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When am not doing the everyday stuff of life i am making things. Or thinking about making things....

Sunday, 30 September 2012

Pitta bread and pirate flags

Just wanted to share a nice online magazine i came across a month or so back.
CovetGarden is a lovely online magazine from Canada based on beautiful homes in Toronto.the mag is free and the archives are great browsing material too.
We have been making our own pitta breads with the Veg Everyday (by Hugh FW)recipe.
The dough is lovely and easy and the kids love rolling out the pittas.
The same dough makes great pizza bases too, we tried them last night!
They freeze well too!

Another rather delicious recipe, using, guess what, my favourite ingredient again,
yes, condensed milk! This time however is the caramelised version, even more yummy!
I couldn't quite believe that I needed to add a whole tin but it was worth it for
The text message from Stokie bloke telling me how nice it was!
I was just looking for the recipe on the waitrose site but its not there.
i will make it again in the interests of recipe testing and pass it on to you.
Apples are in short supply this year as hardly any blossom set (same for pears and plums)
So these donations are gratefully received.and they are yummy.

The other day we did some arty stuff based on Usborne craft cards, both projects quite successful.The princess hat and pirate flags were chosen by the kids and started off by me. They added the decorations.

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Mostly books

I know I have not been blogging much recently but with the start of a new school year it has been surprisingly hectic. Yes you'd think I have all day now to get my jobs done but the list is never ending and some days are just a write off when something takes over. Friday for instance I have taken up the offer of a free paediatric first course at the kids school so will be there all day.

Anyway excuses excuses as usual dear readers. What we have been mainly up to is reading. J has started off reading really well and especially loves the Oxford Reading Tree aka Floppy Phonics. Their website is cool see it here for some free books., my only gripe is that us uses flash which doesn't work on the iPad. I have emailed them so here's hoping. Update - they replied within 20 mins, impressive. Too pricey to make iPad app at present but maybe in future... Update over.

J is doing so well at school I am really proud of him. O is reading flower fairies et al and both of them completed the summer reading challenge at the library this year. Stokie Bloke has taken over the kindle and is reading the Stig Larrson Triliogy and is gripped. Previously he read the Hunger Games Trilology too: it must be something about 3's! I have discovered some gems from the local hospice charity book shop see the pic above for the pile I have amassed over the last few weeks.

Look at these beauties! They are reproductions of originals but they were only 70p each and they are pristine. Look at the lovely pictures!

More nostalgia this time with a reproduction of make do and mend advice from wartime Britain. Again only a quid! I love all this stuff, some useful and some rather long winded but ultimately rather humbling that our forebears really had to do these things on an everyday basis as part of the war effort. Also rather apt that a new series of WarTime Farm has started on the BBC. Following on from Victorian and Edwardian Farms, it focuses on the massive change in food production during the second world war. The kids have loved it, watching all the animals and the crazy tv woman making jam just like mummy! The Hedgerow Harvest was important for country folk during the war and it's fascinating that foraging has made a real renaissance now.

The Meat book by foodie hero Hugh FW is one that I have been looking for ages and at last i found this great ex library one in mint condition for £2: it was a steal. It costs £20 on amazon new so that makes me happy to start with! J has decided that he wants to make sausages, his favourite food (small aside: he was talking in his sleep the other night " I'm a sausage; roll me up like a hotdog, Daddy" , hysterical!) so we have invested in the kitchen aid attachment and next need recipes. Look no further than the giant Meat tome I hear you cry! Well I did, and to my amazement Hugh has no sausage recipes in this book but refers you to river cottage cookbook instead. Well this is an oversight on his part surely, or some cynical marketing ploy to get you to buy all his books. Um not sure which, but now I ' ll be checking the charity shops for that one next Hah! Btw doesn't hugh look like he is nicking that giant rib of beef on the book cover. I hope it was his!

As you will have noticed most of the books are kids fiction, which I really enjoy. The Inkspell trilogy has been started on by the Rockett family's recommendation so i snapped up the second in the series. Next Catherine Webb and Horatio Lyle. I enjoyed the first so much I downloaded the second, not as good though amazing for such a young author. ( I think it's another trilogy too!) finally though the best til last. Philip Reeve's Mortal Engines, what can I say truly inspired and gripping. I will be reading all of is amazingly imagined books that is for sure. Philip Pullman also a genius for I was a rat! Brilliant.

Well enough of this photo light, wordy post.I leave you with crazy trousers on heads pictures. Not much changes around here really. X

Monday, 10 September 2012

Mostly firsts

first day at school obligatory photos! They had fun posing as you can see. J has settled in immediately which is just brilliant.
first time I have grown borlotti beans and corn, for that cowboy classic, corn and beans! Picked this weekend, a glorious end of summer one. We went to Oxfest with Claire and her super girls and Nicki and her family. We had scones jam and fun in the sun. On Sunday a great BBQ with Vicky on the Heath and her brood and Nige, Gemma and Miss CutiePie Ruby.

By popular demand here is the scone recipe, courtesy of Nigella's Domestic Goddess (Lily's scones).

rub 50g of butter and 25g Trex into 300g plain sieved flour. I never sieve but it does make a difference so do here. Add 4 1/2 tsp cream of tartar, 1 tsp baking powder and 1 tsp salt. Handle as little as possible but make sure fat is fully rubbed in and then add 300ml milk. Blend quickly and lightly with your hands and turn out onto a floured surface. Roll or pat into shape about 1" thick and cut out scones with cutter. I got 16 medium ones from this, though nigella gets 12 so she must use a bigger cutter. Right onto a lightly floured tray,push them next to each other so touching and give light egg wash to the tops. Bake in a hot oven (gas 7 or 210 deg c) for ten mins til the tops are brown. Leave to cool slightly and then eat. Yum-a-Rama. We discussed that these with cheddar added would be scrummy too.


Tuesday, 4 September 2012

mostly medals

Some random updates using the photos on the iPad as I have been too lazy to upload all the camera pics to the pc yet. The summer hols officially end today and tomorrow my little man is off to school. I can quite believe that time is here. It seems like only yesterday that O started school not long after we had moved here. I 'll be wearing those dark glasses in the playground that's for sure!

It's been an immense Olympic summer. We spent a great day at the Olympic park on O's birthday last Friday. The atmosphere was superb and I was really impressed with the site and the facilities too. Will post some arty pics soon but here are my two Olympians in all their glory! They even made me a medal saying worlds best mum! If there was a medal for rope swings they would get it. They are obsessed with and are fighting over it, hanging from it, spinning round on it and dangerously hanging upside down on it!

While I was taking a pic i thought I would show you a quick whipped up scarf made from some salvaged WRAP fabric. It's hard to sew jersey to shiny stuff but i i topstitched it and it looks ok and I'll wear it over winter. It is very hard to take decent self portraits I have realised. My chest looks unusually large here: it's the angle darlings honestly!

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Mostly pink things

Just a quick post on some pink things that have come our way recently. Some lovely dahlias from a couple we met a the allotment. Next year I think will plant up the old tin bath at the allotment with some.
Coasters for the monkey and weasel. Edged not very well but the sentiments are inspired, if I say so myself! A doodah by the way is a hot squash! Vaguely pink!
I have read some good books and borrowed this Minieco "eco-friendly crafting with kids" book from the library and am v impressed by the book and blog. Check it out is nice to see really original ideas and a British blog for a change.

We made the cup poppers very quickly from cups and balloons and pompoms and it's fun to watch the kids try to catch the pompoms! I had pink cups for some reason. Make sure you cut the balloon enough so that it does not squash the cup when you slip it on. The book has gone back to the library now but there is lots on the minieco blog to inspire.

Next up a lone tomato. Not quite pink and I did not even grow it from scratch -it's my uncles plant which he gave me!Lots of raspberries now including the gold ones. This lovely recipe for clafoutis is a waitrose one and keeper. There is only half left here as it was v yummy. Check their website for it.

lastly the kids reading in bed. O is reading to J now which they both love! They Re back to school this week so the end of the holidays are nigh. We will enjoy the last few days and update you with all the latest news inc O's 6th birthday, just gone.