Archive | April 2013

Baking Day at the Cottage.


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Tuesday was baking day at the cottage. I decided to make some bread.

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Sadly, it was  the day after Mrs. Margaret Thatcher died. R.I.P Margaret. She was a strong leader, liked by some, hated by others. Me? I liked her very much.  I didn’t agree with everything she said or did but she never faltered. I feel safe with people who make up their minds and stick to it. Thanks to Mrs. Thatcher, my mother was able to buy her own council house (social housing dwelling) after paying rent for forty years. At the grand age of 62 my mother got a mortgage and actually owned her own house! She was so delighted with it and that finally she had something to leave to me (her only daughter) when she died.

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Unfortunately, that was not to be because my mother got very sick and had to go into an old folk’s home. They took all her money except for a small amount which was left when she died a year later.

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However, owning her own house gave my mother such pleasure and it was all because of Margaret Thatcher.

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I cooked the loaf in my gas oven at Gas Mark 7 (very hot) for 30 minutes but the gas must have been high on Tuesday because it caught a little on the top. Next time I’ll move it down a rung.

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It didn’t alter the flavour though and we are still enjoying it today (Friday). Almost gone now.

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Would you like a slice?

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My Memoirs – 2 – 1953


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This is the second part of My Memoirs. Here you see me at aged two years, on the beach in 1953. I think it is Freshwater Bay on the Isle of Wight.

If you missed the first part of My Memoirs, you can read it here.

From Wikipaedia: ‘The Isle of Wight pron.: is a county and the largest island of England, located in the English Channel, on average about 3–5 miles off the coast of Hampshire, separated from Great Britain by a strait called the Solent.
Population: 140,500, 2010

Isle of Wight

Of course I don’t remember the occasion, but I’ve heard enough stories about our visit to the Isle of Wight, over the years, that it is familiar to me, even in the telling.

We stayed in a caravan on a caravan park, which was nice because there were no doubt other families there, company for all of us. Apparently the bed that my dad slept in was too short for him and he had to put his feet in the small cupboard at the bottom.  Sounds uncomfortable, doesn’t it.

This time period was not long after World War II ended so it was a time when people could relax a bit and maybe let their guard down. It was still a time of food rationing, which didn’t end till 1954. You can read more about food rationing in the United Kingdom here.

In my youthful state, I knew nothing about wars, food rationing or other hardships which my parents had just endured. I was on the beach, probably for the first time! and I was having a good time. My parents must have scrimped and saved to afford that holiday because they only had rented rooms to live in with a shared bathroom and kitchen down the corridor.

1953 was notable for many things, some of which I list below in chronological order:

Ian Fleming had just published his first James Bond novel, Casino Royale.

Winston Churchill received a Knighthood from the Queen.

The coronation of Queen Elizabeth took place at Westminster Abbey and

Laura Ashley sold her first printed fabrics.

No doubt I ate my way through a fair few clouds of candy-floss and at least half a dozen ice-creams.

Hand-spinning with Blue Faced Leicester Tops


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This beautifully coloured roving was one of my Christmas presents and I’ve just started spinning with it. It came from Miss Babs, via The Yarn Haven shop in Knoxville.

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I have no idea if it was expensive. I’ve seen Tops at all different prices, more and less. I look in the Etsy shop usually. Perhaps one of you could give me a guide price as to what you would expect to pay?

The colours are varied in this lovely roving. There is everything from purple to brown and I couldn’t wait to get started. After the last three months spinning with a mixture of Alpaca/silk and prior to that Merino, I had to practise a little. This yarn is much more woolly and more difficult to draft. I spent a while practising until I felt comfortable with it and then I started.

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Here is the spun yarn.  I’ll come back and show you later when I’ve done some plying.

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As a contrast, this is the Alpaca/silk spun up.

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and this is the Targhee:

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All quite different.

I enjoy my spinning.  It’s a great way to relax.

What do you do to relax?

Oma

Easter Treats -Crispy Crackles – Recipe


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These little cakes are just right for a snack during Easter-tide and they look good on the Easter table too.

Here are the ingredients:

2 ozs butter

2 tablespoons golden syrup

2 ozs Cadbury’s drinking chocolate

2 ozs Kellog’s Cornflakes

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For my American readers, I’m not quite sure what you would substitute for the golden syrup? Maybe molasses? What do you think?

For the drinking chocolate, you could use a sachet (or two) of instant cocoa powder.

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The recipe says 16, but I usually make 12. Line a muffin tin with paper cases.

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Method:

Melt the butter, syrup and drinking chocolate in a medium sized saucepan over a slow heat. Stir a little while it’s melting. When melted, pour over the cornflakes in a large mixing bowl. You can substitute Rice Crispies here if you prefer.

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When the cornflakes are covered (I like to leave some of my cornflakes showing), use a tablespoon to spoon the mix into the muffin cases and put a Cadbury’s mini egg on top. Leave to cool.

Cools very quickly.

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They are ready to eat in less than half an hour.

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This was a recipe from Oma’s kitchen.

Enjoy!

Oma

Easter Treats


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Yesterday was a wonderful day, here in the cottage.  On Saturday night we put the clocks forward. Yes I know what you’re thinking, but we’re always a little later here in England. The lady vicar at church was very accommodating and put the service forward an hour so it started at 10 a.m. instead of 9 a.m. I was grateful for that.  The Easter Service was wonderful, with a full church and hardly any spaces. This was achieved by combining the early morning service with the late morning service so we got to meet lots of people we didn’t usually get to see on a weekly basis.

The Easter Treats above are called ‘Crispy Crackles’. I’ll be posting the recipe soon.

How did you spend your Easter Day?  Was it joyful?

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I’d like to leave you today with an invitation. Click on this link and come on an Easter Egg Hunt with my little grandson, Dylan and his Grandad.

Happy Easter! from Oma