Showing posts from January, 2011

I LOVE Bread Making Day!

 Freshly baked English Muffins with lemon cheese, baby leaf salad and a cup of tea for the baker ...and last, but not least, the sourdough that took 2.5 days to make.... tara..... 

Blessed are the Cheese Makers

... and all purveyors of dairy products... My 1st steps in cheese making began with... Lemon Cheese this is the most simple method of making a very basic (but deliciously lemony) curd cheese.  I had one or two concerns before beginning.  Having read quite extensively on the making of cheese (something I do before embarking on any new project - not reading about cheese, I mean reading up on the proposed project... oh I'm sure you know what I mean.) I discovered that it is extremely important to be very very clean.  Mmmm... and cheese should not be made in the same area that you make bread... mmmm... I make bread at least twice a week and one loaf of sourdough every week so there are definitely quite a few wild yeasts roaming my kitchen.  Would this spoil my cheese making endeavours? First I brought the milk (full fat) up to 38 degrees C. ...then I added the juice of two lemons.  No rennet is required for this cheese. I stirred it well - the curds are forming already.  It

A Charity Shop Find

We have a really good charity shop in our village.  The charity is a Dogs Trust and they are always happy to see me with my dog Fergus when we go for our walks.  Because I pass by (and of course I have to go in) at least a couple of times a week, I quite often find interesting stuff to buy.  Often it is clothes but today this is what I bought. 'Ooh that's a big book ' said the lady... 'so that will be 50 pence please'. Most of the patterns are for crochet, and they are all delightfully old fashioned (well you know how I love old stuff).  There are loose leaf charts for filet crochet (but would work equally well for cross stitch embroidery) and patterns for things you just don't really find any more... such as Cheval sets.  That's a centre mat and two matching smaller mats for your dressing table. Girls don't tend to have dressing tables any more - I wonder why?  Perhaps it's because we are always in such a rush - makeup and hair done stood u

Sew Out of Control

 Meet my German friend. Yeah she's new.  But haven't you got a vintage hand crank sewing machine already?  Yup.  But I'm addicted you see.  I can't stop looking at them on ebay... what I really want is a treadle machine, but they always either sell for just a bit more than I am prepared to pay or they are too far away for me to collect, so I have been consoling myself with little hand-cranks that go for quite a bit less than a treadle. I got this one for £21 and it was just five miles from my house.  The lady who sold it to me said it belonged to her husband's grandmother and that she got it in 1910 - they thought it was new when she bought it.   This is the case before cleaning. It's has a vibrating shuttle just like my Singer and I thought 1910 seemed about right.  She looked in good condition and so I was really happy until I got her home and started to try and clean her up.  The hand crank was just about seized up so that it would not move.  The foot

Lemon Tree Oh So Pretty

This is my lemon tree that I was given as a birthday present from my daughter and son in law in Spain.  It arrived with five very green lemons on it.  I have watered and watched, and at last, I think two of the lemons are about ready for eating. They are definitely yellowing and are not so green as they were.... ...but are they lemon enough to pick? The information that came with the tree said that for lemon trees in captivity there was no set time for harvesting the fruit.  The blossom, unripe fruit and ripe ones all can appear on the tree at the same time. But what's this?  It's losing more leaves than I would consider normal... Oh no.  A quick read of the book says that it is either over-watering, under-watering or a draught.  So I moved it's position further into the room so that it would be slightly warmer.  Mmmm perhaps I did water it a bit much.  Well hopefully we won't have to worry about this sort of thing when we have lemons and oranges outside ou

Granny Squares

This is definitely the time of year for cosying up on the couch with a warm snuggly blanket.  I have some nice warm snuggly blankets but I have a tendency to feeling guilty if I snuggle for too long.  I start to feel like I have wasted valuable time when I could be doing something productive.  An elderly lady once said to me that she never sat down without having some kind of work in her hands - knitting or crochet or some hand sewing.  This comment haunts me a bit because I often sit down and do nothing when I have a work basket stuffed with unfinished projects that only require simple things like trimmings hand sewn or buttons sewn on... or the second sock waiting forlornly on the needles. Since this is the time of year for getting on with stuff like this - once spring comes there is very little time away from the garden or allotments - I made a start on using up some of the old scraps of wool left over from larger projects.  But what to do with them?  I considered smaller project