Sunday, 30 September 2018

Another quiet and lazy day

I overslept this morning and it was 11:30am before I rose.  Its gone very cold again and OH decided we were going out for a meal  rather than me cook something.

So we pottered off to where we had intended to go only to be told that there was an hours wait for a table.  Not good enough so we ended up going elsewhere namely to the Fox and Hounds in Longthorpe, Peterborough where we have had a delicious roast dinner that has gone down a treat.  
I had traditional roast beef and all the trimmings.  OH went for a trio of meats. Now I am stuffed.  OH is still chilling.  We have the dog to walk soon I do not think will be too long as we are starting to lose the light. 

Think there might be a bit more winter food on the menu this week like cottage pie, stew, meat pie and lots of soup to give us some inner heat and nourishment.

I have some office work to do later and so am not sure whether will be back on the blog or not.

Right upwards and onwards.

Catch you soon.



Will have a lot to do this week and really must get a wriggle on.

Eco Veggie bags and Shopping Bags

I seem to have a right "bee in my bonnet" at the moment about plastic bags and cling film, realising just how much we have taken them for granted without realising the full implications and effect on our environment.  I am holding my hand up. to be counted.  

Now however I am doing what I can to get organised on this front, what with the Beeswax wraps, my own version of Eco veggie bags and some cotton carrier bags for starters.  I have an embroidery machine to decorate the bags up and it will be a good starting point I think for me to learn to use the embroidery machine.

I also saw this link Eco veggie bags whilst on Facebook and was quite intrigued with it. However not with the price.  This led me to think and focus on what I really need when it comes to shopping in any event. I am keen to go as green as possible, I am thinking of investing a little money to get things right from the off.  My biggest problem thus far has been forgetting to take carrier bags with me when I go shopping, however I have always recycled the bags as bin liners. This has got to stop however but I am not going to pay an arm and a leg in the process I want something practical that is going to work for me long term.

I am already a keen advocate of a proper wicker shopping basket, or two or three...… (I have a fetish with nice baskets too).  So I need something that will store easily in there and be easy to carry.  Hence me coming up with the calico cotton carriers (I pre-washed the fabric first to save on shrinkage once made up).  They can be washed and reused long term and when they do end their days can be composted being made of natural cotton.  They do not take too much to run up either with my over locker.

I have a stash of prewashed cream calico in the house in any event.  I intend to make some simple carrying bags with straps and embroider them, but also to make different sized draw string bags as well (something like shoe bags but in different sizes) to keep in my shopping basket for when I go to the greengrocers.  I had thought of using what is called nylon aertex which is used as a liner in lots of sports clothing but compared to the calico that is quite expensive and I want the bags to be as organic as I can which I did not feel this was and so came back to the calico again.

Its a plan - but another one that is going to be seen through.  However before I can execute the computer/craft room needs stripping out so that I can get my stuff organised.  I think there may also be a room re-shuffle going on as well - we will see what we shall see.

I am also going to spend time with my cousin in a couple of weeks.  Apparently she has two embroidery machines and the plan is when I visit she will be on one machine and I on the other doing what she does (she has Brother machines) I have the Janome 500E.

I shall make the calico bags up in bulk, cutting them all out and getting the components all sorted in one session and marked up before I go to her and then hopefully can take one or two and get them embroidered there.

As I say an outline plan, but the plans are slowly coming together, growing and being given life.  Must continue as I want to go on.

Do any of you have any plans in place to do similar things.

Catch you soon.



It is an outline plan of many things I want to achieve in the coming days, weeks, and months.

Saturday, 29 September 2018

Not firing on all pistons today

Very sleepy again and no energy and I managed to oversleep this morning.  OH came home as he worked overtime today and then we did not do much for a little while.  Sometimes you have to just give in. Prepared cheese on toast for lunch with a mug of tea each and then doing some further pottering downstairs.  Walked the dog and the nip of autumn is very much in the air.  We then went and bought some fish and chips and mushy peas.  We had a portion of each between us and it has gone down nicely.  I suggested half a portion each as I cannot always eat a full portion to myself and I hate wasting anything.  OH was happy to oblige and was quite happy with the portion size he got.  Worked out cheaper that way too.

Now just sat chilling giving OH sometime doing nothing as well as he has had an extremely busy week at work.    Heating will be going on soon (not tonight) as it is getting too cold of an evening in particular for muggins.  Have been seizing up again.

Right am off to potter.

Catch you soon.



Friday, 28 September 2018

Cold Start to the day

I have been up since 6:00am.  A very chilly start but a very serene dawn with touches of pink in the sky.  Some three hours later I feel ready to go back to bed but that is not happening as I have work to do and I am also meeting a friend later in the day.  Have had a cup of tea and a croissant for my breakfast but am about ready for another cup of tea as I still feel quite chilly.  The colder weather is getting into my bones.

I have been doing some research into natural pet cleaning solutions.  Still in the middle of my research and I am trying one or two to see if they will actually work for my household.  Having five cats and a Jack Russell is very hard work at times but I will see how I get on and if I find something that works in the process will let you know.  It is trial and error at the moment but I am determined to get there, but I will cover this under a separate post as I am looking for a long term solution and/or method to keep everything in check.

Right had better get a wriggle on lots of cleaning to do.

Catch up soon.



I have the loo to bottom out before I go out today and I am going to try one of the cleaning remedies then.  I am very interested in natural methods where at all possible.  I have also located a natural oil mould preventative that I want to try out in the littlest room as well.  So the littlest room will be getting a double experimentation.  I need to source some hand spray bottles though will probably get those whilst in town.

Thursday, 27 September 2018

Late on Parade

It has been a very active social day today meeting up with a friend and going to another friends and then going off for a long lunch. Have come back this afternoon and OH has arrived home.  He has had fun and games with a certain little Jack Russell his partner in crime.  He fished overnight and left his rods out and has caught a fish before he has been able to get to the rod Missy has launched herself after the fish and landed in the lake at 3:00am!  The night when we had the frost!. He has managed to haul her in, deal with the fish and then get her all dried down and warm before retiring the rods.  Apparently later that same day he had a repeat performance from her.  As she has been out in the fresh air and in deep water as well for the past two days she has done nothing but sleep since coming in.

After walking Missy later on we ended up going to our favourite chippy for fish and chips and mushy peas for tea.  It went down very nicely.  I am not quite sure where the evening has gone since but it has gone very quickly.

Now time to tread the wooden stairs to Bedfordshire as have another busy day tomorrow.  Hopefully will catch you sometime tomorrow.  Have an early start tomorrow.

Catch you soon.



Simple Christmas

I want and am aiming to have a Christmas this year like I used to have when I was younger and hopefully with me being at home I will be able to get those things done that are important to me.

As a child I grew up amongst a close knit very warm and loving family on both sides and we saw a lot of both sides of the family.  However most of my customs for Christmas come from my Dad's side of the family as my mum's mum died when I was 17 months old although my mum did follow through with the customs her family maintained when she was growing up.  Christmas to both sides of the family - well is and is always about family and friends. 

My mum's mum (my grandmother) used to do all the baking for Christmas on Christmas Eve.  Mum always followed through with this, and I in my turn did the same. My Mum's Gran also did the same.

Mum also said that they always used to go to my great grandmother's for Christmas for a big Christmas dinner.  There were 12 in my mum's birth family including her parents, there was uncle Tommy (who was not married) and Aunty Ivy who had four children plus the adults (a family of 6), my Great grandmother, my Great grandfather.  Approximately 21 to table and my Great grandmother used to cook for everyone and the whole family spent the day together.  My Great grandmother was a Tobacconist, who also ran a bed and breakfast business from her rented property.  Her husband was a Wheelwright who had his own business based predominantly in Chesterfield. He was a Grayson. He was always home for Christmas though and every child always had a brand new penny in their Christmas stocking (one of their socks) plus fruit, nuts, sweets.  Mum said that they never really did a lot on the present front.  One year however she had been bought a miniature tea service.  She was pleased as punch with this and took it upstairs.  On bringing it down one day she fell down the steep stairs and the miniature tea service was no more (it was proper china) and apparently she was devastated as she had really loved this.  So the food and the company were really what Christmas was about for my mother's family.  Very different to the Christmas's we have today. I think to some extent we get carried away with the excitement.

My Nan (my Dad's mum) was also a hard worker.  At least a week (up to and before that) in the run up to Christmas she would be at full throttle preparing the feast. Despite working full time in a job as well and preparing a lot of the food herself from scratch. My Nan not only had family to the table but also friends who were going to be on their own and not with their own family.  There was always plenty of food to go around as somehow or another she was a bit like Jesus and the three fishes - she managed to make a little go a long way.  The actual dining room that she had was small but somehow or another there always used to be loads of us crammed in like sardines and a jolly time had by all with simple things of good food, good company a lovely warming open fire.  The big table was always occupied by the adults and us children were popped on the kitchen table but in the same room.  Talk about sardines and we were not playing charades.

The decorations

The tree at my mum's used to go up the day before Christmas Eve and it was always a magical sight. Mum always made a fuss of bringing the treasures out of the wooden chest that was kept up in the attic and when younger we were not able to hang the decorations but as we got older we were able to hand them to her. Mum and Dad always made it special and we were always included.  A lot of the baubles were fragile glass and indeed mum had most of the decorations right until the year before she passed when she managed to drop the box and a lot of the treasured decorations were lost.  She was extremely upset about that.  Bringing the decorations out was always a big deal and both of our parents always made Christmas magical for us.  I think that is why I make a big fuss about Christmas  overall as a result and tend to be a little OTT.  

I don't know when my Nan did her decorations but the tree was always up and ready in the best front room by the time we got there.  The one thing I do remember though is that Nan always had chocolate hanging decorations on the tree (the hollow ones to start with and then later on the filled ones).  There was one for each child that came to the house (and I suspect a few extra and a sugar mouse for each child as well.  This is something that I still do to this day is have sweetie ornaments on the tree.  I have also added peppermint candy canes to the tree as well, plus little bags of chocolate coins.  

Nan used a lot of fresh foliage like ivy and holly with glistening red berries on tastefully tucked over the edge of a picture frame and there was always a fresh display of flowers or greenery in the house as well as the obligatory mistletoe.  There was always laughter and music.  We were brought up to respect our elders, with strictness but also a lot of love and fairness.

The Food

We nearly always had Goose at my Nan's for Christmas. It was nearly always the Goose that did sterling guard dog duties in the summer orchards that ended up being chosen; however I was not aware of this until I was quite a bit older.

My grandparents had a smallholding and most of what we had for Christmas was grown by them or nurtured by them or made by them. There was always lots of cooking going on in the run up to Christmas. Nan in later life always made Christmas cakes for everyone as her present.  She worked out that as her income was of a minimum that making something that was useful for each family would cost her less than having to give money or buy a bought present.  However it also kept her occupied and doing things.  I suspect that my workaholic tendencies come from my Nan. Nan always used whisky in the fruit cakes.  She did not decorate them that was left for us but the cakes were always so delicious.  She also used to make Christmas puddings but the fruit cakes were in demand as she was a master at making them. There was always a ham being cooked, loads of pastries, mince pies, sausage rolls, coconut cheesecakes, jam tarts (school boys ear holes) lemon curd tarts, a feasting cheesecake that my Nan used to make which we hated as kids but loved as adults, an Ox tongue would be cooked and all the pickled shallots, onions, eggs chutneys were all brought out for the Christmas spread. She had a long narrow pantry that was stacked one side fully with shelves, had a meat safe in the bottom end (they cured their own pork as they kept their own pigs). The ladies of the household did all of the cooking.  Everything had to be done and dusted by the time of the Queen's speech i.e. dinner would have been eaten, the women sorted the kitchen out and then the men took over and did the washing up whilst the ladies were able to have a rest.

There would always be both log open fires on the go and latterly in one of the rooms the log burner which always keeped the house nice and warm and of course there was the Rayburn in the kitchen.


My Nan and my Mum were both needlewomen.  Nan used to knit for us as well as our mum.  Finances were always restricted so they did what they could with what they had which I think really is what Christmas is about family and the making the most of a situation.

I want to get onto the new machines as soon as I can.  I am hoping to do that when OH goes fishing again. Have not been able to achieve that this time round. The more I can do during the week the more I should be able to play.  I have lots of things to play with just need the time to actually get on and do.  However I am also very realistic and I want to make and give everyone a nice present and I need to get cracking as quickly as possible.  A visit is scheduled to my cousin for one weekend soon and she has indicated that as she has two embroidery machines I am going to be doing what she is doing.  So even though I have a different machine it is going to give me some idea of what is actually involved and hopefully then I can get started.  I hope so.  I have plenty of fabric in although may have to get some extra from the market.  Will see how it goes.

So I am aiming for a simpler Christmas this year all round.  Funds are restricted and so I will be making the best of what I have to hand.  I may need to buy more embroidery thread if I end up using a lot but that can be tackled at the time.  I did buy in quite a bit when I bought the machine.  I also have soap and candle making equipment so I am hoping to get something done with that as well to also give as pressies.

I am fortunate that I do have quite a bit of stuff in house ready to use.  Something I have done for years as with the crafting stuff it keeps me occupied and I am not yearning to buy this or that.  You have to roll with the good times and the bad.  We will get there one way or another.

Catch you soon.



Gingerbread men/women/babies "people" Felt Garland Part One

Just in case anyone thinks I am being politically incorrect.  To me it has always been Gingerbread men!  

I really should not have started this project off not with everything else I have planned but I had to.  It is one of those that I can pick up and put down with quite a lot of hand sewing so it will "grow" as I keep working at it.  Something to have on the go in the background in my little basket.

Gingerbread decorations are something that I have always eyed up as being something that I would want in the form of Christmas decorations for my home but up to now apart from the odd single ornament that is as far as it has got.  So I decided probably quite rashly to have a go myself.

This is the sort of thing I am aiming for but with the addition of cream and red jingle bells inbetween the hearts and slightly different embellishments on the little felt bodies. Like little ribbon dickie bows and may be some rick rack on there somewhere with the hand stitching and probably a little hand beading. Sounds as though I am a body snatcher now!

It started off with when I bought a set of three cutters, Gingerbread man, Gingerbread woman and Gingerbread baby and I used those cutters as a template.  Not sure whether this was a good idea or not as I needed to do a little more trimming than anticipated but for this string as it is the way I have started off then I am going to complete it this way.  However I intend to make a second string but I will cut out a card template and use that rather than the Gingerbread cutter each time.  To be honest it was a spur of the moment decision to start it, late at night and I had not properly thought it through. They are not perfect but will be tweaked as I work them through. 

There is only the outline of what I am aiming to achieve no pattern I am making it up as I go along. This is very much a WIP (work in progress) and I intend to process each little Gingerbread Man dealing with all the embellishment of the bodies at once, then all the blanket stitching etc. so that it is a continuous process.  After all time is of the essence.  There are lots of other things to do.

Late as the hour may be (1:00am), I am in the throes of making a Gingerbread Garland.  So far I have cut out four shapes from the felt I obtained off the market. I need to keep going until all the pieces are cut and then I have some wadding somewhere and some of that will have to go in before I blanket stitch the pieces together.  To intervene the garland I have some red hearts and some red and cream jingle bells which I think will go well with the overall colour scheme of the garland.  So I have made a start on a simple Christmas ornament for my home and I am very chuffed to have started it.  Now need to get cracking on the hand sewing and decoration. 

I shall do a follow up post once I have managed to get a fair bit of this under my belt. 

I suppose my Christmas style if I have one is a cross between Traditional vintage/Victoriana/Folksy.  These styles seen to be more appealing to me and they also seem very forgiving of what style of furniture you put them with.

Give me a few days and I will come back to this with some WIP photos.

Catch you later.



Wednesday, 26 September 2018

Listening to music

Gives me the greatest of pleasure and takes me into another place as I get lost in listening to the beautiful music and singing.  Helps me to relax.

We have access to Amazon Music Library and not really having played with it I have this afternoon been listening and finding songs from way back and which to the youngsters of today would probably be out of fashion.  I am particularly fond of English Folk Music I find it diverse, entertaining and it tells a story.  From a story telling family this appeals probably most to me of all as it preserves a moment or a real life story or event in time.

This afternoon I have re-acquainted myself with The Albion Band and one of my favourite modern day Folk Artists Kate Rusby.  She is brilliant and down to earth and I love her music.  I have been following her on and off since she first started out.

I have also been delving back to music that used to be on radio when I was growing up.  My Dad used to listen to a lot of different music programmes on the radio including classical, country and folk music.

There has been a song from my childhood though that has been bugging me as I could remember a few words but not the title of the song.  Today I have managed to track it down.  It was one of the first songs I learned in Infant class but could I remember the title not.  I managed to track it down this afternoon and it is an old English folksong called the Green Green Grass Grows all around, all around and the Green Grass Grows all around.

There is a link here for those of you interested in the song.  Apparently it is still taught to the youngsters to this day which is lovely to know.

Now am chilled out a little thanks to the music.

Catch you soon.



The materials are starting

to arrive for some of the projects I have in mind to do over the next few weeks. Aided by a shop on the market today.

I have picked up some felt to make some gingerbread men decorations and I found some cheap cookie cutters to use as a template a set of three for 99p in three different sizes including Gingerbread lady and Gingerbread baby.

I also purchased two metres of hessian; together with two metres of muslin.  The muslin is required for Christmas pudding covers and other culinary craft items.  The hessian is going to be used in the autumnal leaf crafting I have started.  Hopefully there should be plenty left after the crafting is concluded to do some clippie rugs. That is for a far off project though.

The white felt has arrived for the White Poinsettia Christmas tree skirt and the White Poinsettia Christmas stocking. It was expensive approximately £20 for two metres.  However it is a thicker felt and a 60 inch width and has quite some substance to it so I do not begrudge paying that as it is a superb quality and should last.

Not sure whether I will get to that before Christmas or whether it will be for me to start over Christmas going into the New Year.  I intend for it to be a modern day heirloom and for there to be lots of bead embellishment on top.

I have ordered more leaves for the autumnal crafting of the dressers as after discovering my stash I was not convinced I had enough.  They will not go to waste though.

Today I have located two glass bowls which are to be decorated.  Not finalised how at the moment but may end up buying another couple so that I can actually create both schemes I like.  They are hand made bowls and I could not resist wetting my finger and rubbing it along the top of the bowl to make it sing.  It was a party trick that my Dad always used to do with the wine glasses on the table at Christmas dinner. One is painted the other is using the faux leaves and using them with the faux tea light or candle lights. So there is a lot going on with the plotting, the planning and the creation of said items.  However it is keeping me occupied, happy and content and giving me something to work at which is not relatively as time consuming as some of my other projects.  I am also hoping it will keep me sane whilst I endeavour to carry on with the house.  It is helping to keep me motivated!

Catch up soon.



Christmas Traditions a little magic for the Littlies

On my travels on Pinterest researching different things I have noted of late that there are a couple of new traditions that families are taking up with as a regular tradition in their households.

One of these is the Night Before Christmas box which I think is utterly charming and very much a family based Christmas event so I can see why this has taken off.

This seems to be a continuation of a custom that my mum and dad used to do.  We always had new pyjamas to go to bed with on Christmas Eve, but this gears it up more towards today's children.

There is a link here on how to do this 

It is from Susan's blog "Oh my Creative".

There are lots of other options though.

The other one that tittled me was the "Magic Elf seeds" that the littlies have to plant on Christmas Eve and when they wake up on Christmas Day it has turned into a Candy Canes/Sugar Pop cookies.  Its a little bit of innocent pleasure in make believe which for me is always welcome.  Here is the post I came across when initially doing some research for something else.

And here is the link to East Coast Mommy's blog.  There is a letter for the kidlets from Santa with a rhyme in, but for copyright reasons she has asked for that not to be reprinted anywhere without her express permission although you are welcome to use it for your own children/grandchildren. A lady who believes in encouraging her children's imagination.  How super.

It is lovely to know that a proper childhood is still there for the taking. Encouraging imagination makes a child fly in all sorts of areas.

I am still a firm believer though in  the writing the Christmas list custom and letting the list go up the chimney if you have a log burner or open fire and on Christmas Eve a drink and a snack for Santa Claus i.e. a drink of Port and a Mince pie used to be put out for ours and of course some carrots for the Reindeer.  I think it is a charming custom.  One post I saw on Pinterest actually left the outline of footprints on the carpet (dusted with flour) for the kiddies to see the next morning.

I have also seen the custom of Santa's key.  

Are there any different customs that your family follows.  Love to hear from you.

Catch you soon.



Tuesday, 25 September 2018

Tuesday update

Just grabbed a cup of coffee so thought would update on today.

It was very cold last night and indeed I believe we had a slight frost.  At this rate the heating will be going on sooner than later.  

It has been a busy day for me, but really doing nothing but socialising  but busy all the same as it has not been "work work"!

OH departed early on and went fishing, after I had rescued his stew for him and packed it up. so that he could travel safely with it and then at least get it for his supper this evening.  Sounds as though he is chilling which is what he needs at the moment.

I then had a luncheon appointment with a friend who has been having a bit of a hard time at the moment.  I legged it into town and then I spent a very pleasant two hour lunch hour with her which made a nice change because it is usually only for about an hour and then one of us has to run.  There are many advantages to being at home and I wish it could remain so unfortunately I will have to dip my toe back into the employment market shortly as it is taking some time to get the house sorted a bit longer than I had anticipated.

I then nipped onto the market for the fabrics mentioned above.  I also nipped into the market Tesco in town  I do not go in there very often but I am glad I did as I found some Carnation cream.  So four tins were snaffled for the Christmas stockpile.

I then went up to B & M to get the glass bowls I was after and then came home.   I may end up getting another set as there are two designs I want to make  one using the autumn faux leaves and the other a glass painting technique.  

I also have six vanilla candles to make some cinnamon candle holders also to go with the autumn theme but also to carry on into Christmas.  It is little things like this that I think make all the difference.  I have also found some faux red berries (also bought last year from The Works online and I may well incorporate some of those into the candle holders.  To tell you the truth there are lots of things I want to do I just love playing.

I still have to try and persuade Demetri (the cat) that he actually wants and needs to come in this evening.  Wish me luck with that one.  

Update on Demetri:

Mission accomplished involved a con job and then manhandling him a little akin to a rugby tackle at one point, but he is in.  I do not like my cats being out overnight at all.  

It is perishing again out there.  I think we are in for a really cold winter at this rate.

Right coffee break over.

Catch you soon.  



Now its Autumn

Now that we are officially into the Autumn Equinox I fancy making something seasonal for my corner dresser in the dining room.  Something that will blend in with Halloween decorations. I have just come across a candle decoration that I think fits the bill nicely.  The plus is that I have already in house all the bits to actually achieve this which is a novelty.  Now I just have to find the leaves.  I bought them in bulk last year from the Works when they were on offer (they are somewhere) [in fact they still have them on their online website at £1 for pack of 50 leaves].  The website is here: The Works.  I have also bought some hessian today (for the rustic look) and I already have jute string.  I need to find a tray of some sort to balance it all on as well.  I have a couple of baskets that might suit the bill.

The centrepiece is from a blog  written by Cheryl at "That's what che said" and the link to the post and the blog is here:

Fall Candle Centrepiece

I have also today picked up some vanilla candles to turn into decorated cinnamon candles (I already have a stash of cinnamon sticks I ordered in last year) for use with these.  I bought six candles from Wilkos at £1 each to use with these. The best part about this decoration is that it will fit in well with the Christmas decorations.  I have made these in previous years.   This particular picture and post was taken from Garden Therapy.  The post is here: Cinnamon candle holder

I was also looking for inspiration for some garlands to decorate my two 6 foot pine welsh dressers and corner dresser.  However I could not find anything that took my fancy until I found this link again via Pinterest for these simple garlands.  My life tends to run around the seasons and the theme for my dining room is poppies and cornflowers from the Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady.  

This again is a DIY garland from a blog called "sincerely Sarah D":

The link is here:

There are of course various other tutorials available.

I also liked the lanterns made from mason jars and artificial leaves and a faux candle in the jar.

This tutorial is from Alicia of spark and chemistry.  The tutorial is here as is the link to the blog

Fall leaves lantern

I believe that you can also make the lanterns from real leaves.  On the grounds of safety I am thinking of going with the little faux tea lights for this particular make and faux leaves.

And also the centrepiece with pumpkins and lanterns for the centre of the table.

Lantern and Pumpkin centrepiece from Andrea of Opulent cottage. (the link will take you through to her blog) which is a lovely one.

And the piece de resistance a simmering pot with orange and cinnamon in scenting the air and making the home seem so welcome. It consists of an orange, cinnamon sticks, and cloves.

Cannot wait to get this all sorted.  I think it will be a bit at a time job and then will post a photo of the finished results at the end.  Should be the finishing touch for one sorted dining room.

Thought I would share in case any of you would like to have a go and do something similar for your own home.

Right I have a busy evening ahead am not sure whether will make it back or not.

Hopefully I will even just for a coffee break.

Catch you soon.



Tomato Processing

I have sent off for a bit of more kitchen equipment this time a food sieve for canning tomato pasta sauce and also screens for dealing with pumpkin, apple, grape spiral, berries, and salsa screen.  The chap who is selling this does not have the motor although the motor is shown on the picture.  I have sent off for this via a separate source but hopefully it should make my life easier in the longer term.

I first saw a similar piece of equipment on a You Tube Video 

This was the one I found on Amazon and as I want to can pumpkin as well as make grape juice I thought that this might help and make my life a little easier in the long run.  I am looking forward to using it when the motor arrives.  Apparently it is on its way.  Not cheap but if it makes my life easier then it will be worth it.

The accessory screen kit I think will be very useful.  We love pumpkin in this house and so it will be good to be able to can it as well.

Right had better get a wriggle on.

Catch you soon.



Monday, 24 September 2018

A bit of a down day today

OH is on holiday until Thursday night and plans on going fishing for a couple of days.  I thought he was off fishing today whilst I was off with my friend for lunch but he had changed his mind.  So I believe he is now going tomorrow. My friend had given me a load of old magazines and I am currently working my way through the pile.  So as I say a bit of a down day (i.e. in that I have not done very much).

We then went to the local tip after OH had picked me up from town and got rid of another pile of rubbish.  Then came back and sorted something out for this evening's tea.  I have managed to get the cat in early this evening and am going to try and keep this up as he rarely comes to me and never to OH.  However last night he did come in of his own accord tempted by a packet of kitty biscuits.   Otherwise I have to wrestle him. He used to come in reasonably easily but all the light nights and good weather have put paid to that.  back to basics with him I think.

It has been really cold the past few nights and I am glad I have got the quilt back on plus the patchwork on top of it as it has been a bit bone-chilling.  I still have not put the heating on but it will not be long.  According to one of OH's colleagues we are due some snow come November!  We will wait and see.  In the meantime I am stocking up on bits and bobs where I can.

We walked Missy a little earlier than usual and took her toy with her.  She is absolutely besotted with it and loves it to bits.  She has just about demolished the ball though so will have to get some replacements.

So a relatively low key quiet day today for a change but it will be back to the grind tomorrow.

Off to read some magazines.

Catch you soon.



Clothes pegs

As a result of seeing a post on the Pinterest board I have ended up buying a load of wooden pegs from B & M for the sole purpose of making something for the Christmas stash.  I initially thought ornaments but the more I am thinking about matters and needs I am thinking trivets for the kitchen and then coat them with a nice jolly paint. Or indeed for the Christmas table, or stars for the window.

The post is here 

There is also a post for using up the metal bits as well

Clothes peg metal star you will have to scroll down the page to read it.

There are lots of other pictures and ideas and tutorials out there and also different ways of finishing them off for star decorations.

For the trivet idea I saw this:

So I will be playing with my pegs in due course.  Will show results soon.



Sunday, 23 September 2018

Sunday Roundup

It has been a busy day here on all sorts of counts and the day is not over yet.  It has also been very cold.  Perhaps a touch of what is to come this winter.  However I am still resisting the urge to put the heating on. It is warmer in the house than outside but I know I am going to have to give in soon and flick the heating on.

OH finished the stew off that I made yesterday this morning and I have a request to do another pot full so that he can take it fishing with him and have something nice and warm to eat come meal times.  So another pot is on the bubble.

I have some more preserving to do tomorrow but am in the midst of tidying the kitchen out before I do that.  Piccalilli has been finished.  Still a lot to do though.

I have not cooked a main meal today as we had the rest of the stew earlier as I need to be able to get on quite a bit in the kitchen.  There is plenty to grab if we need it.

I cooked the stew in a multi cooker that I had bought from Wilkinsons on a bargain which has a multitude of different functions and only cost me £20.  It was ideal for the stew and I am going to try other functions during the week.  Saves turning the cooker on.

Right am off to get a cuppa and do a little more.  

Catch you soon.



Pattypan's Kitchen Whats been on the Bubble!

Hubble Bubble toil and trouble the phrase which is quite easily directed that play the Shakespeare one beginning with M and the three witches.  Well tis not the correct saying which is Double, double toil and trouble.

However in regard to this post "Hubble Bubble toil and trouble" is perhaps more apt in the circumstances.  There is a little bit of alchemy going on as I am brewing up a storm here with wines, ciders, beers, ginger beer and apple pop.  Ginger beer and apple pop being the main culprits as far as my father was concerned.  Everything was okay until one summer's afternoon he got shot by low flying corks whilst mending his motorbike. Apparently the corks once they started flying went all at once with poor old Dad trying to dodge the "bullets" - corks in the process.  On the inner side of the garage we had some beer racks hung for said ginger beer and apple pop and this particular summer's day the sun had been warm and shining along that side of the garage.  Needless to say my licence to brew was revoked that day and I was banned from making said brews for the rest of the time that I was home.  However it has not stopped me since.  Touchwood not had anything like that happen but I have been careful where I store my brews ever since.

Hubble Bubble toil and trouble is very much what happens when I am let loose in the kitchen during preserving season.  You can either find me standing over the cooker with a wooden spoon in my hand stirring fruit in my maslin pan minus the witches hat nursing fruit, sugar and other ingredients into something useful for the pantry shelf or I am engaged in foraging for useful wild items that can also be turned into something just as useful like the blackberry jam, jelly, vinegar and blackberry and apple pie filling or apple plum and blackberry pie filling. 

I am also very aware that I have been preparing stuff behind the scenes which I have not necessarily spoken about.

Wines and Drinks

This also includes things have started off in the three weeks or so as they have been started off and are or have been shortly to be popped into their Demijohns/ and/or are ready to rack.

3 Gallons Strawberry Wine

3 Gallons Rhubarb Wine

3 Gallons of Plum Wine

3 Gallons of Peach Wine

3 Gallons Mixed Fruit Wine

3 Gallons of Strawberry and Rhubarb Wine

3 Gallons of Orange Wine

3 Gallons of Lemon Wine

3 Gallons of Grapefruit Wine

3 Gallons of Apple Wine

I have located some sloes and I hope they are still there as I am going to go and collect some next week as well as Rowan Berries.  So Sloe Gin is on the list to make. A favourite winter warmer here but I also use the fruit in melted chocolate to make sloe gin chocolates.  I keep the spirited fruit after draining from the infused spirit in the freezer ready for use just before Christmas.  I also try and take out some of the pips if not all and a messy job It is too.

I also want some sloes for the freezer but I would like to have a go at making sloe jelly as well.

Preserves made

Seville Orange Marmalade from oranges in freezer as had run out.

Plum Chutney

Plum Jelly

Plum Jam

Apple and Plum Jam

Bottled Plums for Victorian Sugar Plum sweetmeats and puddings

Mixed berry pie filling 5 jars

Rhubarb in syrup 6 jars

Piccalilli - this was started last night and should be ready to process later on.

Pickled cucumber.

So there is a lot going on in my kitchen as usual it is just the depth that varies.  What has been going on in your kitchen?

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)