Sunday 31 March 2013

Pizza and Piecing

 Sourdough Pizza.
 Looks good enough to eat, I made 2 and we had them with salad and they were very good, the sourgough taste came through the topping and the base was soft and chewy, just as I had hoped. The dough was from my starter and the topping was whatever was in the fridge, some pasta base sauce that I make by the gallon and freeze, ham, bacon, peppers, onion, mozzarella and grated cheddar.
4 blocks from my new project ready to piece.

I have cut maybe half the blocks that I need and hop to cut the remainder  later,. I have adapted the pattern That I  "borrowed" from Peach Patch Quilts to suit the size of the Blue Bird print for the center square. I have also mixed up the other fabrics to get a more scrappy look and to accommodate the amount of material that I have in each print. I am falling in love with this quilt even at this early stage, I think that it is destined to be a birthday gift for my wonderful neighbour Marina, she is the best person that I could choose to have living next to me,  Once the good weather arrives we will have days out looking round Garden Centers and plant Nurseries, not forgetting a spot of lunch here and there

Do not forget that I need a name for the quilt, the Log Cabin is called Dave's Delight. It is for a colleague , named Dave, who has dropped several not so subtle hints over the last 6 months or so, even telling me what colours his wife has  in the bedroom, as he is leaving to start an exciting new job in a brand new building I thought I would surprise him.

I do have a guilty secret, last year I bought the fabric and made the 9 patch blocks for a quilt, I liked all the patterns but once assembled I found them DULL and somber. I put them on hold for quite a while then 2 weeks ago I wandered into a quilting shop that I had only just discovered and picked up a stack of Christmas Fabrics. I think that 2 of these  used as sashing and borders will lighten and brighten the blocks to nearer my taste. This will be next on my list of WIPs to finish.

I will finish by wishing you all a very Happy Easter Sunday, Enjoy the Eggs but remember that Easter is based on a pagan celebration of fertility and that chocolate is regarded as an aphrodisiac , so remember that
a LITTLE of what you fancy does you good.

Saturday 30 March 2013

A Cabin and a Competition

Log Cabin Flimsy.
Good Morning, Here as promised is my Quilt top, it looks a bit droopy as I am not tall enough to hold it taught. It is  King size and I am going to back it with flannel, both for the warmth and to stop it slithering around on the bed. I have some "warm and natural" wadding ready and should start it today. Problem is that I saw a quilt block on one of the blogs that I read and fell in love with it. I have pulled a stack of fabric from my stash and will start cutting soon.

I am going to fussy cut the blue birds to make a center square and then use each print to make a frame. When I have made a few I will post a photo and give credit to the blog post.
Please ignore the creases I will be pressing them all before I start cutting.
My new project.
How about a little competition with a prize. I like to name my quilts and I have no idea what to call this. I usually think about who to make a quilt for, then pick the fabrics and then the name comes to me. This time I just jumped straight in, saw the quilt, fell in love and raided my stash. So if you like to suggest a name I will put all entries into a container and pick one out. the winner will get a cushion case of this block.
There is no jumping through hoops to enter, you do not have to be a follower but if you are you will get 2 entries and to be totally fair my current followers will get an extra entry. I will do the draw thingy on Easter Monday 17:00hrs  local time.

We had the fishcakes for dinner yesterday, I was going to take a photo but hunger got the better of us, I will try for tonight's pizza. The sourdough is still smelling wonderful, tomorrow I am going to make spitfire sourdough bread from my Paul Holly wood book. BTW this is not an advert I love the book and no body paid me to mention it, but if he happens to read this and would like to offer me a lesson .........
Naughty naughty.
I am off to iron my fabric and get started, I could do some housework but I am not. TTFN Pam 

Friday 29 March 2013

A very Good Friday

Last night,s Dinner, Look no cabbage
Good morning, good morning a very good Good Friday morning to all. It is SORTED, as from Monday 1st April I am only working 3 days a week, now I know that it is All Fools Day, and from one point of view I am a Fool. One of my young colleagues moved house yesterday and I am covering his shifts tomorrow and Sunday, he is also taking the following week off so I will cover the full week for him. I am happy to do so, he is a lovely young man and besides his Granny is my neighbour and friend.
As you see from my picture we did not have cabbage ,with the homity pie, When I took the stock out of the freezer I looked at the bags of sprouts and just had to have them. I froze these down 2 days before Christmas. Work gave every employee a veg box  and several people took the bags of sprouts out to discard.  Waste not want not and never look a gift horse in the mouth I thought, so I offered to remove the offending articles and gathered up 12 or so bags, I will eat them through the year we all love them.

I have to decide now how to use my extra 2 days off per week to the best, I can break out my Log Cabin Quilt top and get that layered and basted and decide how to quilt it As it is so traditional I may tie it, I tied 2 quilts last year and found it relaxing, although my fingers ached when I had finished.

I nearly forgot to tell you that I made bread yesterday ready for today's  breakfast Bacon Butties , I love alliteration. I took my sourdough out of hibernation earlier in the week and coaxed it back to life, oh the smell, after 40 days I had forgotten that Earthy, Sweet, Beery smell. I suppose that I only noticed because it had been missing, it is normally just part of the home so I am accustomed to it. Anyhow it was so good to have it back.  I just made the one loaf and will make more tomorrow when I make the Pizza base.

I just have to peel the potatoes ready for tonight's fishcakes, have my second cup of tea and then I have a Hot Date with the ironing, while it is set up I will get the log Cabin top out and give a once over and get a photo for tomorrow.

last but by no means least I have FIVE wonderful followers, in no particular order I say Hello and Welcome to Cottonreel, Miss Ipie, Trudie, Frugal in Bucks and Flourgirl, I hope to keep you entertained with my ramblings. TTFN Pam.

Thursday 28 March 2013

How did THAT happen?

Today was shopping day, that ought to be written in flames, I shopped fro the week ahead, I stocked up on a few items that were on offer, I hasten to add that these are all things that I buy regularly. I still had change from my budget of £50. All well and good.

Then off to the petrol pumps, the tank was not empty and petrol at T***o is the cheapest in the area it cost me £43 and change. Nearly £6 more than the shopping, I did the classic double take, checked that I had not filled up with the premium brand I even went into the kiosk and asked them to check. All correct but most definitely not all right!

I did work extra hours last week meaning that as we both work at the same firm the car did a double trip at the end of the shift so the extra cost was more than covered. BUT that is not the point and does not make it any more palatable.

I shop for 3 adults and 2 dogs, we waste nothing, I buy very carefully and cook every meal from scratch. I make my own Laundry "gloop" and use diluted white vinegar as fabric conditioner. this helps to keep my shopping bills down. I have to buy petrol, I go to the cheapest and the nearest supplier, that is why I shop where I do

I read mean queen's blog post earlier and was impressed by her savings. As I said in a comment , if I retired my petrol bill would reduce dramatically, I could shop at the optimum time for savings and would have all the time i need to do all the things that I would like to do.

I would no longer pay tax, taking money out of the system, only a drop in the ocean I know. I would buy less, no longer requiring "work" clothes. Cut down on laundry and water  and electricity costs would fall.

I begin to understand the benefit trap, why would anyone choose to get a job when their income falls and their outgoings increase. I ask again. How did that happen? Why did it take me so long to realise?

By the way my meal plan for the next week is not extravagant
Thursday    Homity pie and cabbage
Friday        Homemade fish cakes and salad
Saturday    Homemade Pizza
Sunday      Roast Lamb...1 leg at £4 per kilo cost £8, 3 meals for 3 people 89p per meal + stock.
Monday    Vegetable curry and rice homemade onion bhajis and naan bread
Tuesday    Shepherds Pie and vegetables, left over lamb.
Wednesday Wheat, lentil and veg soup using some of the lamb stock with dumplings
Any comments gratefully accepted. TTFN Pam

Wednesday 27 March 2013

Who else is guilty

I like to hang my washing out when the weather is suitable, to do this I have built up a collection of pegs over the years. Now most of these are brilliant, easy to use and keep the washing in place even in strong winds, however there are quite a few that are not so good. They are awkward to open, twisting round in my fingers, or they are not strong enough for anything heavier than undies, then there are the too small, too big and the colours that I hate!.
 It has been good drying weather this week and I have worked my washing machine hard and cursed my pegs frequently. Today I tipped them out and sorted through, I now have  bag of pegs that I like, a bag of pegs that will be for the odd sock mountain ( goodness knows how 6 feet can dirty so many socks) and a pile of "out you go" pegs that are in the recycling bag.
Now tell me why it took so long for me to find the 5 minutes that it took to do this. It will save me at least that much time every time I peg out my washing. I would not mind betting that I am not alone in this.

Mmmm now where else do I waste time faffing around on a regular basis, cutlery, every meal time I rattle around in my cutlery drawer picking out the right size eating irons. Not any more, once again I emptied it out picked out the stuff that we do not use and replaced the ones that we do. Bingo another 5 minute job done and dusted.

I know full well that if I go round my house in this manner I will A, get rid of a fair bit of unused clutter and B, save myself time in the future. I also know that it will not happen overnight, I have to be in the right frame of mind and be in the right place.
Thanks to my washing marathon I have an pile of ironing which is my next task BEFORE  making the cup of tea that is calling my name.
Dinner tonight is leftover roast beef ( from Christmas) that I dug out from the freezer along with some beef stock. I will steam some veg and it will go with the Yorkshire pudding that I will cook later . It will go in the oven at the same time as an apple pie using the sliced apple that I tossed in cinnamon and sugar before I froze them last October, they are Howgate Wonder from my garden.
I think that is enough rambling for today. TTFN Pam

Tuesday 26 March 2013

Comment on my dinner and a plea for help

We had the Maple, Thyme and Butter roast chicken today, recipe from Kaleidoscope of Colors  OMG it was good, I was concerned that it might be too sweet but it was just delicious. I did roast potatoes, carrots, swede and wilted chard with it and made a little gravy with stock from the freezer. I have saved all the pan juices and they will be put with some belly pork on Saturday with a bit more Maple Syrup and some soy sauce.

Now for the plea for help and advice.
I am new to blogging and stumbled through the set up procedure more by luck than judgement, i want to make it easy for anyone who may want to follow. I have the follow by email but would like an alternative, what do you recommend and how do I get it?

I am not embarrassed to ask, at 61 I have asked for help more times than I have had hot dinners, well perhaps almost as many times. Now if anyone wants a foolproof cake recipe, or any other recipe I am your woman, I learnt to cook at my Grannies elbow, standing on a stool for the first few years although as she was only 5ft and a whisker I was off the stool by the age of 8.

You may have noticed  that I tend to run on a bit, all my family can talk the hind leg off a donkey, I blame my genes.

I look forward to lots of help. TTFN Pam

WOO HOO, I did it, I was chewing this over and remembered that one of the blogs that I follow, Sew Many Ways, give tips on blogging, I paid a visit followed the instructions and Bob's your uncle. Mind you I am still hoping for advice on all aspects of blogging.
Hopefully my camera situation will be resolved soon and I will be able to bombard you with pictures as well as words. TTFN Pam

A little bit about me

I jumped into writing here without any thought of structure or content, I tend to be impulsive. perhaps you would be interested in what made me who I am today.
I was born on the edge of a North Norfolk village in May 1951, we had a large family home and my mothers parents lived with us.
One of my earliest memories is of baking with my Granny on Sunday mornings, everyone had a lie in except us two. Granny raked over the coals in the range and stoked it up while I got the baking things out of the pantry. We had a cup of tea and toast in the summer or porridge in the winter, then set to cooking. First was the bread dough, mixed,kneaded and put to rise at the far end of the table, it went into a glazed earthenware conical bowl with a damp muslin cloth over it.
Pastry was next, sausage rolls, little meat pasties, cheese and onion slices, Norfolk Shortcakes, curd tarts and jam tarts. Then as the oven cooled a little a plain cake and a fruit cake would go in followed by a sponge and some buns. At some point the bread dough was knocked back and shaped into loaves and put to the second rise. Granny changed the dampers to increase the oven heat ready for the bread, once that was cooked the joint would go in ready for lunch if we were having a roast. My favourite was a rabbit casserole with sliced potatoes on the top.

In the meantime the family would have got up, had tea and breakfast and done the myriad things that needed doing. My job was to collect hogweed , when growing, for the rabbits. My Granddad bred rabbits which were bartered with the butcher for meat or sold in the village as well as food for us. I never questioned this it was just our way of life, we raised poultry for the table and to sell, Roast chicken was a luxury then that not many could afford.

We had no central heating, there was the kitchen range, a fireplace in the "front room" and one bedroom had a fireplace in that was used when there was illness.
I scraped ice of the inside of the windows in winter but was always warm in bed, flannelette sheets, wool blankets, bedspread and eiderdown saw to that and if it was very cold there was a stone hotwater bottle and bedsocks

This is turning into a saga, I will tell more another time. I had a wonderful childhood, I was surrounded by people who loved me, and let me know so, I was well fed , had warm clean clothes and good shoes. I had every thing that I needed and enough of what I wanted, books mostly, to keep me happy. TTFN Pam 

Monday 25 March 2013

Meet Bertie

Bertie the Bichon
This is Bertie, he is a small Bichon with a big personality. He is 15 and counting and beginning to show his age, he is mostly deaf and completely blind but provided we do not move things can find his way around.

The car is done and I am poorer but safe and mobile again, it was only at the garage for 3 hours but it felt like forever and no I did not sleep. I did 3 loads of washing, well the sun was shining and I did not like to waste it, and then waded through a pile of ironing.

I found a beef casserole in the freezer and made big Yorkshire puddings for dinner, oh and steamed some cabbage to make it healthy. I dug my camera out to take some photos but it seems to be in a coma or possibly dead, I have a friend at work who knows cameras so he will have a look tomorrow for me. Good job my birthday is on the horizon I feel a new one is needed.

When I dug the casserole out I rescued a chicken which is destined to feed us tomorrow and twice more after that  It will be cooked with Thyme, butter and Maple Syrup, I found the recipe on Kaleidoscope of Colours this morning, I will let you know what it was like.

I love to cook and to eat good food, I watch my weight as best as I can. I rush around at work, walk Ben daily for up to an hour and that helps. I would like to lose a stone but am not going to beat myself up about it. Once we get some Spring like weather I will be in the garden not the kitchen and the excess fat will melt away.

I have a stack of washing up to do and then I want to have a look at my sewing pile, it needs a tidy up as it is beginning to resemble the Leaning Tower of Pisa. TTFN. Pam

Meet Ben

Meet Ben half Spaniel,half Yorkie.
Morning all, I left off work early today so thought I would have a little play on the lap top. I only have a few photos on here at the moment, I still have to figure out how to move them from my old computer.
I thought you might like to see my little dog, it is not a brilliant picture but I will find some more later.

I am off to the garage later, my chevy needs a few new bits and today will cost me around £200, that does include the MOT fee and a full service, and he always gives it a wash and brush up.

I am off to bed for a few hours and will write a better post this afternoon. I may even have a bash at sorting my photos out. TTFN. Pam

Sunday 24 March 2013

I would say "Morning All" but it is afternoon now, I was at work till 6 this morning and have just crawled out of bed and had my first cup of tea, why is the first one of the day soooo good? 2 more and I will be human once more.

The sun is shining and my south facing lounge is filled with light and I can see my resident spider has been busy, every day for weeks now I remove a web from one of my wall lights, you think he would have got the message by now. Has to be a man, no self respecting lady spider would continue to waste her time.

Today's dinner will not be roast as the chicken is still in the freezer, I have 3/4 of a salmon and spinach tart made from Frugal Queen's recipe and a spiced chickpea and mushroom bake so there will be jacket potatoes and salad to go with them. lazy day food, love it.

No sewing today, the ironing basket is poised to take over the world and needs curtailing and Ben loves to walk in the snow, he has been in the garden and is now pulling the snowballs of his feet, he is 1/2 Spaniel and has furry feet that cling on to snow.

I am taking part in SFT's sealed pot challenge and threw in the change from my purse last night, anther £6.37 towards Christmas in Wales. It was going to be a trip to Australia but my friend who dog sits for me is very ill and there is nobody else that I can ask. Kennels are out of the question so Wales it is. I have booked a cottage for a week in May and another in August in Ceredigion  and hopefully my friend will be well enough to come with me for at least 1 of those, she loves the area as much as I do.

My washing machine has just finished spinning so I am off to empty and restart it and make more tea, a quick sprint through the shower, more tea and kick start my day. TTFN  Pam


Saturday 23 March 2013

Deep and everlasting joy, it is snowing again, that puts paid to any thoughts of washing and housework, not that I  had too many of those, a day playing in the kitchen is called for.
One of my colleagues at work is leaving soon for pastures new, he has a penchant for my cappuccino cake so I will make him one and take in tonight. I work night shift and love it as I run on very little sleep so I get lovely long afternoons.
I do not watch a whole lot of television but I do like like Diners,Drive-ins and Dives and watch it now and then. A few days ago I caught an episode where a chef made burgers with bacon and griddled macaroni cheese, we like all of those but have given up bread for lent so I plan on making this into a pie with some shortcrust pastry. To add a bit of a healthy option I will use 1% milk, wholewheat pasta, lean steak mince and put a layer of spinach and one of broccoli in there somewhere.We will have a pile of salad with it dressed with balsamic vinegar and orange juice. We have very healthy food all week and Saturday is our homemade "take away" night, I make it myself because I am fussy about what I eat, I am far too tightfisted to pay the price for bad take away never mind the good stuff ( if there is such a thing) and I enjoy the time in the kitchen.
I have a sewing project on the go, well 1 or 5 really, and need to spend a little time on that. I am making a pouffe for a family member, I have cut out the main pieces in a heavy cream cotton and have pinned some large Hexie flowers around the sides and 1 on the top, I want to put 2 bands of patterned fabric in the side panel, top and bottom, and insert a zip so that the cover can be removed for washing. I am making this up as I go and will endeavor to post a photo as soon as there is something worth seeing.
That's it for now I have only had 1 cup of tea and need at least 2 more before I can function. TTFN Pam

Friday 22 March 2013

A New Begining

Well, I have decided that the time is right to jump in at the deep end and start blogging about the eclectic tangle that is my life. I have been reading, following and putting my "four pennies worth" as comments on a number of blogs for a fair while now.
I read crafting blogs, sewing and quilting in particular, Frugal, Thrifty, Chatty and Gardening, blogs, anything that takes my eye really.
I love to grow to eat, although last year I threw the towel in and let the wild life have whatever was above water level, and I really love cooking to eat. Best of all I love to eat.
I am a fabricaholic and am building up a stash of both new and thrifted fabric ready for retirement. I am working full time at the moment but negotiating cutting down to 3 days a week before giving up completely. This should have started but work is manic at the moment and heels are being dragged, If someone does not get their but into gear soon I will have to take the bull by the horns and go "cold turkey" and retire now.
My fairly big garden is just sitting there waiting for some TLC and lots of sweat and my sewing machines would love a service and then some hard work.
I live in South Lincs and several of the bloggers that I follow are in my area, it would be good to have the time to maybe meet them "in the flesh", I would have the time to go for a bimble with meanqueen, have you seen her fitness workout? wow, Jane Fonda eat your heart out!
I think perhaps I should shut up now before I bore someone to tears, if there is anyone out there bear with me. I will find out how to post photos and add all the bells and whistles that you all have. Oh and I will try to post regularly and not ramble too much. I feel an attack of the munchies coming on, I would love some toast and marmite but gave up bread for Lent, so I will have some celery dipped in hummus instead. TTFN Pam