Tuesday, 30 October 2012

TV Shows and Tuesdays

I must admit that I am somewhat of a television addict and do spend many hours watching cooking shows. I have several shows that I will not miss for anything in the world and I (im)patiently wait for them to grace my screen every year. One of these shows is the Great British Bake Off and I tuned in every Tuesday night for my weekly fix since it started back in September. Each episode would fill my head with recipes and ideas to go and recreate and yet by the time the next episode came on, I hadn’t gotten round to making anything. By the time I had watched the final, cheered as the winner was announced and started to feel the void left by Sue, Mel, Mary, Paul and all of the bakers I still hadn’t baked a single thing from the show. Surely this had to be rectified straight away.


The one cake that had caught my attention more than any other over the weeks was Mary Berry’s Fraisier Cake. It was so beautiful and elegant and looked absolutely divine. I simply had to make it, or rather my version of it. I had to take into account that the strawberries available to me were less than appetising, that my fridge offers only very limited space and most of all that I have a toddler seeking my full attention most of the day. This meant that I used the much better looking and tasting raspberries that I found, made only half the amount of crème patisserie stated in the recipe and then to finish it all in Little T’s nap time, made a straight forward processor sponge cake, skipped the “line a cake tin with acetate” stage and completely forgot to put the marzipan disk on top. I know that this cake would not have been received well by any judge on any baking show, but then that’s the beauty of baking at home. At least I baked something rather than just watching others doing it and all three of us really enjoyed eating it, so that’s got to count for something :)

Having sated my need for baking, I felt more than happy to go back to watching some more of my favourite shows. I do however have to keep my hands busy at all times, and have therefore started to crochet these gorgeous little hexagons from the leftover yarn of my ripple blanket. I’m still not sure what it will grow into, but I’m thinking it will make a great Tuesday Tallies One a Day Project.


I will let you know next Tuesday if I have decided what this is going to be and if I have made any progress with. Right now though Little T wants to build a Lego house, I have a sink full of washing up to do and my one and only surviving pot plant really needs a bit of water!

Monday, 22 October 2012

Sisters and other lovely things

No need to worry folks, I haven't disappeared from the blogging world again, I just went to visit my sister in Canada for a couple of weeks :) My sister and I both moved out of our parents' home and onto different continents over a decade ago and since then have spent hardly any time together again. We have seen each other every now and again, but it was always just for a few days or sometimes even just a few hours and there was always something going on that made it almost impossible for us to really catch up. So a real, proper visit was well and truly overdue.

Little T and I arrived bleary eyed and jet-lagged to the colour spectacular that is Autumn in Canada and started to take in the all of the houses covered in siding, the front gardens decorated for Halloween and the enormous lakes everywhere. It really is a lovely place to behold.

Lucky for us it was Thanksgiving weekend and as my sister also has a passion for good food and cooking, I got to eat a golden roasted turkey with all of the trimmings, covered in freshly made cranberry sauce. Of course there was no other way to finish this beautiful meal than with a slice of home baked pumpkin pie. What a wonderful welcome it was!

A very typical way for families to spend an October Sunday in Nova Scotia is to go pumpkin and apple picking on the nearby farms. Wanting to make sure that we got the full Canadian experience, we all jumped in the car and drove down to the quaint and gorgeous Annapolis Valley to do just this. Despite the day being really rather chilly, Little T and his cousins had an absolute blast, running from one bright orange pumpkin to the next, trying to find the biggest one in the patch. The tractor ride into the apple orchard was undoubtedly Little T's favourite part, he smiled from ear to ear as we bumped over tree roots and ducked to avoid apple laden branches on the way.

We did a fair bit of sightseeing over the two weeks, visiting small little towns dotted along the coast, admiring the waves of the Atlantic Ocean crashing against the rocks at the bottom of a red and white lighthouse and walking along the docks of Halifax harbour. I got to go to some of my favourite shops and bought some of my favourite things including several bags of candy melts, Hershey's choc chips, Reeces peanut butter cups and even a Crochet Dude hook. If only airlines didn't have a limited baggage allowance...
The best part of the entire trip for me was definitely spending lots of quality time with my sister, reminiscing about the good old times, sharing new stories and getting to know each other all over again. Here's hoping that we don't have to wait another decade to do it again!

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

A Wooly Ice-Cream Ripple

October is my favourite month of the year. It means that the leaves are putting on their colourful display, that there are pumpkins galore in all of the green grocers, that both my nephew and I will celebrate our birthdays, that I can start wearing all of my lovely warm scarfs and that I can snuggle under blankets any time of the day.

After finding the softest, loveliest Wendy Sorrento yarn on sale in one of my local yarns stores, I quickly convinced myself that I really needed another blanket to welcome in October. As I nearly ran home with my bag of squishy balls of wool, my mind was already working overtime thinking of what type of blanket I wanted to make. The colours reminded me of the gorgeous displays in the Gelato shops in Italy and as I have been itching to make of Lucy's neat ripples, I knew what I wanted to do.

Working with this yarn was an absolute dream and the ripple pattern had a certain addictive rhythm that meant that I worked on this blanket every available moment I had. Before I knew it, I was nearly finished.

This pattern works such a perfect, straight edge on the sides with a lovely wavey edge at the top and bottom, that I didn't feel that it needed anything else added to it to finish it off. It's perfect just the way it is.

Making this blanket has been the perfect way to start my favourite month and snuggling under it has become Little T and my favourite thing to do.