Saturday, December 27, 2008

The Return of Saturday Pudding

It's been away for a very long time, but I promise to try harder in future. Here we have Toblerone and White Chocolate Cheesecake. It's one of those adapted recipes using 2 different recipes and not really following either. If you get what I mean! Which is a shame really because it was very tasty indeed and I have no idea how I made it!

It was mum's birthday cake - here she is with the candles lit. This is a very bad photo of her and I know she won't be happy that I'm showing it to you. Sorry mum!

And on the knitting front, while I'm awaiting the imminent arrival of the first 'mystery blanket' package, I thought I'd cast on something new. Wonder why I didn't just finish something already on the needles (startitis again). This is the Winter Cottage Mitten kit from Posh Yarn. And true to form, I love it. I am aiming for World Domination of Posh, it's mighty fine stuff!

So anyway, did you all have a good Christmas? (me - yes) Have you braved the sales yet? (me - not yet but apparently Monday is our day) Did you eat or drink too much? (me - of course) Have you started a diet yet? (me - no, pass me another chocolate orange) Did you get any nice yarn or fabric? (me - no, family all think I have way too much anyway) Have you already made a mental promise to yourself to be more organised next year? (me - yes, it's top of my New Year Resolutions...)

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Very quickly

Just had to show you this card. It's mum's birthday on the 27th, the worst day of the year to have one apparently. So we try to give her something a bit different each year. I made a teeny weeny jumper and eldest son did the art work, the spelling is very dubious, but it all adds to the general effect don't you think? I know she'll love it!

Anyway, must dash, presents still to wrap, ironing to do and turkey to prepare, not to mention all of the veg to get ready. Maybe tomorrow I can have a day off?

Merry Christmas.


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

'Are you ready for Christmas?'

In the true spirit of Ebenezer Scrooge, I feel that if one more person asks me this ridiculous question, I will beat them up. Of course I'm not ready - I don't think I ever will be. There always seems like one more thing to do. I know that by Boxing Day I will have remembered something that I should have done, someone that I should have called or something that I should have cooked. But by then, of course it will be too late and it will just have to go on the list for next year. The list that I make every year 'Things I Must Not Forget To Do Next Christmas'. The list always gets put somewhere safe (usually in the back of my mind as I never remember to write it down!)

But anyway, on a much more positive note, look what's finished at last! Hurrah - my mum can have a present this year! I have loved knitting these socks, they look so complicated, but they really aren't, just very, very fiddly! The yarn is a dream to knit with (Posh Yarn Sophia 4-ply) and the result is so lovely. They have come out very wide as socks, but as mum always has cold feet, she can wear them inside the house.

The colours just sing out, so jewel like. I can see many more of these socks in my future, though maybe in a slightly less expensive yarn. Mind you, when you spend so long knitting something, what's the point in using cheap yarn? It doesn't last as long or wear as well ... Can you tell I'm trying to convince myself and justify another Posh order.....

And just because it wouldn't be Christmas without some food, let me just show you what I've made for the boys for their Christmas Day pudding. They don't eat the traditional pudding (pah, don't know what's good for them) so I've made these out of Hedgehog mixture. I seem to think they'll go down well! (In case you're new to this blog, fear not, I'm not chopping up unsuspecting hibernating hedgehogs. Maybe in the new year I'll share the recipe with you.)

Well all that remains my fellow bloggers is to wish you all a very happy Christmas. Whatever your beliefs, I hope you have a peaceful and joyous time. Thank-you for visiting me throughout the last year, I love having friends from around the world. I even have visitors from over the road - please say hello to Bill and Angie everyone - often visit, seldom comment!

Let us all raise our glasses to absent friends and happy times ahead.

Cheers. Clink.


Thursday, December 18, 2008

Christmas Cakes

Last year I made 9 Christmas Cakes. It was something I said would never happen again! (Not least because they were all presents). So this year, I've just done 3 - one for me, one for mum and dad and one for a friend who always orders one. Penguins having a snowball fight. Hope she'll like it.

Penguins made of icing are very easy and quite cute. Too cute to eat methinks!

They're a bit naughty though and have stockpiled the snowballs ready to throw at anyone who passes!

And this is our cake. We don't really go a bundle on marzipan and icing, preferring to eat cheese with ours. So I just do glace fruits and nuts on top. A million times easier and quicker. Have tried to persuade above friend to have one of these sorts, but she prefers to make me slave in the kitchen until the early hours. As WC said yesterday, I obviously have far too much time on my hands. (I'm still smarting over that one. Cow.)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Another conversation

A work colleague (hence forth known as WC) was telling us about her trip to Tescos:-

WC: Do you know, I spent ages last night in Tesco's walking up and down the aisles looking for mincemeat. It's Christmas and they didn't have any mincemeat. Not one jar. Huh.

Me: Why not just make some? It's very quick and far nicer than bought stuff.

WC (in a very sneering tone): You obviously have far too much time on your hands if you can make mincemeat.

Me: Not at all, I'm very busy, so I got up early this morning to make some.

WC: I'm not getting up early, I just wanted to stay in bed today.

Me: Ah well, I haven't got time to stay in bed, or walk up and down aisles in Tesco's.

Is it me?

And on a slightly obsessive note, I am becoming obsessed by Christmas trees made from magazines (but not nearly as much as my mum who now goes into shops to get those free Christmas gift magazines just so she can make more trees - dad says they now have a forest at home of them!) Those magazine trees and the wreaths, as so beautifully explained by Domesticali. I have come home from school at lunch time just so I can make some more!

In the background you can see Mr Stressy's pet hobby. Decanters filled with drink. My, don't we look opulent!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


Last night, just as Mr Stressy (aka David) was due to come home, a conversation between him and his boss went thus:-

Boss: Er, David, is that your silver car outside?
David: Yes, is it in your way, do you want me to move it?
Boss: Er, no. I've just moved it for you when I reversed the land rover into it.

Can I just point out at this stage that David's car was parked in a very large driveway, nowhere near said land rover... Is it any wonder he is also known as Mr Stressy? Likely to be over £1,000 of repairs apparently. Thank goodness we shan't be paying for that one!

Sunday, December 14, 2008


That's how I felt yesterday. I had not slept well - Mr Stressy is poorly and had coughed and spluttered all night long. The wind was howling outside and the rain was lashing against the windows. Yes, that's it. It was just lack of sleep. It had nothing to do with the fact that we went out for our Christmas meal from school and that I had eaten far too much and that I had drunk several glasses of wine and gin (not together). It was only one gin and 3 glasses of wine (I don't normally drink alcohol, give me a cup of tea any day, but I felt it rude to ask for tea in the posh restaurant) which isn't that much really is it? Well it must have proved too much for me. Oh, no, now I'm getting away from the real reason I felt jaded. Blame Mr Stressy and the weather Michaela. Yes.

Anyway, to recover, we decorated the tree. Mostly it was the boys who decorated it - I did the garland up the stairs and the hanging things. I have lots of knitted tree decorations so they decided it would be nice for them all to have a party at the bottom of the tree.

I miss not having a real tree, the smell is just so Christmassy. But we used to have such trouble keeping the real one upright. We bought loads of those buckets with props to hold your tree up, each one guaranteed to work. And none of them ever did. Every year, the tree caused stress levels to rocket skywards, one year I remember sitting holding the darn thing up for 2 hours until Mr Stressy returned from work. I must admit to being a Mrs Stressy by this time! So the artificial tree was decided on, and a nice smelly candle that smells of pine trees! But I still miss it all the same.

Once the boys had gone to bed I decided to put the chocolates on - the mini stockings with teeny toblerones in. How long will it be before they find them?!

And great news on the blanket front. Number 2 is finished. Can you spot your squares? If not, don't worry, they will probably be on the second blanket, which is 20 squares big now. Don't forget, if you get bored of eating over Christmas and your knitting is all done, try making some nice mindless 4" squares for someone over at St Dunstan's. Keep an elderly person a bit warmer this winter. Many thanks.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Post from Australia

Remember this? Well, my swap has finally arrived - only 7 months after the final posting date! My partner was Kylie from the wonderfully named town of Wagga Wagga in Australia. I mentioned that my geography was quite bad, so Kylie has sent me a map of Australia just in case I ever go there and get lost! (I go 6 miles down the road from here and get lost, heaven help me should I ever travel half way round the world!)

As well as my very lovely mini quilt, I had some beautiful buttons, a proper template of Australia, an Australian knitting magazine and some Smarties. Thank-you so much Kylie, I am a very lucky girl!

One of the patterns in the magazine is for a camel. And not just any camel. And actually not just a pattern in the mag - it's far too long so is available through pdf format - Talant The Camel is fabulous. He's got a space for needles, scissors and all sorts of other crafty stuff. He is now very much in my Ravelry queue!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Oooh, look here...

I've just been sent this. Lucky me eh? Thanks Merry Mog! This picture is, of course just like me. My waist is just as slim as that, my legs look just as glamourous as that, I walk oh so elegantly in high heels just like that. This picture was obviously modelled on me.

I have things to show you but haven't yet taken the pictures. I have things to tell you but I've forgotten what they were. I am slowly losing the plot at the moment. I am beginning to get seriously annoyed by the fact that I have to sleep. I am usually in bed for about 7 hours (often less, never more). That is 7 hours when I could be doing stuff like finishing off the Christmas presents, wrapping the presents, baking, decorating the Christmas cakes defrosting the freezer, ironing, knitting, watching the whole series of Little Dorrit that I've recorded. You know - doing the important things in life.

But no, I have to sleep instead of doing all these things. And it's driving me nuts!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Sunday pudding

We had chocolate cornflake cakes for pudding last night (I know how to treat my family!) but today's pudding was far more exciting. Have you got this book? If not, I urge you to get it. When I first saw it advertised, I just knew this was the book for me. I long to be a domestic Goddess, it conjours up such lovely images! I have made many things from it, and every one is delicious. And you know what, they aren't difficult either.

So today's pudding is Apple and Blackberry Grunt. Fabulous name there Nigella! She actually uses rhubarb in the book, but my children won't eat that, so we went with the safe alternative. Served steaming hot with custard, this was the perfect comfort food to warm us up after a cold afternoon watching children playing football. It is also quite the quickest and easiest hot pudding you can think of.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Are you keeping warm?

A cake at long last! This one is for Mr Stressy's bosses wife and is a present from Mr Stressy. Hmm. So how come it was me staying up so late? Anyway, she loves horses so I had a go at doing a little girl on her pony jumping over a wall.

Hmm. Again. How come it looks more like the pony is flying? Anyway, never mind, it was better than nothing (and judging by the hours Mr Stressy is putting in at work lately, nothing is what he would rather have given her).

Postie was very kind and brought me more squares - this pretty little lot from Natalie who owns (I am soooo jealous) this shop. One day I will go to Putney and call in to say hello. And no doubt spend a little money. I shall not tell Mr Stressy I have gone, I shall just say I'm off to Sainsburys or something. (it would take over 3 hours for me to get there, 6 hours in the shop and 3 hours back - do you think he would miss me?)

I laid out all of the squares last night and started sewing them together. I feel that 10 x 10 squares is big enough - and guess what, I still have 20 squares left over, which means that I'll be making another blanket! So if you haven't yet been bitten by the bug of 4" squares and would like to make some, please feel free - I shall be collecting for quite some time yet!

Oh and look here what's finished! Blanket number 1 in all its glory. Hope you like it!
And don't be fooled by the sunshine in this picture. It's freezing.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


What's this? The second door of my advent calendar (thanks Lucy, it's so pretty) has been opened already? What happened to November? Was I asleep? Where did it go to? It's just all too much this time thing - I know it goes faster as you get older, but heck, if it speeds this fast now, I'd better start finding myself a retirement home as I'll be needing to book myself in next month. 42 going on 82. (When I get to 82, will I have more time to knit?)

I have very nearly finished blanket number 1 - just 2 more rows and then cast off. Then I promise to start the squares one, and just in case I'm bored, I'll be cutting out pieces for a felted jumper blanket - here are all the jumpers roughly cut up, just need to make them into rectangles now.

Sorry, I'm making very little sense here, and no doubt I'm boring you all silly. But there really isn't much to report at the moment. There will be knitting news tomorrow, I promise. Even if it is of the unfinished variety!