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Showing posts from 2013

Veggie Christmas Pie

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Every year we have a veggie pie on Christmas Day and this year I posted a pic of it on Facebook. Several friends asked for the recipe, but as I never make it the same twice I knew I'd have to think very hard about what actually went into it, especially as I have to confess to being a tad merry when I was cooking it. So I promised I'd post it as soon as there was a lull in festivities, which would give me a chance to try to remember the ingredients. So here it is... for a large pie as in the pic:

Pastry
Either make your own puff pastry or do as I did and buy some - life's too short, especially over the holidays. Grease and line the pie dish with the pastry, saving any leftovers for the shapes on top. Prick the pastry with a fork all over to let out any trapped air, then pre-bake at Gas Mark 5/190C for twenty minutes.

Filling
Cut into cubes 1 packet of smoked tofu and lightly fry in olive oil with black pepper and about a tablespoon of grated ginger. Turn the tofu a few times …

My Xmas Carol

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I'm not religious, I prefer to believe I'm spiritual, as this embraces all religions. As you probably know, I love festivals and celebrations, so though I may not always agree with the sentiments, I'd be the last one to miss out on the chance to sing Xmas carols.
Last week my guitar mentor taught me the tune of Gustav Holst's beautiful carol In The Bleak Midwinter. I just love it and can't get it out of my head, but when I looked up the lyric I knew I couldn't sing it with any sincerity and eventually my own rather different version started to kick in. 
Here's a lovely rendition of the original:

So here it is, with apologies to Christina Rosetti, as the original lyric is based on one of her poems written in 1872. Haven't had a chance to record it yet so you'll have to use your imagination:
In the bleak midwinter Angels come to play Bringing light in darkness Peace on earth they say. Hark the herald angels Proclaim their news on high Glad tidings for the fu…

Pattern discounts for a Happy Advent!

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To celebrate the advent of the festive season, if you join my Ravelry group, there's a voucher code to get 20% off any of the 150 patterns in my Ravelry store. Offer runs until midnight on 24 December.

A lot to be thankful for ☺

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My American friends have been celebrating Thanksgiving - a time for reflecting on the things in their lives that they're thankful for. Got me thinking it might be good to consider this every day, so starting with today...

... I'm thankful that P's hernia op went well yesterday and that he's home and not in too much pain this morning

...I'm thankful to celebrate Rowan's birthday today - and to remember his birth all those years ago on a foggy and frosty November night when we'd been out until after midnight visiting friends in an old banger car. As soon as I got into bed my waters broke and four hours later he was born - the speediest birth and at 9lbs the heaviest of my babies. I'm one of those lucky women who gives birth easily and with minimal problems or interventions. I can almost say I enjoy it -  but I suppose people say you always look back through rose tinted glasses, otherwise you'd never have another baby. However true that might be, the bi…

Let there be light!

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November has flown by, barely time to catch my breath. I love this time of year tho, starting with bonfire night, then my birthday. I'm fortunate in having lots of lovely friends, and am still basking in the golden glow of all your birthday wishes. No dirth of prezzies either, this bowl was one of my faves, brought from Kalamata in Greece by Kate, along with a lemon from her garden.
We somehow had to fit in a trip to Wales, to sweep up the leaves and put the garden to bed for the winter. Not that this is a chore, I love being in the garden and find constant inspiration in the changing seasons. Over the past few months, with my broken wrist, the garden was in need of a healthy dose of tlc, so it felt good to be able to give it just that - I'm always amazed at how quickly you can knock things into shape.

When we got here a few days ago it was pitch black and ab-sol-ute-ly freeeeeeeeeeeeezing! So all systems go to get the heating on, Rayburn lit, wood stove burning and some leek …

Happy Samhain!

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From sunset on the 31st October till sunset on the 1st November, the Gaelic festival of Samhain is celebrated. It marks the end of the harvest and all the preparation for the cold, dark months of the year, and the beginning of the winter. I love the rhythm of the seasons, especially this time of year. In fact nature's constant cycle provided the perfect inspiration for my second book, Knits for all Seasons,way back in 1993, featuring the Samhain Jacket in the November chapter.
No surprises then that I'm pretty keen on Halloween.  Ever eager to get as many reasons to party as possible into the calendar, from the very moment that an American friend introduced us to trick-or-treating when the kids were little, we've had some gloriously memorable celebrations.  So when the grandlings started to arrive a  few years back, I was more than happy to rekindle the tradition.
We take pumpkin carving very seriously in our family, so in the afternoon we started work. After deciding the…

Ghost of Halloween

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Whoo... ooooooOOOOOoooooo, guess what I've got for for you today?... got it in one... a pattern for a knitted ghost... scary no!?!

A couple of days ago a chance meeting with Susie, a neighbour, fellow knitter and guitar picker, led to talk of Halloween. Susie mentioned she could tell me how to knit a quick and easy ghost, so as I've been signed up for trick-or-treating with my three little grand-daughters, my ears pricked up.

I couldn't wait to get back home to try it and I even had plans to make three at first, but as I'm not a particularly fast knitter, and my wrist is still not up to speed either, I decided I'd be satisfied with one.

So here's the pattern:

Size approx 7in[18cm] x 7in[18cm]

Yarn
I used Rowan Creative Linen (200m/219yds per 100g)
Scraps of black yarn (I used Rowan wool/cotton) for eyes and mouth

Notions 
pair5mm (US 8)
4mm (US G6) crochet hook
tapestry needle, darning needle
1 ping-pong ball

To make
Cast on 32 sts and knit 2 rows.
Next row knit
Next row k2…

River reflections

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Sometimes you just don't appreciate what you've got on your own doorstep. A couple of days ago when I was feeling at a really low ebb, I decided to put on a brave face and get some fresh air.  It was a beautiful day, not a cloud in the blue sky, with just a slight chill in the autumn air. So I persuaded P he'd also like a hike, swathed myself in my woolly creations and off we went for a walk along the river.

The Ouse is only a few hundred metres away, so we were quite surprised to see it was already threatening to flood after the recent heavy rain. York has spent much time and money on flood defences, so to see the river so high after not really a lot of rain was quite shocking.
There's a wide tow path, then usually a steep 2m/6foot slope to a narrower path and the river. But as you can see the lower tow path is completely submerged. Good weather for geese though. I know they're a nuisance, but Canada Geese hold fond memories for me - when Izzi and Ava were tiny, w…