It was earlier this week when I had not yet succumbed to a chest cold.
This is Miss Y who is home sick with similar cold, but hers includes high temperatures and a raucous painful cough- a bit like croup- and a loss of voice. Outside we have snow ( a little) and it's minus 3 degrees C. My event in Southampton was cancelled for which I'm truly grateful for I would have gone ( a 7 am train!) but instead I could linger under divinely comfy duvet until after 10 am. Lucy pressed up against me since 8.15 am of course as soon as she'd had her breakfast.
Last weekend we had a dinner party to celebrate Miss A passing her eleven plus exams and I spent a blissful afternoon in the kitchen preaparing the food, which included this upside down caramalised apple tart- above I am caramalising the castor sugar- it's more like frying/cooking it in lots of butter until it all turns a deep brown and if you let it cool you get rock hard toffee.
The radio was on Heart and somehow they played lots of great music- inc golden oldie songs and a lot of ballads and I really enjoyed myself. Inspired by Nigella and her obvious pleasure at being in a kitchen preparing delicious foods for loved ones. I used a recipe I hadn't used since 2005 with lovely step by step photos. It turned out OK, some parts had too little of the lovely sweet doughy pastry I had spent so much time kneading and a little too much runny toffee sauce but it looked great: VOILA!
I'd like to share the recipe but not sure that's allowed so I give the references instead: It's from LOOK&COOK by Anne Willan : Fruit Desserts. Published by DK: Dorling Kindersley.
& is called an ampersand: did you know that? I didn't and that's what I learned today. I have to learn something new EVERY day and that was it and yes also how to download and transfer photos from my new ( birthday) camera onto my PC. I've had it since April but it wasn't the model I wanted- JJ thought he knew better-so I am finding it hard to use and mostly still prefer my old camera. 318 photos transferred and some- especially scenic country side ones are strangely blurry- not something I ever did before?!!
ANYWAY back to AMPERSAND- this came from my current obsession which is watching '' the Gilmore Girls'' on E4 . Perfection in escapism tv.
& was mentioned when Paris finally gets asked out by Tristan and I just had to go look it up in a dictionary as I did not know what it was. So both Miss Y and myself learned this.
The ripple blanket for Miss E is coming along very speedily but the bad news is that the supplier is not stocking all those colours anymore so we'll have to see how far I get with what I had already stocked up on. At worst I'll have to use other wool DK's to add stripes at either end to make it work. I found some King Cole merino DK and Cygnet merino DK and may be tempted by some Debbie Bliss cashmerino as well.
My crochet pudding has been stalled by the little felted holly leaves not working out so well so I have to experiment a bit more and the circles scarf photos are waiting for a next blog-post.
As well as Paris, Brittany, Canal Boating and Toddler cousin photos to catch up on soon.
Best moments which are virtually guaranteed each & every day are those from walking the dogs: here is Lucy rolling around in the snow- earlier this week. Diary catch up : this week was amazing because : 1. dancing- English folk on Mondays- was so much fun & 2. Miss Y sang beautifully at the Christmas Festival and was a narrator so she read out very nicely the finding of a place to sleep and the BIRTH of Jesus. Aaaah- I cried buckets.
Bought felt- but could not get the cinnamon colour I desired- to make little stags and ginger-bread men for the tree. More to follow.
Week before that was the busiest ever: Monday a presentation at the school about a trip to an outward bound centre, Tuesday : Child Health conference in London, Wednesday : Boden Sale at Waddesdon Manor which was manic, and working from home, Thursday : Oxford X-mas shopping and 4 hours work and then a Recycled Fashion Show at the Wycombe Swan, Friday morning the results from the eleven plus exams came and I was buying cakes etc to celebrate at the school, full day work and DVD's with popcorn as a girly at home evening. ( JJ was away) Saturday I was cooking all day and we had a lovely evening, Sunday Miss Y had Christmas festival rehearsals and a party too. PHEW.