Saturday, 22 March 2008

I am going to see........................

His Holiness the Dalai Lama, in Nottingham in May. How excited am I? Words cannot do it justice.
My friend got me a ticket, and I'll enjoy a few days staying up in Yorokshire with her, haven't seen her for a couple of years. Chance of a lifetime, thrilled to bits.

Thursday, 20 March 2008

Field walking

The Bean went out field walking while I was in the kitchen yesterday - came back with some interesting finds. Always lots of fossils about, as our village stands on a run of corn braish, full of good fossils, bits and pieces. Lovely big ammonite fossil, bit of old roof tile, several fossilised shells and a lovely little stone with a perfect white heart formed inside it - this one looks like it has been napped on the other side, very interesting.

Being ill.........

Not really ill, just have a bad dose of the cold - throat, nose, head, eyes - the lot! I'm not very good at being ill either - I try to carry on as normal; have put off tomorrow's visitors though, not a good idea. Making hot cross buns today I hop, and staying inside. I finished the marmalade in the afternoon, turned out well - lovely colour. Hope it tastes as good as it looks.
Also knitted some Easter eggs - like you do!!

Link for egg pattern:

Wednesday, 19 March 2008

Lemon curd recipe

>The best recipe I've found over the years, and the only one I use now. Try it - you'll never use another, or buy lemon curd again. It's quite versatile in the kitchen too - add to meringues with cream, lemon curd tarts, add to double cream and/or yoghurt and make ice cream, or just eat it out of the jar with a teaspoon :0)

Lemon curd

Juice and grated rind of 5 -6 large juicy lemons

5 -6 new laid eggs

8oz unsalted butter

1 1/4lbs sugar, caster or granulated

Grate the rinds finely from the lemons and put in a bowl, then juice the lemons well and add the juice, strained. chop the butter and add to bowl, along with the sugar. Place the bowl over a pan of simmering water, and stir regularly until the sugar is dissolved and the butter melted. Beat the eggs well, and pour through a sieve into the bowl; stir frequently until mixture thickens to coat the back of the wooden spoon, then pour into hot jars. Leave to cool, covered with a tea towel, then seal and label.

Oh what a beautiful morning............

..oh what a beautiful day! Makes you want to sing :0) Absolutely lovely here. Sky was strange last night - covered in separate fluffy clouds, with the moon peeping through; tried to take a picture but it didn't work. Glad I saw it though. Not sure what's on the agenda today, but I need to get the grapefruit and ginger amrmalade finished and the lemon curd sealed, bacon sliced (still not done), might make some biscuits, bit of gardening, washing, the usual. I really need to get the curtains on the go for the kitchen too, which I talked about last week, but enver got round to. Maybe I'll get spurred on at the sight of the rather gorgeous chicken fabric!!

Grapefruit and ginger marmalade

3 large thin-skinned grapefruit - ruby ones are nice, for the colour

3 lemons

5lbs sugar

piece of root ginger

6oz crystalised ginger, chopped

6 pints water

Wash fruit and cut in half; using a grapefruit knife, remove all flesh and juice and put into preserving pan. Tie the pips in a muslin bag with the lemon skins and root ginger piece; cut the grapefruit skins into fine, short lengths and add to the pan with the water. Simmer for 1 1/2 hours or so until the peel is very soft and the contents of the pan reduced by about half. Remove the muslin bag, squeezing it well, stir in the warmed sugar, then the chopped crystalised ginger, then boil rapidly to a set. Leave to cool a while, then stir to distribute the peel and ginger, then pot and seal.

Tuesday, 18 March 2008

You ain't seen me..........

.......right? I'm supposed to be at the Parish Council Meeting, but honestly didn't feel up to it, so cried off; hot bath and an early night, I think.

I did get the grapefruit and ginger marmalade started this afternoon, and a bit more crochet done, but it really was too cold to go outside.

Hurray for the Rayburn!!!

Very cold here, so turned the Rayburn up for two reasons - keeping w arm and cooking things to use up the egg mountain! Have ended up with two quiches and 5 jars of lemon curd - I had a load of lemons needing used as well. Started off some grape juice/gooseberry and mint wine (gooseberry and mint cordial needed using up too), and some chilli wine - I'd got some greatly reduced chillies on Friday, so got them used up; pan of eggs boiling on the stove now, and potatoes going in to bake to use the oven up. Just need to clear up now..............

Tolpuddle Martyrs, housework and more......

On this day in 1834, the Tolpouddle Martyrs were convicted of taking illegal oaths and sentenced to transportation to Australia. We have a family of Lovelesses in our village - probably descended from the Martyr family of that name. Wonder what they would make of rural Dorset now?

Cold and bit windy today, so good for the washing. I started my daily round an hour earlier this morning - what a difference that made! Washing in, out and on, washing up done, dog walked, been to Post Office, all animals fed and watered, stove fired up for cooking soon, and the last row of that crochet section done, e-mails checked and dealt with, likewise forum stuff. Need to slice the bacon for the freezer, and make something with a lot of eggs in for tea- the hens are laying liek there's no tomorrow! Cake would be nice too, and I have a new shortbread recipe in mind I might give a go. Hope it stays nice, I'll try to get outside too. We came second in the St Patrick's Day quiz last night, so that was OK. Parish Council meeting tonight, which I could do without, but hey - ho.......

Monday, 17 March 2008

Quilt blocks

Got these two blocks whizzed up just now, to catch up to date with the forum friendship quilts. Ktichen is covered in bits of thread now, needs sweeping............. got the store-room floor washed, and a courier has just delivered a big box of recycled paper for my book project. I was beginning to wonder where it was :0) Now I need to get on with the book thing.................

St Patrick's Day

I don't celebrate St Patrick's Day really, but found this an interesting piece:

"The greatest of St Patrick's miracles was that of driving the venemous reptiles out of Ireland, and rendering the Irish soil, for ever after, so obnoxious to the serpent race that they instantaneously die on touching it. Colgan seriously relates that Patrick accomplished this feat by beating a drum, which he struck with such fervour that he knocked a hole in it, thereby endangering the success of the miracle. But an angel appearing mended the drum and the patched instrument was long exhibited as a holy relic"

Chambers book of Days, 1864

I knew about the snakes bit, but he drum part is new to me. Also, on this day in 1845, one Stephen Perry of London patented the rubber band. So there you go...............

Had a busy weekend, mainly involving getting the quiz for the village hall done, organised and performed; not a great turn out, but it went well, good food, and made some money for the hall; won an Easter egg in the raffle too :) Yesterday was very wet and windy, so nothing done outside - tackled the ironing mountain instead, and got it all done - there was a lot...........again....... I really need to be more organised and do it at least once a week. Might sit down later and work out a routine type thing totry and keep on top of everything; this is difficult when you'd rather be knitting or whatever, but OH didn't seem too happy to proscribe to that view when I tried to explain to him. :0) I'd like to work it so that all the housework was done during the week, leaving Saturday for going out and about, and Sunday at home knitting, gardening, sewing, and special food. Must try harder.

Not much planned for the rest of the week, might make a Simnel cake this year for Easter, although we don;t celebrate Easter as such, but I enjoy the rituals and seasonal food. Friends coming over Friday morning for coffee and hot cross buns, and Parish Council meeting on Tuesday night. New crochet project started - didn;t mean to, but couldn;t resist; kicking myself over the computer inexplicably shutting itself down *3* times alst night, in the last 2 1/2 minutes of an e-bay aution I was watching for some rather nice Alice Starmore wool. Missed it in the end, and it only went for 4.00. Not pleased, especially when OH said that I had lots of wool alreadyl - he really doesn't understand. Ah well.

Friday's tip treasures at 50p each - very nice coffee grinder which I shall keep for spices only, and a lovely big old floral patterned bowl, complete with badly mended crack at the back, but I love it. It goes very well in the kitchen with the green paint.

Mid-day update:I've got a fair bit done so far; washing down and folded, wet washing up, on the pulley, also a lien outside, more put int he machine and water butt enptied; bird feeders re-filled, all animals fed, ironing done, cake eaten and coffee drunk!