Friday, 16 January 2009

Dogs and Blogs

I thought you might like to meet Holly, I know its a bit late for Christmas, but Holly is pleased to meet you all. She was supposed to accompany a posting on issues to do with the festive season but somehow I did not have the time as I was out for quite a few days taking people up mountains.

Most of the time they were not very hospitable places, I kid you not.. I did take my dog Bella and I can confirm that she did not like the summit of Pike O Blisco very much. This is what it was like, so can you blame her?

It was all the poor doggy could do to stand up without sliding all over the place because the ice was so slippery and she also was shivering, so I grabbed her and put her coat on. Well that is something Bella hates, she hates being turned into a coat wearing dog; Border Terrier pride takes a lot of beating...I would call it the sulks, infact the big sulks. This was a 'sulky' moment when she was a pup.

But to return to Holly for a moment, she is owned by Marilyn who is doing the feltmaking workshop at Threlkeld in February and the good news is that so many of you want to make felt that the workshop is positively bulging. No more room for any more feltmakers at all, so please if you have not booked, don't expect to find a place. I am going to be working on the Banner with Sally and we have been placed behind the dustbins or somewhere...

More good news is that another 2 ladies have joined our Branch so we are expanding, infact so many people were in the Quaker Meeting House room we hire on Thursday that I began to wonder if we needed to move out into the corridor. Our little competition (DMC thread donation) that we ran at our Christmas lunch had 11 entrants too and our guest tutor Janice Nott was asked to judge the entrants. Well we were hard put to find a place to show them off so in the end they were placed on the table which some of us were working on. So thanks to those ladies who had restricted space for a while. Meanwhile, I expect you want to know the results, so here they are in reverse order.

Third Place - Gloria Walker

Second Place - Sally Evans (Sorry the photo is a bit washed out but I had to obliterate a flash spot)

Winner - Lesley Rutherford

And now the moment you have all been waiting for.... yes its recipe time!


7oz Caster Sugar
1oz Margarine
1 tspn Mixed spice
1 tspn Cinnamon
8oz Plain flour
1 tspn Bi Carbonate of Soda
4oz Walnuts
6oz Sultanas
1 295g Tin of Tomato Soup (Heinz has been tried and tested)

Heat oven Gas 4, 350F or 180C
Grease 7-8" Cake Tin
Cream sugar and margarine, sift in spices and fold in flour with soup,
then add Bi carb and beat well. Mix in fruit and nuts.
Place in tin and bake for 1 hour 15 minutes.

Now I have not tried this one but I may give it a go this weekend if I have time and that might be difficult as my friends at the B & B are in Mexico having another holiday whilst Mum in law and me hold the fort. Which means catering for about 12 on Sunday morning. Then again I am needed on Friday and Saturday next week when a hoard of men are coming to take over the place.... Probably Wainwright baggers. So when oh when will I have time to make the cake and the 2nd batch of marmalade. Well I should not grumble because our treasurer blithly let pass a comment about her 8th batch of marmalade on Thursday, apparently hubby eats at least a jar a week.

So its back to the kitchen for me.. but I am planning some sewing too and if it works out I will show it to you.

Wednesday, 7 January 2009

Happy New Year

Well Christmas is now over and we can begin to stitch again without Robins and Reindeers getting in the way! Having said that I did enjoy making a robin this Christmas and here he is with a few friends.

There comes a time around here when I am glad to be sitting in front of my computer with a cup of tea and a warm glow from the wood burning stove behind me, and that time was at approximately 1.45pm on Saturday afternoon on the top of Pike O' Blisco in Langdale. It was simply freezing with a terrible wind and the hoar frost on top of the summit was lethal. I was up there with my Border terrier Bella, my husband Pete and a lady from Germany called kira, I know that she sometimes reads these blogs so if you are there, hello and Bella says thanks for the doggie food from Germany yum yum....Speck Snacks - mit Wertvollen Vitaminen from Pet Bistro - more please says Bella!

So my thoughts are turning to sewing again and this very week I have been busy trying to procure more fabric for the ladies to sew into carpet bags. I managed to get our ladies interested in making bags with this wonderful Turkish fabric just before Christmas and low and behold they now need more.... So I am trying ladies.. I bet the bags will be simply wonderful when I see them and I will show them on this blog as soon as they materialise. Meanwhile, I feel lazy as I have some of that fabric too but have not started a bag yet so its time I produced something.....

Speaking of production lines, I spent yesterday afternoon making Seville Orange Marmalade. I had not made some for a few years and when I did I was surprised how easy it is, the only bad bit is all the messing around taking the peel off to start with and then cutting it up into small pieces. Anyway, it was proudly on display for breakfast this morning and it tasted good too, with no complaints from him who knows his marmalade and usually buys Tiptree.

I mixed up some homemade Calvados (no brandy) mincemeat before Christmas and made too much of that too so I also have plenty left over for the coming months. I prefer to make a larger 'pie' than the usual small ones although I always make some of those too. So here is a photo of the lattice pie with my mincemeat in it.

I once made some mince pies based on one I had at Mire House just outside Keswick, it was a really deep pie and they took the lid off it and filled the space on top of the mincemeat with Cumberland Rum Butter and then popped the lid back on and served it with whipped cream, oh that was lovely; very good when the pies are warmed first.

I am becoming so hungry with all this patter about pies that I have not mentioned the real reason for posting to the Blog and that is to remind all of you that in March our workshop is with Gill Reid and the subject is Head Cases and incase you don't understand what that is, here is one...

She is a gorgeous dolly, I can't wait to make one of these, I just love the little feet and the red bow in her hair and her pretty face and lips! Gill sent me an email last month and said she would try and send me some more photos so I will post them as soon as I receive them. Meanwhile, I also should remind you that this very week we are going to make Fabric Jewellery with Janice Nott. Now this is interesting as I have no idea what to expect but I did receive these beautiful fabric beads at our Christmas Lunch swop of pressies. I think I did very well indeed. So I hope to see you all on Thursday when we should be making more goodies...