Monday, March 29, 2010

In the shed somewhere..?

Ok, feeling much better about things now! Had a few days to chill out and do what I wanted and things are getting back to normal again. Thanks for all your kind messages and support!

Thought I would do a spot of 'freezer batch cooking' today so lasagne is in the oven, enough for 10 people. Why can't they make a lasagne dish the same size as the pasta sheets? I end up having to snap the dried pasta, pinging bits of lasagne verde across the kitchen!

I am helping out at the Ideal Home Show on Thursday this week. representing Omlet! It means getting up quite early, driving to Hatton Cross, to get the tube in. You know how I love the underground and Central London, but it should be a nice day out. Will pack my crocs as it is always a strain on the feet. Oh and some cakes. You can never have too many cakes. Need to keep my sugar levels up. Omlet fleece ordered to cover up my wobbly bits *wink*

The weather warmed up briefly this week and the garden is coming to life again. Feels like an age since we had sunny weather. The broad beans are coming along nicely.

Last years lupins are doing well, much to my Mum's annoyance. Her garden is home to most of Surrey's slug population and therefore can't grow lupins.

Mum & Dad have just bought a wooden raised bed to start growing some veggies. I need to pop over and give them a hand. Will plant some broad bean seeds in pots to take over in the next week or so.

I have to get some compost as the raised beds in the veggie garden are seriously lacking. My compost bucket is empty and the 3 bins aren't ready yet. I haven't turned them in months which hasn't helped. It is such a God awful job though, not helped by torrential rain.

Planted some sweet peas seeds that came free with a magazine. All have germinated! *smiles*. I only had mini pots, so must plant them in bigger ones when I get a chance.

Frost and possible snow forecast for Tuesday/Wednesday, so will get the young plants safely tucked away. I know I have garden fleece in the shed somewhere..........

Been a bit worried about Pru this week. Every morning when I let the hens out, she is sat in the nest box as if she is laying, but doesn't. Maybe she is having a phantom pregnancy? Can that happen to chickens? Who knows how their minds work? Anyway, she did surprise me with an egg yesterday!! She is scratching around and looking happy, so clearly ok. 3 out of 4 hens laid. Only Cornelia let the home team down (who is actually sat on the nest as I am typing, so fingers crossed)!

The field down the lane must have been planted with seeds. A bird scarer 'canon', is going off every 45 minutes, 3 times in 20 seconds (yes I am sad and counted)! Not difficult to miss as it rocks the Village! What is wrong with a good, old fashioned scarecrow? The thunder and lightning we had earlier in the week, didn't help the egg situation either. My hens are sensitive souls. They like peace and quiet (as do I).

Having watched Sophie Dahl's cookery programme on telly, I decided to make her peanut butter fudge. This is certainly not a recipe for dieters. What fudge recipe is? 500g of dark brown sugar? Makes the fudge quite treacly which is ok, but will make it with light brown sugar next time. Nice crumbly texture though, which is the key to good fudge. Must cut it into chunks and put it away. Far too tempting to grab a spoonful every time i open the fridge. *mental note - take spoon out of fudge*

Quilt top is finally finished. I promised myself that I wanted the top done this week and here it is!

...and a close up to see the pattern detail - don't look too closely or you might see the odd square that doesn't match up perfectly!!

My Mum loves it and Dad asked how much I was selling it for? I told him £700 if he was interested?? It is for us and will not be sold. My thoughts of making them to sell are just that, thoughts. The work involved means you would have to charge exorbitant amounts to make it worthwhile. I have ordered industrial size wadding from the t'interweb and need to decide on the backing fabric and edging now. The quilt sage continues.......

I treated myself to this little book on Friday. I am in the process of making a rabbit, so will post pictures if it doesn't look too awful! Good patterns and relatively easy to make if you know your way around a sewing machine. Shame the fabrics used aren't easy to get hold of. The photography is beautiful too, as are the backgrounds. I am a sucker for nice pictures. Some fabric is on order and should arrive this week.

Oven is calling me, as lasagne should be cooked and can hear one of the girls calling, above the noise of the cooker and fan!

Will leave you with a cheerly mini daffodil to sign off!

C x x x

Saturday, March 20, 2010

I'm a patchworker! Ish.

Evening All!

Once again, apologies for not posting in a while. I cannot talk about it at the moment, but I haven't slept properly for a few weeks. Nurofen is my constant companion to try and stop the headache that I seem to wake up with every morning. Sometimes you have to stand up and be counted. I did that today.

I am at home tonight, with the fire lit and waiting for Jase to come back tomorrow.

On to happier things!! I have managed to get more of my quilt done!

All the squares are cut and ready to sew. I am loving the look of it so far. 2 weeks off now, so there is no excuse not to get it done. Although the garden is still screaming for loving attention.

I have planted some sweetpea seeds this week. They are snuggled up in the green house with my broad beans, that are doing well. I will order more seeds this week, as spring is officially here now! *smiles*

The girls are laying well. A full house today. Jase was out with them this week, doing some garden clearance. A job their feet are well designed for! More moss out of the lawn too! Plus, with the warmer weather, they did a spot of sun bathing!!

That's me done for tonight. Sorry if this post sounds negative. I really try and keep my blog entries upbeat, but this week has taken it's toll and drained all my 'happy vibes'. Next week will be better!!

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Another goodbye...

It is with great sadness that I have to report the loss of Winifred, my beautiful Light Sussex hen. Over the past few weeks, she has had quite a few quiet days and generally not her usual self. She really went down hill this week and it wasn't fair to prolong her suffering.

This is one of my favourite pictures of her. Her wattles covered in yoghurt!

RIP Winnie.

I am now off and am really relieved. This week has been quite stressful. Only 2 days but have lots planned. I finally started making my patchwork quilt. These are the colours I have decided on -

9 colours and I have used each one twice in a line, so 18 x 5" squares of fabric. I have made 4 lines so far and another 14 to go! that is only 152 squares left to cut! Not a quick weekend project, but one that I am enjoying so far. Remind me of that when the squares don't match up!

Last week was busy, baking wise. Quite a few eggs and lots of bananas needed using up.
Banana & sultana cake -

and a few low calorie muffins -

For some reason, muffins are never 'muffin shaped' when I make them! Please do not email for the recipe. They are ridiculously high fat and artery clogging, but tasted great. You should know to take my 'low fat' with a pinch of salt!

It is getting warmer and I realised that my little greenhouse had succumbed to the winter elements and was full of holes.
Hot footed it to Wilkinsons to see their gardening range and came home with this little beauty!

The blue nylon rope is there to prevent 'wind related' incidents. A couple of years ago, a gust blew my old greenhouse across the garden. Complete with all my seedlings. So far I only have broad beans in there. Hopefully, I can start off my tomatoes and courgettes soon. Will get onto the Organic Gardening Company to order more seeds later in the week.

It is freezing again here. Got in at 7pm this evening and it was already -1. Fire lit now, it's toasty and warm. Jase is back tomorrow afternoon, but we only have 1 day off together this week. Rosters have gone somewhat to pot! It doesn't get much better this month.

Right, have a few egg cosies to sew, so better crack on.

I hope to be back soon and sorry for my long absence.

C x x x