Tuesday, 23 August 2016

So................ Tuesday

Not sure we quite got the 'scorchio' weather that was promised to hit 'the UK', but it was warm and dry today.  Ducks enjoyed it not raining, think I might have the only ducks in the world who don't really like getting wet much lol  They tend to sit in their house when it rains............ still I got two eggs, so someone up there is slacking!  ;)

I got the bacon out of its brine and sliced for the freezer

Made tomato chutney - some for me, some for selling/barter

I got a pair of winter mitts finished at last. They're from a Finnish kit, pure wool, natural dyes.  I have another two kits stashed away to tackle as well.  A challenging knit, but kept up my interest.  Because they're stranded knitting, they're double thickness, so will be extra warm in the winter.

The insides of the mitts

Have cast on a pair of  socks and got the cuff done.

Ordered some reduced price chocolate puddings for the store room and a couple of prepping books.

I brought in some dock seeds to dry off; I'm going to dry them and grind them into a flour and experiment with it, see how it tastes and if it's worthwhile doing.

Seeds came from my American subscription - purple basil, squash, carrots and endive this time - always interesting, usually something I wouldn't think to buy myself; can't have too many seeds.

Brambles are starting to turn colour - I picked two on my way to the duck run this morning :)  They need taming really, but I'll get a crop off them all first.

Now enjoying a large glass of gooseberry wine :)
 It's dark now, at 9pm; year going quickly.

Monday, 22 August 2016

I don't 'upcycle'

- but I do make things into something else.  I bought these two French cotton napkins off e-bay for a decent price. They are top quality cotton, in beautiful pinks and greens - the pattern reminds me a bit of the work of some of the Bloomsbury artists at Charleston. The green is just perfect.

I'm not sure what I'll be making yet, but I have an idea wafting around in my brain already.

Sunday, 21 August 2016

Quiet day

- after last night!  Last night was the village barbecue over at the Bothy; was a great night, lots of laughs and I met some new folk too, and put some names to faces and faces to names.  I took a bit bowl of tiramisu and a tin of brownies - both polished off.  Stayed late drinking and nattering.

(not all my doing, I hasten to add!)

Today was spent playing Scrabble online, bit of reading and finishing off a couple of projects.  This is my new bear, the Reverend Peter Owen Jones.  I'm pleased with how he turned out, followed the instructions, but could have done with more stuffing to be included; I had to use some of my own stuffing for one arm. Still, he's a happier looking wee bear than the one in the kit leaflet - I gave him a smile :)

This is the cowl - started off as a scarf, but I changed my mind.  I found the lovely buttons online, which I think finish it off nicely. Am pleased with it, and am looking forward tow earing this int he winter, it's got tiny sequins which add a wintery sparkle to it, and the colour is that of harebells.

Saturday, 20 August 2016

It's all Greek to me............

A wee while ago a friend and I went to a local Greek restaurant for supper.  We shared a mezze; one of the dishes was beef stifado.  I'd heard of it, but never cooked it, so I had a go yesterday.  REally really good, I'll be making it again. Rabbit stifado is another Greek classic, so I can have a go at that too as I have rabbit in the freezer.  I had mine with rice.

Slow cooked beef in a spiced tomato and onion/shallot sauce with red wine.

I'm very keen on Mediterranean cooking and food; the Patience Gray book I'm reading  now is about that; I'm not very far through it yet, but she describes the kitchens she used, her batterie de cuisine, the stoves and fires, pots and pans.  Lots of authentic recipes to try out.  What I like about Mediterranean cooking is its simplicity - it relies totally on the quality of the ingredients, nothing fancy, just fresh, tasty and fairly simple, cooked in the way that the oven/stove dictates, seasonal.

In the spirit of it all, I made a big tiramisu to take over to the village barbecue later.  Hope the rain holds off, although it was very wet overnight and again this morning.  The ducks don't like it at all, and didn't want to come out of their house; the yard is flooded again. It's more like winter at the moment.

Thursday, 18 August 2016

The rural

I've finally got round to joining the rural* - it was inevitable, with my mother and my granny both being stalwarts of the village rural when they lived here, now I've just become their newest member. I went to the first meeting last night - there were several women there that I grew up with, all remembered me and I got a lovely warm welcome.  We had a talk/photo show on Canada from the chairman of the local photography group, then business and tea.  The competitions were a holiday snap and three slices of lemon drizzle cake - fiercely contested, ofcourse :)  I'll be entering next month's competitions, think it's a craft item and a loaf of gingerbread. Thoroughly enjoyed myself, it has hardly changed since my mother's day, which pleases me greatly.

* Scottish Womens Rural Institute - now called the Scottish Womens Institute, although it's still affectionately called 'the rural'.

I made treacle scones for the coffee morning over the road, and we sat in the sun for a while and nattered.  The weather has been absolutely wonderful for the past week or so.

When I got home I made a start on a new project - the Frida's Flowers blanket.  I've had the cotton for quite a while, but have today finished the first (of very many!) motifs.

This is what I'm hoping to end up with one day

It was designed by Jane Crowfoot, and I saw it 'in the flesh' when I went to the Edinburgh Yarn Festival.  It's inspired by Frida Kahlo - I'm a great fan of her and her work, I find her hugely interesting and inspiring.

Early night with my new book I think - Letters from an Extreme Pilgrim by Peter Owen Jones.

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

A curate's egg...............

..........   of a day.

Image result for curate's egg


Very hot and sunny

Knitting done

Peach and basil jam made

Pork loin into brine to start some bacon off

Last bit of venison processed  should be fine for meat for the rest of the year now, bar maybe some chicken if I fancy it

Frustrating day with internet connection after the powercut, didn't get back online until 7pm - ish.

Impromptu outing, with a pint and fish and chips on the way home, and my friend brought round my present of Turkish bowls she bought me on holiday

Shattered now, it's been a bit of a rollercoaster today, physically, mentally and emotionally.

Monday, 15 August 2016

Monday musings

Beautiful day here - warm and sunny with a nice bit of breeze.  Made cheese and herb scones for the craft group afternoon over at the Bothy.

Had a lovely afternoon there, a dozen of us all together - lots of knitting, tapestry and crochet - two new crocheters learning too; lots of laughs, stories, tea and scones. It's a great wee venue with lovely views 

 - and one of the loveliest playgrounds in the country

My vintage kitchen tools arrived this morning - a vegetable  peeler and a butter curler.  Kitchen chores are so much nicer when you have lovely tools to work with :)

They were more expensive than modern, new ones, but I will derive a lot more pleasure from them, so it's money well spent in my view.

I got my knitted teddy finished, he just needs to be put together now, hoping to get that done tomorrow, then it's back to finishing off my cowl and maybe a bit of hand sewing, I'll see what I fancy.

Saturday night I had my venison burger - really really good, and very local too

Early night tonight I think, with a couple of books and maybe some puzzles.