Archive for November, 2008


Monday, November 17th, 2008

I bought Green Parent magazine today, for the first time (I think – I buy magazines at random and might have had it once before, a long time ago). The title looks like it might be my sort of thing, though I knew deep down I probably wasn’t going to like it – but it was a craft issue and Maggie and I are getting quite into craft. After a fashion, given that I have no skill, but we enjoy trying. We made salt dough autumn leaves last month! (Which are still half-finished and on the side in the kitchen: maybe we’ll get them done for next autumn.) I was right – I don’t like it much: it is smug. I could manage it assuming we were home-schooling anti-vaxers, because the clue is there in the title. I probably don’t need an article written in Very Simple Words about how to be friends with normals (!) without offending them, poor ignorant creatures. What I am mostly irritated about is the fact that I am now going to have to write to them: one of their recipes is for coconut ice (this in a magazine that suggests one might not be friends with somebody who eats sausages*). Coconut ice made with condensed milk. I need explain no further to my dedicated reader who hangs on my every word, but for those of you who were perhaps not paying such close attention, I have tried (failed) previously to source condensed milk that is not made by (boo, hiss) Nestle. It just can’t be done. Now, I looooooove condensed milk: it is one of the few products that makes me snap schminciples and buy anyway (the other two being the kitkat and the rolo). But a magazine that is oh-so-ethical such as this should really not be pushing it, don’t you think? I imagine a large proportion of their readership will be boycotting. Must write a letter.

Speaking of bandwagon-jumping crafts, I fear I might be gearing up to knit something. I’ve been holding out for ages simply because everybody in the entire world has taken up knitting. (I knitted a cushion cover when we were in Japan but that is the only thing I have done in the nearly 20 years since I was a girl guide knitting teddy bears.)  I have recently acquired my granny’s cast-off** needles, a big bag of old wool, and today in Oxfam a book of basic knitting techniques fell into my hands.Help!

*I have no idea. Am insufficiently green, clearly.
**Geddit? Ha ha ha.


Thursday, November 13th, 2008

Maggie is a very lovely big sister and came home from school yesterday with a card she had made for Tamsin. Unfortunately she also brought a Lurgy, so all birthday activities have been called off in favour of sitting for an hour in the doctor’s waiting room at lunchtime (then for half an hour in with the doctor – luckily we were the last appointment – as we discussed cider-making, pig-slaughtering, local vs organic, and the keeping of chickens. And allotments. And lurgies.) Still, Tamsin doesn’t seem to have minded. I suppose a day at home playing with one’s new toys and big sister is probably preferable, at two, to trawling round Liverpool in the rain: I am disappointed though. (And I had intended taking advantage of my mum and dad being here to hit Ikea tomorrow, which I won’t now be able to do.)

two candles


Tuesday, November 11th, 2008

You may remember me previously bemoaning my inability to make a good flapjack. They taste good (great, even) but never fail to fall to bits – or they are so hard as to extract teeth. When Mia came to visit she and Maggie made flapjacks that were very tasty and nearly stayed together, kick-starting my quest again. They were good, but definitely towards the thin and chewy end of the flapjack scale (for reference: 3 oz butter, 3 oz brown sugar, 4 oz oats and 10 min at 180 C* I think, perhaps Mia will correct me if I am wrong. She blamed their slight crumbliness on me having the wrong sort of sugar.) What I really want is thicker and chewier, and last night I made it! (Hoorah, I hear you cry.) As follows:

Melt 8 oz butter and stir in 8 oz brown sugar (soft rather than demerara). Beat in an egg then add some nutmeg, 10 0z porridge oats and 4 oz sultanas. Push into greased (and lined) tin and bake for an hour at 150 C.

I know you are dying to know the secret and I believe it is this, as explained by Mia: no golden syrup (and the egg probably helps). I am going to revisit my delicious yet intractable apple flapjack recipe later,  and see if I can persuade it to stick together.

*One hundred and eighty what? Elephants?

Silence too

Monday, November 10th, 2008

Like Pewari, you may have noticed I’ve not been here much. I’m going to share my drivel too, to get back into it (don’t feel you have to read). We’ve just been Very Busy lately, but not the sort of busy that makes for blogging – visitors, school stuff, kiddy stuff. Y’know. Karen, Pete and Bernard came, which was nice, and then Mia did, which was nice too. Tamsin’s birthday is later this week so I’ll be back with photos then (though there are a couple from this weekend here). I had a night out with some School-Gate Mums, which was not at all scary once I got there (but very alcohol-fuelled) and Maggie’s new bestfriendinthewholeworldever, from her class, is moving to sodding Ireland at the end of the month, which is something of a disaster.