Saturday, 5 December 2015

A Game of Spot The Sparrow, Making Bunting and Salted Caramel Cheesecake





Sleepy Mr Sparrow


Shy Collar Dove

Long-Tailed Tits have returned!

How many Sparrows can you see?

Spot the Sparrow #2...


   


 
    
Chief Kitchen Assisstant
 
Sleepy Kitchen Assistant
 
Is that a dog on the sofa....?

 


You could be forgiven, reading this blog, for assuming that I spend my time baking, sewing, watching wildlife and not much else. This is not necessarily too far from the truth, although this week it has stretched to encompass Christmas wrapping, playing what turned out to be the world's most ill-spelt game of Ecological Hangman ever (with my first year group who found it hysterical, thankfully), and swearing loudly more times than I care to remember at the assignment I am just about finished (how to cost and install a 250m stock fence, a 5m post and rail fence and a 6m x 11m wooden corral for sheep. Safe to say I won't be rushing to offer my services as a fencing contractor any time soon).

Having recovered from last weekend's drinks do, we now have most of my inherited family descending on us for lunch tomorrow. The gin has been restocked and the crisps are waiting. Owing to a father-in-law's passion for fly fishing, we have a freezer stuffed full of fresh, Chalk-Stream-caught 2015 Vintage trout so it's a Perfect Opportunity to off-load it. M is in charge of creating that particular masterpiece. I, meanwhile have been making the Devil's own pudding this afternoon: salted caramel millionaire's cheesecake. Say no more, eh? (If you are desperate for the recipe let me know and I'll bung it up, along with the lip balm one from last week which I know I promised, but I've been running round like a blue arsed fly  extremely busy person this week, and time got away from me).

I've also been baking a lot of bread this week (25% white flour, 75% stone ground wholewheat. Heavenly). It makes you feel disinclined to ever buy bread again. Also to eat too much of it.

AND, I've learnt how to make bunting. Not at all hard as it turns out (thank you You Tube Sewing Ladies). The only difficult part was concentrating during Sewing Club when Ma got a sudden and all-consuming fit of the giggles (in the proper, rolling about on the floor crying and clutching your sides way while the dogs looked on in complete bemusement) while I was musing about making some smaller bunting. She screamed: "Baby Bunting!" A la the 1784 song: "Bye, baby Bunting, Daddy’s gone a-hunting, Mother's gone a milking, sister's gone a silking, Brother's gone to buy a skin to wrap the baby Bunting in"  which her dad used to sing her. What is involved with going silking, I wonder? It sounds slippery. 

According to Wikipedia, bunting is thought to mean plump. Anyhoo, I thought I'd get some vintage fabric when Ma and I have our much-anticipated trip to our fave fabric shop next week (a building that is stuffed full from floor to ceiling with bolt after bolt after bolt of fabulous fabric of all colours and patterns, as well as all the trimmings you could wish for- the crafters among you will understand the excitement this causes us) and create some bunting from it. I may also be forced to get something girly for my neice's bedrooms. And will probably also succumb to 'looking' (as my lovely blogging chum Rachel puts it) at some Crimble Fabric to make Xmas Bunting with too.....deck the halls....with boughs of bunting, tra la la la la, la la la la. I will post pictures (if it turns out well), because the bunting I made this week is currently adorning the bosom of ma's dressmaker's dummy (with the triangles artfully arranged to preserve her modesty and save everyone else's blushes as she's quite a buxom girl), so I have no pictures of it.

Right, I think that's all of importance caught up. I'm off to catch up with what you've all been doing because I've missed your news this week. And also because there is a terrible noise coming from upstairs where the beer bottles have been having a leisurely bath all day in the steriliser and I need to go and investigate What Is Happening. You know what husbands are like when left to their own devices with Important Household Equipment and Brewing mixed together....

Hope all are well?

CT x


38 comments:

  1. All of my favorite things. Is your bread easy to make?

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    1. Dead easy, except I forget it's in the airing cupboard and it comes out two hours later looking monstrous!

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  2. Love to see your bird pictures, your cheescake looks divine, what a good idea putting in little dishes, good portion control.Your doggie looks happy in front of the fire x

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    1. It worked as portion control :o) Ted loves the fire x

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  3. Love the little sleepy sparrow. I wondered why the larger girls in the old comics were called Bunty, I wonder if the word bunting has anything to do with this.
    Briony
    x

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    1. I hadn't thought about that, guess it must have xx

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  4. I wish I could come 'look' at that fabric shop with you, then come home to eat those cheesecakes! Recipe please xxx

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    1. That would be what is known as fatal, Mrs 28 :o) x

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  5. Oh and stop showing off with your sparrows.

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  6. Although I'm happy to report I've a pack of blue tits scoffing the sunflower hearts. And a big fat whopping turkey sized wood pigeon has been eating the mixed seed from my expensive squirrel and large bird busting feeder. It's spring loaded so when they land on it it closes. No worries for Fatso McFeathers. He was perched precariously on one of the feeding station branches. Normally I'd go out and shoo them off. BUT
    1. He deserves it for his cunning!
    2. It's cold for big fat turkey sized wood pigeons and
    3. No one else had even sniffed at my mixed seed filled squirrel/large bird buster !
    This is my last comment! X

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    1. I have snorted over Fatso McFeathers. What an intelligent pigeon, or is it more a matter of brawn over brains? XX

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  7. Oh yes, I can feel the fabric excitement on your behalf too. Should he be allowed to use the steriliser for beer? Shouldn't the high alcohol content kill anything it comes into contact with anyway? Home brew is a mystery to me, but no doubt it will be a useful and sought-after skill come the revolution. I'm envying you your fly-fishing father-in-law, having a child who is desperate for someone to take him fishing. And all he has is me. Sigh. He may have to work it out all on his own. Wishing you a good Sunday. CJ xx PS, Yes, that is a dog on the sofa but I doubt anyone else has noticed so I think we're alright.

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    1. Apparently the bottles have to be sterilised first and the only place large enough to hold them all is the bath :o) Send your lad over here- grandad loves teaching them, he'd take him under his wing, no worries :o)
      Illegal dog on the sofa....proof positive XX

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  8. Dear CT
    I am obsessed with bunting! It started innocently with Christmas Bunting to go across a mirror and I now have seasonal bunting, mini bunting and am contemplating making more because I have just got some retro style Christmas material as well as some nice paisley patterned material and some gorgeous pastel printed material...
    In fact if my husband or cat stand still too long, they may be covered with bunting too!
    Best wishes
    Ellie

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    1. Hey Ellie, I did giggle at the thought of your husband and puss cat being buntinged. I will be threatening the same thing here. I have fabric envy- it all sounds so lovely. X

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  9. I enjoyed reading all your 'going on's'. Loved all the birds and yes I do believe that dog is on e couch! Oops! Sounds like you are going to be very busy when the relatives turn up but your bread looks yummy.

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    1. The bread was lovely and I still have some left over! Although it's better fresh every day :o)

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  10. That cheesecake sounds heavenly - so hope you will have time later in the week to post the recipe.

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  11. I've yet to make bunting but have threatened to decorate Mikes man cave with some if he doesn't get on & finish my kitchen. I'm making salted caramel cheesecake for pud after Christmas lunch along with the customary trifle. I shall quite happily eat both together! Unfortunately Mike likes course/sea fishing so my freezer is stocked with cod & plaice I think fly fishing is a more elegant past time. I have a pattern for a tweed cap you see which I could make for Mike if he did a little more fly fishing. He looks more like a space man in his flotation suit when he goes sea fishing, perhaps I could decorate that with some tweed bunting! Lovely catch up take care xx

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    1. Great idea about Mike's cave and about the tweed cap :o) Yay for salted caramel cheesecake I say- light and lovely all at once. Take care too xx

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  12. The cheesecake looks delicious - would love to see a recipe too :)

    Bunting and fabric sounds fun from someone who has just acquired a sewing machine. OH has done very well in turning up curtains and making cushion covers - I have promised him I will take a turn in the New Year! :) My sole contribution so far has been to drool over sewing stuff in Hobbycraft!!

    Long Tailed Tits have returned here too :)

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    1. Recipe now up on the next post :o)

      I'm excited about your new sewing machine and v impressed that B has been using it! Hobbycraft has some lovely things in it.

      Great re your LTTs x

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  13. The bunting making sounds like masses of fun and far more fun than fencing! I have missed seeing T & P, tell them I still love them! Hope that you are OK too!! xx

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    1. I can see bunting on one of your seasonal mantels, Amy. T and P send their love back with apologies for their absence, which is my fault. I shall remedy it... xx

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  14. Hey CT,
    I get scared in fabric shops. It's all down to a very bad experience in IKEA many years ago. We have had long tailed tits in the garden too. Love them. Your pudding also scares me, but for very different reasons. All is well with us. Glad all is well with you.
    Leanne xx

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    1. Hey lovely girl. I'm all ears about the IKEA Incident. I tend to avoid it because I get trapped and can't find my way out and start to panic :o)
      Pudding is now up on the next post....look away now Leanne! XX

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  15. Ah wee doggies!!! Love. Oh yes, CT post up that cheesecake recipe, it looks deadly! Just the thing after a very long Christmas walk. Hope all is well with you and the gin flows freely. x

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    1. T'is done and waiting for you on the next post :o) I shall be making more of it over the festive season- soooo easy and soooo delicious. All well here ta and hope same with you guys xx

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  16. Lovely to see Ted in his usual winter position by the fire. Where was Poppy was it then she was lying on the sofa! That cheesecake sounds amazing that you for the recioe in the next post. Sarah x

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    1. He does love it there :o) And yes, Pop has taken to sleeping on the sofa (but only when her father isn't looking!). Hope all's well- apols for my lack of visits, just starting to come out of a majorly busy few months for Christmas break so will attempt to catch up then xx

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  17. Oh, your doggies just stole my heart - love your blog, so funny and informative!! Hugs!

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    1. Thank you, Ann. Ted says please can I tell you he is about due another blog post of his own and he thinks you might like it(he is the Westie) :o)

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  18. Hooray that you spend much of your time cooking, watching wildlife and being with the faithful doglets. More people should be at home enjoying this. Often we feel guilty that we arent contributing in the way others do, but frankly if your family are happy with the situation and you love what you do...I say do it some more.
    I work for our family business but spend much time doing stuff that benefits the family and the smooth running (well sometimes) of it all. I say embrace what you love and keep the blog and the photos coming...it's brilliant and highly entertaining and FREE!!! ;)
    Love the doglet on the sofa...looking very comfy and all the yumminess you cook.
    Happy happy days. xx

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  19. I love your furry kitchen assistants and your cheesecake looks just gorgeous.:-)

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Thank you for leaving a comment. I always enjoy reading them and will try my best to reply to every one. CT x