Thursday, 26 July 2012

THE TALE OF SOME WAYWARD PIGS…

After long day pottering in the garden and i had promised myself a few stolen moments in front of the box with a can of fizzy pop & a rather large ball of crochet yarn… Stanley had indicated that he would like to have a stroll outside so I let him out and left the door open a jar and returned to the sofa…

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Then strolling in through the dining room as if on his evening rounds in wandered Bill, one of our kune kune pigs. Shocked I took a quick snap (this you can tell by its blurriness but felt it was necessary to share my horror with all and sundry) before shooshing him out towards the back door, only to find that Hilda & Ted (the other members of the pig gang) had started dismantling the kitchen…Bill had obviously been sent in to side-track me in a bid to gain them more time…meanwhile Stanley donned his pig herding cap and ran round in circles as the wayward crew barged their way out of the house still munching on the stolen bounty….

Cheered my day up no end….xox

Thursday, 19 July 2012

ROOM WITH A VIEW….PT 1

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For the longest time, well since we moved here I have been plotting & planning some way of sitting outside to enjoy our wonderful view despite the rotten Yorkshire weather…I have tried gazebo’s, they blew away. A makeshift canopy that was a disaster. So a lean to was decided upon, agreed with our lovely neighbour who we have employed to pop it up and now the wait is over…work has begun.

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I made tea, held up bits of wood & passed hammers, nails & other such important whatnot. Then there was an important pigeon race to attend so work stopped for today and a minor mischief by a certain dog which meant a bath also disrupted the proceedings…there maybe progress tomorrow but the pigeons will be arriving home so I may well lose my workman again…

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I must say that I am rather excited about the finished outside room and have a manner of ideas for such an area including an outdoor oven but first things first, to decide on a climbing rose to train up the side…I would really like a most fragrant one so suggestions would be most welcome…..be back with our progress soon xox

Saturday, 14 July 2012

EASY PEASY MAYONNAISE….

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Goodness me I’ve been on a whirl the last few days catching up with this and that so I thought it seemed like a jolly good time to share my easy peasy mayonnaise recipe as it only takes a few minutes to create this homemade wonder and I think you will agree its a tasty treat.

Does the thought of making your own mayonnaise send you scuttling from the kitchen shaking your head as Mr Doubter sits on your shoulder whispering about curdling and such like…well  grasp your stick blender and send him packing because this recipe is a breeze even for those who do not like to partake in anything daring in the kitchen.

A stick blender & jug

INGREDIENTS
2 Fresh free range eggs (fresher the better, straight from under the chicken if possible)
I tsp salt & sprinkle of pepper
1tsp powdered mustard
250mls oil, I like to use cold pressed rapeseed but sunflower or groundnut with work well as will olive oil but the taste will be alot stronger
Squeeze of lemon juice or white wine vinegar

METHOD
1. Place eggs, mustard, salt & pepper into the jug and blend.
2. Keep the blending, moving it up and down through the mixture as you add the oil in a slow but steady stream into the egg.
3. Add lemon or vinegar & taste, add more if needed..same for salt & pepper.
Store in a sealed jar in the fridge for no longer than a week…(if indeed it lasts that long)

Thursday, 12 July 2012

A RATHER NATTY CROCHET HEADSCARF TUTORIAL…


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Now as we all know a headscarf is the most useful of items when your hair is being rather unruly and the is no time to tame your locks. This rather super crochet pattern is quite simple and it shouldn’t take too long to make. Another peachy addition to your granny chic wardrobe…..and obviously for all ages xox
You will need
5mm crochet hook and a suitable aran weight yarn, one that can be washed for obvious reasons!
1. Chain 143 stitches, turn
2. 1 double crochet into 3rd chain from hook *5 chain, miss 3 chain, 1 double crochet 4th chain, repeat from * to end, turn
3. Slip stitch to centre chain of first loop, 1 double crochet into centre chain, * 5 chain, 1 double crochet into centre chain of next 5 chain loop, repeat from * to end, turn.
4. Repeat last step 7 more times.
5. Slip Stitch to centre of first loop, 1 double crochet into centre chain, *3 chain, 1 double crochet into centre chain of next 5 chain loop, repeat from * to end
6. Fasten off, stitch in ends and then tie in a fancy way around your head
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Wednesday, 11 July 2012

RHUBARB & CUSTARD MUFFIN GOODNESS

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During the shenanigans of writing a book a few stalwarts of the house went completely to pot…this indeed has been the basis of many a complaint over the last few weeks I can tell you….the lack of home cooked goodness.  There are only so many bad take-away’s & bowls of pasta ‘n’ pesto that one family can consume.
There was a cheer of relief as I announced that I would be cooking a proper dinner earlier this week and for an extra treat I decided to whip up a batch of muffins to reward such eagerness…
Now hiding at the back of the cupboard looking rather sad & sorry for itself was a jar of rhubarb that I preserved last year. The last til next year I fear as there is an inedible monster residing in the garden that has been left to grown uncontrollably but that my friends is a tale for another day.
So using my trusty basic muffin recipe I added in the rhubarb, a dollop of custard in the middle and Violet exclaimed that she wanted to eat them for ever & ever..
So should you wish to wow your family with these muffiny delights here is the recipe.
MAKES 12 LARGE MUFFINS
INGREDIENTS
400g self raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
150g sugar
2 large eggs
175mls sunflower oil
150mls semi skimmed milk
2 cups of cooked rhubarb
200mls cooled custard

Oven at 180
METHOD
1.Mix all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl
2. Add rhubarb and stir through
3. Mix all the wet ingredients in a jug, whisk together and then add into the dry ingredients stirring as little as possible.
4. Spoon a little of the mix into the muffin pan, add a big dollop of custard and then cover with a good scoop of cake mix.
5. Place in Oven for 18-20 mins, cool and then enjoy with a well earned cup of tea

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

GRANNY SQUARE FLOOR RUG

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On our last trip to the Netherlands I spied this rather interesting yarn stacked up at the back of a crafty type of shop I had wandered into, it had obviously been calling my name for I knew it was perfect as soon as I picked up a cone of the stuff. Instantly the idea popped into my head that it would indeed make the most perfectly lovely granny square rug to match my pale grey floors. I snapped up the last 2 cones of this rather ‘downpipe’ grey colour and got to work straight away using a 10mm hook. I beavered away night & day and within no time I had created a fine pile of squares.
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Zpagetti yarn is made of high-quality and durable leftover material from the fashion industry and can be used in all manner of knitting or crochet projects but at the moment only seems to be available in the Netherlands or Australia but ah ha do not fear I tracked down a similar product right here in the good old UK…
Hooplayarn seems to be almost the same so I purchased a couple of cones of cream that had grand plans of becoming a large doily rug but I have hatched a cunning plan to make a couple of  ‘everything & anything bags’ from our book ‘granny chic’. These will be hung in hope on the back of the boys bedroom doors to deposit their rather smelly smalls and when full carried down to the washing machine….if they can indeed be bothered to get that far.
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For now Mr Rabbit is keeping a close eye on it as it resides by the fire, as there seems to be a nuisance called Stanley that insists on rucking up all the rugs carefully placed around the place…
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Monday, 2 July 2012

WHAT A WONDERFUL WORKSHOP…

012A weekend well spent I should say, sewing machines humming, baskets overflowing with the most delightful fabric, smiling faces, the most warm welcome from Louise & Debs, snipping scissors, tales to remember, new friends, old friends…..many cups of tea and the most lovely of lunches.

Pinny’s and happy garlands carefully constructed with all manner of bling, thank you to you all and I must say that you were all fantastic with your beavering ways and how you all embraced granny chic & let your crafty souls shine xox

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