Friday, 28 February 2014

And on the menu next week is ..........

I don't know about you but I have always planned the meals we are going to eat and then shopped. It's not so different these days, although I do tend to look on Lidl and Aldi's sites to see what they have on offer to see if I can use them in  the week's meals. So this is what is on the menu next week at number 6( I work from Thursday to Thursday)
Today - Friday - Big vol-au-vents filled with left over turkey and mushrooms, salad and maybe some potato wedges. Here is how I prepared them and how they are looking at the moment

Sweating the mushrooms, then I used the liquid in the white sauce , having prepared the milk as if I was making a bechamel sauce.

ready rolled puff pastry - how I love it!

nine pretty flower vol-au-vent cases

baked and  all ready to have their tops taken off and to be filled with the mushroom and turkey mixture.
They will go back in the oven for the mixture to heat through and then be ready to eat

Saturday - D is down at the dingy show at Alexander Palace so I will have any vol-au-vent leftovers

Sunday - Lamb and spinach curry  (already made earlier toady)

and Cauliflower with potatoes both are recipes from Madhur Jaffery. These we'll have with naans and maybe rice, chutneys and yogurt.

Monday - One of our usually Monday meals - macaroni cheese, which will have the cauliflower we didn't need yesterday. You can find the recipe here

Tuesday - Well Tuesday is Shrove Tuesday so pancakes are on the menu, these will be stuffed with leeks and cottage cheese. I'll put the recipe on the blog over the weekend. I have no idea where it came from other than it's in a note book I've had for 35years.

Wednesday - My Mum's sausage and bean casserole. This has always been a favourite with my children but what I have never told them is that it wasn't 'Granny's recipe' but my Mum's sisters, my Aunty Essex.

Thursday - Courgette, bacon and brie gratin  - very yummy

So there we go, what's on your menu next week? I'd love to hear.
Love Anne xx

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

More upcycling!

Very excited to show you what I started (and finished) on Sunday. When Mum died we acquired her sewing box, well it was more like a small blanket box that Dad made her and she upholstered. C asked if she could have it and she would give it a make over. Well nearly 4 years later it's still in our loft and many times have I rummaged in it for various bits of sewing stuff, usually finding what I needed. In the bottom was a tablecloth that she I guess had started to embroider when she was first married or even before,  and for someone who always said she hated sewing was GORGEOUS. For whatever reason she never finished although all the silks are there in what I can only describe as an embroidery roll - in fact I'll nip upstairs and take a picture - wait there
Oh dear don't know what has happened, I have taken some pics but for some reason it wont let me download onto Picasa web that I use, anyway I'll carry on. This is rather a dark picture of the cloth and I had cut it before taking a picture which it is why it looks abit odd but hopefully you get the idea

 and here it is close up


It really is beautiful, I love the colours, not sure that the photos do it justice. Anyway back to the upcycling, I have taken it out on a number of occasions and admired it and wondered if I could finish it. I probably could but I doubt it would be even near Mum's sewing. Then an idea - why not make the nearly completed corners into cushion covers and here they are

 One of the things I really like is that the transfer is still on the fabric and you can see where they haven't been finished. I am soooo pleased with them and despite not being anywhere near the colour of my lounge they now seem to sit quite comfortably on a chair.
There was still one corner with a partly finished flower and a nearly finished leaf so this is what I did with the flower

Ta dah! a new needle case, something I have needed for ages. I shall make C one using the leaf, it seems appropriate to still have part of the tablecloth in Mum's sewing box.
But now I need to get my breakfast, finish another knitting bag and make a couple of 'May roses' -pattern from Lucy at Attic24, you can find it here , before I go to work later.
Till the next time xx

Monday, 24 February 2014

Sunny Saturday walk

How good to wake up to blue sky and sunshine. I suggested to D that we went out into Derbyshire for a walk, taking a flask and a picnic, this was greeted enthusiastically so all that was needed was to find a suitable walk. I found it here, a 3and a half mile walk starting and ending at Bakewell, home of the pudding. We decided to park at Hassop station - a good decision as it turned out as Bakewell and it's car parks were VERY busy. After realising we had turned the wrong way out of the car park at Hassop we got ourselves going the right way on the Monsal Trail and very quickly turned off onto the bridleway

Due to the recent weather it was rather muddy but as we reached the top the view was lovely

and then it was all downhill into Bakewell

where we came out by a packhorse bridge

The river was high and flowing fast
Rows of cottages were gleaming in the sun

Our first outside picnic of the year
Very busy Bakewell
A quick visit to a wool shop to pick up some lovely yellow Stylecraft Dk to use for a bunch of 'spring stick flowers' and we were on our way back to the car. But what a climb up to Bakewell station

thank goodness that once we had got there it was all flat walking on the Monsal Trail back to Hassop.
It really was a lovely walk and not too far or hard, one which we will do again. I wonder if any of you will, do let me know.
I have something special to show you tomorrow, so do come back  xxx

Friday, 21 February 2014

Upcycling B's prom dress

My children always like to present us with a 'Christmas list' and last year was no exception. J's was through an email sent to us and both sisters, C's was very much 'Will you help me get a vacuum on ebay for my new house and maybe I could have it for Christams' and B's was 'I don't know what I really want for Christmas other than a knitting bag like Granny gave Charlotte'. All straight forward, J had sent us the link to the web site for the hockey trainers he needed. D was successful in bidding for a Dyson on ebay which with abit of TLC and another successful bid to secure some missing tools was like new. All that was left was B's knitting bag. I decided that making one would be easy and went off and purchased some material. I knew I wouldn't have time to do it before Christmas so the material was wrapped with the promise of it being made. I had been looking forward to starting it but I needed to finish 5 sets of covers for the benches at the chiropractise (all black and in stretch towelling!!). However the delay in starting has meant she has a bag with memories - why?. Well whilst clearing out our loft I brought down various items of clothing belonging to B, one of which was her prom dress.

Having tried to get it to zip up B admitted defeat and was deciding what was going to happen to it when I suggested we kept it and I could make her some padded coat hangers with it. Good idea, but then she came up with an even better one why not use it for the lining of the knitting bag. So having finally finished the covers I took great delight in setting up the sewing machine to start the knitting bag.

A couple of hours later ta dah
the addition of a crochet rose( pattern from Attic24 -thank you Lucy) finished it off beautifully

 and every time she opens it she'll remember her prom. I am so pleased with it as was B when I gave it to her at knit and natter last night and I got asked if I would make another for one of my friends there. So once my house is clean and tidied and I've watched the men's curling I have the pleasure of making another. Happy weekend!  Anne


Tuesday, 18 February 2014

A proper Sunday

We heard earlier in the week that youngest child J and his girlfriend F would be 'calling in' for Sunday lunch. They were staying near Chesterfield the night before then going to look at accommodation around Bawtry as F had got a job for 4 months nearby. Of course J being in his final year at Loughborough a meal that he doesn't have to cook himself is always welcome and as expected I received a request for a proper Sunday dinner. I decided to go for chicken with all the trimmings and Eve's pudding which as a token to Friday's Valentine's day would be made in a heart shaped tin. I worked Saturday morning at the chiropractise as the Saturday receptionist was away. As middle child B lives above it was inevitable that we got together when I had finished and chatted about weekend plans and the fact that J and F were coming for lunch the next day. It turned out that she was going to be on her own so I asked her as well hoping that the chicken that was quite big enough for 4 would now feed 5! Before I even got started on the lunch the next day D and I got totally caught up watching the snowboarding - those girls are amazing, so fearless. By the time that event had finished I had a busy hour or two making my Great Aunty Meg's stuffing, peeling vegetables, preparing the pudding and setting the table. J and F arrived with time to hear all their news and then B just before we served up. I LOVE having a table full of people especially my family. It's so nice to see the children taking part in discussions about all sorts of things and just enjoying each others company (long gone are the arguments they had as children). Afterwards the talking continued on comfy sofas. Then B who was crocheting by this time came out with 'I'd forgotten how nice it is here' - It was the icing on the cake. Life is so busy that we often don't have time to appreciate what we have got till it's  too late. That was one of my reasons to blog so I could record days like Sunday. I just wish I had some pictures to show you but there will be other times as it'll not be long before J finishes will be back before he starts work.
I am now off to recycle B's prom dress that she wore when she was 18, she can't bare to throw it away so watch this space! This time I am taking pictures.
Till the next time xx

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Where has the week gone?

Not sure where our week has gone, possibly sunk in all the rain!! Rather than dwell on the weather (which I have to say, we in South Yorkshire have missed the worse) I must go back to something I mentioned on the 7th of this month - bric a brac Wednesday. In my town the Wednesday market is bric a brac which I love. As you walk into the outside market (which is really under cover) you get 'that smell' I can't describe it but you would recognise it if you smelt it, maybe it's just the smell of bric a brac. I started to frequent it when I was looking for vintage jugs. I needed them as Christmas presents and they were going to be filled with my 'stick flowers'

Here's one, actually when I get round to it this vase will have blue, grey and cream flowers in it to match the decoration in our bedroom.
Well when I went the other Wednesday I didn't really expect to buy anything but whilst in town, well it be silly not to go and have a look. I was SO pleased I did because I saw this gorgeous cream jug

and at 50p, well I wasn't going to leave it for someone else. Even better when I turned it upside down it was Alfred Meakin. I can't find anything about it or even find a picture of the pattern online and as the Antiques Roadshow has already been nearby last September it will probably remain a mystery. It now stands with my very modern green, red and cream jugs on the kitchen windowsill. Moving a little further on I saw this

I really must get better at composing my photos so they are in line but you get the picture ( no pun intended). At first I left it even though I really liked it. Having just spent 3 weeks de-cluttering and sorting our loft out and taking pictures to the charity shop to then go and buy one when I had nowhere to put it was just silly, but I couldn't get it out of my mind so yes you've guessed I went back to ask the price. I had even decided where it could go by then - our inherited house in SW Ireland (you will need a large glass of wine when I tell you all about that!) It would be perfect in our bedroom there so when I was told £1 I quickly handed over the money. Once home I realised how dirty it was, so it was carefully taken to pieces, cleaned, polished and put back together. The detail is fantastic look here

this is harder to see

Again I have looked to find out about A Marlin and although I can find pictures of his/her prints I can't find anything about them.I love getting pleasure from these finds which cost next to nothing.
We are off to Ireland at the end of March, very worried at this point as to what we will find due to all the storms but I'm looking forward to hanging the picture. As we gradually decorate everywhere maybe our bedroom can have a lick of paint before the picture goes up.
I can't resist giving you a little hint of White Castle Cottage

this is  the view from the lounge upstairs

and this is part of the garden, although we understand the lovely fir tree on the left has come down in the storms.

But Ireland can wait, let's hope we have seen the worse of the weather this winter and I wish you an enjoyable weekend from a slightly brighter South Yorkshire. Come back and visit soon. Anne xx

Monday, 10 February 2014

The weekend

Happy Monday!
Well here in South Yorkshire we have had a blue sky and sunshine day with a glorious sunset

But this post is not about today but about our weekend. You will remember I was busy baking and cooking for the relatives and our 'duty' at the sailingclub. Well we met the relatives at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, it was brightish but very windy. What I didn't tell you was that we were also 'dog sitting' Oskar for the weekend and when you have a dog you have to walk them so instead of straight to the visitor's centre for a coffee we walked in the park.

 As you walk through the many paths you come across all types of sculptures.

We did try to keep to the drier areas but even so we all had muddy boots at the end of the walk and a muddy dog had to be bathed when we got back.

But before we returned home we went inside the visitor's centre, a very agreeable place. As we went up the stairs to the cafe I was taken back by these pictures by Angie Lewin.

I just LOVED them, the colours and the composition, gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous! so inspiring. I spent quite a long time later on Saturday night just looking at her work online, so many different pictures. We weren't late back from the park, in fact we were just in time to avoid the rain and watch the rugby. It wasn't long before 'When are we having tea?' was voiced by my brother. I had wanted something a little different for our tea but something that I could prepare before and that only needed heating up in the oven and found this 
Mexican lasagne from the Pampered Chef web site . It was sooooo good. Instead of lasagne you use tortillas, I also added mushrooms and peppers to the onion mixture. It was a big hit with everyone, the dish completely empty very quickly and requests for the recipe were asked for.
I had alot of trouble when I tried to put a link in for it so here is a picture that I took when it was on the PC, hope you can see it.
Sunday was duty day at the sailing club but the wind was so high that there was no sailing. Several of the club members came down to see what was on the lunch menu so the soups I had made went down well as did the cakes. By 4ish we were back home and enjoyed catching up with the Olympics, and watching Jenny Jones's medal winning run. A good ending to a good weekend.
See you soon xx