Monday, 27 March 2017

Getting Ready For Easter

I love pretty things and I always like my table to look good no matter whant the season celebration or occasion. I like the simple things the best and to me at Easter one of the memories I have from childhood is having boiled eggs with bread and butter fingers as part of high tea Easter celebrations.  The egg a symbol of new life and new growth and the chocolate eggs we have are also symbolic of that.
Hot cross buns with lots of butter simple fare

In the run up to Easter I have been sourcing new items for my table.  I csme across these egg cups which are Ducks n Drakes which I took a shine too from Dunhelm.  Aĺl I need now are some wreaths flower rings and a pretty cloth perhaps a pale lemon or a pale appe green check to set everything off and that should do us for this Easters high tea table.

I also bought a pack of three tea towels with a herb, plain green and a stripe design in.  Not to use as teatowels but to make a large tablecloth cover for my pine dining table.  I intend to unpick them all and then re-sew them back together like a patchwork quilt.  I also bought a tea cosy to match.

 And of course some baskets here I have a large basket ideal for shopping and a tiny one ideal to put chocolate eggs into or for gathering herbs out of the garden.

I have already got some miniature eggs for decorating a cake or cakes in the pantry.  Thought had better get some in early as in previous years I have ended up missing out.  Not this year though. How do you celebrate Easter simply or something a little more formal.  Or are you in the process of making something unique to decorate your home with. Catch uou soon.  Pattypan xx

A little bit of a bargain

Ostensibly I nipped into Lakeland during the week to get some refill jars and mini jars to use with packups for my lunch.  I could not locate them to start with.

 However found a pack of 2 x 1 litre pots together with two smaller lunch pack pots for under a tenner. So I was quite chuffed to have found them.  The brand is Easiyo and I have been using it for years having first come across it in the Pleterborough health food shop which used to be in the old arcade. This was at a time when I had the children at home and they were eating a lot of yogurt and it was costing a lot. I found that the sachets were good quality although at the time it was just plain yogurt.  The best bit for me is that the system uses just a kettle of boiling water and the large thermos flask to makeim so saving energy as well.

Also you dont have to use the sachets now available in a whole lit of flavours but can use fresh milk to fill the inner pot which has been scalded not boiled milk and then a tablespoon of live yogurt mix together and left overnight the same as for the Easiyo.  Makes a lot of yogurt to which you can add your own fruit flavourings using jam or pureed fruit etc.  We used to be able to get sterilised milk which saved the scalded milk process as the milk has already been heated but sadly I have not seen it for years.

There are other methods of pricessing your own yogurt like using sterilised Kilner jars and the same mixture in a dehydrator or in a slow cooker or where I started off with a little six pot yogurt maker that my mum had for my brother and I.  I still have that original machine which goes back to my teenage years.

So when you have kids in the house quite often in those days ar least you could not buy a litre of natural yogurt.  You can also make Labneh which is a yogurt middle eastern cheese mixed with herbs.

However I have been diverted away from the original subject me finding a bargain for the sum of £8 a full beginners Easiyo beginners set which is basically the thermos the inner pot and standing baffle with a lid which normally retails at ariund £19 to £20. So I dont think I did too badly.  And the sachets make lovely yogurt I really do like it but nit everyone has £3 or thereabouts to buy the individual sachets but there is always an alternative somewhere.  Just have to go looking for it.

This is ny own personal view based on trial and experience.  I have received no inducement or payment for this post.  Its just I think the basic system is great as ut saves energy and money all the way round.

Catch you later.

Pattypan x

Sunday, 26 March 2017

Happy Mothers Day

To those passed before us still miss you dreadfully mum.

And to those mums who are here with us today have a lovely day.  The sun is shining here although a little chilly.

Hope you have a lovely day xx


Guess who forgot to put the clocks forward.  Dingbat ovr what!

Saturday, 25 March 2017

These things r sent to try us

Hello everyone sorry its been a while there have been problems chiefly with my health. In the past six weeks I have had two epileptic attacks the second one at work which resulted in the anbulance being called and me being off work.  No apparent reason as have really been trying to look after myself which I am not too good at doing everyone else yes but not myself.  I think it was a reaction to the foot surgery I had and the rough trot with the anaesthesia and then going into shock in recovery as well as being violently ill and then reacting to some meds they gave me and finding I was allergic to it.  Things always come out later rather than st the actual time with me usually when I relax.  I have also had an upset tummy and migraine as well to add to things.  Oh well as I have said before tiz just the depth that varies. Now I hope things will return to some kind of normality and start to do the things I really want to do including my cooking reading writing craft work gardening etc.  So much I want to do.

I have been sat here this morning nursing a large cup of milky coffee enjoying the sunlight that has been streaming through the front windows and realising that the front room windows need yet another going over.  But generally I have been chilling and just enjoying doing nothing for a change and relishing the heat from our gas boiler.  Due to a couple of communication issues between ourselves and a third party the heating has only just been rectified for which I am very grateful as I feel the cold so.  However we have had a couple of portable heaters so have not been titally without heat.

To add to that I have had internet and computer problems.  So as I say above these things are sent to try us and at the moment I feel my membership is fully paid up and thats the end of little problems.

Catch you later.

Pattypan xx

Thursday, 9 March 2017

Wine Chiller/Meat/Cheese Cave

Sorry to be missing absolutely up to ny neck with things with alligators and crocodiles snapping at my ankles and me fast running out of time.

I received a phone call yesterday saying that they were going to deliver today. They use an external delivery service/carriers and it is kerbside delivery only.  I therefore asked if the driver could phone me when he was 40 minutes out of Peterborough so I could get home. I bought the chillers off ebay from a company called Birmingham Refrigeration.  I first spotted them before Christmas but by the time i had got my act together they had sold out.  But I kept looking.

I then spotted them again and placed my order they did however want a lot for delivery. I ordered two but I got the delivery charge reduced because I had both units popped onto one pallet.  If you do place an order with them bear this in mind.

The phone call came abd I organised a taxi to get home.  The driver had just turned up as I arrived.  I then did my pansy potter bit and manhandled the units into the back yard abd webt back to work   i then texted Oh to ket him know they had arrived.

The units are refurbished and may have small marks on them but I have to say that from what I can see they on first checking appear immaculate.  I am well pleased with them.  I think I have saved approximately £300 maybe more they are 40 bottle units which are dear. I have just switched them on and tomorrow the wine one will be filled once up to temperature.  The maje of the units is RS Royal Sovereign.

 So one for storing wine and the other for home made charcuterie bacon salamis sausages etc.  So let the games begin once I have got shot of my long list of deadlines sorted out.  In the words of Arnie - I Shall be back hopefully at some point.

Pattypan xx

Monday, 6 March 2017

Breakfasts - Smoothies - Part Onel.

I have always been a keen advocate of eating a proper breakfast as you need to recharge the blood sugars overnight.  This has come even more to the fore whilst I have been recuperating after my operation after which I was totally shattered for no apparent reason as I was not really doing much apart from resting.  I wondered if it was down to the fact that I was still off my medication for the scleroderma and a rise in the antibodies in my system so being me I decided to look into this a little further.  Bkueberries are very good at helping with this kind of an issue and so I have started incorporating them into my diet a little more.

I am also a fan of smoothies but as I am never firing on cylinders first thing I need to be able to throw things together quickly. So bearing in mind the need for blueberries and other fruits in my diet i set too in making my own fruit base in my slow cooker.

There were quite a lit of different fruits i popped in ie strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, plums, apples.  I then popped them into the slow cooker with a couple of spoons of water and left them for a while and once cooked down I left to cool and then decanted into a couple of Kilner type jars ready to add to my smoothie first thing. This is what I ended up with two jars ready to go.  Can also use in other puddings as well but I have used fresh fruit and cooked it to get the best out of it and stop expensive fruit going off.  By the way there is no sugar in this at all.

To make my smoothie I then put a good generous portion of the fruit mixture some plain yogurt good couple of tablespoons and some milk into my blender and whizzed it all togethet in my smoothie blender.  As everything has been in the fridge it is nice and cold and all tge flavour of the fruit comes through and it tastes wonderful. It is ideal even for those who dont do breakfast.

However for me I need a little something more for my breakfast than just a smoothie and I add a different element which is different daily to the smoothie.  It can be done relatively easily and inexpensively keeping the appetite lively and not jaded just with a few simple tricks to make things a little more time efficient especially for a busy and large family.

Sometimes I have  bowl of muesli or granola sometimes waffles sometimes toast with home made marmalade or lashings of strawberry and rhubarb jam which is a personal favourite.  But I always make time for breakfast do you.

Take care.

Pattypan xx

Its been a busy day

Sometimes there are just not enough hours in the day to accomplish things and despite being organised and busy for the best part of the day until I sat and watched the good karma hospital I have not had much chance to sit down.

I have been sorting more clothes out for the charity shop and bagging up ready to take round.

I have been washing and ironing and food shopping and packing stuff away.

I have been and bought more boxes for packing stuff away in.  I will need to get some more though.  I got them from Dunhelm.  I had not appreciated they had a sale on and I managed to nab one or two bargains.

A very large Jamie Oliver 1 1/2 litre bread pan.  I already have two of these and I paid full price at £15 each.  This one I got half price £7 so I quickly nabbed it.

I also bought 4 Mason and Cash pie dishes in a soft tuorqoise blue at £4.99 each instead of £9.  So I was very chuffed with those.  Ideal for pies and egg custards.

As there was a sale on I also purchased replacement heatproof wadding for my pine dining table.

I also purchased a green polka dot vinyl table cover as well.

I also purchased a wicker square basket which will be ideal to keep my WIPs in as I am working them and keeping everything neat and tidy.

So I dont think I did too badly.

We then had our Sunday dinner roast leg of lamb studded with garlic and a sprinkling of Rosemary and it was delicious.  I served it with roast potatoes mashed potatoes carrot and swede crush french beans and petit pois with lashings of gravy.  We have a repeat tomorrow evening as there was more than plenty for the two of us.  The lamb was another bargain reduced to £8 apiece. I bought 3 all told.  The other two are in the freezer for another day.

Right better get to bed I am back to work in the morning and I need a good nights sleep beforehand.

Catch you soon.

Pattypan xx

Sunday, 5 March 2017

Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady

I can remember this when it first came out.  In fact I bought some wallpaper the poppy design for my kitchen.  It got left behind when I split from my ex husband.  However I do have several other things that I do have.  The intention is to have my bedroom decorated with the honeysuckle rose design eventually.  I have all the bedding I bought it brand new but at the time they did not do the bedding in king size.  We have a super king quilt on the bed and so I thought I would extend the quilt covers with long strips/panels of fabric finished off with some broderie anglais lace frill trim.

Why on earth am I talking about this at the moment.  Well truth is I found my Country Diary book of crafts by Annette Mitchell when sorting out earlier on. There are lits of lovely projects in there and in due course I am going to make some of them to go with and compliment those items already to hand. I had also thought that I will buy some new bedlinen and embroider it with roses. There is a big heavy cotton heirloom crochet bedspread in the book which I am also hoping to make.  Will have to stockpile the cotton for that.

I have also been buying the wallpaper where I can as well.

My hope is to eventually have a country style bedroom erring more on the side of Victorian styling.  I already have two very large pine wardrobes two bedside cabinets a pine chest of drawers (I a also have a big pine blanket box that used to belong to my Dad.  Its an old one having previously belonged to my Dad's friend. I am hoping to get another chest of drawers in due course) i also have a big cream metal bedstead and I am after a pine dressing table which will probably be the last item of furniture.

I also have the curtains those being brand new also.

There are several Royal Winton pottery bits and bobs as well.

I have also obtained further cross stitch kits and charts.  I have already started on my hexie quilt.  So a lot in hand and a lit of plans.  However realistically it is going to take me a little while to achieve.  Wish me luck.

This is what I am hoping to achieve.  Pretty isn't it.

Catch  you soon.

Pattypan xx

Saturday, 4 March 2017

Bedroom sorting

My wardrobes are not big enough and i therefore bought a couple of hanging racks.  My Reiki couch was stored behind one of them and during the week the Reiki couch lost its balance and knocked over the rack.  I have therefore spent a couple of hours restoring the racks to normal.  I have also sorted some clothes out thst are now too big for me.  In the last 8 years I have gone down from a size 24 to a size 18.  Still a way to go but a size 18 is more liveable and does not impact on my joints quite so much.  So I will be making a delivery to the Charity shop tomorrow to pass on those items I no longer have a need for.  It feels good to be having a bit of a sort out.

I also need to get some new bedding organised as I have managed to put my foot through one of my sheets. There was a small hole and if course my foot found it.  I can use the rest of the sheet up in due course it will not go to waste.  I can feel a shopping trip coming on.  Right had better get a wriggle on.  Quite a bit to do.

Catch you soon

Pattypan xx

NB thats two large bags disposed of working on number three!


NBB.  Thats three large bags and two of rubbish.  Still loads more to go however if Oh chucks out any of his cotton shirts I shall be filching them for their fabric for patchwork.  Also managing to get homeless clothes into the wardrobe and rails.  It will be a long overdue job finally sorted. Also finding one or two WIPs which have been collated together so that I can get them sorted too.


Friday, 3 March 2017

Getting Geared up for Meat Products

For a long time now I have been wanting to have a go at making my own sausages. Salamis etc but have had no where to keep said produce once it is prepared. In any event I have slowly been gathering bits and pieces together now all securely stored in a box so that I have all my curing powders together in one place.  The sausage skins are in the fridge and the curing chambers are ordered and on their way. One is possibly going to store wine in now that I have started with the home brew again.

The original idea for the curing chamber I saw on Jamie and Jimmys Friday night show where Jimmy regularly comes up with alternatives for the home producer. There is a link for those that are interested on my pinterest site patricia ellingford under meat charcuterie and salami.  I have been collecting links to recipes and procedures for some time now.   I went to place the order before Christmas but by the time I had got myself sorted they had sold out.  I was after a 40 bottle chiller to hold a lot of meat ans also a lot of wine.  The company i had my eye on refurbish ex stock they do have some minor damage but being as 40 bottle machines are well over £200 each I stuck to my guns and then saw they had more for sale this week.  So a few enquiries later and I have two wine chillers x 40 bottles in their way.

Even though I do not have a smallholding to grow my own meat there are still things you can do at home like making your own pates haslet faggots gravlax rolling bought pork bellies and stuffing to create a very tasty Sunday dinner making your own brawn pork pies ham etc etc.

Some of the things I have done before others are completely new to me but I am looking forward to experimenting and playing that for me will be half the fun. It will be good to produce delucacies like Merguez sausages are bacon copa sausages etc and at least now I am going to have somewhere to store them.

I am still after a pressure canner have been looking but am going to choose my moment. Hsve to watch exchange rate and extra duty.  I am at the moment looking st an All American 30pt canner.  I am being cautious as they do cost a lot.  I am also not sure if I am making the right choice I see the potential want to make soups etc for the pantry shelf.  Do any of you have a canner and if so do you have any advice as to which one to go for.

I did get a reduction on the two 40 bottle wine chillers which I sourced off  ebay which has helped a lot.

So I am looking forward to some serious playing in the not too distant future.  MY Grandparents used to keep their own pigs geese and chickens and my Uncle was a dairy farmer its just we were never around when they processed them. We were with the chickens but never the pigs although we had the bacon and the honey from the hives for breakfast.  I am looking forward to playing.

Carch you soon.

Pattypan x

Its Cold Damp and Wet

A miserable orrible day.  We need the rain but I hate it when the rain is constant and does not let up.  Even Missy our Jack Russell is hibernating in a load of throws well and truly buried if you please and heaven forbid I should move my foot.  She has a real thing about feet yet she plonks herself between my lower legs to go to sleep. From a normal well behaved companion when she is tired she gets very grumpy.  Lets just say she has her humans well trained.

Lets just say butter wouldnt melt.  She is a sweetheart really and very funny.  Is always smiling and when you are feeling down she always makes you laugh one way or another.

A slight hiccup

I did a full week at work last week and went to work this Monday just gone and ended up in an ambulance. On yhe Monday morning I had not felt my usual self and mentioned it to my colleague as I was very sleepy and kept forgetting things. Unfortunately I ended up having a seizure but my colleague managed to get me in the recovery position so this time I did not bite my tongue for which I am very grateful. However since then I have been to the Drs and had some bloods taken.  It may be that we will never know what triggered it but I have a suspicion that it is shock coming out of my system as a result of the foot surgery.  But hey ho back to the drawing board.  I have done a lot of resting and sleeping this week always do in the aftermath. I am being kept on the same meds as before and we are to see how things go and whether anything shows up in the bloods.

I have been told I can go back to work next week so I am looking forward to being with friends and colleagues who really did look after me and for which I am very grateful.

I am okay and am getting there I wouldnt mind but ever since my op I had really been looking after myself and had even got into a really good routine with my meds.  Oh well back to the drawing board.

Catch you later

Pattypan x

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)