Missing Photo

This is what I made Emma. I had to remove it from the earlier post as I didn’t know if she had received her parcel and didn’t want to spoil the surprise…

march-2009-128Apologies for the darkness of the photo, I think my flash has stopped working.

Anyway, no more knitting, I have a plan to get this blog back on to the subject of food…however I need to buy some eggs first…

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Finished !

I really struggled to be creative for this tea swap.  Mrs Lacer (Lacer’s Life) came up with 2 great suggestions – one I loved but knew I didn’t have the right skills for (felt/embroidered tea bag) and the other was a possibility (decorating a tea caddy) but I was not confident enough.

My Mum suggested “Teabag” folding” and even had a book I could borrow but again, despite and intermittent addiction to origami I didn’t feel confident enough as the folding here is really small and has to be spot on accurate…may try it later though as I have lots of card blanks.

In the end I stuck with my comfort zone and got the needles out – but not a teacosy… I found a pattern for a “Fiesta Tea Set”. Its made of cotton and knitted on 4 needles and then stiffened slightly (I used hair spray).

Not totally happy with the finished objects as the cotton was really splitty – but at least its not a tea cosy !

What can you use it for ? Well it can sit and gather dust, or you can use it for storing bits and bobs on your dressing table or alternatively if you have kids it makes a change from the ubiquitous ELC teaset !  Anyway I hope Emma likes it, and the tea…

Flourless Fairycakes

Not really. Am afraid I don’t have a good recipe for flourless fairycakes, unless of course you don’t mind nuts. But even this recipe defeated me as I not only had I, in the run up to pay day run out of flour but I also seemed to have finally used up the packets and packets of cashew nuts that were clogging up my cupboard.

The lovely Mrs Lacer over on Lacer’s Life has been knitting this month which reminded me that I have a set of needles under the bed and am halfway through 2 knitted “things” for Flapjack Queen’s children and having made the egg last week I really should get on and finish the dinosaur puppet to go with it, especially as it was Flapjack Princess’ birthday on Thursday.

Thursday came and went and the dinosaur although knitted was still in pieces (I am allergic to “making up”) and I had no money for a card. Fortunately however there are some card blanks in the office and I then  I found Little Cotton Rabbits had this as a free pattern at this point I’ve tried to inseft a photograph but the system doesn’t seem to want to let me at the moment.

Unfortunately in a misplaced attempt before christmas at being an organised tidy individual I had finally got rid of my stash (wool and material) vis freecycle and all I had in were a few bits of white orange and black wool – however my Stepson mentioned that his Mum knitted so a quick phonecall netted me a ball of pink wool and one of brown.

Anyway, result was one card and one bemused Flapjack Princess…hopefully I’ll get the present finished this weekend.

Note: I promise this isn’t going to become a knitting blog. I realised whilst making the dinosaur the reasons why I gave up knitting – kittens playing with your wool whilst your knitting…

Good enough to eat ?

Good enough to eat ?

The knights who say “knit”

Here at Bunn towers we have gone all knights and castles since Christmas. Well really its since October when we acquired free tickets for Warwick castle. Spider has been mad for horses knights castles falcons and anything medieval. He made some armour over the holidays with grandma out of baco foil and cardboard and just as this was falling apart some kind friend gave him a sword and a shield for Christmas.

Cheese and tomato shield

Cheese and tomato shield

I don’t do cute food for children as a rule. You won’t often see me turning cupcakes into teddybears or burgers into people with pasta hair, but yesterday I just caught part of Big Cook Little Cook where they were just taking out of the oven a pizza shield, so I thought, as we were having our home made pizzas again this evening I would give it a go – but only for Spider, much as Teenager and Husband might have enjoyed it, I usually leave them to make their own pizza. Anyway, I wouldn’t say it was a roaring success, it’s easier to get a pizza to keep its shape if you use a scone dough which I think they did on the TV. Anyway it served its purpose namely helped with the cheese mountain we are still working are way through since Christmas.

Tiger Hat, no feet

Tiger Hat, no feet

I mentioned just before Christmas that I’d been trying to finish some knitted presents I’d been making for Flapjack Queens children. This morning when I tidied the top of the house I finally managed to undo the spiders web that the cat had made of my knitting bag.

After we put Spider to bed I hoped to settle down to a couple of hours noodling around on the internet, only to discover that Husband had nicked my laptop – so I thought I’d better get cracking on trying to finish 1 of the 3 presents I have on the go at the moment before the cat rediscovers the knitting bag and undoes all my hard work.

This hat is for FQ’s youngest (wheatflake ?) I’ve made it before for Spider, for his 2nd birthday when he was going through a tiger phase…unfortunately 3 hours after he first put it on it got left behind in a cafe in Banbury and was never seen again 😦

What on earth possessed me ?

This title can refer to 3 things equally

  • cooking a goose
  • going for a run
  • making Christmas presents

I planned to cook a goose. I was full of enthusiasm right up to the moment when Husband and Spider drove off to spend the day with Teenager and Student. The arrangement was that I would have dinner on the table by 7pm…so they drove off and I sat there looking at this flat, floppy defrosted, large goose in the kitchen and a fridge full of vegetables…I sat and looked, I made a coffee, I ate a slice of Christmas cake, I sat and looked. This went on for about an hour when I suddenly remembered I had no potatoes and I’d left the “back up chicken” (in case no one liked it) at my Mum’s…so a trip there wasted another 30 minutes. Then at 11.30 I sat down and wrote a timetable working back by 3 hours.

Now, those who have read the blog before know that I had been inspired by an article in the Observer by Allegra McEvedy. I did however have doubts about her timetable as it was a bit vague on times and seemed to imply that a 4.5kg goose is going to take 1 hour 45 minutes. No, as a rule you are looking at for poultry, give or take, at least 20 minutes per pound – judging by the search terms showing up on my blog this evening (allegra goose complaints) other people have been having problems with this recipe – I took the opportunity whilst at Mum’s to check with Mum and her copy of Delia and we agreed on 3 hours total cooking time.

Anyway, once I had leavered my bottom off the sofa and had a plan to follow everything was fine. OK having to pour off the fat every 30 minutes was a pain and the last 30 minutes of a roast trying to get everything on the table at the same time is always a pain and involves a lot of shouting at everyone else… there was also the problem that the oven was taken up with 3 sorts of stuffing (Nigella’s chestnut from 2 years ago which I found in the freezer, Nigella’s gingerbread stuffing specially requested by husband and the fruit and nut stuffing recommended by Allegara)

verdict : goose doesn’t do it for me anymore than turkey does. You don’t get much meat from it and I’d rather cook 3 chickens instead. But it is almost all brown meat which I love, the leftovers make great sandwiches, there is a lot of free range bones for stock and lots of fat for later roast potatoes (have stoked the freezer with it). On the stuffing front the fruit and nut stuffing from Allegra is amazing, Nigella’s gingerbread didn’t hit the spot for anyone and I am left wondering what on earth you do with left over stuffing ! Also I ended up with 4 empty plates, Spider though didn’t touch any of it but then it had been a long day…

The run – my neighbour Flapjack Queen (FQ) has a dog. The last time I volunteered to walk the dog was at the end of August when FQ was overdue on giving birth. Smiler, the dog did a runner on me and after 40 minutes fruitless searching I went home to own up to being useless only to discover she had been back for ages ! Anyway, FQ was visiting relatives and asked if I would walk Smiler. “Yes no problem I said” thinking Teenager would be back by then and could be bribed with hard cash. Nope, come 4pm I was on my own and the goose had been in for 30 minutes. I poured off the latest collection of fat and went next door to get the dog…

Because of our “history” I decided to put the dog on her lead to walk her as I couldn’t risk her running off as I had the goose in the oven and needed to be back to pour off the fat and avoid the kitchen going up in flames… Smiler, unsurprisingly was not happy and set off at a trot which quickly became a run and then a gallop dragging me along behind her…note to self a goth skirt and chelsea boots are not suitable for running in…although they did have the wonderful effect of hiding the “thunder thighs” I was accused of having at 15 (which is why I stopped running in the first place)…side note here – looking back on pictures of me when I was 18, I had a good figure, I was slim…shame that in your teens you don’t have the confidence to realise it…now I admit, if I run at my age I should have a sports bra on my legs to stop them bouncing up and down…oh oh oh to be 17 again – right nostalgic moan over !

End result, I had my first run of 2009 some 7 days early…it wasn’t too bad in fact and I may well repeat the (with proper footwear) I won’t be repeating the goose unless we get another bargain buy !

And making Christmas presents ? Well when I was younger I used to knit – I wasn’t bad. I have lost count of the number of friends whose children have had hand knits inflicted on them. Anyway, I have under the bed a teddy bear that my Mum knitted which was awaiting clothes…and had been for 4 years. So at the beginning of November I started knitting clothes for this bear but kept running out of wool and then went ill and then ran out of money (again) – and I also had a tiger hat and two dinosaurs to knit and yes I ran out of time and have decided to put the lot on ice until the children’s respective birthdays (Spider, and FQ’s 3 children)…oh yes and having 2 cats haven’t helped as my whole knitting bag is like one great big spider’s web… january-2009-062