Sunday 30 September 2018

A Time of Harvest

This is a busy time in lots of homes whilst we rush to put away the bulk of our produce from the gardens. The last of those fruits and vegetables we have laboured over all summer are now ripening and we need  to be dealing with them before it's too late.  Apples need to be picked, blueberries, blackberries, etc.

Then there is the last of the corn, the courgettes . . . tomatoes, beetroot, turnips, carrots and the like.   When I was a much younger woman and had a growing family this was the time of year I was busy making pickles and jams.  There was something really satisfying when it was all done and I could look upon row after bejeweled row of glistening jars of jams, pickles and jellies. 

There would be the usual strawberry jam, which I would have made earlier in the year, followed by raspberry.  I always made the seedless kind as I am not overly fond of raspberry seeds.   If I got a good deal at the farmers market there might be peach or apricot jam as well. Then there would be blackberry jelly and apple jelly.  Two kinds of apple jelly, regular and crabapple.   I have never seen a crabapple over here, but I am thinking I may make some regular apple jelly this year as Todd has never had it.  It's just not something you see over here.  Most years I also made apple butter as well.  We loved it's rich spiciness spread over a pork roast before baking and it was quite nice on toast, or spread between cake layers.

 There would be dill pickles, bread and butter pickles, green tomato chow,  hot dog relish, fruited chili sauce (which was made with ripe tomatoes, onions, peppers, pears, plums and chilies.  That chili sauce was a real favourite and I used it all winter as an addition to stews and in my swiss steak recipe.  It snapped things up a bit, it did.  I'd also make pickled beets and pickled beans, pickled baby corns . . .

Most years I would try something different as well.  One year it was carrot cake jam, another it was pickled pumpkin.  Both were quite nice.  The pickled pumpkin was sweet and spicy.  We quite liked both of those.   It was nice to shake things up a bit with something different once in a while. 

The preserving weeks were the weeks when you could walk into the house and the smell of pickling spices and vinegar would hit you right away, or . . .  if I was making jam, then it would be the smell of cooked berries and sugar.  I got a great deal of satisfaction making them.  It was a labor of love that I really enjoyed.  


Of course vegetables from the garden got frozen as well.  Mostly just corn (cut off the cob) and beans.   I never had much luck freezing anything else.  We were not fond of carrots which had been frozen.  I did chop peppers and freeze them, for use in chilies and stews and soups.  But our onions and potatoes got stored in dark bins down in the celler.  Likewise any winter squash and pumpkins.  I did used to grate the courgettes/zucchini and pack it into two cup sized bags so that I could make zucchini loaf all winter long and of course I froze berries whenever they came into season while I could.  I also made and froze apple sauce and stewed rhubarb. 

Looking back I was a right proper little Suzy Homemaker.  I didn't work outside the home during most of those years, but I did work hard enough in the home to make up for it I reckon!  I used to get a great deal of pleasure out of these labors, but  haven't done much in the way of pickling or preserving in quite some time now.  With only two of us, it just isn't practical any longer.  I miss those home made preserves and pickles though . . . sigh . . . I did make a small batch of Pear Chutney this year and the house smelled fabulous!  Do you do much preserving?  I'd love to hear about it!  

And with that I will leave you with a thought for the day . . .

☾ °☆  . * ¸.   ★ 
Laughter is timeless,
Imagination has no age,
And dreams are forever
☾ °☆  . * ¸.   ★ 
☾ °☆  . * ¸.   ★ 

Applesauce Nut Bread 

Baking in The English Kitchen today  . . .  Applesauce Nut Bread.  Lovely served sliced thin and spread with softened butter. 

Have a lovely Sunday.  Don't forget! 

═══════════ ღೋƸ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒღೋ ═══════════ ⊰✿░G░O░D⊰✿⊰L░O░V░E░S⊰✿⊰░Y░O░U░⊰✿
═══════════ ღೋƸ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒღೋ ═══════════

And I do too!

Saturday 29 September 2018

Saturday This and That . . .

It hard to believe that we are already on the last weekend for September! Where has the month disappeared to??  I don't know, but it has just whizzed by almost at the speed of light!!!  Before you know it, it will be . . .  dare I say it  . . .  Christmas!

If you can believe it, already this morning, just shortly after 6 am, someone was shooting off fireworks, making Mitzie go crazy!  It gets earlier and earlier every year.  I really wish they would ban the private use of fireworks in this country.  They're dangerous and far too over-used, especially this time of the year. It might be alright if it was contained to one night only, Guy Fawkes Night, but people start shooting them off weeks and weeks in the run up to GFN and the insantity seems to go on until after NYE. For people with animals, this is so distressing.  Mitzie just shakes.  We daren't leave her alone at night.  She is so afraid of them and the noise.  

From Fireworks to Showerworks.  Our Shower is Kaput.  Over here in the UK, most showers are electric.  As those of you who have been reading me for a while know, a number of years back, they replaced our bath with an electric shower.  We actually had the  whole bathroom refitted with a disability grant.  Its been just lovely.  I do miss a bath at times, and I know Todd really does as he is not fond of showers, but having a shower has been a real blessing to me.  As you know I had toenail surgery about 2 weeks ago. I was not allowed to get the dressing wet.  So I fiddled around a few days with sponge bathing, but washing my hair (waist length) has been a real pain in the back to be honest, and the tangles very difficult to get out afterwards.  I decided to buy a boot that I can wear in the shower.  I got to use it exactly once and the shower cocked up.  It would go on for about 3 seconds and shut off.  Turn it on again, same thing.  No matter how many times you turn it on, it shuts off after 3 seconds.  We got an electrician in.  It worked fine.  So, there wasn't anything for him to do.  He leaves.  The next day I managed to take a shower no problem. (The boot works great!)  Next time I go to take a shower . . .  the same thing happens.  We have not been able to get it to work since.  We had an electrician out to look at it again yesterday and he says it is kaput, so now we are waiting for our Landlord to get a Mira Engineer out to look at it, and we will go from there.  In the meantime, it is back to sponge baths and trying to wash my hair in the sink.  *Grumble* *Grumble*  Hopefully it won't take them too long to get it all sorted. Since my toenail op, I have had 2 showers.  I will never take the blessing of being able to have a shower for granted again.  

Maple Cake 

Last weekend I posted this recipe for a fabulous Maple Cake.  Everyone who has baked is has raved about it.  Several of the younger sisters at church were ecstatic about it.  That makes me happy.  That is the whole reason I post the recipes I use, because I want to share them with others and I want them to enjoy them as much as we do.  I figure its a win/win!  

One of them shared this photo of her wee daughter helping her bake it with me.  Isn't this adorable!  I could just melt.   


And icing the finished cake.  She said it was the best cake she had ever baked/eaten.  High accolades indeed, and I was really pleased! 

Look who is two months old already!  I can't believe that Grace is already two months old.  She is growing like a weed.  Ariana and Jose stopped by the other day to pick up some Nesquick I had picked up for them at Costco.  Jose had Grace strapped to his chest and he was holding Dexter (their Lab) by the lead.  I said to him he had his arms full.  Oh but he is such a proud daddy! 


Every second day or so he is doing something like this on IG.  I think the Yes votes had it!  I voted yes of course.  You can see that delightful little personality developing.  It is just so exciting to have this week little princess just a few doors away and being able to enjoy her like we are able to.  I never got to see or hold any of my grands when they were this young, so this is a real God-send to me.  I am loving every moment of it.  I can't wait until they leave her with us to baby sit and I get to enjoy her all to myself for more than just a few minutes!! ♥♥♥  

I've been watching this show on Channel 4 called The Circle. I have to watch it when Todd's not around because the bad language drives him crazy. (Me too, but I tend to be able to shut it out easier.  I am gobsmacked at just how foul ordinary every day language has become however!  If they had the old fashioned bleep system in place we would only be hearing every second word! )  It is a game show with a Big Brother feel to it, that has a £50,000 prize up for grabs.

The premise of the show is that centres around a block of flats which  all the contestants will be moving into for the next three weeks. The twist is that they’ll all be staying in separate apartments – and they’ll only get to communicate with each other online, via the titular Circle – a social media platform specially created for the purposes of the show. And how the contestants perceive each other will depend entirely on how they’ve chosen to portray themselves online – whether they are themselves, or whether they present a different version of who they truly are. 

It’s a clever comment on social media and the risks involved – both based on trust and how fixated people can become with creating the perfect ‘Insta’ image. The most popular contestants become influencers and can block their least favourite contestant, meaning they leave The Circle immediately. The blocked contestant is then replaced with a new face, but not before they’re given the option of going to one of their fellow Circle players’ apartments to suss them out before they go. 

I am finding it really interesting myself, and am astonished at just how vapid most of these young people really are for the most part.  Its an interesting study on the social mechanics of a younger generation.   I know that it is in no way representative of all young people, but I really am amazed at how self-centred most of these contestants are!  I'm not sure how long I will stick with it, but for now I am finding it interesting. Some of the contestants really grate on my nerves, lol.

I did my own dressing change yesterday. It was soooo hard!  LOL  I didn't think it would be, but there are so many layers to it.  I hope I did it right.  Whew!  I have to do this one more time in about 4 days time, and then I move to smaller dressings and change them every day I guess. (Trying to remember.)  It all seems to be healing well, which is great!  Last night I dreamt about it, which is wierd.  

I was reading the other day and I read that when you are asleep at night, your body rests while your brain starts to compartmentalise everything you've seen/done/heard during the previous day.  Its all in there somewhere.  And that is why sometimes your dreams will contain some element of what you have experienced from the previous day.  

I am a really vivid dreamer.  I dream in colour and sometimes my dreams continue all night long, like one long ongoing episode, which is not a bad thing if it is a juicy dream, but if it's a bad dream, I often have to get up and read or some such to get my mind off it.  That doesn't happen very often thank goodness!  

I went to the shops yesterday morning to pick up a few bits.  I normally don't do shopping on a Friday.  Friday shopping is nightmarish.  The roads and shops are always super busy and traffic is crazy, second only to Saturday shopping, and that doesn't include Christmas, when it seems to me that every day is nightmarish.  Long queues, rude people, and traffic jams. Not pleasant.  I really wanted fresh fruit and veg.  Most of the veg looked manky so I didn't get any.  I wanted Cauliflower.  I read somewhere if you cook cauliflower and mix a potato in with it and then mash, then you can't tell the difference between that and ordinary mashed potato.  I really wanted to try it, but I could not find one cauliflower without brown spots on it.  I got  bunch of bananas and had one last night when we were watching the telly.  It hardly tasted like a banana at all.  Then I tried a nectarine and it tasted like nothing.  Blah!  Todd thinks it is because they are messing so much with the way they produce our fruit and veg today that they are taking the flavour out of everything. So disappointing!  I had one bite.  He had one bite, and we threw the rest of the nectarine in the bin because it was literally blah, blah, blah ... 


And finally, Ariana had beautiful looking eyelashes the other day!  She had eye lash extensions done.  The girl came to her home and it was only £20.  They were gorgeous and she didn't have any mascara on them at all.  So beautiful.  I am thinking about it.  One tube of mascara (I use L'Oreal) costs me about £14, so I am thinking about maybe having this done.   We will see.

A thought to carry with you  . . . 

° * 。 • ˚ ˚ ˛ ˚ ˛ •
•。★★ 。* 。
° 。 ° ˛˚˛ * _Π_____*。*˚
˚ ˛ •˛•˚ */______/~\。˚ ˚ ˛
˚ ˛ •˛• ˚ | 田田 |門 ★

Empathy during agony 
is a portion of Divinity.
~Neal A Maxwell •。★★ 。* 。 

Easy Jam Hearts 

In The English Kitchen today.  Easy Jammy Hearts. Todd loves these! 

Have a wonderful Saturday!  Don't forget! 

═══════════ ღೋƸ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒღೋ ═══════════ ⊰✿░G░O░D⊰✿⊰L░O░V░E░S⊰✿⊰░Y░O░U░⊰✿
═══════════ ღೋƸ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒღೋ ═══════════

And I do too!

Friday 28 September 2018

My Friday Finds . . .

A few of the things  I find each week that pique my interest, bring me joy, inspire me to learn, create, do, become . . . Maybe they will do the same for you!    

Hat & Scarf all in one.  Harlequin Hoodie by Markin of the Hat and I on Ravelry.  

Three Little Knitted Frogs.  Free pattern.  Love this.  

Emmmy Lizzzy.  Pouf Chair.  

Leigh Laurel Studios.  Free tutorial for a Tic Tac Toe Game.

The Cottage Mama.  Mary Jane Baby Shoes.  

No source. Just inspiration. 


The Craft Train.  Mini Lid Banjos.  Cute! These would make great Stocking Stuffers.

Once Upon a Chef.  Rustic French Apple Tart. Yumm! 

Crochet 365, Knit Too.  Daisy Mae Bag. Free.  

Sea Glass Votive. I couldn't find the source, but it looks simple enough. Put a shot glass into a kilmer jar, with a votive in it, then fill around the shot glass with sea glass. 


E How.  How to make fake sea glass.  

White River Junction Pattern by Natalie Marshall on Ravelry. Not free, but not expensive. I love this. It looks great in other colours also. 

Krokotak.  Crocodile Castanets.  What fun!  

The Flavour Bender.  Quick and Easy Rough Puff Pastry.  

Popsicle Stick Harmonica. Housing a Forest.  Another cute stocking stuffer idea.  

Live Craft Eat.  Christmas Stars.  

Lia Griffith.  Pom Pom Gnomes.  

Nag on the Lake.  Matchboxes filled with art.  

And those are my finds for this week.  I hope that there was something of interest for you!

A thought to carry with you  . . . 

° * 。 • ˚ ˚ ˛ ˚ ˛ •
•。★★ 。* 。
° 。 ° ˛˚˛ * _Π_____*。*˚
˚ ˛ •˛•˚ */______/~\。˚ ˚ ˛
˚ ˛ •˛• ˚ | 田田 |門 ★

I am thankful for all
those negative people in my life.
They have shown me 
exactly who I did not want to be.
~Unknown    •。★★ 。* 。 

 Green Bean & Potato Casserole 

In the English Kitchen today.  Green Bean & Potato Casserole.  Simple and delicious. 

Have a great Friday.  Don't forget along the way of your day!

═══════════ ღೋƸ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒღೋ ═══════════ ⊰✿░G░O░D⊰✿⊰L░O░V░E░S⊰✿⊰░Y░O░U░⊰✿
═══════════ ღೋƸ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒღೋ ═══════════

And I do too!