Any fool can make something complicated. It takes a genius to make it simple." - Woody Guthrie

Thursday, 31 October 2013

All Hallows Eve ...

Shoppers spend £300m on Halloween, are we mad? 
No wonder he has a grin on his face.
Happy All Hallows Eve & make it a cheap one!

Sunday, 20 October 2013

There is pesto in the freezer ...

Just in case it slips my mind, the title for my post will remind me.

Thanks for all your comments regarding my knitting nemesis.  I have decided to give the tank top a go, but I will tackle the sleeves first using straight needles!  I have also found some gorgeous Noro sock wool in my cupboard, yes I will dance with the devil that is the double pointed needle, I must be a glutton for punishment.  I will update you when I have made some progress. 

Although I am lucky enough to have a decent income, I have reached a point in my life when I have realised, maybe a little late, that everything I purchase should make the most of my cash. 

Volunteering at the food bank also made me realise, even more than before, how privileged I am to have an income, a roof over my head and food choice.  I also question more closely every bit of food waste.  I love home cooked food and make good use of leftovers, for example my lunch box last week consisted of reheated leftovers from a variety of evening meals and very nice it was too.  However, I may not have been as diligent when it came to some  food waste.  In particular the crusts from our home baked bread may have, more often than not, made it the way of the dust bin.  Now it all goes towards frozen bread crumbs or crunchy croutons (without oil) which make a tasty snack or give added crunch to home made soup and not a crumb is wasted. 

I have even taken to freezing my pastry trimmings resulting in a 'free' pastry shell.  Although I don't suggest you freeze your pastry next to your frozen ginger. You might wonder why a lump hasn't defrosted, as I did a couple of weeks ago but only after I had bashed it a couple of times with a rolling pin.  A mushy banana and a small piece of chocolate has been converted into banana, oat and choc chip cookies which made a quick and easy breakfast snack and there is nothing like free apples to make the most wonderful apple pie taste even more delicious. 

And yes, I have frozen my homemade pesto because I am the only one who likes it in this house and if I buy a jar it just goes the way of the bread crusts. My gusto knows no bounds but in my drive to save I had one blip in that I bought caged bird eggs, only noticing once I read inside the carton.  I know that in my lifetime I have most definitely eaten eggs from caged birds and I have no problem with this type of purchase being necessary on the basis of price for many others however it is just one of the things I can't bring myself to buy in the interested of saving a little money.  I personally prefer my hens to be happy.  Reading the Theskintfoodie yesterday made me think about the choices we make when it comes to food and nutrition.  So I thought about some food items that alongside my choice of eggs I do not want to compromise on, at least whilst I still can.  I recently got sucked into the convenience trap of spreadable butter and whilst it might be easier to spread from the fridge I really don't want my butter to be adulterated with rapeseed oil thanks very much.  I can also put my £1 charity shop glass  butter dish to good use housing my 'real' butter.  My other issue is decent basmati rice.  I have tried heaven help me I have tried, but I can't live without good quality rice and  I also have a thing for organic carrots, because I can taste the difference.  Yes I have taken the blindfold test.

So dear readers over to you what food items would you be dragged kicking and screaming from before you would give them up?

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Facing your fear ...

I bought this wool and pattern book about 4 years ago, when I was in full crafty creative mode.  I admit, it was a foolish impulse purchase on the basis that the woman who ran the knitting circle, I attended at the time, was wearing a lovely tank top, the pattern for which came from this book.  It was a gorgeous garment probably run up over a couple of evenings but she ran a wool shop and had been a Rowan rep for many years.  So when preparing for a boot fair a few weeks back, I made the decision to give the wool and pattern book away.  Around the same time we were clearing bits and piece from the house, some of which we sold and others we left for people to take, helping others who might need a nearly new bed for their child or a bike they can have some fun on.   Result, good karma.   However the opportunity to see the individual I had in mind for the wool has not arisen and I find myself being tempted to give it another go.  There is one tiny flaw in my plan it requires me to knit on circular needles, which I hate with a vengeance.   My first attempt resulted in it just getting larger and larger in front of my eyes and not in a good way.  Tension square I hear you cry, yes I have tried that approach but still I end up with a product that I could wrap twice round my body.  I remain intent on using the wool to make the jumper I clapped eyes on four years ago, not only will it be a lovely warm one off piece but it will appeal to the use it up and spend nothing approach adopted of late, as well as getting me back into my crafty stride.  I don't expect it will be seen again for quite some time or it may never turn into the gorgeous garment I crave.  If I completely lose it with the circular needles, I can always knit a couple of colourful scarves by way of Christmas gifts or I may go back to plan A and gift it.  

Talking of colourful, this is what happens when you leave a teenager alone with a carton of Smarties.
You have been warned!