So when I woke this morning to see, mostly, blue skies and bright sunshine I was eager to get going and Ben was infected also, we were out bright and early and enjoyed a leisurely stroll around the village.
I had tried making a bread recipe from Frugal in Bucks, and thought to repeat it today. I mixed the dough and put it in the bread maker to knead and prove, half an hour later I realised that I had not added the salt, BUM, I did use milk and salted butter but knew that it would not be enough.
Once the proving time was up I tipped out the very fluffy dough and pressed it out, I sprinkled a good pinch of salt over and then a large handful of sultanas and kneaded them in. Then to give it a bit of oomph I melted a dollop of butter and stirred in 2 tsp mixed ground spice and 2 tblsp brown sugar, once this had cooled I rolled out the dough into a rough rectangle and spread the butter mix over. I then rolled it up like a Swiss Roll and cut into slices, around 1 1/2" wide, put them on a baking tray and left to rise while the oven heated up. In to a hot oven for 15 minutes and then on to a cooling rack. Hot, happy spicy whirls, I thought about making a glaze but decided that it would be just too much sugar. I made 10 from a 3 cup flour mix, 1 was eaten as soon as it was cool enough and not bad at all, 1 is in the kitchen for later, the rest have been put into 2 boxes and will go to Archie and Dolly's humans later. Four to eat and four to freeze (maybe).
I finished the jacket, and I have another skirt and jacket cut out, I am pleased with them as a first attempt.
Front View, the jacket is loose enough to enable me to add a single button I think, I will fasten with a clip first and see how it looks and feels. I have worn it, bit with a fuschia top, the blue was just too matchy matchy.
I have another whale pencil case to make, I ran out of the correct size zipper, that is going off to Oz and I want to get it in the first post on Tuesday. There is a little surprise already on its way.
I have been looking for a decent sized shrub for the center bed in the front garden, all that I have seen have been very small or huge specimens that cost an arm and a leg. When shopping with Maggie on Thursday I had a look at Pound Stretcher and found 2 Escallonias, Apple Blossom, in large pots for £1.99 each. Nice strong plants with good formation and very healthy, not even a little pot bound. They are now planted and surrounded with fuschias and upright geraniums. Now what to put round the edge, nothing yet as I will need to remove the turf, fork over the ground and get some well rotted manure in. The ground is too wet for that sort of work as yet, the outline has been sliced through with a spade, all I need now is a dry week.
I am planning on planting squashes there and trailing them round the perimeter, big leaves to suppress weeds, big yellow flowers and (hopefully) lots of food for the winter. I have Butternut and Jack O'Lantern, both of which I have grown with good results before.
I also have a Fiesta Squash in the larder, I will be cooking it this weekend and saving some seed to sow next week.
Now it is almost time to go and collect Archie and Dolly, deliver the buns and enjoy another walk. I aim at getting at least an hour each day. I am going to see if I can cut my Pea and Bean supports from a stand of Hazel while we are out. They were coppiced many years ago from the look of them and there are literally hundreds of good sized poles ready to harvest.