Monday, 17 August 2015

Out and about

This has been a mixed week of energy and lethargy. My friend arrived from Surrey last Tuesday and we have been tracking the weather with our activities. We are both recharging batteries so there has not been that much cooking - we have mostly eaten salads which require minimal preparation! One we didn't prepare was this lush Ploughman's lunch which we ate on our visit to beautiful Corbridge, nestled in the wonderful countryside of Northumberland.
This was a little table set on a pavement in the centre of the village. We went to Brocksbushes Farm to pick some soft fruit. The raspberries were nearly finished, although if you looked carefully there were still some lovely juicy fragrant fruits.

The blackberries weren't quite ready, but given the lovely sunshine we are having I don't think they'll be long,

 The redcurrants and blackcurrants were abundant and we collected loads of those,

Back at home we ate some sharp and tangy currants
and then I put the rest on to trays to freeze.

I think we got about three kilos of fruit which will last me a couple of months or so. I love yogurt and fruit for my breakfast with a little tablespoon of muesli.
Karin and I have been so busy gassing, we haven't done much sewing, although I managed to finish off the handles for the hexagon bag at last.
 Which will be perfect for a knitting bag. Here it is with the little bag alongside.

Some of the ladies at the class are making this bag. I love seeing the different colours people choose.  For our sweet treat this week we had millionaire's shortbread,
I used the recipe from BBC Good Food which is a rather decadent one. You could easily half the recipe but this was for a crowd! The only thing I did differently was the shortbread base.  I just make a crumbly mixture and press it into a lined tin. I find the shortbread is much crisper. When you roll it out it gets tougher. I also ran out of milk chocolate (the resident mouse - aka John - seems to have eaten nearly half the bar). I had some white chocolate which he hadn't noticed so I spooned alternate pools of milk and white chocolate on top of the caramel and swirled them together. Steph and Karin came to the class. Steph is making a  baby quilt for a friend and Karin is making some placemats for her sister, for that event in December we don't talk about at this time of year.
She had a picture which she'd found on the internet, so I wrote her a pattern. She tested it out and I think these are going to be rather good. The way I construct the star points, by laying a square over the rectangle and then sewing a diagonal line, then cutting off the extra, makes for good accuracy but leaves what I call bunny ears.
Karin had 24 of these so we sewed a test patch which could be used as a coaster. She is going to sew the rest together just into half square triangles for the moment until she decides what to do with them.
Today we went out with Baby Max while Ben was at the childminder (he goes two mornings a week to play with other children just to ease him in to Nursery School in a few months) and the three of us had coffee at one of the lovely garden centres near here.  Steph got some French Lavender and I got a lovely wisteria plant which I will train along my back wall.

A baby robin shared our cake, cheeky little chappy.
Karin and I went on to an architectural yard to see if I can find some victorian rope edge tiles to go down the side of my front garden path. They didn't have any but I will keep trying. Afterwards we went down to the seaside which was only a couple of miles away and there were some slightly larger birds trying to share our lunch. I am so pleased I live near the coast - there is nothing like fresh sea air.
We have just arrived back after seeing Mission Impossible 3 - Rogue Nation, which I thoroughly enjoyed and so did Karin (despite not being too sure about going).  So tonight we will be kicking back with a cool beer and Karin will off tomorrow to the sunny south - and me?  Sadly, I am back to work on Wednesday. 

Out and about over for another summer. Where does the time go?

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