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Archive for the ‘Lavender’ category

Hello :)

Sorry it has been so long in posting, but I have been so busy! Isn’t this time of year a really busy one, what with the gardening, cooking, preserving, and everything else, phew, I’ll be glad when winter comes so I can have a rest!

John and I have dug over a new veg patch, about 10x20ft, and we have planted it up and are now anxiously waiting for our yummy veg to grow :)
We have also been working on the front garden to try to get it looking lovely, as someone has pulled down our arch, which was over the gate, with the wisteria growing round it! I was so upset about this, as I love the wisteria, but we managed to save the stump of the wisteria, which we are just going to let grow, without training it around anything, as we do not want anything else to be vandalised in our garden. We have been plating out loads of flowers, and the front garden is starting to look lovely again, I really must remember to take photos!!

This is going to be a really picture heavy post, as I have been taking photos of everything, so I can post them on here, but I did mean to post them a long time ago, but with been so busy, I just have not had the time, so I am afraid they are all going on in one go, lol, so I will try to keep my writing to a minimal, so the post is not too long :)

On the cooking front, I have been going a bit crazy really, making all kinds. I tend to bake on a Saturday, but if the mood takes me, I bake during the week too :) Here is what I have been making :)

John and I love cheese, onion and tattie pie, so I tend to make these quite often, and I always make my own pastry :)

Here is the mixture to go into the pie, I could eat it just as it is!

And the pastry cases…


Ready to go into the oven…


I have also made a selection of lemon cakes, a lemon icing cake..

I loved this one :)

A normal lemon cake for Johns uncle..

and a lemon syrup cake for us…

I have baked quite a few batches of almond biscuits over the past few weeks, for John and I, and for Johns parents, and my dad and Pam..

I like to wrap the biccies in greaseproof before putting them in the tin, so that they do not break..

I’ve also baked two trays of choccie chip cookies..

A Victoria sponge cake filled with double whipped cream..

A days baking, with a special big biccie for John saying Love You :)

I have baked a rhubarb crumble with custard when we had Johns parents over..

And I have baked a choccie cake…

And I have baked some ginger bread people using a very old fashioned recipe from my Lark Rise Recipe Book :)

Oh yes, and I made some tattie cakes for supper one night when we had some left over mashed tattie, yum , love these :)

And still on the subject of food, John and I have been blackberrying, in our garden, and round about where we live, and really enjoyed doing it too, I love to forage with John, it is so enjoyable and a lovely thing to do :) We have picked lots of blackberries, and will be going blackberrying again in a few days, as I plan on making a lot of things from the berries this year, for now we are freezing them until I need to use them :)

I am really loving the fact that all the berries are coming out ready to pick and be turned into delicious things, not just blackberries, but elderberries too, and soon, I will be gathering rosehips to turn into syrup to eat on our morning porridge, yum! I love this time of year, the weather turning just a fraction cooler, hinting that Autumn will not be far off, and I love Autumn, and winter, in all its cosy glory, and I can not wait for those Seasons :)

Okey dokey, now for the crochet :)

I have been doing a lot of crochet lately, I do so love it :) I have crocheted a family of blankets, for a little boy, a little girl, and a baby girl, which I have traded with Nicola from Smilernpb, for lovely smellies which now fill our bathroom shelves :) Nicola and her children are absolutely over the moon with the blankets, so I am very happy about that :)

Firstly, the little boys blanket…

The little girls blanket…

I have shot through some dark colours every now and then , just to give the little girls blanket some contrast and interest :)

The baby girls blanket..

and the family of blankets together :)

Still on the subject of blankets, I have crocheted a baby blanket for our niece who is due to give birth this Friday! she is having a little boy, hence the blue ribbon :)

I have crocheted two pretty petals cushions, the idea of which, I got from the wonderful blog, attic24. The pattern is for a potholder, but add a back, stuff it, and you have a fabulous cushion!

The first one I made, I made very big, so it now lives on our bed :)

and the second one I made, I crocheted smaller, and it now lives on our settee..

I have crocheted  new wash cloth, which I love to use, as it is so soft :)

And I have crocheted a  football scarf,

And last, but not least on the crochet front, I have begun work on my Autumn crochet projects, starting with a pumpkin tea cosy :) I am also going to crochet a carved Halloween pumpkin, to sit on our hearth on Halloween, and I may crochet some mini pumpkins, and ghosts, for Halloween too, when my Autumn projects are done, I will start on my Christmas projects, I know I know, it is only August I hear you say, but I think it is never too early to be thinking of what to make to decorate your home, and to give away at Christmas time :)

Phew!!!!!! Now that that’s the cooking and crochet out of the way, I can tell you the other things I have been doing :) The other day, I decided to make another little cat basket for our two kitties, so that they did not have to share, bless them. I took an old wicker washing basket, and two old crochet blankets I have made, which now have holes in them thanks to the kitties, and made a very comfy basket for them. Jack has claimed this basket, and Whiskey sleeps in the other, iglow type cat basket, but, during the day, when the Jack is not in the basket, Scrappy decides to squeeze himself into it for a snooze, lol, now Scrappy is a big dog, and he hardly fits in the basket, but he loves it! John and I were in stitches the first time he did it, here he is here..

Lol, silly doggie! :)

I have also been working my way through all 4 series of LRTC, getting snug on a night, watching these wonderful programmes..

I love how snug and cosy our sitting room looks on an night :) I always watch my programmes before John and I get settled to watch a film together, then the room is all set up, cosy and comfy for John, I and our 4 pets to all get settled together, it is my favourite time of day, I love it :)

I took the next one quite late at night, when we were all settled, as you will see by the time on the clock, lol :)

I have been gathering and drying lavender from our garden, here is a small selection of it, I still have a lot more hanging up drying..

and I have turned the lavender into lavender bags, which smell divine and are scenting my drawers :)

I did make more, but I have gave some away, and I will be making more lavender bags from the other bunches I have drying :)

And finally, let me show you some of the gorgeous floral things I have been buying recently from the fab shop, B&M :)

I love this shower cap!

I have been after a floral shower cap for ages, then spotted this in B&M for only 99p!

Right, and thats it I believe, that is everything I have taken photos of over the past few weeks :) So, until next time,. which will hopefully not be so long, can I just say, thank you so much for taking the time to read my blog, and leave your wonderful comments, which I really do love to read :)

Take care everyone, bye for now :) :) :) :)

A Food Post

This has been a busy few weeks :) I have been baking, jam making, gardening, doing housework, crocheting, shopping, all kinds really, lol, and I have a lot of photos to show it all, well most, of the things I have been doing, and I do hope you enjoy :)

Like I said, I have been doing a lot of baking, and took pictures when I remembered too, of the things I have baked. I do love to bake, something about it makes me feel so relaxed, so womanly, so wifely, I love it :) And I adore the smell of freshly baked goods wafting through our home, a smell you can not quite beat with anything else :)

Anyway, here are some of the things I have baked :) I did gather our gooseberries from our one year old gooseberry bush and made a crumble with them, served with custard, for John, myself, and Johns parents when they were here, I remembered to take photos of the gooseberries, but not the finished crumble, silly me :)

This is the first time I have tried gooseberries and I love them! Hopefully next year our bush will yield a bigger crop :)

I have done a lot of first times with my baking recently, I made and tried banana bread for the first time..

and enjoyed it :)

I baked and ate kiwi fruit cake and strawberry yoghurt cake for the first time…

(kiwi cake, with kiwi purée on top)

(yoghurt cake)

and did not like them at all, I will not be baking these again! But you live and learn :)

And I have returned to some of my old faithfuls, recipes I know hubby and I like, Eves Pudding, mmmmmm!!! :)

Made with delicious Bramley Apples

Topped with a sponge cake mixture…

Baked until golden brown (please excuse the stab marks, I was testing to see if it was cooked and only had a sharp knife to hand, lol :) )

And served…

With lashings of home made custard

Delicious!!!  I also baked, or should I say steamed, home made ginger puddings, ( I made one for John and myself one day, and 2 for for when Johns parents were here another day, but only took photos of the one :) ) mmmm!!!!!

(more of whats cooking in the other pan later :) )

I have also baked an apple crumble, but forgot to take photos of that, lol :)

Ok, so thats the baking side of this post out of the way, let me see, what else have I been doing :)

John and I went foraging, we love foraging, it really is loads of fun, and the amount of things you can forage and make into something else really is wonderful! We picked elderflowers to make into jam….

the recipe said to leave them to steep for 3 days, which I did, then the day came to make the jam, and the elderflowers looked and smelled vile!!!!

They smelled of rotten eggs!!! Yak, so they were quickly put in the outside bin, and the jam was forgotten about :)

We went foraging again, once on Monday and once on Tuesday, to collect red clover flowers. The reason we had to collect the flowers in 2 days was because on Monday, we were caught in a huge downpour!!! The Heavens opened, the rain was torrential, and there we were, stuck in a park, collecting red clover, lol. We stuck it for as long as we could, but we were drenched in minutes, so we ran from the park, and then walked as fast as we could home. By the time we got home, we were drenched to the skin, literally! It was a hot bath, warm pyjamas ( not for John, only I wear pj’s, lol )  and hot cups of tea for us when we returned home, l0l :) We returned to the park the next day, and thankfully it did not rain, and collected our red clover, to make into delicious wine :)

(our first days gathering)

(both days together )

The demijohn you see in the background has a grape wine on the go :)

We added other delicious ingredients to the flowers,

and have to leave it to stand for a week, stirring daily, then we add the sugar, put in the demijohn and leave it to ferment. I am pleased to say this does smell delicious,  unlike the steeped elderflowers, lol :)

Whilst out foraging, I kept my eyes open for wild roses, but only spotted some in bud, so we took cuttings and they are now standing in water, and when they open I will make wild rose petal jam with them, but for now I went into the garden, cut some of our roses and made garden rose petal jam with them :) And I have to say, I really enjoyed doing it, such an oldfashioned, romantic thing to make :)

I washed the rose petals, removed the white heel from them, then I put them in a pan to simmer for 15 mins

The rose petals completely lost their colour, but the smell was divine, a heady fragrance of roses filled the house :) I then strained the liquid..

Left it to cool, then filled an oven dish with the sugar, to warm in the oven before putting the liquid and sugar in the pan…

Whilst the sugar was warming in the bottom oven, and the jar was sterilizing in the top oven on a very low heat, I added lemon juice to the  murky liquid of the rose petals, and a magical thing happened, the liquid turned into a beautiful reddy pink colour!!!!!

I returned the liquid to the pan, added the sugar, brought it to the boil, and boiled for about 15 mins..

and on the hob next to it, the ginger steamed pudding was dancing around the pan :)

Then, after about 15 mins, it was ready, and I was soooooo excited!!!! This is the first time I have made proper jam, I tried about 3 years ago to make blackberry jam, but boiled it for too long, and ended up with boiled blackberry sweets, lol :)

Anyway, here is the finished garden rose petal jam :)

I love the colour, and I love how it is so clear too :) It tastes and smells like honey, absolutely delicious!!!! I shall be spreading this on toast, adding it to porridge, and sandwiching it between cakes, lovely :)

Phew, so thats the food part of the blog done, lol :) Other things I have been doing include, removing the duvet from ou bed, packing it away in the cupboard, and putting on our bed a thin quilt, and my cluster stitch blanket, as the nights have been so hot, but now it has turned cool again, so I shall be bringing the duvet back out of the cupboard, and putting it back on the bed, perhaps along with extra blankets! This is a terrible summer we are having isn’t it!

I have been reading my favourite magazines….

and went shopping for cleaning tools with a difference, they are covered in roses!!!! I adore these :) ..

(the w.u liquid bottle my dad gave me, as it is the Royal wedding one, lol :) )

It is an absolute delight to clean using these things!!! :)

Right, I am going to do the housework now, change the bedding, hang our lavender from the garden up in bunches to dry, have a bath, then relax, lol :)

I hope you all have a wonderful day, thank you so much for taking the time to read my blog and leave your wonderful comments :)

Take care everyone, bye for now :) :) :) :)