Monday, 31 December 2018

Happy New Year Everyone

Thank you all for following me over the past year through highs, lows and happiness.  I am not sure whether I will still be up come midnight tonight - in the past I have seen in the New Year many a time very quietly on my own.  

However I do wish you all everything that you would wish for yourself and more for the coming year and may it be filled with much happiness and love; and if there are difficulties I wish for you that they are resolved as quickly as possible.

But most of all thank you for listening and being there.  It gives me hope that I am not turning into a dotty old lady and just speaking to myself not of course that that is not the truth!

The new Year and new page and probably new broom will be upon us in a matter of hours.  Here's wishing you all the best.



2018 A year of change

For me personally there has been an awful lot of change this year and I suspect that there is more to come in the greater scheme of things.  It has not been a bad year in that it has freed me up in a different direction to that in which I was heading and in that I am now at home instead of working.  I am still trying to feel my way along but I have several ideas which I would like to put into place eventually.

I think the word I would choose for 2018 is "Freedom".  Freedom to choose what I want to do rather than being on a conveyor belt all the time and being at the beck and call of someone else.  So much so I am not sure at the  moment whether I could work for anyone else or am ready to work for anyone else again and perhaps that is why I am seeking in the longer term to set up a business/businesses for myself even though I really have not clue as to whether what I am doing is wrong or right.  I am following my instincts.

So not too bad a year in many respects overall.

Here is to the next 12 months a new page, new dreams, new directions who knows maybe even a new home.  New adventures, new experiences, people coming and going all a rich mix in this tapestry we call our life.  A learning curve, a growing experience where hopefully I will sprout wings and learn to fly.  Change is not an easy thing especially for a person who likes to feel the rug firmly under her feet, but do you know I think although there is some trepidation there I don't fear change as much as I used to.  Hope your year has been good for you too. 

Here's to the future and the new blank page! 

Catch you soon.  

Pattypan xxx

Greensleeves (guitar version)

Just a little reflective music for the end of the year from way back when.

Sunday, 30 December 2018

The New Diary

Is already for action. I use a page a day diary as it has more space.  I will not write anything in it though until New Year's Day - we do not want any bad luck issues.

However there is a long list of things to be inserted by hand and then transferred over to the computer diary.  There will be more items added as I go along and find things that I would quite like to incorporate. I am determined to organise as much as I can this year, so that I do not miss out on the creating, the planning, the making.  I also want things to be prepared as quickly as possible to make the most of the time available and also to ensure that if real life intrudes it does not scupper anything.  I intend to make use to start with, those items that I already have to hand and then as I run out top up.  I am also including birthdays, festivities like Easter and Christmas.  This afternoon I have been reading up on making my own pot-pourri with the aid of my dehydrator.  I also intend to have a go at home made paper making as well.  I tend to buy things when I can and then put them up until I get the chance to play properly but there are many things that I want to bring into general everyday use.  The dehydrator is one of these things.

I am buying where I can the embroidery software programmes that I like the look of for my embroidery machine hopefully to make some very individual Christmas pressies this coming year.  I have in mind individual decorations, and useful items as well as patchwork style rugs.  I stocked up on thread and the different types of backings, tear away and water soluble as well.  I see a lot of potential for this and a lot of individuality.  I am also taking advantage of freebie programmes as well.  Now I need to dive in and learn.  I am very excited.

I have decided to do monthly lists of potential things to do during specific months as part of the organisational thing.  These will be updated as I find something else for a particular month or season but I am hoping that they will eventually be a list an aide memoire that can be used year in year out, with obviously date adjustments as I go along.  The first one will be published on New Year's Day.  However these lists also take into account any reduced item finds where you can make something useful for the pantry shelf.  Preserving used to be a seasonal thing which essentially it should be but in this country we seem at the moment in any event to be able to take advantage of out of season crops from other countries.  Preserving at the end of the day is about making the best and most of what comes your way and if you can squirrel something up in this way for your own pantry shelf then all the better.  That's making the most of things and is a bonus.  Seasonal items are though very important for me individually as they are also a way of marking time through the year.

We can all make a small difference to our own pantry shelves just by doing a little to start with.  January to March tend to be quieter months in the calendar compared to the rest of the year so if we can do anything then you will also be maximising your time and providing good food or accompaniments for your family.  Whether this be by preserving in vinegar, jam making, dehydrating, freezing items, making wine home made liqueurs or having a fresh vegetable bed where you go and pick the crops as you want them.  At the end of the day its all a way of paying it forward.  I hope I encourage you to dip your toes in the water and have a go.  You learn with preserving of any sort by actually having a go.

Catch you soon.



P.S. By the way these are just ideas you do not have to make everything it depends on your own financial situation and whether or not you have easy access to ingredients and upon your time.  I get so enthusiastic and passionate about preserving of any sort as I love it so much.

Lazy Sunday afternoon

We are in the throes of a very lazy Sunday afternoon here just doing whatever we have a fancy to do but knowing that there is company about.

We have not long had a nice hot milky coffee each (Missy a tea) and also some toast and cheese.  We bought a few different ones from the new farm shop we went to and bought some Lincolnshire Poacher and a mature Lincolnshire Poacher, Stilton and a goats cheese.  I like the Poacher cheese but it is not one I can eat a lot of in one fair sitting.  Still it is nice for a change, but the Vintage is a little too strong for me.  Suits OH better.

We have the rib of beef for tea tonight served simply with some shredded steamed cabbage, mashed potato, carrot and swede crush, peas and broccoli with lots of gravy.  Just served simply.  Am looking forward to it.

Right I am going back to browse my books and doing some more research for the blog.  I like Lazy Sunday afternoons.  Do you?

Catch you soon.



Saturday, 29 December 2018


It has been another lazy day and for tea this evening I cooked OH Tandoori chicken (pre-prepared) which he had for his tea. I could not fancy anything but later on felt a little peckish and I broke out a piece of Stilton cheese from M & S.  I am not one for Stilton but tonight I quite fancied some.  I had already had some pastrami but the Stilton looked creamy and nice and it was.  So I had it with some buttered crackers and some nice cold grapes.  It was lovely.  The flavour of the grapes was good as well and it led me to wonder whether in fact a  fresh grape chutney might be a good accompaniment for future cheeseboards. So that is something I am going to try in the next week or so.  Experimental but worth a try.

It is often the simple things that set me off on investigating something.  However that piece of Stilton was absolute perfection.  I have enjoyed my supper tonight.

Catch you soon.



Planning on the Pickle and Chutney front

Pickles and Chutneys play an important part in the life of my household primarily because they are in use all year long but also because they help make the most of leftover meat and cheeses and give more life to those items which on their own can often look quite unpalatable but which are taken to new heights by the addition of some pickled onions/shallots or a dab of picallili or home made ketchup. You also get a taste of summer from each spoon, and far more flavour in every bite.

Although primarily most of my preserves are geared for what I call "The Putdown" my store for all my preserves a lot of them are specifically put down so that I have a greater choice of ingredients to choose from at Christmas which gives my cooking repertoire legs and more scope.  It also gives me greater quantities of things to use throughout the year rather than buying one jar of something off the supermarket shelf paying an absolute arm and a leg for it and it not really pleasing your palate.

I have some simple rules when it comes to pickles and chutneys and numero uno is that I always leave for about six weeks before opening a bottle.  That is everything except pickled cabbage. That we use more or less straightaway.  Chutneys also keep quite safely for longer than a year.  Just check that the bottles are intact and are not showing any additions or that the vinegar has gone watery in which case ditch those bottles. However normally vinegar and sugar combinations cure food beautifully. I make more than one batch of preserve if it is something that we potentially use all year round and if I am testing a new recipe I make the one batch.  If we like it, it gets added to the core list the following year.  This way you weed out the recipes which work for you and those that do not.

The following is a list of basic items that I like to be able to put down each year for my family's use.  In no particular order:

Pickled Eggs
Pickled Onions
Pickled Shallots
Onion Relish
Onion and Garlic Jelly
Tomato Ketchup
Pickled Cabbage
Brown Sauce
Apple chutney
Pear Chutney
Pickled Cucumbers
Pickled Gherkins 
Pickled Baby Beets
Pickled Beetroot slices
Plum Chutney
Christmas Chutney
Chilli jelly
Chilli sauce
Chilli jam
Five Spice Peaches
Peach and Chilli Chutney
Spiced Pears
Pickled Orange Rings
Spiced Pickled Clementine Rings
Chinese Plum Sauce
Mustard wholegrain
Mustard smooth

There are of course many more things but these are the core basics that I aim for in any one year.  Sometimes you are very dependent upon what is available as to what you make and so there does have to be some flexibility therein and sometimes you just don't get to make things.  

Making preserves of any kind used to be the norm in British households as there were not the shops or supermarkets but there were lots of core ingredients available in season and you made the best of that season.  If you wanted things because of budgetary constraints you either went without or made them.  Most households made them as a good base store of food got your family through very cold winters and kept infections at bay.  I believe that doing what little you can on the preserving front helps.  Having a stocked pantry certainly helps accentuate meals or adds flavour and interest to them.  Also for me having things on hand means that I can on the spur of the moment decide to make something out of something I already have to hand.  I have also found out that the more you know about an ingredient and like its flavour the more you want to cook with it. I intend to use the 'Greengrocers reduced section quite a lot in this coming year and make what I can with whatever I comes my way whether that be tomatoes turned into bottled tomatoes which can then be added to stews or make pasta sauce from or bottles of pasta sauce.  Now to start work on the calendar and slotting in weekly and monthly tasks for the year. I also need to have a sort out with some of the dried fruit in the pantry.  Some of it can be turned into mincemeat (used a lot in puddings throughout the year) and also chutneys and if you have any dried apricots you can turn them into dried apricot jam.  Yummy.  

Right back to the plotting and planning.  

Catch you later.  

Pattypan xx

Friday, 28 December 2018

Chill out day

The bruising from falling has come out today and I have been very stiff.  As a result I have not done much or moved very far.  I have just got into a fleecy two piece which has kept me warm. I have slept if I needed to and just rested up. My partner in crime Missy has been content to keep me company. Trouble is I think I have now slept too much and fear I will not sleep tonight but at least I have rested and allowed my system to heal a little.

OH came in and we had antipasti for tea, cold cuts, plenty of cheese it has gone down very nicely as neither fancied the formality of a full meal and just wanted to pick a noggin of this and that.  

Tomorrow I must try and get back on track "into the groove" as it were. I have a lot of things to do.  OH is working in the morning.  I might do some pasta for when he comes in tomorrow lunch time as knowing him he will be starving by then.  

I also need to carry on plugging away at the bedroom to clear out more wardrobe space so that I can get my current wardrobe of clothes put away and where they should be and there should be another tranche of clothes to send to the charity shop.

I have got rid of one complete rail from the bedroom.  In its place are the two chest of drawers.  There is another rail in there and I intend to put a blanket box underneath that rail so that bedding etc. can be stored in there out of the way.  I think it will fit.  If not that rail will be moved into the back bedroom and the blanket box left on its own.  

At some point in this coming year I am going to have to buy a new mattress for the bed which is a cream wrought iron one which is super-king sized.  That will be a priority.  I will also need a new bedroom carpet and then with fresh paint and wallpaper that room will be done out.  WIP but we will get there.  There is always something to do.

Well will have to see what tomorrow brings and whether I manage to get anything done.

Catch you sometime tomorrow.



Thursday, 27 December 2018

Thursday Evening

Its been a strange sort of day today.  OH went back to work after the Christmas holidays and it was odd to be back on my own again.  I have had a lazy day - just rested and watched some programmes and also done some work on sorting out the things I want to do next year.  I have also started working on a time plan.

It has just been Missy and I and I have not seen anyone else all day.  I seem to enjoy the time alone just as much as when I am in company.
My eye is a lot better than it was and seems to be healing quickly.  I have put a little honey onto the cut to help it knit and also to keep it clean.  I have my fingers crossed that there will be minimal scarring. Honey is a natural antibiotic but also helps scars heal with the minimal of scarring.

We are nearly at the end of the Turkey.  OH has had a scuttle full again this evening with more stuffing, pigs in blankets etc.  I have had sausage buns and very tasty they were too.

I have some stewing steak to use up so I think maybe a pie and also a stew may well be in order.  Will have to see how I get on.

So slowly we are going back into the minutiae of everyday life.  The routine the familiar what we get lost in when nothing much is happening. The routine of regular jobs like the laundry and the ironing.  The cooking of meals etc.  

I still feel drained and at the moment certainly do not have much energy but it will restore itself  in due course.  I have a lot to do and yet still feel below par so I am being good and resting for the time being at least.  I am hopeful that this New Year will put an end to a lot of problems and bring and raise new opportunities certainly when it comes to earning a living.  I certainly need to get stuck in on the clearing again and hope to start a couple of UFOs in the next few days to keep my hands occupied and to let my mind wander whilst being productive. I think my serotonin levels are low again as I am not getting to sleep very easily  and then end up overlaying of a morning.  It happens every so often.

Right better get a wriggle on.  Have to get OHs stuff ready for the morning.

Catch you soon.



Ooodles and Oodles to do

I had hoped to play a lot more in the run up to Christmas just gone and as a result of not being able so to do I became a tad disappointed.  I have always been the one to see the potential in any situation - I suppose I am an ideas person and I get very wrapped up in the execution of doing something and creating something. In other words I enjoy it.  It kind of sets the inner me free.

I am looking to "bomb proof" everything for next year. Well real life has a habit of throwing up obstacles and one whether really knows so if the structure and everything is in place it just needs executing and not just necessarily by me.

I am looking at everything  I usually do in any one year whether that be on the cooking, preserving, or on the crafting front.  I also want to extend this even further.  

As well as learning new skills I have all sorts of plans for the new upcoming year I am practically buzzing.  It will call for lots of careful preparation - lots of lists, lots of calendar notes and pit stops. Making the most of the time available to me and not prevaricating quite so much.  

Working alongside the yearly events calendar and working out the most relevant dates will help me work out a working plan of when to do things for best effect and timing for my family.  There is no finer way of resolving things that go wrong as long as you learn from the mistakes or judgment of error then that is all that matters in the longer term.  You put the error right and instead of it being a negative it is now becoming something much more  positive.

One of my realisations is that as I am getting older I need more time to do things - so I am going to try and build in extra time to get things completed more than comfortably, broken down into achievable stages and then they will be out the way with and off the check list.  And then on to the next project.

One thing I have appreciated since being at home is realising and seeing much more of the seasons. Its sometimes about the marking of time things happen at certain times of the year marking and defining how far we are into a year. Taking advantage of the seasonal offerings like, apricots, redcurrants, strawberries, plums, cherries etc. and putting stuff up for the winter pantry in the form of chutneys,bottled/canned fruits, vegetables whether canned or dried.  Buying in the resources and then making something of them yourself is the cheapest way of making something and on a practical level making sure your family is well fed in the winter months.  Certain ingredients if you have them on your pantry shelf bring the taste of summer back into your cuisine like home made passion fruit curd spread with whipped cream on a home made Victoria sponge cake.  Heaven.

However I want to capitalise on this and make as many presents as I can as well.  That will take time and organisation also. It also ties in well with the fact that I have a new basic sewing machine and an embroidery machine to get to grips with.   What better way of getting to know them and learn than by actually doing something and making presents in the longer term.  I have lots of ideas as usual.  Now I need to put them into practice.

I still have not used my canner.  That is going to be rectified. Anything I can buy from the veg shop and that can be usefully put up will be.  I also want to get the dehydrating machines into use as well. I have a cheapie which I bought mainly for jerky however I also have an Excalibur.  However getting the machines into use that might take a while on electrical usage being built in but it will be worth it in the longer run.  I want to try and eradicate a lot of waste and I also intend to get my own compost heap up and running as well.

There is also the meat and Charcuterie element to investigate and explore as well.  I did a little last year and want to do more this.  I also want to make Gravlax again for Christmas 2019.  Now that was a success.

I have a list of plants and seeds that I would like to bring to the garden with an eye to being used in decorations later on in the year. So everything will have a place and purpose it is going to be sorting out very much the placing and pecking order as I go along.

So as I say Oodles and Oodles to do now I just have to get down to the nitty gritty and get it all planned out.  Some is already down on paper but there is loads more to do yet.

Catch you soon.



Wednesday, 26 December 2018

Just the two of us

Christmas Eve is always manic here.  This year it was more manic than usual.  I was busy trying to bake and finalise stuff and not getting everything done but it has given me ideas on how to get things better sorted than I did this year.  Planning and execution of items off the tick list are high on the list of priorities and no prevarication will be allowed.

We always end up doing a run around to family and I also had a trip to the graveyard in the dark to lay a Christmas fir ring for my parents.  OH let me go on my own (whilst he parked the car) and then came looking for me with Missy.  It is very dark and creepy on a normal day let alone in the dark but I managed to find it okay and remember them both for a few minutes in the day at least.  Never far from my thoughts.

Christmas  has for us been quiet and pleasant.  Christmas day was a little all to pot but with good reason.

I normally aim for dinner on Christmas Day for about 1:00pm to 1:30pm. However because of my fall and also my non-stop work in the lead up OH let me sleep yesterday.  Nothing was spoiling it was just the two of us and so we ended up having  a late Christmas lunch at 8:00pm. 

The cooking went to plan.  I made home made sage and onion stuffing, home made bread sauce, home made fresh cranberry clementine sauce, roast potatoes and parsnips, peas, Calabrese, brussels and carrots with lots of gravy and lots of pigs in blankets.  It was delicious followed by home made Christmas pudding and white rum sauce. 

Today I had planned to have Rib of Beef but we are saving that for Sunday dinner.  We have had a picky day and I am going to cook some mashed potato tomorrow and make some bubble and squeak.  There is still loads of Turkey left and other meats to boot.

I hope all of you have also had a special time and a peaceful family based one at that.

I would just like to say thank you for all your good wishes concerning my fall and the Christmas wishes themselves.  They are very much appreciated.  I am pleased to report that the bruising is coming out and the eye looks a lot better than it did all the way around although my eyebrow is a bit sore but for the best part that is the bruising coming out and things will only get better on that score.

OH is back to work tomorrow.  I have some work to do and would like to get to my sewing machine if I can so will do my best.

I now have a lot of planning to do for next year as well as a lot of making on all fronts.  I want everything done by the end of November.  That way if December is free then that will give scope for decorating the house, going out and enjoying festive events with friends and meeting up with friends.  It will also give scope for making anything last minute as well.

I have a new page a day Diary for next year.  There will be a lot to go in and also on to my computer diary so that they compliment each other and do not let me forget what I need to do when I need to do it.  Christmas can be an all year round state of mind and comes down to the planning and allowing time for execution.

I did not get any greenery up this year which grieved me but next year I will.  Even if it means sourcing bits and bobs early in the year and stashing them in readiness I am determined that this aspect will be rectified in the long term.  I had planned on doing some candle pots with some spruce and holly in but yet again did not get around to them either.  They make a very useful Christmas pressie addition.  Lots of thoughts and plans, dreams and ideas for the year to come.  In reality I know that all will not be realised but there is no harm in aiming for the sun and achieving the moon.

Enjoy the rest of the holiday however you choose to spend it and be happy wherever you are.

May I thank each and everyone of you for reading my blog, wafflings and dreams and for supporting me each and every step of the way.  I do appreciate it.



Monday, 24 December 2018

Wishing you all a very happy Christmas

Time to spend chilling with family or just on your own.  However you celebrate I wish you every lots of luck and happiness for this festive season.




I had a good busy day yesterday unfortunately it ended up with me seeing stars literally.  I had a fall and ended up banging my head on the wall and sustained a cut above my eyebrow.  I can honestly say that is the first time I have seen the stars in this way and I am not sure that I want to again.  How people can box get hit around and then get up again defeats me!

That's what happens when you don't have enough gin in it!

Lets just say that there are lots of pretty colours round my eye this morning.

I am ok and am taking things steady.  Looks worse than it is.  I shall probably have a little scar above my eyebrow although I have put a little honey on.

Hopefully will catch up later on.

Take care



Sunday, 23 December 2018

Arghh Bisto .....

No not Bisto (although there is a little in the gravy) but the smells wafting out of the slow cooker, crock pot, thingummy bob really do smell delicious.

I am aiming to sit down and see the last of the Return to the Chateau this evening and actually get to see it all the way through.  All I have got to do is to prepare the mashed potatoes and I think I am going to have a glass of red wine with it.  The beer I have used is one from my stash but it smells decidedly hoppy so I think will go well with the beef. I am salivating at the mere thought.

I currently have another couple of Nan/Mum's plum bread in the cooker.  Thought would need some more.  So that's for me and my bruv!  We are a dip your bread sort of family and after the main meal anything goes usually cold cuts with all the pickles, chutneys etc.  and everyone just goes and helps themselves to whatever is going.  Very relaxed.

Whilst at the veg shop earlier I found two bags of small beetroot at 50p per bag.  That will be turned into pickled beetroot as they are.  Already have loads of sliced in but was not going to turn my nose up at such a bargain as OH eats a lot of beetroot.  

Right need to get the  mash on the go and then a sit down for a while.  Going to be another late night and an early morning.

Catch you sometime tomorrow.



Dinner tonight

Yesterday we picked up a couple of short ribs for a meal and I am just about to start preparing this.  I am going to dry fry the ribs in a pan in some seasoned flour and then add them to a trilogy of carrot, onion and celery in the slow cooker.  I have a bottle of beer that is also going in together with some salt and pepper and garlic and a little stock and hopefully we will end up with a delicious supper to be served simply with mashed potato.  I have just ordered a sack of potatoes for tomorrow £12.50!  Same time last year £7 and they reckon it is going to get worse.  Watch the prices in the supermarket and work out how much it will cost you to buy loose or in a small bag compared to a sack!  I need the potatoes as they always provide a meal with eggs, bacon, cheese and onion and milk as staples and get very jittery if I don't have the same inhouse as it were.  You can prepare all sorts with the humble potato to keep the wolf from the door with the barest other ingredients.

Right coffee break over off we go again.

Catch you soon.



I am about

Just up to my ears as usual!  The little bit of baking I did last night went well and I have an old fashioned Parkin to make later on.  Have not had that in ages.  As I was beating away using arm power to do the baking last night I thought to myself I know a lot on the baking front and my stepdaughter although she is not really keen on cooking per se is doing more and more of her own stuff to save the pennies more than anything else and her youngest child only likes mummy's cooking.  So if she wants I will teach her what I know so that she can put it into use cooking for her own family.  She has always been a foodie and loves her grub so I am hoping that if she is given the know how the love etc. will follow.  She was taught when she was younger by myself and she was not too bad a cook.  However there have been a lot of years inbetween where she did not bother.  I think having a daughter instead of sons has made a difference to her.  We will see what happens.

One of the plus things about Christmas this year is that I am getting time to play and cook like I have wanted to in the past.  However next year's preparations will be orchestrated differently as there is a huge swathe of stuff that I have not been able to get to for practical reasons more than anything else but if they are planned then that will bring in a whole different element and put a different complexion on matters.  I am very grateful for what I have and I am very lucky and at the end of the day you do what you can do.  I am a happy bunny as long as I have my food.  However on the creative side I have been deeply disappointed as I had all sorts sorted to do.  That is going to be put right though as next year's Christmas starts this year as we speak and those projects that were for this year will be made up and be in place for next year.  

We have just had a very civilised anti-pasti of cold cut salami, prosciutto, saucisson sec, Provolone, cheeses and OH olives and something called Habas Fritas (Broad Bean nibbles) which are extremely tasty.  I am going to look further into these as I do like them.

Right I had better get on still loads to do.  Catch you later on.



Saturday, 22 December 2018

Saturday evening

I have been in the kitchen playing for a while.  Playtime has come to an end whilst something is baking in the oven.  There will be something else baking later after this as well.  So it will not be an early night no matter what comes.  I will have some more baking to do tomorrow and then Monday is main baking day but I have to go shopping first thing for the veggies and then that will be it for this year insofar as Christmas goes.

I have the trifle to start tomorrow as well a Black Forest Cherry trifle no sherry OH cannot abide spirit in his trifle although I might add a little bit of kirsch.  So I have a chocolate flan base to make tomorrow for the trifle and also a couple of swiss rolls for the obligatory Yule log!

For now though whilst my goodies are cooking I am going to be cleaning up.  Then I need to look for the rest of the dried fruit and the mincemeat.

On that note I will say goodnight and will catch you sometime tomorrow.

Take care.



A visit to a new Butchers and Gravy Salt

Last year we had probably the best ever Turkey that we have ever had.  It cost a pretty penny but we were more than pleased with it.

This year OH decided to try a new to us farm near where we live.  It is called Moor Farm at Newborough out in the middle of the fen.  However we were met by a charming full of fun family and a smashing butchers set up to boot.  The shop has a bit of everything and not necessarily what every other shop has either. The produce looked really good and there were are a lot of individual artisan products there.

We now have our Turkey a Bronze one.  It looks fantastic and not anaemic like some of the ones I have seen in the stores.  We also have pigs in blankets, streaky bacon, pork pie, some short ribs, a rib joint, 1kg of stewing steak, some sausagemeat, cheeses including Stilton and Lincolnshire Poacher and a Haslet.  So feeling pretty satisfied with life at the moment.  I have to go to the veg shop yet for all the veggies but I still have plenty of time to do that.  We are going to try the Pork pie shortly with some ketchup.   My favourite way of eating pork pie.

Whilst in there I picked up some goose fat - yes I have the pork dripping but both will get used when I noticed that they had a what is called a "Gravy Saviour" called Old Jakes.  There was a little leaflet with it and so curious I started reading and it turns out it is a gravy salt which came into being after Burdalls Gravy Salt stopped being produced in 2000 in the village of Wymondham.  Now I by choice (as did my mum) always used Burdalls Gravy block as part of my gravy preparation and I must say nothing has ever quite lived up to it since. So I am quite looking forward to seeing whether it is as good as it says it is.  Will report back.

The link for "Old Jakes" is here: Old Jakes

I must say that I did like the shop.  Very much my type of place and the meat quality looks good.  What I forgot to say was that they hang their Beef.  I do like hanged beef.  They also sell venison which will probably have a look at when we go back.

We are just having a pork pie moment and must say it looks good.  It is still warm.

Well verdict is not bad, it is peppery which we like and the pastry is nice and crisp.  Not bad at all and it comes in a resealable bag which is a bonus.

So I think we will be going back!

I have a large gammon in the freezer which OH is going to rescue and then that will be the cold cuts.  I am going to do some in the Elizabethan style with cloves studded into the ham which I have a particular penchant for as well as a ginger and orange glazed version.

Catch you soon.



Fair and Bright

I have woken up to a fair and bright morning where the sun is trying to peep out and make the day a little warmer than what it would otherwise be.  

I was shattered last night so did nothing at all and so took the time out.  So today I have to play catch up on doing those chores I had planned to do last night and I am just about to go and attack them and so I expect to be kitchen bound for the best part of the day. I expect  a late night as a result. OH is at work and will be home shortly and no doubt there will be something that he will want to do that will put my regime out.  You have to be very adaptable in this household.

I found some further bits last night including my Christmas pyjamas from last year which I thought I had inadvertently sent to the Charity shop.  However I do have new for this year.  I am glad I found them as they are a beautiful red tartan with a gold stripe through them and they are nice and warm and a favourite pair.

I have also found a kit I could not remember buying (a Pansy panel) and also a cross stitch chart one of the seasonal ladies this one is Spring).  Hopefully at the end of all of this I am going to have like for like all stored together so that I can lay my hands on everything when I want something.  The main thing for me though will be I will be organised and will be able to work methodically through things which I prefer to do. I have a box for my UFOs and they are quickly adding up but having in them in there will direct my focus and mean that I can work through them and get them out of the way with and made up into their final pieces.  There are of course the new bits and bobs as well especially where my sewing and embroidery machines are concerned which I am very much looking forward to.  I have also found my three needlework boxes and will be sorting them out to store all my basic things like embroidery needles, quilting needles and general hab dab. One of the boxes needs recovering though and although I do not have the floral fabric that the other boxes are covered in I do have a bright pink fabric which will tone in nicely.  

I am itching to get crafting at the moment but I am going to have to have more patience for the time being.

I have woken up this morning and my chest is a little tight and so I am hoping that it will settle down during the day.

Right I had better get a wriggle on.

Catch up later on.


Friday, 21 December 2018

Last Post

For this evening in any event.

Before going into town to meet up with my friend for lunch I ended up adding a few more jumpers into the two chests of drawers that I moved yesterday and there are still a few more to go however I suspect they will be going into the other two chests.  I am a jumper woman and I like to feel warm and toasty rather than cold of any sort.

It was a nice brisk walk into town although my hip was giving me a little bit of bother today.  I was in good time for a change and whilst I was waiting I thought that I would nip into Waterstones the book shop and walked slap bang into my friend who as she was early also had the same idea.

We put the world to rights.  I will see her on Monday hopefully for a short while to drop some stuff off to her in readiness for Christmas. That will be on the same run to see my brother to take over Christmas bits and bobs to them.

Afterwards on my way back home I ended up going into John Lewis inn their craft department and ended up finding a reduced peg angel tree ornament kit. It will make three angels.  The price was originally £4.87 but I managed to get it for £3.48 so a small reduction.  Another small kit to add to the stash for next Christmas.  Some of them should have been finished last year but for one reason or another have not been done.  I shall put up a list of the ones yet to do shortly.and do a running progress on them.

To tell the truth I bought this kit as I have seen a design for proper Toy peg soldiers that I think would look good with the games etc. underneath the Christmas tree but that will be for next year.  This Angel has a preprinted fine fabric to cut out so I thought would have a look at it and see if I could do something similar for the soldiers.

Right upwards and onwards - kitchen bound tonight.

Catch you shortly.



My Dad's old Chess Board

Was found yesterday with only some of the chess pieces I have an idea where the rest are but I took a good look at the board.  What I had not realised is that it is literally made out of an old soap crate lid and has Lifebouy Soap logo imprinted in red and green on the back.  The reason I looked at the chessboard was that the top of the board is a little jaded and I wondered if it could be cleaned up.  It could do with it but I am concerned about losing the integrity of the piece and would not want to spoil it. What do you think.

Catch you soon.



P.S. On checking it carefully the checkerboard would appear to be a fine card which I think if it got wet at all would wreck it.

Delivery to the Charity Shop and crafty rediscoveries

After shuffling things around last night, I have now been round to the Charity shop to take two big bin liners of items round to them most of which are clothes.  So far have only been able to have a partial thin out on that score but at least it is a very good start.   There were some other household bits that went around as well such as an old yogurt maker and a couple of pictures I do not want.

I have also located the big bag of shirts that I had stripped down for a recycled patchwork quilt, plus a few more shirts for stripping down. And now I have found my Accuquilt, I now have some movement on that front too.  There are various colourways that I am collecting with the fabrics.  However recycling a shirt in this way means fabric for other little projects if not for a quilt which is also going to come in very handy with my test makes on my new machines.

There is lots of material in those shirts and I quite like these red and pink checks they are sort of talking about a quilt for next year.  I shall strip these down over the holiday period, iron them and bag them up to keep them clean.

I also have two plastic sets of drawers that will be stacked one on top of the other.  I am hoping to get them into the craft room over the holiday as well as they hold all my cutting dies for my Big shot and embossing folders.  On top of that I also have a lot of ink stamps of different designs.  I want to play more with the paper and card projects a bit in this coming year as well.  

For Christmas next year I want to get a head start with what I have and also by putting in hand new strategies where I can for the house, different events, etc.  I am particularly talking about squirrelling away the necessary funds to be available for when I need them and that will take a little planning.  I am speaking at the moment about being able to take advantage of fruit crops like cherries and plums and being able to squirrel away those fruits in different types of preserves and being able to go out and buy said fruit when in season.  I  probably do better than most on this score but it can be a lot better than it is already.  Needs to be streamlined so that I do not have any unnecessary worries.  The same really goes for the crafting bets as well.

I also want to set up  a couple of other little businesses in the long run so I need to do some research in that respect.  So even though Christmas is not happening as planned we will still have a Christmas of sorts but better planned and more use made of the time available during the year and doing things a little at a time.  I also want to make home made presents where possible.  I am going to unleash that on the family for next year as I have thought of a way to keep my daughter and daughter-in-law involved and interested in making their own special Christmases for the future.  My stepdaughter has four children under her roof and I believe my stepson and his wife would also like some littlies of their own.  This also feeds in on one of my business ideas which I will not go into as yet but it does have a practical angle as well.  Its about dealing with things and instead of me procrastinating and leaving things to build up like Topsy and then panicking I need to be more efficient in making decisions and acting on them.  So in a roundabout way it is another learning curve for me but I want it to be positive not negative.  I am starting to feel a lot better than what I have done of late and a little bit more optimistic.

For me Christmas is about family and letting the inner child out but every child should have special Christmases.  It gives them inspiration and imagination to go forward and create things in their futures.  Happiness gives them wings that makes them fly and we all want our children to fly don't we.

Take care and catch you soon.



Shuffling things around

There were one or two choice words being aired a little earlier on as I shoved, hoisted and with some difficulty managed to move the chests into the main bedroom.  When you need a man there is never one around!  However chests are now in situ with some of my patchwork and quilting stuff sat on top in their pretty boxes. The drawers have some of my jumpers in.  I have another two chest of drawers to go through in the bedroom and thin out anything that is no longer required charity shop way I think. But part of the bedroom is starting to get organised.  Trouble is with me I cannot do half a job. If I start something I have to see it all the way through and I have to do a proper job as it were. So in the longer term it will be good to be organised again.

I have at long last found my Accuquilt machine which I knew was in there somewhere so I am planning on having a lot of sewing time this holiday.  I think I have earned it.  I watched a tutorial last night on the basic machine i.e. the Janome DC7100 and boy doesit have some upgrades on my previous machine.  I think I have died and gone to heaven.  I shall start off with some small projects first just to get me used to playing and then I will attack some of the UFOs.

Right am ready for bed.  Been a long day.

Catch up sometime tomorrow.



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)