Saturday, September 12, 2015

I've got a bike! Isn't this the most beautiful bike you've ever seen?

I'd been thinking about trying to get back into cycling for a while now and then recently had to go to see a podiatrist, who recommended that I try non-weight bearing exercise (such as swimming or cycling) so that was the final push that I needed.

Peter and I went to the local bike shop a couple of weeks ago and I said what I was looking for ~~~ an old fashioned bike, with a comfortable saddle, proper wheels (not skinny racer ones), not too many gears etc etc. So this is what we came up with & I love it!

I haven't gone very far on it yet - today's trip was the furthest I've been yet; along the Lake Road just as far as Lily Bay -- it's a small start; when I was younger I would often cycle about twice this distance and think nothing of it.

Now that work is quietening down a lot I'm hoping to get in the habit of going on bike rides again - next time I will have to try to go a little bit further!

As well as barmbracks, my thoughts are turning to other Autumnal treats -- my favourite would be BLACKBERRIES!

A couple of years ago a random wild bramble started to grow in the hedge that runs across the bottom of our back garden - last year was the first time it bore a few small fruit but they were bitter and not very tasty at all. I don't know what's happened this year but this year it has gone crazy - it is laden with large, juicy berries that are delicious!

It's great to have our own source of berries right in our garden - every couple of days I go out to pick more and more. Most of them are going in large tupperware containers in the freezer so that I can enjoy them in the middle of winter but I am going to make us an apple and blackberry crumble this afternoon with fruit from our garden -- yes, our apple trees (all two of them!) have finally borne fruit as well.
It will be the tastiest crumble I'll have ever had in my life :) We planted the apple trees several years ago but it's really only this year that they have flowered and set fruit.

It feels like it's properly Autumn now - though in the last couple of weeks the weather has probably been warmer than it has been all through what was meant to be our Summer this year. Nevermind, I'll settle for an 'Indian Summer' rather than no Summer at all.

I've been making barmbracks lately again - I can't remember the last time I'd made them, but with the days getting shorter, it feels like the right time for proper old-fashioned comfort food.

I always use my Grandmother's recipe, which my Mum gave me years and years ago - it's the best barmbrack you'll ever taste!
 You have to soak the raisins and sultanas overnight (or longer) in strong black tea - I leave the tea bags in while it's all soaking
 Then you mix in the egg, sugar, flour and baking powder and give it a good mix.
They take forever to bake and it's a real skill to not burn the top! -- finally serve with proper butter and enjoy :)


1/2lb flour
1/4lb sugar (I use brown sugar)
1/2lb mixed fruit (raisins and sultanas)
1 egg
1 tsp baking powder

soak fruit overnight or longer in a large cup of black tea; drain and reserve the liquid.

beat the egg and add the sugar - add this to the fruit and then mix in the flour and baking powder.

add the extra liquid if required (you don't want too 'loose' a mixture or it will take ages to cook)

mix well then place in a small lined loaf tin and bake for 1 and a half hours at gas mark 5

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Making hats...

My wool order arrived safe and sound and I cracked on with making the hats straight away - I love using new yarns or new colours :)

I love how they all turned out - and the colours are just so bright and zingy. I'm half-thinking about ordering some more of it while it's still in stock with this seller on Ebay - as it's been discontinued, it will soon be impossible to get hold of. I know I don't need any more wool at the moment (having boxes and boxes full of it) --- sigh...

Now I'm finished the hat order I'm back to making wrist warmers again as I really do need to build up some more stock in anticipation of my winter customers (fingers crossed)