Saturday 26 November 2016

My Black Friday

Black Friday seems to have evolved over the past couple of years and has manic shoppers out looking for bargains.  As I have now finished my gift shopping and don't really need anything I didn't want to venture out.  Instead opting to do my supermarket shop Thursday evening.  I was impressed by the amount of yellow stickers throughout the store with varying amounts off.  The fruit and veg with yellow stickers were in abundance.  I picked up 10 packets of tomatoes costing 10p/8p/7p depending on the variety.  10 packets for less than the cost of one.

It was quite amazing, there was the odd tomato that was soft but the bulk were in perfect condition.  I chopped them down and softened them in the frying pan with some onions and seasoning, before putting them into the oven to roast. 

I now have several containers all ready for soup/stews/sauces.  I also picked up several bags of apples which I cooked down ready to go with the pork over the festive period.  A couple of apple cakes were also made for the freezer ready for visitors.

There were lots of other yellow stickers that I didn't get, my freezers are bulging at the seams with all of the things I have made already so it would just have been a waste.   A great haul so that I could avoid the rush, can't be bad!
I have made a start on another zigzag blanket.  A red/burgundy one, this time for Honey when they go to Disneyland Paris in the New Year.  I intend to crochet a Minnie Mouse on it for her.

I won't be around for a few days as I am heading down to Amie's they are having a few days away to celebrate their wedding anniversary.  We are blessed to have the privilege of looking after Bertie and Honey, I am so excited.   Amie has booked an afternoon tea for us for tomorrow at a vintage tea room, I will of course take lots of photos and share them with you when I get back.

Did you get any bargains on Black Friday?

See you soon.

Wednesday 23 November 2016

Stir Up Sunday

Sunday was stir up Sunday, the traditional day for making your Christmas Pudding over here in England.  It gets its name from the beginning of the collect for the day in the book of common prayer which begins with the words "stir up, O Lord, the wills of thy faithful people".  It is always the last Sunday before the season of Advent.  The whole family gather in the kitchen to make the pudding and each are given the chance to stir the pudding and make a wish for the year ahead.  It is stirred from East to West honouring the three wise men who visited the baby Jesus.

These days there is only my husband and I to stir it up and it takes some stirring as I like to make at least 6.  This year was no exception 5 traditional recipe and 3 with cranberries replacing the currants.  The smells permeating around the house was a joy, for me the real smell of Christmas and the start of the Christmas season.  We sang along to a real mixture of songs and carols, a treat and joy.  I did have to do them in 2 lots as I didn't have enough pudding bowls so some were cooked Sunday, some Monday but they are all ready and taste better for leaving.

The standard of the photograph sadly is very poor the lighting in the kitchen is not good adding to the time of day they were taken but I will share what I can.

Port was added this year instead of the usual stout, orange peel not added to batch with cranberries.
Whilst the puddings were boiling away I made a start with some baking for the freezer.  Boy, with all the steam and heat from the oven it was hot in that kitchen.
I had several bananas that were starting to brown and needed using up so I made two loaves of banana bread.  Once cool one was sliced and wrapped individually for the freezer and the other frozen whole.
I made 2 dozen crumble topped mince pies with nuts and 1 dozen without the added nuts.
The tin is full with a variety of jam tarts for this week and a couple of lots of uncooked pastry is now in the freezer ready to make more.

Cheese and onion quiches and cheese and broccoli quiches have been added to the freezer, the perfect accompaniment to a winter salad.
Cheese scones are now in the freezer already to be served with soups.  I made carrot and coriander soup, parsnip with nutmeg and leek and potato soup for the freezer.  The perfect winter warmer and ideal to pull out for a quick meal throughout December when we are so busy.

Soups, scones and quiches were also made for my parents freezer to make it easy to feed family when they visit.  I do need a couple more baking sessions but a start has been made.  This is what the season is all about sharing with loved ones and remembering Jesus is the reason for the Season!  Rejoice!
See you soon.



Monday 21 November 2016


Saturday we woke to a hard frost but at least it was dry.  We had plans, a trip to Horncastle to browse the Antique shops on the look out for one last gift.  Don your hats and coats it is a little parky and I will take you on a tour of the beautiful little market town dubbed the best Antique Market town.

As we strolled out of the car park the first shop to greet us was the book shop, its name certainly made me smile.
The bakers and little tea room was a delight, all dressed ready for the season, the reflections in the window made me smile.
Next stop was the market, small but nice to browse.

A little stroll brings you to some wonderful old buildings, with courtyards and floor upon floor of antiques.  Each area better than the next.  There was so much that I would have brought home.
I loved the baskets, the quilt and the pretty doll...

Vintage bikes seem to feature a lot in Horncastle, a real joy to see them used for advertising.

Not only were the buildings a delight to see, it was lovely to see the shop windows. 

Each window display was an inspiration, it was also a delight to see the reflections and shadows adding to the magic. We of course made a day of it and enjoyed lunch out, we were seated downstairs with all the old fireplaces and breadovens still in place it really was like going back in time, a joy to see and I can report that it was a wonderful meal.
To close, a trip to Horncastle would not be complete without going to look at the ducks.

Finally before heading home we did have a browse around a couple of charity shops, I could not believe my eyes when I saw one of the items I had been looking for.  I wanted a ceramic rolling pin and lo and behold there was one.

You did read it right £ was mine.   All ready for the mammoth bake that I had yesterday.  I will save that for another day.  It was stir up Sunday yesterday, did you get your Christmas puddings made?
See you soon.

Friday 18 November 2016

Reflection Of My Week..

Amy is not doing the Five on Friday link for awhile but my husband and I still had fun around the house and garden looking for groups of five.  It has become a little bit of a ritual that we enjoy.   We treat ourselves to five biscuits on a Friday with our tea too,  a great excuse but fun none the less to be over indulgent.    Hope all is well with you Amy.

So, for my post today I thought I would share some of my snippets from the week past.  I have finally completed all my craft gifts and little tokens and have started to package some up.

I have had fun with a stamp, bah humbug.  A perfect little something for when friends and neighbours drop by.

Harris Tweed brooches have been packaged ready to be popped into gift bags.

Last years advent calendar inner was used to make some chocolate toppers for cup cakes.  An ideal treat for the children.  All stored in a plastic container ready for use.

The advent ring has been newly decorated all ready for the candles to be put in.

Another little elf has been added to the collection.  They certainly have been busy in the craft room, all ready for when Santa stops by to make his deliveries.   All the overseas mail, cards and parcels are all packaged and ready to go to the post office.

I have also finished a zig zag cushion and throw all ready to be packaged.   I am loving every moment of all my preparations.  Although early with some of the things it has taken the stress out of it all.  I can now sit back and enjoy the season, take time to wrap the gifts and spend time thinking of each person I am wrapping the gift for.  I can now take the time to write some letters to pop inside my cards and spend time thinking about each person I am writing to.  The most wonderful time of the year...catching up with friends old and new.  My family live all over the country too but December sees them all visit, so always a busy month.    I have 4 sisters, 1 brother 12 nieces/nephews and 12 great nieces/nephews as well as family from my husbands side who we generally visit in December.  My calendar is bulging and groaning at the seams which is why I have to be so organized early.  We have plans for the weekend but next week will see the start of some of my batch cooking and baking for the freezer.

A couple of poinsettia have found their way into the house to add to the seasonal d├ęcor.  My husband always treats me and my Mum at this time of year, a seasonal tradition.  I am now going to put my feet up for a couple of hours and watch a Christmas film, I am loving the Christmas channel on TV.  It is definitely addictive along with the hot chocolate and stirrers.
See you soon.