Friday, 13 February 2009

Victorian Farm

This is a wonderful 6 part series shown on BBC2, the last episode being shown last night. A lovely, gentle, informative, funny, thought provoking porgramme, with presenters who were genuinely enthusiastic about what they were doing, baulked at nothing and just got on with it. I know it was "just televeision" but they did look as though they worked hard at it all. Lots of highlights - the sewing, the piglets, reaping machine, cooking, lambing...................

a real joy tow atch, and an oasis of sanity in the week where shouting, aggression and competitiveness is the norm. I shall miss it, but I have ordered the DVD in advance, so will be able to watch it again at my leisure. Highly recommended.

Thursday, 12 February 2009

Pottering about

Today had no real plan or structure to it, so just pottered about. I don't know how the expression came into being, but it's what I did today; baking, knitting, friend dropped in for tea and to pick up some knitting I'd done for her, started a new blog, worked ons ome other computer stuff, did some research. MrL and Bean both out tonight, so EJ and I had a change and had a cooked lunch to ourselves. I've actually achieved a fair bit *from just pottering, so maybe it's the way ahead LOL. Sometimes it's nice to forego routine and structure, variety is the spice of life and all that.

I made some lovely spicy pecans for later, loosely based on a combination of Sid Owen and Nigella Lawson's recipes, adapted to what I had in the larder. They're very good, so will enjoy a small bowlful whilst watching Victorian Farm tonight.

*no housework as such, though LOL

This is a replica of the Gunnister purse I finished this morning, from a pattern here:

Based on one excavated on Shetland in the 1950s, dating from the 17thC. Although I've alwys been interested in the historical side of knitting, like all practical things, the past fascinates me, the lives of ordinary people more so than the grand and wealthy. With the internet, there's so much information out there to use and enjoy, and I've joined several groups on Ravelry interested in historical knitting in various ways.

I like things in their place, so I started a new blog, Knitten, where I can put all my efforts and info. Find it here:

I've got a few other things lined up to, so looking forward to getting stuck into them soon.

The evenings are lighter now too, it's only just dark here now, after 6pm, I've just fed the goats and shut the chickens and ducks up for the night. I was talking to my friend about it, and we agreed it wouldn't be long until the clocks go back, only about 6 weeks now. Getting itchy fingers to get started on the garden properly - major overhaul of the vegetable beds, moving some, new ones, more of them, plus planting more fruit trees. I'm trying to sort out moving the ducks and hcikens too, plant a mini woodland and fit in a couple of pigs.

It's all go here........................

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

On a scale of one to ten................

.................... today's scored a 9.
I permitted myself the luxury of a mid-day bath; I'd been mucking out this morning - henhouses, duckhouses and goatyard. With the snow and wet weather, everything was pretty clarty, including me by the end of an hour and a half ..........
About 15 minutes into said bath, off goes the smoke alarm, and as I was alone in the house, I thought I'd better get out and have a look just in case. Needless to say, nothing amiss, and at least it was the one on the landing outside the bathroom, rather than downstairs by the back door................. I can't reach the ceiling, so had to knock the cover off with the long hook used to pull down the loft hatch, and take the battery out with it as it just wouldn't stop. Grumped my way back to the bath, but the moment had passed...............LOL
To add insult to injury, I realised how badly the landing ceiling needed dusting.............:)

More to life than cauliflower cheese.....................

............. so said the man on the radio this morning. Apparently "as a nation" we are turning our back on the cauliflower in favour of broccoli; slaes of caulis have gone down by 30% over the last ten years it's reckoned. "Health experts" and "nutritionists" have been pushing broccoli due to its perceived benefits in fighting cancer, to the expense of the lovely cauliflower. I am on a short -term one woman campaign to do something about it, and will buy cauliflowers at the weekend, and spend time searching our ecipes. So far, we like cream of cauliflower soup, cauliflower bhajis and ofcourse, cauliflower cheese. I have made potato and cauliflower curry too, which is very good, but more recipes needed. If anyone has any ides, please post below and I'll give them a go. The best cauliflowers I had were from Cornwall - huge white curds and snapping bright green leaves - lovely!

Monday, 9 February 2009

Carrot cake recipe

I made two of these on Saturday - one gone already LOL. The recipe I use is from Cranks Recipe Book:

Cranks Carrot Cake
6 oz carrots
2 eggs
4 oz sugar
3 fl oz vegetable oil
4 oz flour
1tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 teasp ground nutmeg
2 oz desiccated coconut
2oz raisins
Grease and line a loaf tin. Grate carrots finely. Whisk eggs and sugar together until thick and creamy, then gradually add the oil, still whisking. Then add remaining ingredients, mix throughly and pour into prepared tin. Bake in a hit oven for 30 - 35 minutes until well risen and golden brown. Cool on wire rack. Ice with orange icing if you like.
The original recipe in the book uses raw brown sugar and wholemeal flour, but I use what I have on the cupboard.

See here for more on carrot cake:

Sunday, 8 February 2009

Cupboard love.................

I've long wanted (and needed) a cupboard to store and display some of my lovely chine - plates, cake stands, jugs, etc, but nothing ever took my fancy really. However, this turned up at the tip, and I collected it today. I paid 5 pounds for it - more than I usually pay for anything at the tip LOL ), but it has a lot of potential. I'll be painting it, maybe more, and possibly trimming the sehelves, not sure, and adding new small knobs on the doors. There's just room to wedge it in the kitchen!! :)

I know - another project.............................

Saturday at home

MrL trolled off to his annual Beer Festival outing, so I stayed at home for the day. Usually, Saturday morning is spent out; as a non-driver, it's the time we go and buy animal feed, bales of straw, visit the garden centres, that sort of thing. So - it was nice yesterday to spend some time at home on a Saturday - a completely different atmosphere and feeling to other days in teh week. Beautiful weather, so teh washing went out, and theh ducks and chickens spent the day scratching around and sunbathing, despite the patches of snow still lying around.

Little fintpots in the snow - fintpots is a lovely word invented by Bean when she was very small , and we all use it now LOL

This is one of my little Light Sussex bantams, Margo; her sister is Barbara, but she wasn't around when the camera was out!

Pile of dogwood trimmings and prunings weathering, ready for basket making. Another week or so should see them fit for use, I hope. I love the colour of these, and want to plant some different varieites this year so I can add other colours into the baskets.

Apart from in and out to the washing line etc, I spent the majority of the day in teh kitchen baking and cooking - two carrot cakes, two big gingerbreads, two trays of shortbread, 1 1/2 dozen buttermilk scones, a murgh makhani (butter chicken curry) for tea, bit pot of rice, boiled potatoes for hash and two trays of baked potatoes to use teh rest of the ehat in the oven before I turned it back down. I also had a little wine festival of my own, in among the housework, and got some knitting on one of the shawls done, plus completed one dishcloth and knitted another one - these two destined for MrL's Valentine Day present - pics here:
Wonder if he'll like them?? LOL