Wednesday, 19 September 2012

The day I made lemon curd and embroidered a pretty jar topper...

So I am asking why oh why oh why oh effing why haven't I made lemon curd before?
I mean it
I love lemons, adore them, cannot think of a tastier flavour of sponge. There are few better smells in the world and they rock yellow like no human could.
Yet until very recently I hadn't ever made the effort to make homemade.  I had this recipe from the lovely Fishy and bonny Mrs B (whose shared foodie blog I miss with all my stomach and would bribe them to post again) bookmarked for an age and had copied it into my favourite treat notebook.  I mean for yonks and yonks!
Anyhoo, I have no excuse and if I had known how effing easy peasy lemon squeasy it was going to be to make I would [like to think I'd] have done it sooner.

 It is the best lemon curd I have ever eaten and had to take Mrs B's advice and pair it with my favourite scone recipe with added poppy seeds.

There was enough for just about two jars becauseI didn't use standard sizes. I knew once I saw those golden filled jars I had to get sewing, sorry embroidering (see still have issues with the names).

Still wanting Robert Plant to squeeze ma lemon.  That will never change whenever and everytime I think of lemons

 Says what it was, lovely lemon curd.

If you have never tried making it, please do.  You will be rewarded with heaven in every mouthful.

Some strange people, namely Mr Biscuit are not impressed by lemons, fools and numpties one and all. He is both, trust me!


Find me on Twitter and Instagram as jammypudding.

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Oh my, I love to embroider...part 1.

I have always sewn since way back as a wee lass learning at primary school.  I was taught 'cooking and crafts' by Mrs M whom I remember enjoyed the sun. As in 'looked like an old leather handbag' liked the sun and wore an incredible amount of ugly gold jewelery and had pillar box red talons.  Not nails, dear readers, t-a-l-o-n-s!! Her hands freaked me out because she she would insist on keeping those rings on when she had her hands in flour.  To this day I hate to see someone baking with rings on and never ever, not on your nelly, do I keep mine on.  Any kind of food under someones rings gives me the boak!  Worse still under those talons.  I blame Mrs M for me never wearing nail varnish either.  Put me off for life. The look of her garish, leathery hands has stayed with me even if she was the person who taught me to sew hexagons together and bake cakes.  *shudder*
But I was hooked (not by her talons which would have held me prisoner, pinned forever) and since then I have always felt at home with a needle in my hand.  Later, in my teens, my mum and dad got me a second hand sewing machine. I used it loads, altering things I got in charity shops and generally playing about with it.  I have never fallen in love with a machine as much as with sewing by hand.  There is something so methodically comforting about hand sewing.  It soothes my soul.
Until recently I feel I have only dabbled in embroidery.  Even back in spring I was waxing lyrical about that. Dabbled because in my head embroidery is quite specifically defined.  That is, what I do, the sewing I usually do, is not embroidery. I suppose, for me, embroidery is prettifying, embellishing with stitches.  I don't know why in my head I think I didn't do it.  I am a loon as it's obvious I do embroider and always have. I was just calling it sewing, which it is, duh!!

A while back I bought Alicia Paulson's Daisychain sampler pattern from her shop because I was going to learn how to embroider properly (right, I know, thicko alert).  Ignoring the fact that I knew how to do quite a lot of the stitches described in it, 'I sew not embroider' was imbedded deep. Oh my it was a revelation, I found the thing I love to do more than anything.  I am all about a needle in hand.  I had started to get that when I was sewing thousands of hexies together by hand.  I enjoyed it way too much even with the pain of aching joints and getting spiked under nails and through fingers.  I felt hardcore folks!  But I had found 'my thing'. The sampler was going to be my way of practicing new stitches with something at the end of it.  I wasn't a fan of alphabet things, well I thought I wasn't.  I am all over breaking assumptions in crafting!  I loved the end result.  'I made that' was a grin plastered to my face!

Here's some shots...

Once finished I put it in a frame and it now hangs in my bedroom reminding me of the joy I had sewing it. My boys and I ask each other what letter is our favourite and before we know it we each have said pretty much all the letters. It is that pretty!

Once this was finished I moved on to a new project called 'Crafty Shelves' which I will save for another day.  Wouldn't want to bombard you with too much gorgeousness at once.  I thought we could spread it out for longer appreciation of the joys of embroidery.  You agree, yes?


Find me on Twitter and Instagram as jammypudding.

Monday, 3 September 2012

Why I love camping, glamping, holidaying in a tent...

I do.
It's just lovely.
This year we went up north a few hours in to the Scottish Highlands, the land of midgies and mouintains.  Our campsite in the Rothiemurchus  Estate (near Aviemore)....let me rephrase that. We got to pitch our tent in the woods which happend to have a (fanatastic, clean, refreshingly unisex) toilet/shower/dishwashing block in it.  We literally found a spot to camp for the piddly price of 152 pounds for seven nights.  Don't let the cheapness fool you, we weren't slumming it.
Now, our tent is massive...

See? Big right?

If I could pass on one tip about tent choosing or buying a tent, is get bigger than the number who sleep in it.  Our tent sleeps six even though we are a family of four.  You need the living space for dodgy (normal UK) weather.  You need to be able to take your outside furniture inside and still have enough room for a cooking area.  As it turns out having a canopy that attaches to the front of our huge tent means we haven't had to move indoors yet as a canopy simply means we can stay seated outdoors and not be exposed to wind and rain.  We can still eat out there and still barbeque.  We have born witness to so many families squeezed into a 'perfect fit' tent in the pouring rain.  Get a bigger tent to 'live' in and if you can a canopy for more of an outdoorsy time of it.  I must admit that I refuse to do any type of camping that does not involve being able to stand up inside a tent.  We used to rent holiday cottages and since downgrading price wise to camping, I still want to be comfortable.  I don't want to have to crawl into spaces and sit on the floor. No way no how.

We pitched next to a burn surrounded by trees. That burn was a lot of fun for my boys and even though there was a couple of falling in incidents (one of which was mine but I still argue I did a ladylike sit down.  Okay I was a bit tipsy and my boys urged me to do the obviously obligatory 'You've been Framed' fall in the burn.  Unfortunately being drunk ( did I mention that?) I was a little eager and 'sat down' before anyone got their camera ready.  My boys were not impressed missing out on 250 smackers!!  I really didn't slip in on purpose but still too soon.  It felt lovely to my drunken bottom!).....but oh my it was a lovely spot.  Running water is a heavenly sound.  We saw loads of red squirrels which I have never seen in my life before even though I have tried and failed on many visits to the Highlands. They are so cute and very fast.  The mister manged to get a photo but you have to be quick.

You can spot the wee beastie in the middle of the shot.

 I love the sound of rain on a tent roof which is just as well as it rained loads but as I said it didn't dampen our outdoor life at the tent. It does get cold at night though.  No sleeping bags for us but duvets and lots of woolly crochet blankets and wool blankets underneath the airbeds.  You really need them.  I know sleeping bags are warm but who wants to sleep in a tube.  I don't.  Even in the height of summer with scorchio days, nights are freezing up north in Scotland.
Here's my Biscuits' bedroom...

Necessary midgie putoff-er.

We used the lidded bbq of an evening to keep warm, sitting out once the boys were cooried up in bed, in the glow of candelight drinking tea and chatting.  It was bliss.

 And just look at this view from up the Cairngorm mountain...

 It was driech but it really wouldn't be a fair representation of Scotland if it wasn't.

We traveled up the funicular (which is one of the best words EVER!) railway which was really cool (even if I still got travel sick on the way down, the shandy lightweight I am).
We loved hanging out at our tent, having scrummy one pot dinners and tasty bbq's.  We had tasty lunches out and about, lovely walks, got soaked, ate scones and drank lots of tea. What gets better than that? Crafting, you say? Well I did some of that too.
I have the camping bug well and truly now and plans are afoot for getting a van next year so we can pop off whenever we like.  One negative thing is the packing of the car, roof and trailer but next year it will all go into one van AND we will manage to take our bikes too.  Heaven or what?


You can find me on Twitter and Instagram as jammypudding.


Related Posts with Thumbnails