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

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Mostly outdoors

We've taken the opportunity to be outside when the sun shines as the weather has still been so mild. We went to a fab bonfire at the allotment with nana oatcakes and lucky mark who were visiting.There was some mulled wine too and we burnt alot of the fallen trees and waste wood on the site. The bonfire was spectacular!


Next day a super sunny walk over the local fields. It was muddy and mild and windy and there were lots of fallen trees to climb on.i also awarded a foragers badge to the kids for sloe picking! Its been a bumper year.

More sloe gin coming up and a Liqueur de Boisses, sloe liqueur from Diana Henry's book "Salt, sugar, smoke" . A super book with lots of unusual recipes in it. I also see River Cottage Booze is out..... If anyone wants to buy me it for xmas...... Just sayin' !!!!!


Saturday, 9 November 2013

Mostly Batty

I am not a huge fan of Halloween but I do concede some handmade decorations and dressing up. We made this lovely bat based on an Usborne craft book. In fact we made two bats! Particularly fine fangs....

Stokie Bloke carved a great pumpkin this year with minimal swearing! It was based on Jack, the Pumpkin King from The Nightmare Before Christmas, one of my favourite films and film score.

Poor face paints, sorry kids but good cat and skeleton outfits at least. Onesies that can worn all winter.
Rubbish pic but cute cat and strange ginger witch in the background!!!!!
The boy lost another front tooth so looked rather vampirish!
Moving away from Halloween, I picked all my medlars this year, a great crop, to ensure against squirrel attack. I am trying to blet them at home now so hope it works or the whole lot will be wasted. I have never tasted one so I am really looking forward to it.
There was a request for chicken noodle soup last weekend, and luckily I had some chicken stock in the freezer. Along with some chilli peppers from our bumber crop, chicken, mushrooms, japanese rice noodles, I had a few last greens from the garden. It was declared yummy by all. Hurrah!

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Mostly Diana Henry

I've just discovered the food writer Diana Henry. A bit late in the day I know. I saw Salt Sugar Smoke in the library and was hooked on her writing style and exotic recipes that are just that bit different from other peoples. She has been a columnist on the Sunday Telegraph (not my normal reading) and written several books. I just made the Chilli flecked Apple Jelly from this preserves book and intend to make some more, as it's delicious. I also managed to borrow Food from Plenty which is very inspirational. She is very much a look in the cupboard and see what you have rather than a cheffy pretentious foodie.

The butternut squash lasagne from Food From Plenty was made for lunch today with mushrooms, spinach, onion squash and feta and some homemade tomato sauce from the freezer. Yum

We have plenty of squash and chillies!!

It has been a busy week. O made her Brownie Promise on weds which was lovely. She really enjoyed it and was so happy during the ceremony. J won a little award at his karate class for the best in class that night. The smile on his face says it all.

Stokie Bloke and I are redecorating our bedroom so have decamped to the guest room. We had to strip the lining paper so let the kids colour themselves in on the wall before it gets papered over.

Slightly influenced Star Wars pose and a Spice Girls rock chick! Hilarious...


Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Mostly Autumn Pursuits

Every year these pop up on our local heath. And every year I look at them and wonder what they are and can I pick them. And every year I leave them well alone ... Just in case. One day I will find out what they kind of mushrooms they are...

I have been doing a little gardening for a friend, who has lovely chickens. I did some winter planted baskets for her and was pretty pleased with the outcome. Then the sun came out, on probably the last nice day of Autumn. I hope the chooks haven't picked them to pieces!

O picked some pretty flowers to give to Grandma as I picked the last beans and sweetcorn at the allotment. Lovely flowers and girl.
A lunchtime treat, post my Forever Living Aloe Vera detox. After 9 days of aloe, bee pollen and milk shakes, I did manage to lose a few kilos. The last tomatoes from our garden with some Mozzarella and basil and low fat Cesar dressing. Yum.

And finally before this turns into a food or gardening blog, I give you some sewing. I have lost my sewing mojo recently folks. Too many other things to do to feel remotely creative. These are basic little bags via Vlitig's website.

Not sure who will be the recipient yet....


Monday, 7 October 2013

Mostly autumn treats

We are pretty appled out here now and i have tried lots of different apple cake reicpes. To the detriment of my waistline, haha.

These apple crumble muffins were nice. But the apple tea loaf with no fat was nicer to eat. Though not as photogenic sadly. I ll post those recipes another time. However my made up Autumn curried veg soup went down a treat and though it was thrown together with all the stuff i had in my fridge you could try to recreate it like this:


Fry up about 3 shallots in a little oil. Add a handful of corn kernels, 1 small chopped up courgette, half a red pepper chopped, half a small squash, about 10 cherry tomatoes til soft.Then add 1 teaspoon of cumin, tumeric, salt and garam masala half teaspoon paprika and black pepper to taste. Mix up and add 50g red lentils (about 2 handfuls, if following in the "chuck it in" method) then the secret ingredient, a tin of cream of tomato soup. Add about a litre of water and simmer til lentils are soft. Blitz with your blender of choice, add any extra seasoning if needed( mainly for those chilli fiends of you out there) and voila a tasty veg soup to serve about 6-8.

I served with a swirl of creme fraiche on top, though the one above looks more like an apple.

Enjoy autumn!



Mostly upcycling

Spring is tradionally tidy out time but autumn makes a good time to have a clear out too. These two metal hooks have been hanging around our house for as long as i can remember. I've never used them as the black metal colour didnt fit our style. However the magic chalk paint sticks to metal as well as wood so look at this! A pretty paper heart gives it some focus. The other one is painted and awaits sealing.

I repainted a bedside table for O so then J wanted one. At last the right day to paint it and the right colour. J is happy!


Its already well used. Thanks daddy for adding the shelf.

I couldnt believe my luck when I found this lot at a charity shop or about a fiver. An elderly gent asked what i was going to do with them andi replied "booze". He didnt get it but the ladies behind the til did so i shared my recipe for blackberry liqueur with them instead!

Finally some sports day pics of O and J. It was a fun afternoon, cancelled because of the heat in June.

Not sure what son is sulking about!

My favourite picture!