Sunday, November 27, 2011

Christmas cakes and Kenwoods.

Over the past few days there has been a sale locally where I must admit to buying the odd bargain.  One item kept calling to me in the store - a red KitchenAid.  If I walked up and down once I must have gone past them 20 times.  On Saturday I even took my hubby to walk past and admire the lovely lovely boxes.  However, I did resist (wow they cost a lot!) and I really do not need one.

Sitting at home, feeling a bit abandoned was my Kenwood.  Today I got it out to make my Christmas cakes (four - we do like Christmas cake!!) and I realised that actually I quite love it!  It is over 40 years old and still mixes beautifully.  It made my hubbies cakes when he was a mixed our wedding cake (we made it ourselves) and it has mixed our Christmas cakes for the last 12 really owes us nothing....and I would never swap it....even for a very lovely red KitchenAid!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Hookey time....

Over the past few days I have been having a go at some new squares using the book Crochet Motifs.  Some have worked and some are not looking so good.  One of my problems has been starting with a sliding loop - just can't seem to get the hang of this and so have reverted to starting my square with a chain??? Anyway I will have another go sometime. 

Still working away on my two blankets.  It's G's blanket at the moment but this stage of the blanket involves working lots of the same colour squares - mmmm-which is why I keep getting side tracked!

Not so much a square but I like this one.

This is G's blanket.  I love the circle in a square pattern and it works well with the nautical theme as G wanted her blanket to be made in sea colours.

Lovely Blankets......just need to get on with it!!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

AnnieMay's Merry Christmas Mincemeat

Over the past few weeks I have been making lots and lots of Christmas mincemeat.  This has been one of the more successful items that I have sold locally, but that may be because you cannot buy it here in Italy.  I use my mother-in-laws recipe from her lovely hand written book.

I love looking through both my mothers and my mother-in-law's recipe books, they are very important to me.  There is something very special about reading all of those things in their handwriting (especially since they have both passed away).  Also I can remember eating many of the things in my own mother's book as a child - fond memories. 

In line with my other modern equipment???!!! I even use my mother-in-law's old mincer - my girls love turning the handle to help (well at least for a minute or two!).  Check out my page for the recipe for Merry Mincemeat - enjoy!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

And Breath..........

Wow what a busy few days!  I hardly feel that I have had time to breath.  An interview on Friday (goodness I have a new job!!), a lovely lovely weekend in England, back at lunch time to bake and clean for my Christmas Shopping evening at home which although lovely was not ideally timed.  Lots of things in the diary which is sort of making me panic - so big deep breath - Ahh.  I need to stop, collect my thoughts and breath!!!!

Tonight (after Rainbows of course!) I am going to ignore the pile of things to do and snuggle up on the sofa with little L.  May even get my little hook out and blanket! 

Below mini cakes cooked for our lovely 12 little girls in Rainbows (part of the UK Brownie organization).

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Mini Naan and Toasted Muffins

Don't you just love plod days - where you don't do very much but somehow manage to do a lot!  Today was one of those days.  With a sniffy little miss we decided a sofa day was in order, but it was not long before I had a helper in the kitchen making naan bread for the freezer.  Little L came up with the great idea of making mini naan and they came out really well - a definite for future lunch boxes.  I have added my naan bread recipe on my pages if you want to have a go.

Showed my ironing pile some love this afternoon (the job a hate the most in the whole world).  Feeling virtuous I then lit the fire just to toast some muffins....well sometimes it has to be done.  This evening I am going to settle down with a new crochet book and try some different squares - I will let you see the results soon........ 

Friday, November 11, 2011

Blue sky

Once at school many many moons ago I was told off for painting a picture with a totally blue sky.  It is funny how these things stay with us but every time I see a blue sky I feel like shouting....see a totally blue sky.  The sky here in Italy is wonderfully open and bright.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Cosy nights and sunny days............

Last night was an early night to chase away my sniffs and sneezes, but not before lighting the fire and settling down with a good book.  Really enjoying The Book Thief at the moment - a can't put it down read. 

Today feeling better I set off on a snake hunt.  With the sun shining I felt sure he would be there on the wall having his daily vitamin D shot.  Sadly, it was not to be.  However, the little lizards were out in force so I did manage to get a shot or two.

Out walking it amazes me how it is never really winter here. Sometimes it's wet and sometimes cold but there is always something growing.  At the moment the lemons and oranges are beginning to colour, and it will not be long before pancakes with fresh lemon are on my menu! Yum.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

And relax....

I am having such a lovely day today, despite being under the weather with the latest snuffle sneeze cough thing doing the rounds.  Having shown my house a little love (which it really needed) I have given myself the afternoon off! 

Summer (the dog) and I ambled around the orchard in the watery sunshine.  I took my camera in the hope of catching my little snake who sunbathes on the wall, but with a little chilly wind I think perhaps it was too cold for him.  However I did find a four leaf clover, so not all bad luck :)

These celandine's add some much needed colour to the walk.  

Yesterday AnnieMay had her first outing and it went quite well.  Although I did not make very much for the event (small and simple) I enjoyed setting my little tables up and making it pretty....

My mincemeat sold well, with lots of orders too, so getting up at 6.30 to make mince pies was worth the effort (which is good as I am NOT a morning person and so it really did take quite some effort!)

Maybe need a slightly larger selection next time!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Love this

Oh how I LOVE this picture.  I want to buy it and put it on my wall. 

Reindeer food and rain.

This week I have been putting together bits and bobs for my first stall.  One of my favorite things has been my Reindeer Food.  Little L has been very excited at the prospect of throwing some on the grass come Christmas Eve.  Having racked my brains to figure out a way of making cool labels - something a little different - I hit on the idea of typing them on our very old type writer.  Needless to say Little L had loads of fun but did make me laugh when she asked 'can it draw things?' - clearly too used to the computer.  That said a type writer of her own is now top of the Christmas wish list and she had great fun hitting the keys.  I had forgotten how hard it is to type on one of these fingers where hurting after a while, but I did love the tap tap noise. 

As for the rain...we had a 12 hour storm over the weekend, with water features springing up all over the house!  When it rains in really, really rains.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

AnnieMay steps out.............

In a few days time AnnieMay will be stepping out to her first stall...eeek.  Having had a bit of a panic about what to make for the event I have decided to settle for a Christmas theme (as it is only 7 weeks to go).  So over the next few days I am going to have lots of fun making and getting into the Christmas spirit - oooohhhh so LOVE Christmas.