Archive for January, 2008

Mmmmm… calorific

Posted by on Jan 25 2008 | Delicious Things

Which? magazine just published the findings from a survey of coffee shops around the UK, and their findings have been jumped on by the media as shocking.

Did you know that half a litre of white chocolate mocha with full fat milk and a heap of whipped cream and chocolate shavings has lots of calories?

You mean cream and sugar is fattening??

Who’d have thought?

People are stupid.

5 comments for now

Ooops!

Posted by on Jan 23 2008 | Books, Crafty things, Delicious Things, General Ramblings

You know you’ve let the blogging slide when your mum rings to ask why you’ve stopped posting. Sorry mum!

I’ve been lacking writing inspiration, and haven’t felt like posting just a ‘oh look what I made post’, except, now it’s been a while, so that’s exactly what I need to do. I think another small thing may be that I get to be creative at work now, which is awesome, but has affected my blogging somewhat. Ho hum.

So, some random points…

I have another pair of baby socks almost finished and these will be in the post soon, I hope.

Bread making is flying along. Strong flour. It’s all I needed. Haven’t bought bread since and I’m loving the loaves I’m making. Bread making seems to be all the rage at the moment: Of course DaviMack‘s been at it for a while, Bridget‘s been making potato and garlic bread, Roobeedoo‘s at it too, and Cheryl‘s been working magic with a borrowed breadmaker. The machine does use electricity, but it seems fairly economical. At knitting on Saturday we were talking about the machine lacking the connection that comes from kneading the dough, but it takes me less than 10 minutes to put the ingredients in the machine, and as someone who barely keeps up with the housework and who finds it a huge effort to cook dinner when I get in, well, the machine’s the only way I’m gonna get bread! (I will still make batches of pizza bases by hand though, as I like the recipe I use).

Back to the knitting, and the terrifying balaclava is almost finished.

Chatting about it in the pub, about how best to decorate it – with the suggested skull mouth thing or with a big curly moustache – Linus suggested putting eyes on 2 sides to give two different options – it’s too late this time, and it would only work with one like this that’s destined to sit underneath a snowboarding helmet, but I loved the idea.

So, aside from a brief obsession with the Ravelry forums, which I’ve reined in to a passing interest, a few long work days, and lots of reading in the bath, what have I been up to?

Well, I’ve finished Kavalier and Clay

This was a wonderful, wonderful read. I was totally absorbed, I bought into the characters, and I was at once sad to finish and happy to leave them to the rest of their lives.

On Sunday we went to see No Country For Old Men, which was one of the best films I’ve seen in a long time.

Now, I leave you with some advice. Say you’ve just finished the pot of coffee, and want to make more, so need to fill the hot glass pot up with cold water to refill the filer machine thingy. With me so far? Now, you don’t want to put cold water in to the hot glass pot, because that might make it break, and you don’t want that. See. I know that. I’m smart.
Anyway, should you find yourself in this situation, I don’t recommend placing your palm flat against the bottom of the pot to gauge how hot it is.
Yep, I’m smart, me.

4 comments for now

Baby socks, Bust and Bread

Posted by on Jan 10 2008 | Crafty things, Delicious Things

Phew! Do you see the correlation between my going back to work and the decrease in blog posts again? Ah well. That’s the way it goes, and there’s a mortgage to be paid.

Last night I finally made it along to Tuesday night knitting in the Borders down the road from me. It was a lovely night and I hope to get there more often.

The final spur to go came from Laura, who came to my rescue with the extra 2g of sock yarn I needed to finish the baby socks (which I did, last night, thanks Laura!).

While I was in Borders I found a copy of Bust magazine, and it’s top. I’m not quite as young and trendy as I suspect most of the readers are, but it’s lovely to read a magazine that’s not choc full of negative messages about women. ok, ok, I’ve also been hanging out on the Feminist Knitters group on Ravlery. And the athiest/agnostic group. It’s really refreshing talking to people with the same beliefs as me. (Not that I don’t usually, but, well, these things don’t get brought up often and as I have no desire to be preached at I don’t preach to others).

I’ve now made 5 loaves of bread. I’m trying to make it a routine thing, part of the housework I do all the time. Because, you know, I do housework all the time…

Anyway, so far the breakdown has been:
Loaf 1: Edible. Tasty even.
Loaf 2: Sunk and stodgy, completely inedible. Some research narrowed this down to either a) too much salt, b) too much water, c) not good enough flour, d) too little salt, c) the yeast getting wet before it should. Helpful.
Loaf 3: Edible again. Used less salt. Thought I had it.
Loaf 4: Not great, but edible. Sunk again.
Loaf 5: For this I abandoned the wholemeal flour, as I don’t have strong wholemeal, only strong white, and D suspected that this may be the problem. So, instead I made a white based loaf with wheat bran and oats added. It’s just come out of the machine and it’s about twice the size of the other loaves, looks like bread and smells delicious. Excellent!

So, I’ll be off to the health food shop to find some strong wholemeal flour I think.

5 comments for now

Oh! Mr Darcy!

Posted by on Jan 03 2008 | General Ramblings

Today was the last day of my holidays :-(
I could get very used to not working.* Better start buying lottery tickets.

Today I’ve made a substantial dent in my chores list, and I’m satisfied with that.

My day went as such:

Mop kitchen floor.
Clean bathrooms.
Sit and watch Pride and Prejudice** and knit.
Sweep the patio. (A magpie has removed most of the soil from the plant pots and scattered it all over the place. It’s either looking for slugs, which is fine, or bumblebees, which is not)
Sit and watch Pride and Prejudice and knit.
Rinse chick peas that have been soaking overnight. Put on to boil and then simmer.
Make pizza dough. Knead until my arms hurt and I can’t do it any more. (10 minutes.) Leave to rise.
Sit and watch Pride and Prejudice and knit.
Make sandwich with delicious home made bread, and eat while watching Pride and Prejudice.
Take chick peas off the heat and leave to cool.
Knock back pizza dough, divide up, roll out and bake.
Sit and watch Pride and Prejudice and knit.
Make houmous with chick peas.
Do a little work (no way around it, and it was just a little bit).
Sit and watch Pride and Prejudice and knit.
Clean up the big mess I’ve made in the kitchen.
Have dinner. (Pasta with a delicious roast mediterranean vegetable and tomato sauce)
Sit and watch Pride and Prejudice and knit, this time with my new microwaveable heated slippers on. Feel immense satisfaction with how it all worked out.
Finish one toddler sized baby sock. (Good thing about babies is that they grow).

Write this, with a beer. Mmmm.

As a result of the last 2 days, I now have clean bathrooms and kitchen, a swept patio, one finished baby sock, home made pizza sauce, pizza bases and houmous in the freezer, food in the fridge and cupboards, and best of all, I’m very relaxed.

Lets just not talk about the rest of the to do list.

*With the caveat that it would have to be through choice, looking for work is no fun at all.
** The 1995 BBC production. Colin Firth is the only Mr Darcy for me.

6 comments for now

And there was bread!

Posted by on Jan 02 2008 | Delicious Things

One of my wonderful presents was a breadmaker. I’ve wanted one for a while, as it can at times be tough trying to find bread that’s not white sliced spongy stuff that shouldn’t be allowed to be called bread. Plus bread’s not cheap.

I’ve been wanting to try it out since, well, December 25th at approximately 11am. However, we haven’t been home long enough and with the correct ingredients until today. (Actually, that’s probably why I’m still a bit tired – the not being home thing, not a shortage of flour and yeast.)

As today was my first go, I was expecting a bit of a disaster, but no! Instead I have delicious wholemeal 5-seed bread, and it tastes great. Perhaps a tiny bit heavy, but some ingredient tweaking will fix that.

Here’s to many more loaves.

6 comments for now

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