Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Another food bill and a muddle up in a delivery

Our Tesco shop came to £50.77. Adding that to what we have already spent, it leaves us £20.25 to spend until March 23rd. We might just manage as we have everything we need bar fresh food top ups and maybe some yoghurts. Time will tell.

We are waiting for a special delivery. It comes in 3 parts and it is something I have been wanting for years now. It has cost quite a bit of money but the savings we have made recently (plus these two months being free of council tax and water rates) have meant we can now buy it.

It should have come today but unfortunately (I guess we are just lucky) only 2 of the 3 parts came! The main bit is missing and without that part, we can't do anything with it. Both the company we ordered from and the delivery company have been informed. I wonder how long it will take to get sorted and when it will be delivered.

Its a little like having a car delivered without either the engine or the wheels. Ah well.

Monday, 27 February 2012

Problems setting up my new blog

Finally, after much pulling of hair and exhaling clouds of blue air, I have finally sorted out my new blog.

I originally had it as a secondary one to this but couldn't change the profile (about me) section without it also changing on here.

So I set up a completely new blog only to find it wouldn't accept video or audio. On top of that, I was informed that the blog I had set up (plus the email) was only one letter different to a well known band (not to me!) and I felt it should be changed (didn't fancy getting all their email by mistake).

I knew I could embed videos etc from YouTube but not my own work as I wasn't on YouTube. Yes, you guessed it, I had to join and have now got my own (if currently empty) channel.

When I finally get around to adding video, you should hopefully be able to view it on my blog which is here: A Liminal World

I'm not sure yet about its look, will have to wait and see on that front. This new blog is not only about sound. I also hope to show how I interact with my surroundings in other ways as well. Hope you like what you see (when it gets more things on it).

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Gardening and a possible new blog

A lovely blue sky and sunshine today but still on the cold side. Managed to spend some time in the garden yesterday sieving wood ash. Not the best time to do it as it was quite windy. Got it done and some is now on the plants in the garden that needed it.

Our soil is slightly alkaline and some plants, like my blueberry and raspberry need a slightly more acidic soil. Wonder if some woodland soil from up the woods as a mulch might work?. Any ideas? Last year the autumn raspberries looked very yellow and I had to spray them (and my hydrangeas) with some special food.

Hubby still needs to produce a few more snowdrop sticks. The miniature daffodils are poking through now and methinks more yellow sticks might also be needed.

If it warms up later today and next week (apparently Tuesday is going to be v. warm), I will start sieving the compost bin and bag it up for later use.

I may not be posting everyday on this blog soon, as I am trying to set up another blog associated with my sound work. So far, it is not going well as I can't fathom out how to upload my own audio and video. I am not on Facebook, nor do I use SoundCloud or any 3rd party shareware regarding music/video. If I can't find out how to do it easily (and it needs to be easy believe me), then the blog won't get off the ground. I am currently waiting for my very patient son to 'read all about it' and get back to me. Watch this space!

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Yeast, shopping and sticks!

I've decided to try and cut down the amount of yeast I use in my bread. Normally, the recipe calls for 1 whole sachet per 1lb 2oz of flour. Today, I had a go at doubling the amount of flour but using only 1 sachet in the mixture. It took slightly longer to rise but appears and tastes the same.

That's good, means my yeast will last longer and save a few more pennies into the bargain. They are not quite as high as my last bake but I did take off quite a chunk pre-baking to make us lunch.

'Our' pay day and therefore our shopping month, runs from the 24th to the 23rd of the next month. We did our monthly semi-bulk shop yesterday and decided to begin in Farmfoods, then go to Aldi to finish off. See the food challenge tab above for running totals. Next Tuesday, we'll do the rest in Tesco then see how we get on.

Here are the photographs of my reminder sticks. The white (gloss paint) ones are finished and in the garden. The yellow ones (only had spray paint) are going to need one or two more coats before we put them out. 

Here is one of the snowdrop ones in situ.

As long as I am careful where I place my hands/knees when weeding etc, I think they will work very well.

Friday, 24 February 2012

Frugal Laundry Liquid Debate

If you are using frugal laundry liquid, have you got any comments about it? If so, please let me know!

The more I surf other peoples blogs, the more I read negative comments about this – surely there must be more positive ones? I'll kick off this debate with my own findings. I have only ever used non-bio so comparisons may be different with bio products. Also, I have only ever used 'whites' rather than 'colours' products.

Stain/sweat removal:

Neither commercial nor frugal wash liquid completely removed the greasy marks/stains on their own. I found I needed to either lightly scrub or rub soap/frugal liquid/washing up liquid onto the garment before washing to get it completely clean.

I also used to find when ironing armpit areas, that although the clothes appeared to have been cleaned, when the hot iron got on this area, it brought out a slight smell of sweat. Now, I never, ever have this problem.

Loss of colour/whites going grey:

I'm probably not the best one to comment on this as I have said above, I have only used 'whites' products. As most people know, white products contain whitening agents, which frugal liquid doesn't. So some of my whites have changed colour slightly but not too much. The only greyness I have noticed is in my beige towels which get washed with dark towels so that may be the reason.

My dark brown towels have lightened slightly, but they would for me anyway for the reasons mentioned above reference 'whites' products.

As soap is half of the main component of frugal liquid, it naturally leaves a scum on surfaces. The washing soda or borax helps remove this, as does the vinegar conditioner at the end. If you don't use vinegar as a conditioner, maybe that could also be the cause of greyness.

Damaging or clogging up your machine:

I have been using this product for 5 months now. My washing machine is still lovely and clean and sparkling with no smells. When I used just non bio products, I got a horrible smell after a few months. When I remember, I do a washing soda boil wash at the beginning of each month. Previously, this did not always remove this smell. Now, I never have the smell even when I forget to do a boil wash.

Those are the main complaints I have found. Anyone come across any others?

I have not managed to source Borax so I would like to try that instead of washing soda. Does anyone use Borax, is it different to washing soda from a cleaning point of view?

My washing now smells of sweet, fresh air as opposed to an overpowering commercial chemical smell. If in the future I find that my whites do go dingy, I shall give them the occasional wash with an appropriate product.

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Sunshine and gardening

As at 1.00pm GMT, the temperature is 17 Celsius! The sky is a glorious blue with wispy white clouds. The breeze, for a change, has a warm edge to it. As we have a south facing patio, it is almost too warm to sit there (for us) and certainly too bright. Just made a pot of tea so will sit in some slight shade underneath our Acer Negundo tree.

I have managed to get all my pruning done in the front, back and sides. So that is me done for today, don't want to overdo it.

Got most of the washing done, will finish tomorrow. Shouldn't have any trouble getting it dry. Hubby has been busy painting my reminder canes. The white ones are painted and drying, but the yellow ones may need another coat. Can't wait to try them.

Finishing off some mashed potato with beans and fish fingers for tea.

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Gardening and buying seeds

First thing this morning – well, once the temperature had risen to 5 Celsius - I went out to titivate the front garden.

Due to my back problems, I have a rule of only weeding, clearing, or pruning 2 tubs worth of rubbish at any one time. Depending on how I am feeling, it can sometimes be stretched it to 3. This works great for me and stops me plodding on without thinking.

Today I have been pruning back all the stalks I didn't get around to doing in autumn. There are just the Japanese anemone's to do, plus a clematis. Then I can start the back garden before tackling the drive and small side alley garden. That's before I start weeding!

Hubby was busy filling all the bird feeding stations and starting on my next things for the garden. He is good bless him. He long ago gave up questioning why I want things doing, or even how they need to be done. He just gives me 'that' look and starts the job!

Anyway, the latest thing he is making for me are 'reminder' sticks. Most of my canes are past their best so as new ones will be needed, he is going to cut them down to 12” and colour code their tops.

Why you might be asking. Well, I don't know about you but in summer/autumn when transplanting, I keep disturbing my spring bulbs. So they will have white tops (snowdrops), yellow (daffodil/crocus), pink (hyacinth) etc. As I don't want to have a stick garden they will be pushed 6” - 9” into the ground, leaving just their painted tops showing in the gravel. Knowing me, or probably OH, they will be tripped over, so the deeper they go in, the better.

What do you think? A good idea or have I been out in the sun for too long?

We have just come back from our first exciting visit to a garden centre. Although I spent more than intended on four packets of seeds, one was free and the other 99p if I bought one full price packet. As they were what I needed, I got them. Have also invested £15 on a good quality metal bean pole. Every few years, I have to buy new 8' canes (which are expensive as I don't have access to hazel poles) to grow my beans up so felt this would be better in the long run. Bought a bag of potting compost, a lovely reduced chrysanthemum, which I shall divide to get four plants for the garden plus a new small bird feeder where they have to get inside a ball.

Here are pictures of the plant and seeds: 1) Pot Chrysanthemum, 2) Annual Chrysanthemum Polar Star, 3) Corn Cockle, 4) Cornflower Snowman and finally 5) Alyssum Carpet of Snow, whose honey scent fills the garden.

Monday, 20 February 2012

News, rugs and mushrooms!

Oh, I forgot to mention on my previous post that our village Post Office has re-opened as a full service. Apparently, the P.O. wanted to keep one here and the shop were just as determined to not run one if it meant them losing out financially. Looks like the matter has now been settled and it will be run by the shop owners themselves, under the tenure of the shop rather than a separate entity. So luckily for us all, only a temporary loss of service for 2 months. Jolly good. Now we can go back to walking around the corner rather than having to drive to the nearest one. Also, the pensioners are very pleased as they were having great difficulty finding someone to transport them.

Hubby was pleased, as he had 5 Ebay parcels to post this morning!

Went for my monthly massage this morning. Boy, was she manoeuvring some mighty fine lumps through the top of my shoulders and base of my spine! OH has had his chiropractic session moved to tomorrow (with a locum), as the chap who does him has been rushed to hospital with septicaemia and is in a serious condition. Get well soon A.

Getting on now with my rag rug:

Will have to get another colour to blend in as its a little too blue at the moment. Could do with toning down with some green-blue colour. Mind you, I'm not planning on using much more of the deep turquoise as that is the colour that is a little too powerful for the more mute tones in the bedroom.

We are looking forward to Pancake Day tomorrow. Love pancakes, but we usually only have them on the day plus maybe 2 or 3 more times so they are still a treat.

Got some mushrooms to use up so will either have mushroom curry or mushroom goulash for tea.

Sunday, 19 February 2012

A glorious day

It has been a day of sunshine, blue skies and a cool brisk wind. We spent 3 hours around at B's helping her prune 2 apples trees, 1 crab apple and a plum. They all look a lot better now. After having a cup of coffee and a piece of cake we returned home with 2 containers of twigs to eventually burn on the fire. Fired up by the weather, I quickly nipped into the back garden to finish pruning my quince and any stragglers I had missed on the apple and pear trees. An overgrown thyme was pruned back as I could just see some gold peeping out – look what was revealed (not the best of pictures as I had cropped them small enough to fit in the table on my garden page) - have got two photographs in their now!
Looking forward to stew for tea. Might have a go at cooking some dumplings in the microwave, if I have enough suet. I used to do them like this as the ones in my stew never seem to rise enough, despite keeping the lid on. Will also have some pudding if we feel up to it. 

We have both had a bit of a gippy tummy for the past few days. B. also said the same and we wondered if it was something we picked up from the place we ate at on Thursday as we all started to feel unwell about 4 hours after eating. A general feeling of sickness, stomach pains, wind etc., which persisted for about 48 hours. Who knows.

Well, my trial with the dumplings in the microwave wasn't too bad. They rose but were slightly dry around the edges - more practice.  

Anyway, we had some with stew for tea followed by the rest with golden syrup for tea.

Saturday, 18 February 2012

A short but sweet post

Not a lot is happening today. We were supposed to be going around to B's house to help her prune her apple tree. However, as the weatherman forecast rain at 9.00am we postponed it until tomorrow. It has just started raining at 1.00pm – Ah well, such is life.

I started a new page yesterday entitled “In my garden”. As a tribute to the work Sarah Raven is trying to do to get us all to help save our insect population, I wanted to find out just how many insect friendly plants I had and what new ones were needed; so I decided to carry out an inventory.

It will be quite picture-less for a while, as I hope to photograph each plant when it flowers. There are many more to add as they arrive but as you can imagine, some are still underground.

I have now started adding the 'fleece rags' to my next rug. Herewith the result so far. Methinks it will be lovely and soft.

Well, that's all for this short post. Liver and onions, mash and vegetables for tea. Stew for tomorrow. Yum yum!

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Sarah Raven Part II

It is a shame it will be cloudy today (even if the cloud cover is light). First thing the sun was out and it felt so good to feel its warmth on my back as I hung out the first batch of washing. I've decided before we go off for our walk to also get a second batch out as it looks like the weather is not so good for the next few days.

We will be doing a seaside walk today, hopefully Bonny will be with us. Haven't seen her for ages. We thought the 50% off vouchers had finished but E. has got another one for a different pub. I'll post the photographs tomorrow all being well.

The snow has finally gone from all but the places in deep shadow. It should all be gone after today I think. On Tuesday I went for a 4 mile walk around our village looking for places to scatter my flower seeds later in the year. Most of our fields have deep boundary ditches and although the grass is wild, there is alot of it, which might compete. However, I'll give it a go and try sowing where the grass cutters hopefully can't reach. If any make it, I'll post photographs.

Watched part II of Sarah Raven's programme last night – excellent!
It is so good that the RHS is now on board with their pollinator plant labels. Hopefully all garden centres will now use something similar. Also, well done Harrogate Parks Department. You may have slipped down from Gold to Silver Gilt but have decided to not only keep up the new style of biodiversity planting, but also to do more. Here is the link to her blog page http://www.sarahraven.com/beesbutterfliesblooms

Going to look through my seed catalogue this week. Although I have already had my vegetable seeds delivered, I will now look for annuals etc that the pollinators can enjoy.

Although a few of you have decided to have a go, if anyone else wants to join in, let me know and I'll set up a biodiversity page so everyone else can look at your blog to see how you are doing.

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Making bread my way!

Our normal Wednesday walk is postponed until tomorrow. I was going to get some washing done and out to dry but we keep having showers. Although the temperature outside is 9.5 Celsius, there is a brisk cold wind blowing – a day for indoors then.

was asking for tips on bread making. There are hundreds of ways to make bread and even a seasoned bread maker will on occasions have a loaf that for some reason or the other, doesn't work out right. I wouldn't use 100% wholemeal flour as for us, it makes too dense a loaf.

Here is how I do it. Excuse the stains on my bowl, they are a permanent reminder from when I baked rhubarb in it – they won't go away! 

This amount makes 2 x 2lb loaves of bread OR you can divide it in half BEFORE adding the salt and make one loaf of bread and a sweet loaf. I'll explain when I get to that stage. I sometimes use only half the recommended amount of yeast. It takes longer to rise and gives a slightly different texture but still produces good bread.

Into a large mixing bowl, put 2lb of white bread flour, 4oz of any other kind (granary, wholemeal, rye, cornmeal etc). 2 x 7g sachets of any easy blend yeast, I just happened to have this one on this occasion.

2 teaspoons sugar and 2-3 teaspoons salt in a small container. (I use a brown egg cup to remind me I haven't yet used it). If you are going to make bread and a sweet loaf, use only half this amount of salt.

I always used to add my salt at the start but after watching The Baker Boys make bread, they reckon it inhibits the yeast, so I now add it later. DO NOT FORGET IT!!!

Mix all the dry ingredients, except the salt, together.

Then add 600 ml warm but not hot water plus 2 tablespoons oil into it and mix well. Depending on what flours you have used, you many need to add possibly another 50 - 100 ml. When adding extra, do it gradually as you want the mix to be slightly sticky but not so wet you can't get it off your hands.

Bring it all together in the bowl before tipping out onto a lightly floured surface. Flour your hands and bring it into a ball shape ready to begin kneading. There are all sorts of timings associated with kneading but I count as I find it more consistent.  

Holding the back of the ball with the palm of one hand, push the other hand away, pressing down and away on the dough as you go. I am left handed, do it the other way if you are right handed. This will elongate the ball of dough and show you the inside of the mixture.

Using this same hand, roll it back up towards you (like rolling plasticine), back into the start position. 

This whole push/pull action counts as one movement. I now do this 100 times, rotating the dough and alternating hands so as I don't get arm/wrist ache.

IMPORTANT – If you are dividing your dough do so now. Keep one half to one side and use the other one as shown below.

When you have done this, lift the bread portion of dough up and sprinkle the salt onto the work surface.

Begin the process again, another 100 times. At first it will be very gritty and start to feel slightly sweaty – carry on. Make sure you incorporate all the salt. After 100 lots of kneading, it will be ready. Lightly oil the bowl and put the dough in. Either oil some cling film and cover the bowl or place a tea towel over it. 

I usually then put the bowl either into the airing cupboard or a sunny room but not in direct sunlight. This 'rising to double the size stage' can take anywhere between 1 and 2 hours. Today it took 1 hour in the airing cupboard.

This whole process so far has taken 25 minutes - including stopping to take photographs. That is from beginning measuring to putting it in the airing cupboard. It should take you no more than 10 -15 minutes though.

IF YOU HAVE DIVIDED YOUR DOUGH – roll/stretch it out the best you can. Sprinkle sugar, cinnamon (optional), dried fruit etc onto it, then roll it back up. Repeat then form back into a dough, cover and rest like the bread. I can't give amounts here, it is a matter of trial and error. On average, a total of 2oz of sugar, 2oz of fruit and a teaspoon cinnamon should suffice. Experiment!

Once the dough has risen, lightly flour your hands and punch the centre of the dough a few times to knock it back. 

Tip onto a work surface and lightly shape it back into an elongated ball. Grease then flour your tin, place the dough in, cover with a tea towel and leave to rise until it is slightly above the tin - roughly another hour or so.

Do the same for the fruit loaf if using.

When baking, I used to just bung it in and it was pot luck if it turned out right. Now I add steam.

When the bread is almost ready to bake, put the oven on to 220 Celsius and put in a small metal container as the same time to heat up. (I only have a pot one so I put the water in this before I put it into the oven. That way, it is almost steaming by the time the oven is up to heat).

When the oven is ready, slash the top of your bread (helps it to rise) you can add toppings here if you wish. 

Pour water into the metal container CAREFULLY, then put the bread tin/tins in. For my oven, I find 25 minutes at this temperature is good. You may need to do yours for slightly longer.

When the time is up, take out your loaf tin, tip out the loaf and tap its bottom. If it sound hollow it is done. If not, give it another 5 minutes before trying again.

Put on a cooling rack to cool. 

If you want a softer crust, wrap it in the tea towel to cool. Phew!!
This bread making tutorial by Sue over at is also very good.


Whilst all this was going on I made our lunch using the last of the unused tin of corned beef. We will be finishing the other half of the corned beef and potato pie with some baked beans tonight. Not bad eh, 6 meals from one tin.

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Rebirth after the snow

The snow has finally gone and in truth, I am glad. I love to see it fall and lay, pristine on the ground, untouched by anything except maybe the delicate footmarks of numerous birds early in the morning.

At last the snowdrops have re-appeared, still closed, as they usually need an average day time temperature of 10C to open and allow themselves to be pollinated. My dwarf daffodils are finally beginning to make an appearance, maybe 2” is showing above ground at present.

The pond in the front garden is finally free of its snow and ice cloak and the birds can at last drink and bathe.

When a decent day arrives, I shall return to gardening and cut down the final remains of dead leaves and stems to allow air and sunlight to get to the little green shoots appearing at the base of the plants. I'm not a cold weather gardener, I like the feel of the sun on my back. Not so hot I burn nor so cold I have to wear thick gloves. I like to enjoy and feel what I am doing.

No seeds have been sown yet. I long ago realised I was sowing too early. When you don't have a green house there is no point, everything gets too leggy grown indoors for too long. Last year, despite sowing towards the end of March, the warm Spring meant I had to put my tomato plants outside early May, too early as it turned out. The cooler weather arrived almost immediately and they had to have a fleece barricade until June.

My lovely neighbour who is not a gardener offered to look after things whilst we were away on holiday. After reading my long A4 list of what to cover and uncover each day, water with fresh or tap water he laughed. True to his word however, he was diligent and every plant survived. Now I know I can trust him in this department, his offers will be greatly accepted in future.

The air is cool at the moment, the breeze cooler still but I have washing on the line. Scattered showers notwithstanding, they should be reasonably dry when I bring them in.

Have a good day folks.

Monday, 13 February 2012

It's all about the planning

Knowing I wanted to make a corned beef and potato pie for tea (for 2 meals), I remembered to add extra potatoes to the pan last night. More importantly, I actually remembered to take some out before I mashed the rest! The tin of corned beef has been in the fridge overnight. It is easier to cut into chunks/slices that way.

I generally use only the lower, biggest half of the tin when making one of these pies (war ration training). The other half will either be used later on in a corned beef hash or sliced very thinly to have as a snack. Made some roast onion gravy to go with it.

With the oven going to be on to cook the pie, I also made some cheese scones to bake at the same time – using a BeRo recipe. This is the first time I have tried this recipe and had I cooked them at the temperature indicated, they would have been a little browner (see back left). My oven tray tends to burn things so I cooked them at a slightly lower temperature. The recipe said it would make 14 but I only managed to get 9. Still, they were light and fluffy and tasty.

With the pastry left over from the pie (using 12oz flour and 4oz lard) I also managed to make 6 mince pies and 6 blackcurrant jam tarts.

We had the last of yesterdays pea, bacon and tarragon soup with some poppadams for lunch. Always tastes better on the second day like most things.

We are now on the last basket of logs delivered in Autumn for use this year. After we have used those, we will start to use the 1/2 load from our new supplier. Hopefully they will last.

We are still managing on 1 1/2 hours heating per day (2 hours for bath day). Our Eon chart shows that we have used 14.9% less electricity than this time last year. Yes, we have used more logs but we have only used 1/4 of our oil. Normally, by the end of winter (still a way to go yet I know) we have usually used 3/4 if not almost all of it, as well as a lot of electricity to pump the hot water around.

With us due to have a few warmer days, we should manage on the heating side of things and hopefully, won't need to light the fire until later therefore using less logs each day.

Only using the tumble dryer for towelling has drastically reduced our electricity consumption. Normally, we would use it always at this time of year. Now, I wait until a day temperature of +1-2 Celsius or above plus a breeze and get the washing out on the line. It is finished inside overnight in front of the wood burner and has a lovely fresh outside smell to it. Far nicer than the chemical smell of conditioner.

Guess I will be catching up on the washing tomorrow and Wednesday.

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Stretchiiiiiiing the budget!

Having found 4 rashers of streaky bacon lurking towards the back of the fridge – still good, I thought about what to do with it. It would be too easy to have eggs and bacon and be done with it, just one meal. I could have made a quiche – 2 meals at least but as it was still cold, decided to try and devise a new soup.

I couldn't get the leeks out of the still frozen and snow covered ground so they were out. After hunting about, found some ingredients so here goes:

Pea, bacon and tarragon soup

Dice and fry 1 large onion until softened. Remove from the pan and add the diced 4 rashers of streaky and cook until brown and almost crispy then remove and keep separate. Put the onion back in the pan and add 2 1/2 pints of water, 2oz of pot/pearl barley, stir and simmer for 30 minutes. Check back and stir half way through.

Then add 3 stock cubes (I used chicken) plus 1 medium diced potato (about 6-8 oz) and simmer for another 10-15 minutes until both the potato and barley are cooked.

Add 1lb frozen peas, 1 -2 teaspoons dried tarragon and most of the fried bacon. Simmer for 10 minutes. Whizz up with a stick blender (or in a liquidizer) then thicken if needed with a little cornflour in water. Taste and add salt and pepper as required or leave alone and put these on top of each serving. Top each bowl of soup with the leftover crispy bacon.

Serve with toast or bread or scones. If out of those use crackers or poppadams!

Hope you like it if you make it - (forgot to save some bacon to sprinkle on top!).

Tea tonight was going to be my pork and tomatillo stew plus pasta. In the end, to make it stretch further, I decided to make potatoes and vegetables and stretched it to four meals. I am currently steaming 6 mini chocolate puddings today so we will have 2 of those with custard or chocolate sauce and freeze the other 4. Will try and remember to post photographs.

Old cook books - loved, cherished & eventually inherited.

Well, a slightly warmer night last night, only -8 Celsius. Currently we are barely above freezing but have just come back from a brisk walk to the shop (£1.05 for milk as we forgot to thaw some!!) and are feeling quite warm. Guess I am not going to make my food challenge this month. See the Food Challenge page for an update!

I thought I might make some scones sometime this week and as Scarlet mentions her trusty Bero recipe, I decided to have a look through some books. 
Amongst the items inherited from my mother in law, were her cook books. She didn't have many and her favourites were from the late 1940's (which still mention rationing and dried eggs) – lovely!
These first two were dated 1947 and are the ones that mention rations and dried eggs amongst their recipes. 
The next two are probably from the 50's or 60's?
I think these two may be the late 60's early 70's?
Finally, these two pamphlets are from 1972 - got the date on them. They all have strange musty smells emanating from them. I used to store used tumble dryer sheets between the pages but left them in too long and they have left a mark. Either that or I tried to be clever and used fresh ones - not a good idea as they are oil based. Ah well, we live and learn.
I don't mind though as they are pretty tatty anyway. Some fantastic recipes in them and many I remember eating when she was alive.
Anyway, just wanted to share them with you. If you can date them any better than me, please let me know.

Saturday, 11 February 2012

Knitting, awards, tagging and a bit of a moan - sorry!

Well, we had our coldest night last night -12.3 Celsius. The inside of the window (where it was open - and its double glazed) was frozen on the inside!! The rest had several inches of condensation which I wiped away to stop it evaporating back into the rooms. The heating (still only on for 1 hour morning and afternoon) was put on for 1/2 an hour to help dry things out a little.

Welcome to my new follower Gill - That British Woman. I have just finished my 2nd dishcloth. This one is much better, closer together and generally a better feel. I knitted it on 5mm needles after casting on 51 stitches.

I have found another pattern for knitting my 3rd in Andalusian Stitch. Cast on an even number of stitches. After trying 52 stitches (far to many for this loose pattern, I have settled on 40 stitches.

1st row: Knit
2nd Row: Purl
3rd row: K1, P1 etc.
4th row: Purl

Repeat these 4 rows until it is as long as you want then cast off.

I have been tagged by the lovely Mrs Thrifty at http://craftthriftandlove.blogspot.com/

Whilst I thank you for this, I don't know how I really feel about it. The rules almost smack of a chain letter somehow and I dislike those sort of things. If I ever get any chain mail type stuff in my in-box, I simple delete it and refuse to pass it on.

I can understand the principle of tagging/awards as they help to let people who haven't yet found your blog, find it. If they like what they read, they know where you are and can follow you if they wish and visa versa. Now that is a very good thing.

Answer 11 questions? Even though then appear innocuous, I am a relatively private person as far as information about me/my family on the internet goes. I am careful not to give out too much information and any I do give out is usually quite vague (not always, only the very private stuff!)

Some people give out way too much information about themselves on the internet, that can be how you get your identity stolen. You know the kind of thing, children's/dog's/parent's names, places where you have lived, details of jobs you have done etc. As some of this information may be what you use for secret questions/passwords, you can see how easy it is to get fraudsters on your tail.

As far as I am aware, I have not had my identity stolen but nonetheless, take great care to protect it. We have however, had our entire bank account emptied once by fraudsters. We believe after an on-line purchase to a company we had not used before, although the police believed it was from a machine actually inside a cash point. However, we always check for these and cover up the key pad whilst entering our pin numbers. 

What do you mean you don't do this at cash points!!! It was not a pleasant experience and one we never wish to repeat.

So, thank you again Mrs Thrifty, hope you don't take offence at my reply – none is intended.

Something I had intended to do over several days however, before I got tagged, was to pass on details of blogs I am reading and enjoying. They more often than not, will be relatively new to blogging and often have few followers. Everyone likes to think people are enjoying their blogs and hopefully leaving comments. Hope you enjoy visiting them!

The first of these is Abigail over at http://keepingitsimplythrifty.blogspot.com/

Friday, 10 February 2012

More snow!

Welcome to my new followers Eeek and Becky Bee. Hope I've got those right!

It's a cool, going to be sunny day today. We had another 1 1/2” to 2” snow last evening/night. As you can see from these two pictures taken from my lounge window, the top one from yesterday, still had 2” - 3” snow still on the garden, now we have more. The road/roof tops don't seem to have too much snow on them but it shows in the garden.

Here is another lovely picture of our grand-dog S. enjoying the snow - courtesy of DS. and FDiL.

Anyone watching Super Scrimpers? I do learn something most weeks but have to agree with Dan that it could do a better job somehow. Also agree with Frugal Queen reference looking at other people's baskets at the check out. I usually wonder two things:

Firstly, why are they still alive? Surely their arteries must be clogged up.

Secondly, what do they eat? There is often little in their baskets to make a home cooked meal from.

Mind you, they could just as easily, be thinking the second thing about us. Our main meal ingredients arrive in our monthly shop and we top up with fresh things once a week.