Sunday, 25 November 2012

Stir up Sunday

Another domestic couple of days.  The Christmas pudding is bubbling away in its little ceramic pot with its foil and baking parchment lid - another hour and a half to go and then it's ready for Christmas.  I'm using Dan Lepard's recipe again - I made an Epiphany pudding in January, but this year I am being more traditional and making Christmas pudding the weekend before Advent.

The collect for the day:

Stir up, we beseech thee, O Lord, the wills of thy faithful people; that they, plenteously bringing forth the fruit of good works, may of thee be plenteously rewarded; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

So stir up we did, and the whole family had a go with mixed results.  Harriet did not want to, Lucy patted it like a cat with a toy and Simon gave it a good stir; I made lots of wishes while I was stirring away, mostly to do with the extraordinary amount of cooking I've done this weekend and the horrible cold that is lurking at the back of my throat, in my ears and on the ulcers on my lips, cheeks and tongue.  Yuck. 

Parents' Evening on Wednesday and a Book Fair, and dear Lord, please let the parents plenteously bring forth the cash so that we can turn over at least £400, although I'm prepared to make up the difference, so that the Travelling Book people aren't too annoyed with us.   

Next Saturday I'm at the Ealing 135 Christmas Fair, so wish me luck for that.  I've got about 13 baby gros ready and want to make another 10 or so, which may well be wishful thinking or may be completely possible, I don't as yet know.  I may even sell one or two. 

Pink gingham stegosaurus anyone?  Other stegosauri also available.  Probably.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012


The cure for not having any time to write anything is to sit down, turn on the computer and just get on with it. I am waiting for my supper to cook; curiously enough, it's the same as last time I wrote in the blog, orzo from Nigellissima, but this time with baby broad beans, chorizo and stock instead of plain boiling water.  One day I'll make the recipe as written, but as it is a bit of a store cupboard standby, I just use what ever is at hand.

It's been a busy few weeks - I've been out a lot, twice with my husband, shock horror, and we have had a great time, although two hangovers on two consecutive Saturday mornings were less fun.  Last Saturday was Messy Church, where I locked myself in the kitchen, and didn't have anything to do with other people's children, which suits me fine.  We have obviously tapped into a need in Hanwell with our Messy Church - the inaugural event had 74 guests, last week we had 114.  Of course, the General Synod, in their infinite wisdom, have voted against women bishops, so all we will hear is that the Church of England is out of touch. It is infuriating.  We work so hard to be relevant - our Messy Church is exciting and involving and full of fun things to do and worship pitched at just the right level, we are heavily involved in the Winter Night Shelter charity that is for rough sleepers in Ealing, and yet all you hear is that we hate gays and women.  Rubbish.  Maybe the time has come to do some proper shouting.

Mind you, I've got a lot of shouting to do about Disney bloody Princesses - what a lot of old crock.  Big eyes, powerless and totally wet.  Mind you, the boys don't come out much better - the Beast is the only one with any sort of back story - the Prince in Cinderella is rubbish, just a cipher.  Prince Philip (what a stupid name for a prince I scoffed, oh hang on) is alright I suppose, but he is also a bit pathetic in lots of ways.  The other message from Disney is that you can only be a useful woman if you are old and a bit bats - Mrs Potts, the Fairies, the Fairy Godmother.  Grr, grr, grr, and it is only because I was forced to watch three back to back that I am on the old high horse about it all.

In crafting news, I am knee deep in baby gros - I think I have made 13 so far - for the Ealing 135 Christmas fair on the 1st of December, and as they won't sew themselves, I had better get on with it.  My target is 25 made, and I'm hoping to sell a lot of them as well as getting orders for others.  A girl can dream.

Pictures to follow.

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Orzo and chocolate brownies

There are to be no apologies for the following hero-worshipping and general "oh wow, I think she's wonderful" ness, I love Nigella, I understand that she may be considered to be a counter-feminist (because men don't cook) or a sex symbol (she is a sister, not a siren, at least in my eyes) but I don't care.

I was given Nigellissima for my birthday yesterday, and I'd recorded all the programmes to watch in my own time, so I've had a bit of a Nigella moment today. One of her Italian inspired recipes today was a "pasta risotto", and as we are at a bit of a loose end tonight what with one thing and another and our guests having a family emergency involving elderly relatives, so I thought I'd make it for Simon and I as we babysit.  I don't have pancetta, but I do have chorizo, so I've improvised, and I do have shallots, so I chucked them in too, but it smelled pretty good and was very easy to make.  It was also delicious, of course, as anything with that much butter and salt tends to be.

The chocolate brownies were baked for a coffee morning I held this morning, and didn't I feel the total woman beating eggs and melting chocolate at 8:15 this morning?

They've all gone now, of course.

Stuff and things

It is Wovember, and I will be attempting to knit 2 hats for the children, as well as finishing my Vine Yoke Cardigan and Lucy's Rainbow Jumper, all out of pure wool.  The hats will be in lovely, lovely Jamieson yarn, and I'm looking forward to it.  Lucy wants a Dollheid like mine, and Hattie wants a hedgehog hat like Lucy's, and obviously will then want a Dollheid too, so there's lots of lovely knitting to do. 
Lucy has taken to glaring at me now when I announce I've got her a present, in case it is a "knitting present", although she still likes the things I make her and wants to be involved in dyeing and making the yarn.

It was my birthday yesterday.  I can just about remember the days when I would go out and get utterly wasted, but yesterday was a very sensible affair - we went on a family day out to Windsor.  Windsor is pretty, full of interchangeable posh boys built like bricks and horsey looking ladies, and the castle is magnificent, and even though it was raining, we had a lovely day.  We then went on to Reading (will the excitement never end?) to go to Decathlon, where I bought a bright yellow anorak for cycling in the rain.  Nothing says attractive like a bright yellow anorak, nothing.  The slightly less horrible ones were black, which seems a foolish colour for cycling in the dark.  As I will be using the bike to take Lucy to school, I think I do want the most visible colour there is, and sod the aesthetic aspects.

Not much else to say; the house currently reeks of vinegar as I am making pear chutney, so that is a delicious little treat.

Aah, half term.