30 Oct 2010

Naughty chickens

The fact that we have about a third of an acre of garden for these naughty chickens to find a suitable place to bathe and not create havoc does not appear to worry them.

My plant pot containing a bay/laurel tree really is THE most suitable spot as far as they are concerned.

Never mind that I have to follow them with a dustpan and brush to return the soil to the pot.

At least they are free from bugs and nasties.

22 Oct 2010

African Flowers

I am sorry to say I simply can't grow to love these little crochet hexies.  I have tried and tried but they just don't rock my crochet world.  I think it is because of the edges that you find yourself trying to negotiate into a usable item that is just too much effort for me.  I am just a 'square' girl at heart I think.

So with the African flowers being ripped down I am so much more happier making these little beauties - so much happier.  I am using a little yarn stash that was given to me as a birthday present last year, so I am just seeing how far it goes to be able to turn it into a 'something'.

21 Oct 2010

Another Granny throw completed

This is Wip #1 of the Winter that I have set out to complete

It has only taken 3 years from beginning to now to get the job done!  After the last post, there is not even one single loose end that needs tackling! 
I am a bit of a yarn snob (unfortunately for my pocket) and this one is in acrylic yarns hence it does not compare to my cream granny as far as weight and snugglyness go which is made from 100% wool yarn.
But - it looks great in my room on the sofa and it is DONE!  Yaaaay.............!

20 Oct 2010

Loose Ends

I have a little guilty secret that I think I might not be alone in sharing

This poor granny throw has been part of our family for the best part of a year now, keeping us warm and snuggly in times of need and I still haven't got around to finishing off those pesky loose ends - I think I might have a bit of a mental block when it comes to this task.  There is about a third of the throw that needs this attention and I am going to do the right thing in the next couple of days and make it a throw to be proud of.  I am working on a couple of WIPs that are virtually complete - including finishing off the loose ends!! and once they are done, this old faithful will get full attention.

16 Oct 2010

Pillow Swap

I am taking part in this lovely pillow swap (now closed for entries)and my swap partner is Kath of Juicy Fig blog (which is a lovely read and full of insiration - *waves*)

Frantic cushion cover making is occuring as I write this post.

Plus I have a wardrobe full of neglected WIPs that are screaming out my name everytime I walk past!

>>>>>>>goes to rummage

6 Oct 2010

Hello again

Well....................I did take quite a long blog break this time but I can safely say I am back, revived and restored with vim and vigour.  Sometimes blogland can get in the way of life and it can leave my little brain quite confuddled. so sometimes a 'time-out' helps to get everything back on a calm footing once again.

I took time out from crafting so as it was virtually non existent really, but, I have at least mastered the Macaron - post to follow soon.

I have also been enjoying using food at home that has been made 'from scratch' as much as possible and I am trying to get away from the processed fodder offered by the supermarkets ..........*dreams of small-holding*

So with that in mind I would like to show you my first attempt at home cured bacon...........really.

I started with a whole piece belly of pork - this will produce streaky bacon - loin will produce back bacon.  It weighed 2 kilos or 4lbs approx.  If you are in the UK and have an in-store butchers at Morrisons - they are fabulous for help.

Next I had to make up the curing mix which consisted of sea salt, brown sugar and a  special curing mix.  This is then rubbed onto the dry belly pork (90% to the meat and 10% to the skin) and the belly is then either placed into a ziploc bag which will accomodate it flat or, in my case, wrapped in cling flim to make a secure parcel to prevent against any leakage.  This is then placed into the fridge for 7 days with the meat being flipped over once and massage a little bit every day.  You will need to place it into a ceramic, glass or plastic vessel because you will get a little liquid out of the meat (in my case not much) but do not use a metallic container because of reaction with the salts - but do keep it flat.

The special curing mix is available from here in the UK but I do believe that other countries do have their won suppliers of this type of salt. This site is very, very informative for home curing products

After 7 days remove the meat from the fridge and rinse the curing mix off it thoroughly and dry with kitchen paper.  Another 24 hours in the fridge on a rack or positioned upright, uncovered will help it to dry out ready for eating

Of course I had to do a little bit of my own quality control on this bacon and as you can see it was PERFECT.  No white, foamy gunk in the pan, just crisp flavourful meaty bacon.  Lovely.

Now would you like  to see my method for 'No knead bread' where you really do just stir the dough??