Saturday, January 18, 2014

Hello and welcome

Hello friends, good gracious, another year has started already. You know, I checked my stat counter the other day, and was surprised to see how many hits there were. It really is so good of you to pop into visit this blog even though my posts are rather sporadic these days. I had thought of deleting the blog altogether, but somehow it has a small life of its own and I would be too sad to lose it, and all of your comments, if I shut it down. So thanks for being such good visitors.
 
So now for a somewhat tardy Christmas recap...I made quite a few presents this year, one of my favourites being this bag from the wonderful book Sweet and Simple, by Melissa Wastney, which has lots of projects for adults as well as for kids. True to the title of the book it was simple to make, all the bits fitted together just as they should, and the construction was the easiest of any bags I've made in the last year or two. I made it in corduroy, with a light green striped business-shirt-like cotton lining. The ironic label use (my label is "Miss Smith") was particularly satisfying, as I made this bag for another person called "Miss Smith". True story!
 
I also made some pillowcases from the same cotton- these were for a 22-year-old nephew of mine. A difficult age bracket to buy for as I have no idea what young men are into in this day and age. When I was 22 all the lads I knew liked playing Doom on large computers and drinking beer. Things may or may not have changed since 1995, but surely all lads like a nice matching pair of pillowcases. Well at least I didn't sew him some underpants. That would have been much worse. And embarrassing.
Here's one of the loveliest presents I got, a big bunch of hydrangeas. Not a single stem, as that would be a Lone (hyd) Ranger. Heh heh heh.
And now that Christmas and New Year are over, I am head-long into preserving season again. So far, I've done beetroot, plums, plum jam, and tomatoes. When I was done bottling the plums I had some juice leftover and it would have been terrible to tip it out, so I added some gelatine and made it into a jelly. That reminds me, I once went to the launch of a cookbook about desserts, and the author said "Never serve jelly at a party after 10 pm. The guests will throw it around." I hadn't forgotten that piece of advice so I served the jelly as an afternoon tea treat. It was received warmly, and wobbily, by all of the children present.
Now that I think about it though, just what kind of a party is it when jelly IS served after 10 pm??? The whole idea gets weirder and weirder the more I think about it. Well, there's something to ponder on for 2014. Don't say you never get inspiration for deep reflection reading this blog.

10 comments:

  1. Welcome back! I love reading your posts and was so pleased to see one pop up on my bloglovin feed :) I have Melissa's book and keep meaning to try that bag pattern. Beautiful hydrangeas! And yeah, parties with jelly after 10pm do sound weird. And slightly dodgy...

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    1. Why thank you for your kind comments Louise. I saw on your blog you have been making some wonderful things yourself! Twins! Oh my stars!

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  2. The jelly is amazing, a glass mould? extra gelatin? tell me your secret. I have been looking idly at the tupperware jelly moulds, they possiby only ever put one out but it has two lids so as to break the suction I presume.
    The Ladies a Plate Dessert Book, the name escapes me for the minute has a splendid array of gelatine desserts but nothing as magnificent as that.
    The boys have always enjoyed having their own pillowcases so I'm sure the present was warmly received.
    I have catered for a party where the supper didn't go out until 11pm. Everybody just drank and nibbled until then and the supper was the signal to eat up and go home. It worked really well and we were cleaned up and out by midnight. (This was an over 50's occasion) Jelly never crossed my mind but don't you almost want to test the rule...

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    1. Yes the secret is a glass jelly mould, $2 at the Hospice Shop it was. I just followed the directions on the packet re. the gelatine dose, 1 T per 2 C liquid.
      Is that the party where you did a "supper ham"? I love that idea.

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  3. Happy New Year! Great to hear you are doing well. Great jelly... even though I am not a fan of gelatine anything - serving jelly after 10pm?? That is weird... I'd like to think if I was waiting for a dessert after dinner and after 10pm, I'd get something better than a jelly! Maybe that's why it gets thrown around... dessert expectations not realised!

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    1. Yes I do believe that disappointment could be a major factor in jelly throwing. I bet it wouldn't happen with tiramisu.

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  4. "Lone (hyd) Ranger" --i love your sense of humour!!!
    That is a very cute bag.
    Please post whenever you want--I'll be here to read it!

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    1. Thanks Kyle, you always leave the sweetest comments. And you have been making some lovely things lately, I particularly like your smart new pillow.

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  5. Hey wow that jelly is just the awesomest. I keep thinking of the ones Nigella Lawson made but hers are truly adult as they contain lots of alcohol. So probably they were served close, if not after, 10 pm as a sort of dessert cum aperitif. I believe they had all sorts of other entertainment though so need to biff the dessert as a party game.

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    1. Poor woman, perhaps some jelly throwing could have eased some of the burden of her secretly sad life.

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