Thursday, 24 January 2013

Home Made Bread

It's a pity smells can't be shared over the internet, like pictures, as there's nothing to beat the aroma of home baked bread to put a smile on your face and make you feel all warm and cosy, is there?

My bread machine is a few years old.  We used to use it a lot, mainly at the weekends when everyone was at home for lunch,  then life got a bit too busy and it fell out of use, eventually ending up stored in the shed!  Well, some nice crusty bread and a bowl of soup is just what's needed for lunch in this freezing weather so I dug it out and got it going again.   The only downside is having to start it off quite early in the morning when I'm half awake!  To make life easy I've put the right amount of flour, sugar and salt in tubs ready to just tip in with the water and yeast, then I just enjoy the smell wafting round the house for the next 3 1/2 hours :)

Just had some with a tin of Thai green curry soup.  Very tasty and spicy but I do think homemade is best.  I've ordered a new hand blender to make whizzing them up easier.  Also just bought a new load of plastic boxes from Lakeland.  How sad, getting excited about boxes!!  but I had a drawer full of different size ones without lids and vice versa so got fed up and chucked them all out.  The new ones all stack and have the same size jolly coloured lids.  Brilliant :)  ( Think I need to get out more lol)

Stay warm

Monday, 14 January 2013

Snowy Day

We finally got some proper snow early this morning and everything looked lovely for a while, though it's already raining and washing it away.  Lottie thought it was fun for a while, but didn't want to hang around in the cold!

It took me a while to decide how to cut up the fabric for the latest quilt, but I've gone with a very simple square and 4 patch layout.  Think it's going to look nice and summery and scrappy.  Not sure when I'll get it finished as my sewing machine keeps playing up again and snapping the top thread.  

I chain pieced the squares together, then joined the pairs until I got fed up with the machine.  Looks like I'll need to take it in for fixing again.  :(

Bye for now

Monday, 7 January 2013

In the Garden

When the light levels are so low and the garden so wet and muddy it can sometimes be an effort to bother going and seeing what's happening out there, but I dragged on my wellies and went for a look.  
The snowdrops near the house are always very early, sometimes flowering at Christmas.  Such delicate looking little flowers, but so tough to be out at the coldest time of the year.

The Veg plot has been very neglected since last autumn.  The weather was so wet I didn't get round to tidying all the dead stuff away.  We made a start at the weekend, clearing some of the beds so that one of the compost bins could be emptied.  Lovely dark crumbly stuff, it does wonders for our poor chalky soil.

Not very glamorous but I wouldn't be without them!  There's something very therapeutic about turning over half rotted compost and digging out the finished stuff!

There's a few veggies left.  The leeks did well, but the ones that are left look rather tatty so I'll pull them all up and see if there's anything worth using.  The brassicas are still going strong.  I haven't bothered with them before so wasn't sure what to expect, but we've had the Cavalo Nero and the Curly Kale a few times and they were very good.

There's a few plants of purple sprouting broccoli which haven't produced any sprouts yet, though the packet does say March/April so there's still hope!

And I noticed today a little Romanesco cauliflower hidden amongst the leaves.  Looking forward to eating that. 

This chard plant is still producing lots of new growth and is about the most colourful thing in the garden at the moment so it can stay for a while.

I wonder what sort of weather we'll get this year.  2012 wasn't great for veg gardeners, with a lot of the more tender crops suffering.  It's tempting to give up on things like squashes and French beans, but some years have been much better, so I think I'll keep trying alongside the more reliable things like runner beans and peas.  Now we just need some sun!

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Happy New Year!

A Happy New Year to you all, and I hope you're not feeling too fragile.

It was so good to see the sun this morning after all the gloom.  I was struck by the light shining on the glittery twigs in the living room and the shadows on the wall.  A bit hard to photograph, but it did look pretty!

I've been pulling out some fabrics from my stash to add to my Christmas ones.  Always the best bit of making a quilt, I think, playing around with colours and ideas.  The vague plan is for larger pieces of the flowery ones and smaller pieces of the plainer fabrics, but I'm undecided on the design.

Thank you for all your lovely comments over the last year.  I love sharing bits of my world and discovering all sorts of interesting people out there in blog land.  
Here's hoping 2013 is a good one!