Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Nearly but not quite Autumn...

It's a funny time of year, September. It's a time for me of wanting Autumn to arrive with it's cosiness and spicy smells. But, also wanting to keep the sunny outside all day weather.
We have the first apples of the season ready for picking and eating straight from the three. Soon, it'll be time to find ways to store the glut of apples offour second tree. We've tried new biscuit recipes to find our favourites for Autumn baking and look! Our sunflower has finally opened...
Today it is a glorious summery day, but I'm inside with Iona who is distraught that the silly electric company is cutting down a lot of trees down at the church's carpark. She keeps asking me why but I have no logical explanation for why... nobody warns of you these kiddy questions do they?

Friday, August 29, 2014

We watched some cars and found a frog...

Last Sunday we tagged along with Steve to an off road car thingy that his Nephew was taking part in. The kids loved it. Ian found a frog and a newt (or lizard as he shouted). Three things, the cars were loud and he didn't mind, he got covered in mud and didn't mind and he actually picked up the slimy frog!!! Go wee man!! Iona however, was in her element. Mud, cars, wildlife and being allowed to sit on the bonnet of my little 4x4. BBC Alba were filming there for their sort of version of Top Gear. Not being aired til January or February of next year though... The kids loved watching them film and Ian was very inquisitive asking the poor cameramen about a million questions...
Here are just a few of the pictures I took

Monday, August 25, 2014

Back to school...

Last Tuesday was a big day in our wee household, we had a brand new Primary 1 pupil and Nursery starter entering new exciting stages of their lives. Ian has just adored being in 'big school' and the routine it brings. Boy, does that guy like a routine. And is often found waiting in the doorway for the bus half an hour early!

Iona struggled last week with going to nursery (I say struggled I mean full lung screaming, limpet impersonations and declarations of 'nursery isn't for little Iona's!!) This morning was a fantastic drop off. Not a tear or wobbly lip was seen! Well, from Iona anyway. She doesn't seem big enough to go to nursery yet, her oversized school jersey and little legs in black school leggings are not helping that image. Oh, does she look tiny.

I have fallen a little behind in blogs I had planned and catching up with your lovely blogs but have been spending the afternoons with Iona. Baking some chocolate brownies, in a vintage mixing bowl that my Mum used when we were growing up, and a sneaky set up of the bouncy castle.

I am now a little stunned by quite how quiet it is this morning, no children and just the cows in the field opposite my little cottage for company. But a robin did pop in to say hello... getting him back out the kitchen was not so easy.

So, I shall now be found drinking coffee while it is hot and having a blog catch up for the next hour... 

Friday, August 15, 2014

a simple chunky newborn hat pattern

I have a load of half balls of Chunky yarn in my stash so decided to make some little hats. I opted for a simple pattern as the wool is variegated.

They really are simple and quick to make...
Grab some chunky yarn and a 6mm hook (or 6.5mm if you crochet tightly)

1. Start with a magic loop, ch 3 (doesn't count as tc throughout) 10 tc into loop, join to chain stitches with sl st, chain 2.
2. 2tc in each tc, join to ch with slip stitch, chain 2
3. 2tc in first tc, tc in next 3 tc - repeat across round, join with sl stitch, chain 2 (25 stitches)
4. TC in first 6 tc then 2tc in next tc, tc until 6 tc before end of round then 2tc in that stitch, tc in remaining tc's, join with sl st, chain 2
Rows 5-8 TC in each TC
Row 9 DC in each stitch around. Join with slip stitch and fasten off yarn.

To make an up to 3month size replace row 4 with - 2TC in first TC, TC in next 4TC around round. And add an extra round of TC in each TC (so 5-9 rows)

I do hope that makes sense ;) of course I am using UK terms.

Going to make some with earflaps next!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Sunshine Savoury Galette

Okay so it's really a tarty pie kind of thing, but Galette sounds so much better doesn't it?
With a bit of a rain storm and a few sunflower casualties we were a bit cabin fever struck today. And what better way to cheer myself and two small people up by making a mess, I mean cooking.
 This is one of the easiest ways to make lunch bar a jam sandwich...

To make one big enough for two small people and a kind of grown up...

Half a packet of Ready made puff pastry, rolled big enough for your tray
Handful of shredded Roast Chicken
Quarter of an Orange Pepper, diced
Generous handful of Cheddar, grated
Heaped teaspoon of Tomato Puree.
Dash of milk

Heat oven to 180*C
Spread tomato puree on base leaving a a few centimetres all the way round,
Top with cheese, then chicken and peppers,
Fold the edges of the pastry up and over the edges of filling,
Brush with milk (or egg wash if you prefer)

Now place in oven and cook until golden brown and the pastry is cooked all the way through (ours took about 30 minutes)

Of course if you want a bigger Galette then increase everything ;)

These also taste great with some chillis on top or a splash of balsamic vinegar and some mozzarella.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Garden joy and almost instant pickles

To our utter surprise we have managed to actually grow some vegetables this year. Gherkins and tomatoes being the ones that have surprised us most... no, actually the Popcorn sweetcorn seems to be actually growing and actual ear of corn! How amazing eh?

I couldn't wait for more Gherkins to ripen and grabbed the chunkiest lil one and made some almost instant pickles.

All I did was slice that Gherkin as fine as I could, then sprinkled over quarter teaspoon of salt and a teaspoon of sugar. Half cover the gherkins with malt vinegar then top up with water to cover the slices. Add a sprig of dill (from freakishly tall plant is optional)
Put lid on and shake like a crazy person until the salt and sugar have dissolved... then just wait a few hours or overnight.

I adore mine on top of an oatcake topped with cream cheese.

Look! Actual tomatoes on my tomato plant, in the NE of Scotland without a greenhouse! Who'd have thunk it?

Oh by golly! An ear of corn seems to be growing on the Popcorn plants we. They were a total experiment after seeing the James Wong seeds on Suttons seeds... hopefully we will have popcorn by about October haha!

And our apple trees are just laden with fruits. Best start looking for some appley recipes... Any ideas welcome

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Yarn, sock yarn and it's a bit matchy!

Couldn't leave these two balls of wool on the shelf in my Mum's wool shop... well, Steve is a mechanic and I do sew ;) so I now have some erm, his and hers yarn? Hehe.
I am making another pair of Simmerdei socks with the pink pair and may attempt some more manly socks with the blue for Steve, but Ian keeps asking me to make him a pair of socks. Now to research small boy socks. Or attempt to make up a pattern myself...