Monthly Archives: October 2012

Tavistock Goose Fair

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What a disappointing day out this was! Despite having lived in Devon for over 26 years I have never managed to attend this event which has been running since the 12th Century apparently. It is always held mid-week but this year it coincided with my week’s holiday so last Wednesday was definitely the time to visit.

I am sure that once many years ago it had charm and interest but to be honest it was like the worst sort of cheap market or car boot sale and every other stall seemed to be selling smelly burgers and ‘donuts’  (gah what is wrong with ‘doughnuts’ as a spelling?).

For some unknown reason most of the other stalls were selling either mugs or cheese which was very odd but actually also handy as I have been searching for the ideal new set of mugs for months now (I really miss Woolworths). So it wasn’t a totally wasted trip but I was soooo disappointed as I was expecting some olde worlde charm and maybe craft stalls and demos etc. There were some geese to be seen and some oddly disturbing garden ornaments but I don’t think I will go again this century. Apologies if you love this kind of thing but it didn’t seem worth closing roads for … and breathe 😉

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Autumn (R)amblings

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Autumn (R)amblings

Autumn is really here now and I have the usual nesting instinct which comes this time of year. I need to bake and make and make the house feel all warm and comforting, drawing all the curtains as soon as the sun goes down and lighting candles at the dinner table. The day got off to a fine start with my new find courtesy of a lovely foodie blog called Emily Cooks Vegan. If you have never tried Carrot Cake Porridge then you haven’t lived.

Carrot Cake Porridge

The sun shone and shone today which is an incredibly rare event this year. This meant that an energetic dog walk around Cann Woods was called for. This also meant a chance to try out the boot cuffs I crocheted yesterday. I was pretty pleased with these little babies which were based on various internet patterns I found and adapted a little. They poke out just above the top of my boots looking like thick socks and they do actually seem to keep the legs warmer. I love the colour – they seem a deeper shade in real life. I think I may make another pair this evening 🙂

Crocheted Boot Cuffs

It was very satisfying to start and finish a project in one day as I tend to go for the ‘long haul’ makes with my quilts and other crochet projects.  My main evening activity at present is this ripple blanket based on the pattern from Lucy at Attic24 (many thanks) whose blog I strongly recommend if you enjoy riots of colour and heaps of enthusiasm for all things wooly as well as some very clear crochet patterns with pictures which always make things easier for beginners to a craft..

Ripple blanket with flower edging

Like the boot cuffs above, this blanket is made from Sublime Merino double knitting which is my favourite yarn right now. it is so soft and warm – I love getting under the blanket after dinner and doing a few rows while it keeps me all toasty.

It was all a bit muddy today but the birds were in fine song , we were surrounded by baby Christmas trees  and even saw a deer in the distance. I picked up these sweet little cones just because they were so tiny and perfect.

Small cones

Well that was a right old mix of stuff wasn’t it? Said it was a ramble didn’t I?Hopefully something there caught your interest today.  Back to work tomorrow grr so playtime over for a wee while x

Sumptuous scrumptious but not Bum-tious Chocolate cake

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A healthy chocolate cake?

I developed this recipe this very afternoon – a week off work and our lovely Devon weather is doing its usual thing – grey drizzle! Looking in my kitchen cupboards I  found that I still had rather a lot of ground almonds despite the almond-raspberry creation of a few week’s ago. I also had half a jar of apple sauce remaining in the fridge and quite a lot of eggs so this little fatless flourless wonder was born. It’s just got to be good for you hasn’t it? There are almonds and cocoa and eggs and absolutely no nasty butter or flour to waste calories on. It comes out at a tasty 6 propoints for those following the Weightwatchers plan (if you assume 8 servings per cake)

You need:

160g ground almonds

140 g apple sauce

2.5 heaped dessert spoonfuls of cocoa powder

1.5 tsp baking powder

4 eggs

1 tsp vanilla essence

120g Light at heart sugar (or 240 g normal sugar)

pinch of salt

Round cake pan about 8″ greased and lined (since there is no fat in this cake I tend to spray the paper liner with fry light and make sure it is coasted so there is no sticking)

Method

1.  Put the apple sauce, eggs and vanilla essence in a food processor and beat until combined.

2. Add the dry ingredients and beat into a fairly runny batter.

3. Pour into lined tin and bake at around 200C depending on your oven for about 35 mins (check after 30 mins). It took 35 mins in my fan oven with foil on its top for the first 30 mins.

4. Cool in its case as it is slightly fragile while warm but still tastes great.

This was lovely with a cup of coffee but would also make a lush dessert with some strawberries or raspberries and a little cream or creme fraiche. I am sure you may achieve a greater rise if you mess about whisking the egg whites but I wanted a real quick bung it, cook, it, eat it experience. Hope you enjoy x

Creative Stitches Show 2012

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Last Sunday was the annual pilgrimage to Westpoint near Exeter to examine all things crafty and buy stuff.  There was the usual array of amazing work on display especially by the quilters and I came back feeling all inspired as usual. My daughter and I managed to get onto two of the mini-workshops and had a go at making a felted landscape which was very enjoyable even if my finished piece needed a little more work (don’t laugh)…

This was the product of the mini workshop.

We only had fifteen minutes for this workshop so the whole process was reminiscent of the Generation Game but it was enough fun for us both to stop by the stall and purchase starter supplies although I don’t know what I will  do with any finished pieces yet, maybe incorporate them into a wall hanging? Oh well, I will cross that bridge when I come to it and it may be a while away as I have a disturbing  number of UFOs (unfinished objects) discovered whilst hunting for my round nosed pliers yesterday. I may take a picture of them and post it to shame myself into a finishing session rather than taking up newer shinier hobbies.

The new shiny hobby of the moment is going to be beaded Christmas baubles as a break from my crochet blanket. Here are my first attempts made from a kit as I wanted an easy start without buying too much stuff but I also succumbed to a book so I have a feeling I will be buying more baubles and beads.

My very first beaded Christmas baubles

The other workshop was Deco art, again therapeutic and wonderfully colourful. It was tempting to buy a meerkat form to cover in gaudy flowers but I showed unusual restraint. Many thanks to the exhibitors for allowing us a chance to try your crafts – very often these short tasters do lead to a whole new world of craft opening up.

I am going to take a picture of all my UFO’s to shock myself into action. Watch this space.