts and prefer my main keyboard where i can rattle off things pretty quickly.  However on the phone it is a one fingered effort and painfully slow.

Just in case i cannot access the internet tomorrow may i thank you all for your support in reading my ramblings over the past year and to wish you all a happy loving and healthy new year.  Love to you all.  Pattypan

PS hopefully will be back to normal service shortly.  Fingers crossed and toes plaited.


Sunday, 25 December 2016

Its the simple things thst mean the most

This year i handed over responsibility for Christmas dinner to the oh and despite the meal being later than usual he has not done too bad a job.  Although i think he was disappointed as he is normally cooked for.  But credit where credit is due we have had a decent meal and i have been able to rest.  I overdid it yesterday and ended up with the most horrendous cramps in both legs top to bottom. So i have rested more today.

Really in simple terms we all celebrate in our own ways and with ourvown customs and traditions but at the end of the day it comes down to making the most of what you have and appreciating anything or everything that comes your way. You learn that way and sort out things that are relevant for next time round.  We have a roof over our heads a lovely meal in our stomachs. More than enough to be grateful for.

However today has also been about remembering those no longer with us and being grateful for family and close friends.  Thank you for being on my journey thus far and for the journeys yet to be taken.  Whether that be for a short time a season or a lifetime.  Thank you for being there
 Merry Christmas and catch you soon.

Pattypan xx

Saturday, 24 December 2016

Merry Christmas

To everyone hope its everything you want it to be and so much more. Enjoy love and be happy.

Update while i can. Major internet problems at home which have also neen upsettong phone.  So have had no internet at all.  and very hit and miss. Thank you all for your good wishes in respect of my recent surgery.  All jas gone reasonably well to date and i have to go and see the surgeon at the beginning of january. I have been very sore and when i have overdone things my foot goes tight.  However i am getting there very slowly. Being unable to do things has had a knock on effect with my christmad preparations but i can only do what i can do.  Hope you are all tickety booh and in case i cannot get back on line again have a lovely christmas and enjoy every moment.  For once i am going to put my feet up
  Catch you when i can.  Pattypan xx

Sunday, 4 December 2016

Having a go at Candlemaking

I have been inspired to have a go at a new craft and as a result I have sent off for some basic materials via Ebay to have a play.  All stemming from the fact that I saw this tutorial for candle making using a slow cooker.

I thought it might be good to stockpile a few items ready for the coming year and I have sent for a variety of oils as well.  I liked the simplicity of this and it will prove useful for making pressies for friends and relatives.  You have to try new things every now and again.  I love candlelight anyway there is something soothing and restful about candlelight and if it smells good even better.

Another thing off my check list to have a go at.   I also want to have a go at making rolled candles from beeswax sheets and some scented melts as well.  Will have to see how things go.  One thing at a time.

Another thing that I would like to have a go at is soap making as well.  I have recently found a lovely soap in Holland and Barrett it smells absolutely divine and I even use the soap on my face  - which I do not normally as normal soap tends to be a little too harsh but this is absolutely fantastic and smells wonderful.  It has some exotic flower oil in it as well as fig and I absolutely love it.  I know you can make soap from goats milk so if I can fathom the combination it may be one that I will have a go at in due course.

I have an urge and a need to try new things at the moment.  New experiences and new things help the soul to fly - and we all have to do that every now and again.

Catch you soon.




4kg of soy wax has arrived but I am still waiting for the other bits and bobs to have a go at making my own candles.  I hope they arrive in the next few days so that I can have a play.

Catch you soon.


Stinking Bishop

Well our highly amoratic Stinking Bishop has arrived together with a note from the Post Office extremely apologetic about the state of the item and inviting us to make a claim about it  not being in good condition.  It had been wrapped well in a padded parcel pack but the Post Office had wrapped it in a polythene bag and put this notice on.  I did chuckle to myself - perhaps it would not be a good idea to try and explain to them exactly what it was.  However pleasing in one sense that they were taking responsibility for something they have no responsibility for.  Its meant to stink that's why it is called Stinking Bishop!

Anyways I am extremely pleased with the very prompt service.  The providers suggest that we keep it in a separate sealable container in the fridge so that the fridge does not become over-scented so that is where it is in a container with a lid all ready for us to tuck into. 

Now I need some Camembert as well  - we love it baked in the oven with garlic, and then served with dipping sticks until it is all gooey and melted.  That comes in a wooden box as well.  Same treatment in a container I think.  Good simple food washed down by a nice cider or perry or shandy.  I shall soon be mulling the wine and the cider.

Catch you soon.



Saturday, 3 December 2016

Saturday Round up

Well its been a busy day; we have had the light today although it has been very cold.  OH has the shed all built up - the roof needs to be felted and he is part way there with the electrics and I am therefore very hopeful that tomorrow we can start moving things in once the roof is felted and the electrics finished.  I am extremely pleased with things thus far - however it has taken longer than originally anticipated to get it built.  But these things are sent to try us.  At long last things are going in the right direction.

We have had a lovely tea tonight a steak pie together with mashed potato, mashed swede, cauliflower, broccoli, peas and lashings of gravy.  So I am now officially stuffed.  OH is officially shattered and is sprawled.  With him being diabetic I have made sure that as a result of the unusual exertion his body has need of more fuel to restock his reserves and keep his blood sugar stable. He is now sprawled recharging!

We have to go shopping for a few more things for the shed sometime tomorrow and there are some other bits and bobs I want as well.

I also want some plants to put outside the back door leading up to the shed.  We do not use the front door so the back door is our main access point.  I intend to do the door wreaths for the front door and also the back door.  I would quite like some winter roses as well.  They always look spectacular. I have my eye on a couple of bay standard trees in pots, some box balls, a couple of mini Christmas trees in pots and some proper candle lanterns.  I had also had an idea to do some hanging baskets filled with Ivy but when I looked at the shop the other day the Ivy was not in particularly good nick. I want it to trail over the sides of the baskets and maybe pop in some other plants on top. They had some nice planters at Waitrose the other day.  Will have to wait and see what materialises.   Right other things to do and tomorrow is another day.

Catch you soon.



Kitchen Tales - The Fermentation Shelf

I have sourdough starter, Kefir water crystals, Kefir milk crystals and Kombucha to get on the go as well as a new recipe for ginger beer which uses golden sultanas as a base for the starter.  It is a recipe in a Darina Allen cookery book that I have and is very different to the ones that I have come across before.  Each has their own container to go into and to brew in.

I have been buying Milk Kefir for sometime now from the Polish shop around the corner and I like it.  The water Kefir and the Kombucha are new to me and so it will be a case of trying and seeing whether or not I like them.  OH surprisingly said the other day that he wanted to have a go at making Sourdough bread and I did not say anything because by that time I had my starter.  I think it is a wholemeal starter  So we will have to see what happens.  In any event I intend to start a white one off as well.

Why have I gone for these products  - basically because they are naturally probiotic and people with long term medical conditions have been helped so much by them taking these natural products wherein normal medication or other options had failed to help them.  I think its a case of if it works for you then use it and help yourself.  I think they will be good not only for me but OH as well.

I also have yogurt to make so I will well and truly have a fermentation shelf on the go by the time I have finished. 

I also have bought in some natural yogurt in large tubs as I intend to put some yogurt ice cream with fruit puree down into the freezer.  However the shed has to be done first - OH is hoping to get that done this weekend in the daylight so that he can see what he is doing.  Then I should be able to get the freezers emptied into their new homes, cleaned down and re-organised and sorted and then hopefully I should be able to get the yogurt ice creams made and into the freezer.  We use a lot of natural yogurt as it is good for people on long term medication - have it with breakfast or an Actimel so it puts a lining on your stomach so you absorb your medication properly without it damaging your stomach lining. 

I got all of my starters off ebay for £10 the lot and it is the proper crystals and comes with very specific instructions.

I also have Apple Pop and Ginger beer to start so quite a few to keep me busy.

Catch you soon.



Kitchen Tales Dairy Preserves and Cheese Related items.

I have more Feta to store in Oil and also mixed oriental mushrooms also to preserve in oil for OH like I did last year. I also have little bunches of herbs drying in the pantry as well as fresh herbs for use with the oils and the cheeses and some chilli.  However I do need to get hold of some oyster mushrooms to do the same with - I just love oyster mushrooms especially when they have been fried in butter and used as a hot dressing over salad leaves.  Scrummy.  The oikls left over from making said preserves can also be used in cooking to add a little more flavour and you cannot waste good quality food products so they get used in frying and as dressings for salads.

I have however decided to make my own goats cheese crotins.  I have been able to get the milk and I have a recipe which I have posted before which should make a kilo or so.  I love goats cheese but it is very expensive to buy and when you are in that situation the only way is to make it so that you can have a little of what you like without breaking the bank.  I noticed last week that a goats cheese log was £9.  Today it was £12.

I am afraid we are food lovers in this household and are always on the look out for different or unusual things.    I often buy preserves just to try them to see if I like them or not before going gung ho into a recipe making a batch of something and then finding out we do not like it.  So this way round I do the sorting out first and then if we do like it I go hunting for recipes.  I have picked up a beetroot ketchup today which is bright purple in colour and if we like it I shall look for a recipe and then make my own version.  I already have the sauce bottles in situ having bought them in bulk at the beginning of September.

We particularly like cheese and have just finished off a wedge of Ballyblue cheese which is creamy like a brie but a blue version.  Very creamy and best served at room temperature.  It seems to have a thicker crust than a Brie but still delicious.  Cambridge Blue is also another lovely cheese.  All would be lovely served in a part baguette layered with home made cranberry and apple jelly yummy and popped into the microwave to warm through and melt.

Well the Stinking Bishop is ordered direct from the Manufacturers

I have treated OH as he is quite partial  and I like it as well and the cheese will last six weeks in the fridge.  It is expensive but every so often you have to treat yourself.  If a whole one is too big but you are partial share it with a like minded friend that way you both get to have some but half the price.  A little of what you fancy often does you good just remember the watch word  - moderation.  We don't drink a lot  - we don't smoke but we love our grub so every so often we do drive the boat out - not frugal but we enjoy our food.

The Charles Martell website also have some other items I am particularly interested in  - I may start buying things early on next year of spirit based nature  - which I had anticipated doing last year but which I did not get around to. Have a look around the website even if you do not buy.  Doing things like this often inspires me to play when it comes to spirits and alcohol.  I am very good at stockpiling things without touching them.

I have also bought a rotating wooden cheese platter  - similar to a lazy Susan but without the dishes and two bamboo  bread boards for French Sticks as we have French bread regularly but my boards were not long enough.  I managed to get a bargain in Wilkinsons on some that were reduced.  Together with the beautiful cheese plates that we have we are more or less set up for the cheese course for the table.  Although I would like to get six more of the cheese plates in due course and there is a slate two tier display stand that I would quite like.  I also have a cheese safe/board that is ideal for storing cheese in a cool pantry.  So things are slowly coming together; extremely slowly but they are coming together.

Catch you later.



Friday, 2 December 2016

Foodie Testing

Whilst shopping in town I nipped into M & S for a few bits and bobs and ended up buying a few bits and bobs that I had not planned on all down to a little tasting demo that M & S had on today.  They had two types of bread a sourdough plain white done in a proper basket and brown wholemeal with walnuts in.  It was just warm not long having been out of the oven and covered with butter and then given some Stilton to have and try with it both breads were delicious as was the Stilton.  I managed to get the last of the Walnut loaves and it was indeed still warm.  Have had some for tea with pork pie and blue Stilton and it was delicious. I must say that the Stilton which was creamy was a perfect match for it. So a very simple tea tonight but one that has left me full.  So I am glad I stopped and tried the tasters for a change - I must say that I am very taken with the Walnut bread.  I might try and make some at home.  It was absolutely delicious.


Monday, 28 November 2016

Shed Tales -Monday Night

Still no internet connection so I am continuing to draft posts even though I am not able to post them just yet.

OH and I have been out in the garden this evening together with a powerful halogen work lamp and the wooden frame is starting to come together.  We have all the walls up and together the floor down.  Tomorrow evening we are aiming to get the roof on.  We have done a couple of hours work not starting really until 8:00am after we had had tea and then we had to go back to B & Q as the lamp he had bought did not have a bulb in it.  Was not missing they just did not supply it and OH had thought was within.  So a productive evening all round even though it was bitterly cold.  I had two pairs of gloves on and my thick anorak over a couple of thick jumpers.  I was pleased to get in.  Lovely clear sky though tonight often find that with a bitterly cold night.  Its nights like this when I am desperate for a log fire to snuggle round and keep the fingers and the tootsies warm.

I am on holiday for a week from tomorrow night in order to try and get organised a bit before I go into Hospital.  Wish me luck.  I think it is going to be a very busy week.

Right had better potter on every little helps.

Catch you later.



This shed is not going too well

Or perhaps that should be the base is not going too well.  OH was in a hurry and ended up skimping and the base was even more higgly piggledy.  He was keen to get the shed up for me. 

However we ended up having words about this as it just was not right and I was not paying out good money to have it bodged and I told him so. 

He eventually came round to my way of thinking and we eventually got the base sorted out after going a couple of more times to get the fixative.  We have also got the fluorescent lights, extension leads, wiring, light switches, cover for the wire so it does not get wet etc. etc.  But the base is done - hurrah but it was dusk again before we finished and so the shed has not been started.  We are hoping to do a bit during the week of an evening when OH gets home. 

OH has been suffering with his back again today  - he has a disc that pops out and causes problems every now and then and so has to take it steady when like this and humping all the sacks of fixative as well as the slabs will not have helped.  But at least the base is sound and is going to hold the shed safely, but we needed to pad about six of the slabs quite heftily with the fixative because of the land being out so much.  I had visions of my freezers going downhill all the way!

We did not have Sunday tea roast per se tonight but had a pre-cooked meal each which was warm and saved me messing around too much.

We also watched the first of a new series of Return to the Chateau on Channel 4 at 8:pm with Dick Strawbridge, new wife Angel and their children and their efforts in turning the Chateau into a running business as well as a home.  Was quite good.

I ache tonight with all the humping of slabs and the fixative - I did my fair share of shifting things about because of OHs issues with his back..

Right must get a wriggle on.  Work in the morning and lots to do before then.

Catch you soon.



Saturday Catchup

Work started in earnest and we stripped quite a lot of vegetation out of the area where the slabs were to go.  OH last weekend had laid the slabs out roughly where we wanted them to place the shed on.  However we needed to get the fixative underneath.  We spent quite a bit of time trying to do that with not very good results.  The slabs needed quite a bit of lifting up due to the ground being sloping and at the bottom.  In the end we realised that we did not have enough fixative and would need to be able to go and get some more on Sunday morning.  By the time we realised it was dusk, and extremely cold so into the house we retreated.

We really need to get the internet and the TV sorted out.  We have an Amazon Fire stick but there are problems with the loading of the films we believe the signal is too slow the same with the Internet.  So that will have to happen next week when I am home.  I will strip the front room out so that we can solve the problem hopefully.  This room needs to be nice and tidy as does the rest of the house as it will in effect be my bedroom for a couple of days after the operation until I am able to get myself upstairs.

I also had my pre-operative assessment and further Xrays of my feet last week.  Not looking forward to this, one iota.  The only good things out of this are that I am not diabetic, and I have lost more weight.  I am the lightest I have been in a long time, but still need to shift some more if I can.  I am not dieting just watching portion control and walking everywhere if and when I am up to it.  If I am not so good I take things steadier  - frustrating but the only way to deal with things.  One thing I am going to have to do is to prepare a sock or two to cover my tootsies as the boot (according to the nurse will leave my toes uncovered).

Oh well upwards and onwards.  Tomorrow is another day.

Catch you soon.



Computer Issues

I am not sure what is going on with the computer but am finding it difficult to keep a consistent signal the internet keeps shutting itself off so I have not read many other blogs or posted as a result.  I am going to have a fiddle with it but I think it is something to do with the router and the fire wall but I need to strip that out in the front room and it is not easily accessible at the moment so will have to do what I can when I can.  So I will carry on posting and somewhere down the line I hope that the posts actually post and you are able to read them.

The migraine is still hanging and making life impossible but I am back at work after two days off

Because of the rough weather at the weekend we were unable to get all the slabs down and the shed up.  We are hoping to get it done over the weekend although I think we may be a tad ambitious about this.  Fingers crossed and toes plaited and all that jazz.  Wish us luck.

Catch you soon.



Dreadful Migraine

I ended up being off work for a couple of days last week with a horrendous migraine that just came on.  Trouble is that when I get a migraine I end up being in bed until it subsides in a dark room.  No computers no TV as the light always jiggers me up.  I am light sensitive in any event and that is how they discovered I had epilepsy by putting me under a strobe light which in turn triggered a fit albeit an absence a petit mal.

Never mind these things are sent to try us so that itself has put the Christmas preparations on hold.  Fortunately next week from Tuesday night I will be on leave for five days so I am hoping to catchup then.

Will be playing catchup all week as a result of this.  Never mind these things are sent to try us.

Catch you later.



Sunday, 20 November 2016

Sunday update

Disappointingly we did not get out to do the shed and lay the base because of the weather.  We have the powdered cement base that you put down and then lay the slabs on top and it then sets itself.

Despite indications to the contrary it just did not brighten up and there was a proper  mizzle in the air.  So we stayed in and pottered. 

Evenutally OH did manage to get the slabs into the garden - so everything is to hand ready for us to get stuck in when we can.  Bit disappointed that we have not got further but hey ho these things are sent to try us.

We have however had a very nice tea tonight.  I prepared the roast beef by placing it on a sliced raw onion in the bottom of a roasting pan and then popped a foil lid over the tray and cooked it on Gas mark 4 checked it halfway through and took the foil off and there was a lovely natural gravy in the bottom of the pan which formed the base of the gravy for our meal with the addition of some other bits and bobs.  I served it with shredded cabbage, mixed broccoli, cauli and carrot, mashed potato and peas and lots of gravy.   I must say it was very tasty and went down very well. No Yorkie Puds or roasties for a change.  I am now as they say stuffed!

Its cold and damp out but at least it is warm in the house.

Right must get on and get ready for work tomorrow.

Catch you soon.



Well I think today may be a washout

Weatherwise the sky is still grey and cloudy but lighter than it was.  However I think today is a complete washout when it comes to doing the shed.  Something may be salvaged we will wait and see but at least we have all the pieces to get on with stuff and maybe even get the patio done with one fair swoop which will stand us in good stead.

We have just had a sausage sarnie each and a milky coffee (mine Masawatti style) and a bit of a chin wag as you do.  I am going to get on in the kitchen downstairs in the hope that I can get it squared to get on with other things that I have and need to do.  Including my own personal washout  - more laundry.

We have been to the Butchers and  have bought a piece of beef to have later on for tea with home made Yorkshire pudding and a few veggies. We have bought a few other bits and bobs as well.  We do not do badly on the food front and tend to buy the best we can with the money available to us. I normally like the  routine and simplicity of Sundays - no hurry compared to the rest of the week just pootling along all very relaxed as a norm.  In the winter months I love watching old films or new ones snuggled up on the settee just taking things easy.  That is not going to happen today though too much to do.

My back is bad today after yesterday humping things around so I am gingerly doing things as I do not want to be totally incapacitated.  However hopefully will be able to help OH with getting the slabs into the garden as he will not be able to manage them on his own.

So am off to pootle in the kitchen although in reality want to snuggle on the settee and watch a film.

Right must get on.

Catch you later on.



Rain, Rain Go Away

It has been raining since about 11:00pm last night.  Only gentle but then getting a tad rough with the wind getting up in the early hours for a brief time.  This morning we have arisen to grey cloudy skies with intermittent drizzle and we are now hoping for a break in the weather so that we can continue with the slabs and get the shed up.  If that does not happen will have to do a bit of an evening during the week.  Alternatively I will get on with something in the house instead.  So it will be a busy day one way or another.

Catch you later.



Saturday, 19 November 2016

Shed Catch Up

Its been a really cold day but it has not stopped us bogging in and getting things done.  I managed to get the path clear in the garden - got rid of pots where the plants have been spent  and put the pots for washing another day to one side.  The delivery man came and unloaded and popped the shed into the front garden for us - I was nearly there with the garden when he arrived. 

Here is where we got the shed off, and I got an extra 5% off as well.  Very pleased in the end with the service received from them and the delivery driver. 

We then went off.  First to the cash and carry as  needed more soap powder and ended up with a couple of other bits and bobs as well.  Including Fentimans Dandelion and Burdock - 16 bottles for £7.99 normally £1.50 a bottle in the shops.  We also ended up getting trolley for moving sacks of stuff and furniture around.

Will probably call in again before Christmas as there were a few things on the fish and  meat front that would quite like but do not have room for them at the moment.  I need to sort the freezers and make room for stuff.  Another job for the list.

We then went on to collect the alarm and then to the reclaimation yard both of which were next door to each other so things seem to be working out right at the present.  Very serendipitious for a change.

We decided that we were going to go for slabs for the base from the reclaimation yard.  Very pleased with what we ended up with at a fraction of the price.  Will go and have a good look around another day as at that price we can if we can get more of them afford to  put the patio down as well which will certainly tidy the garden out quite a bit.  Still no end to do but at least its a start;  Loaded them all in the car and got them home safely.

Then had to unload the front garden and get everything safely in the back garden which was hard going but we have it done.  Now cream crackered.  Will put the tiles down in the morning and then get the shed up.  We also got the alarm and lock system that they had tried to deliver yesterday.  It all looks very good.  So it has been a very busy and very eventful day - moved on a little further with our plans but a heck of a lot to do tomorrow.

I keep nodding so I had better go and do something else not quite sure what at the moment but will find something.

Catch you soon.



Bits n Pieces

Jigsaw time here big time.

I have been up since 6:00am pottering around trying to get a bit more sorted for the delivery of the shed.  A little low loader turned up with a stocky very helpful little chap who unloaded for us.  He had come from Newark and had several deliveries in all today.
going in a circuit next to Bedford then to Leicester a couple of places there then Nottingham and finally back to Newark.  When he first turned up I though the contents were just for us big gulp where are we going to put it all.  Then I realised  - silly me.  But the shed is here it appears to be very well made.  Now we have a lot to do and I suspect that it is going to be a garden based day today as a lot of sorting needs doing and then we have to start building the shed  - that is after we have got the slabs and then go them down.  OH had the foresight to get the stuff to put under the slabs yesterday. It is bitterly cold we have had a very hard hoar frost and the rooftops were lovely and white this morning.  I have already gone through two pairs of gloves (they have got wet).  I have just come in for a few minutes to get my fingers going again and then I am going to be starting again.

So I may be absent for a while.  Hopefully will be able to pop back later.  Its 9:14am and the sun is still trying to break through and there is blue sky so have to be grateful for small mercies.  At the moment it looks as though it is going to be a good garden day.

Catch you later.



Friday, 18 November 2016

Major panic at 07:00am

arising from the fact that at 07:00am this morning I received a text indicating that my goods from so and so were going to be delivered today 18 November 2016.  Really serious major panic because we are of course talking about the shed.  Could not speak to the company concerned until 08:30am or the providers of the shed until 09:00am.  Was really concerned as nobody was going to be home!  Was getting in a right two and eight about the whole thing and trying to work out what the heck I could do whilst waiting to speak to them.

Not good for the old blood pressure especially before breakfast.

Eventually getting through to a very nice lady who with a couple of words was able to confirm that indeed my shed is due for delivery tomorrow and it is in their list for tomorrow.  Big sigh of relief!  I had ordered an alarm system for the shed and we believe that is what they have tried to deliver today.  I was expecting it all to come together and arrive tomorrow!

They have tried to deliver today we don't know what assume it is still the alarm.  Have to go and collect it.  Fortunately it is near where we are going to get some slabs for putting the shed on so we can kill two birds with one stone.

This evening have had a text from the delivery company indicating that they will be with us at 7:30am apparently we are first on the list.

So I have a bit of sorting out to do tonight to try and get things tickety boo in readiness for the delivery tomorrow.

Its been a very cold day again here in Peterborough and it is really cold out at the moment.   When I left for work this morning it was 2 degrees.  Have not checked to see what it is at the moment but I know its perishing - I have been going into work with two woolly jumpers on in an effort to keep warm!

So this weekend it is operation shed - although a lot of work it should make things easier in the long run I hope.  Fingers crossed and toes plaited.

I am off to get a wriggle on.

Catch you soon.



Salt, Salt and Salt

and maybe at some point Sea Salt as well.  I like to keep this in but I have noted that I am running low.  I bought curing salt, Prague Powder 1 and 2, a salami kit, a culture for helping with salami curing and various other little bits and bobs and sausage/salami casings which are to be stored in the fridge.  I even bought some Agar Agar gelatin as well.  I did not expect it all to arrive on the same day and it was from three different companies.  I am still waiting for the Prague powders maybe they will come tomorrow.  However I am getting the bits and bobs together so that I am organised and I can set too and play once the house is sorted out a bit I have so much that I want to do.

I also purchased some boning tweezers to remove the pin bones on the salmon.

The hog casings are in the fridge and I have a new book by Paul Peacock (well to me anyway) "make your own bacon and ham"....and other salted, smoked and cured meats.  On first glance there is an awful lot of practical information in there.  There are also a lot of simple recipes in which to use up your preserved meat as well.

Catch you soon.



Thursday, 17 November 2016

Cinnamon Sticks and Candles

I just love candle light through the year but I think it is even more atmospheric come Christmas.

A Couple of years ago I made some Christmas candle decorations which involved making an outer container in effect made of Cinnamon sticks.  However the sticks were not really long enough but I made the best of what I had but I had always promised myself that I would when I had the opportunity buy some new Cinnamon sticks and have another go.  The original design I did was graduated lengths around a very tall candle and the prices vary considerably for cinnamon sticks I happen to think this link is one of the better buys.

I must stress these are not my photos but the designs are simple and beautiful and I have shared them to show you the sort of thing I am thinking about doing.  I obtained the photos by just typing in Cinnamon candles and these came up.  However Credit must be given as these are not my photos.

The other day I did just that - I went mooching round Ebay pricing up the different products and eventually settled on this one

A one Kilo bag of long Cinnamon sticks.  I must say I am very pleased with them. £9.99 for the kg.

Now I need to get some smaller ones for wreaths and garlands and then I can have another play.

I did manage to pick up a pack of medium sized church candles 4 for £9.99 the other week so when I get a minute I will have a play and then pop the photos up on this post in order to keep everything together.  I love the smell of spices, vanilla candles, a burning log fire with some fir cones on you get the wonderful scent of the sap as it is released by the heat.  As I have said before you can create your own magic happiness and memories.  Happiness can be fleeting and that is why it is oh so very important to embrace it while you can and to enjoy and live in the moment.

Take care.

Catch you soon.



Achievement - Shed is arriving this Saturday

Well something seems to be going right.  I have had a little bit of a success in getting the shed to be delivered this Saturday so it looks as though it is going to be all systems go one way or another.  Now to get the slabs sorted and the access way sorted.  Looks as though its going to be a couple of busy evenings ahead. 

Once the shed is up and running we can then empty the dining room and get that back into order and then hopefully I can really start getting stuck in on the rest of the house.  Looks as though it will be an early start in any event this coming weekend.  Told you before its just the depth that varies.

Well I cannot complain I am bored can I. There is always something to do and I don't really do bored.  Frustrated yes, need more time yes but never bored.

Then once the shed is up then I can start getting organised to have a go with salami and bacon and my Gravadlax as I plan on having a curing cave in the shed based on a wine chiller and a small dehumidifier.  Well that is the plan at the moment.  Just because I do not have my own land or my forever home yet does not mean to say I cannot practice some of the skills or learn new ones along the way.

Right had better get a wriggle on. 

Catch you Later.



Wednesday, 16 November 2016

More Christmas Decorations and Festive Bits and Bobs

I had a little lottery win at the weekend and so I have used that little win (a syndicate we run at work run on the bonus numbers) and have put it towards some more Christmas decorations. Some years I don't see anything I like and then other years it goes barmy.  I am trying to be sensible but occasionally very occasionally its nice to have a little splurge.  

I went to TK Maxx fatal.  I had actually gone to look at the glass and the china but there was not too much on that front today maybe another day things will be different.  I am very pleased with today's purchases though even though they were not quite what I had gone for.

Anyway here it goes the most expensive item was the Angel.  at £14.99.  She is however very different to a normal Angel more classical and in a pale green which is the traditional colour for Father Christmas.   It looks gold in the photo but is a lovely pale limey green.  I am however very pleased with her and she should go very well with what I already have which is more to the point.

A string of Angel Lights - I might try and get some more of these.

An Angel Lantern which I really like.  Might try and get another of these if they have them.  They only had the one in store today.

Two Candle rings that go beautifully with something else I bought today.

There is only one shown here but I actually bought two of these as well.

Two beautiful candle lamps should look lovely with a couple of large Hurricane Lamps which I have recently purchased.

Snowflake Cookie Cutters.  These are a lovely pale blue colour on the outer edge.  Should go very well with all the other Cookie Cutters I have.

One of the things that I try and do each year after Christmas presents have been opened and the tree is left bare underneath is I have a selection of toys that go in place of the presents.  These are traditionally themed like I have soft toys, children's horses, musical boxes, teddy bears, stacking boxes, raggy dolls, an old sweet tin in the shape of a tradition drum together with the drum sticks, Jack in the boxes, Automaton Santas and other ephemera.  This does double jeopardy as if we have any little ones come over Christmas there is something for them to play with and keep them entertained.  If not it just dresses the tree up a little more.  This little suitcase will go beautifully with some of these bits and bobs and will be able to store them as well - and the sentiment I think is very appropriate as we all love being home for the holidays.

I am hoping to be able to get started with my beading projects in the New Year so hopefully I will have some modern heirlooms to pass on.

Have you acquired any Christmas decorations for this Christmas or do you have a particular favourite from years way back.  Would love to hear from you.

Catch you shortly.



Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Catch Up

Well the shed saga continues.  I have been on email on and off most of the day.  And I have purchased it now and hopefully it will be delivered soon.  I have asked for confirmation when. I am hoping this Saturday but that might be a tad over-optimistic. 

However it will certainly help me tidy the back room up and then we should be able to move again in there and I should be able to get sorted with all my jars, bottles etc.  I am hoping to get them all into the stone shed so that I can clear the under stairs for dual purpose for my jam store which it partially is now but also to get my cleaning equipment put away properly and also storing some of the Christmas food away plus the dog and cat food.  Well that is the plan but actually getting it to work may be a different story altogether. 

Now the work starts and we have to get the slab base down so that OH can get the shed up and then we can get electrics in and strip light in. and the shed painted.  I quite like the idea of a sage green to colour it.  Once the shed is all sorted.  I can then tackle the dining room.  I have from the evening of 29 November off until 6 December.  So I am hoping to get the last minute things done then.  Including putting the Christmas decorations up.  I really must get a wriggle on.

Catch you soon.



Christmas Tree Traditions and Making Crackers for the Christmas Tree

When we were younger one of our family's little traditions or should I say my father's was to have a little extra present on the tree for each of us.  I always used to be in the kitchen with mum when I was growing up clearing up after her and once she had got what she needed to be done done I would be allowed to do something myself. That is really where I learned to cook at the heels of my mother. I always helped her for Sunday dinners and also on Christmas Day when things got hectic. 

Being the Father he was (and I happen to think he wasn't perfect I saw him warts n all but as a father he was pretty special to me and to my brother) he knew how much work went into preparing everything and after dinner one year he went to the Christmas tree and procured three little presents for us all (including my brother) as a thank you.  I still have what he bought me and also what he bought my mum and the special little notes that were popped into the little boxes expressing his love and thanks year on year.  For that first Christmas tree present  Dad had bought us a small piece of jewellery each.  Mine was a single pearl and mum's was a watch that she had seen and quite liked but had never expected.  That was the first of many such thank you's.  It varied from year to year as to how much he could afford but there was always a little trinket of some sort but it was always the love and thought that went into it that meant the most.

I have carried on the tradition with my extended family.  But I wanted something different to do with them and I think I have found it so that the present is in full sight on the tree but hidden if you know what I mean.

Last Christmas I was blessed to receive from my OH a Big Shot paper cutting machine and I have slowly been adding new dies to my stash, having had a recent blow out on all things Christmas.  For many months I have not had any new crafting stuff and when I come across something I like or something that could be very useful if I can afford it at that time I have a little splurge.  I am lucky - I know I am but my crafting stuff is like my books always in constant use.

One of those little splurges has seen me buying the dies for a larger Christmas Cracker and a smaller one which I believe is tree sized and ideal for a little favour or Christmas Tree present.

So this year the Christmas Tree presents will be there for all to view.  They just won't know it at the time.  I thought that I would make them in metallic card in different colours the colour denoting the recipient's name.  I also have some little tiny box/carton plates and also a plate for pillow pockets which can have a little pressie added and then wrapped like a Christmas parcel.  There are all sorts of different ways that the templates can be used to make something very individual.

I have also got some poinsettia dies to build up flowers from paper and I thought something like this on the outside of the cracker would be festive and distinctive as well as making some paper decorations for the tree probably three D little wreaths and once they are finished sprayed with varnish to preserve them for use another year.  After all that hard work it would be sacrilege just to dump them!

I have also sent for some Debbie Shore of Crafters Companion festive fabric dies to have a play with as well.  If I don't get much mileage out of them this year I will next.

I thought that this might be a good project to do whilst I am off my feet.  Will have to see how things go.  Right had better get a wriggle on.  Catch you later.

Pattypan xx

I never knew ordering a shed could be such a problem

Maybe its just me  - I attract chaos of one sort or another!  Well I told you it was just the depth that varied.  You would have thought that ordering a shed would be quite a straightforward business.  I just need a shed in which to store excess items and make a workable work room for doing up some projects and for doing my potting on of plants in the summer. As well as storing the freezers, a curing chamber and a wine chiller.  Simples or not as the case did not turn out to be.  I think its me that is the rogue element here.

However is it just me being simplistic but I want four walls and a roof with a couple of windows in.  How complicated is that.  It is going to have my freezers in so we are going to put a slab base down so that it is nice and even and firm.  But all the firms want to offer you this whether you want a different finish, whether you want it installing etc.etc. etc.  Then the delivery service on most of them dumps them in the front garden but will not leave it round the back and so on and so on. That is not safe around here as if you leave anything in the front garden it grows feet and walks rapidly even old things that have bust. In the end before I have even placed an order I have sent an email wanting some answers to my questions as I am not prepared to spend a lot of money until I know what I am dealing with .  I need the shed to sort out the dining room.  Hopefully it will get resolved soon.  It did not help that I forgot the name of the company I was looking at originally, but I seem to have found a better offer with a bigger shed for similar money.  So we shall see what we shall see.  Hopefully things become untaffled soon and I am in possession of a shed.  I need to get the shed in situ so that the dining room can be sorted out.  Hopefully I will get a response today.

Catch you soon.



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)