Sunday, 29 September 2013


I am a very slow knitter, but find it so relaxing. A big change from when I was younger and didn't have the patience to wait for items to grow and take shape. Then, I got round the problem by machine knitting. At first, just simple school jumpers, but eventually designing my own knitwear and selling my creations on a market stall.
When my marriage broke up, I went first to college, and then university, and just did not have time to knit, even this quick way. Eventually, on a very sad day, my machines were dismantled and sold for a fraction of what I paid for them.
Years passed before I picked up knitting needles again. The birth of my granddaughter may have had something to do with it. Now I enjoy taking my time. One of life's little ironies that now I know time is finite, I have more of it!
In the past few years, I have regularly made clothes for Imogen...cardies, ponchos. My most ambitious project has been a jacket for my Mother's birthday, while a jumper I started for a son remains unfinished in a bag. As the arthritis gets worse in my hands, I tend to knit scarves and toys. My aim is to knit or make something else for as many people on my Christmas list as possible.
Here is the koala I finished 2 days ago.I thought it would be quite small from the picture, but it is over 12 inches tall. It was a lot more challenging than I thought it would be too, and doesn't sit up properly. But I am sure someone will love it.

Friday, 27 September 2013

Just like a woman?

Skin stretched taut and paper thin
Nose collapsed and trout pout grin
Balloons for tits, work done below
Just like a woman? Don't think so

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Mushroom Soup

I made this from value mushrooms I got from the local supermarket.
I cleaned and roughly chopped 1/2lb mushrooms and finely diced a small onion. Then I melted 1oz of butter in a saucepan and cooked the mushrooms and onions on a low heat for 5 minutes. Next, I took a 1/3rd of the mushrooms out and put aside.
I made up 3/4 pint of white stock. I stirred 1oz of flour into the remaining onion/mushroom mix, then slowly added the white stock, stirring all of the time. This was left to simmer for 25 minutes.
This mixture was then pureed using my hand blender. (I've always hated this piece of equipment. I asked my ex mother-in-law for a whisk one Christmas, and this was the cheapest thing she could find. It pureed the soup just fine!) 3/4 pint of milk and seasoning were added and the mixture reheated for 5 minutes.
I beat together an egg yolk and 75ml of double cream, then added some of the soup mix. This was then added to the saucepan along with the mushrooms I had put aside at the start. It is important never to boil the soup from this point onward...just keep it warm until served.
Rod and I both had a good bowlful of soup each, although it would serve 4 as a starter.
It was very, very tasty.
Sorry, no photo today. It was eaten too quickly!!

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Plum Custard

Today, I decided to push the boat out and prepare something special. The main course was pork chops smothered in a creamy apple and cider sauce with steamed new potatoes and peas and green beans. The pork chops were fried for a few minutes each side, then grilled for a further few minutes (almost setting the fire alarm off), before being put in a casserole dish, covered with a jar of sauce and finished in the oven.

The plum bake was cooked from scratch. Mum had given me some windfall plums at the weekend and they needed using up quickly. I cut the plums in half and destoned them, and lined a buttered dish with them. They were sprinkled with 2 tablespoons of sugar. That was the easy bit. I then had to separate 3 eggs. They had paper thin eggshells and by the second egg, I had got yoke in the egg white. I had to throw that away and ended up with 3 egg yolks and 2 whites! The yokes were then whisked with lemon zest and 2oz of sugar. I am new to hand whisking and took the whisk out of the mixture while it was still whizzing! Cue a few minutes of cleaning up. 7fl oz of single cream were heated to nearly boiling and folded into the egg mix, then sieved back into the pan and heated until the mixture thickened. The whisk had been washed and dried before whisking the egg whites and a pinch of baking soda to stiff peaks. A repeat of before then occurred, so another few minutes of cleaning up! This was then folded into the egg mixture and poured over the plums. Finally, the dish was put into a baking tray which had an inch of cold water in, and cooked in a 180C oven for about 35 minutes.

It seemed like a lot of work because I was quite disorganized and caused problems that then had to be put right. It was a fabulous dessert that we both really enjoyed and I will not be making the same mistakes next time I make it!

Monday, 23 September 2013

So...this is me

This is a little bit about me.

 I was a teacher for 17 years. I probably still am a teacher, but at the moment I no longer want to stand in front of a class a deliver lessons. So...I handed in my notice and I am going to take a few months to rediscover me.
This is going to be about my dreams for a better me and (very definitely) my fears for a future that at the moment doesn't have a direction or an income!
I have been an avid crafter for years. I want to share my work and ideas here.
Through Twitter, I have discovered that I can write short stories and poems. I can also (occasionally) be funny too, although I probably think I am funnier than I actually am! Be prepared to see some of my work on here!
I have already started to rediscover a love of cooking. As we now have a much more limited amount of money to spend on food, I am making sure that all the food I buy is used in a creative way. I am quite proud of some of the dishes, so I will be putting photos on here.
Finally, I will write a bit about my time as a teacher, both good and bad.