Thursday, 2 October 2014

Weary . . .

I am going to sit down and look at this properly this evening.  It arrived today - one of 3 magazines I treated myself to on Fleabay this week, after making a small sale.  Australian, as a change from American, but some lovely things in it to make, including lots of dolls, which it has never really occurred to me to try my hand at.

These two arrived yesterday (just £2.99 the pair, with free postage!) and I will look at them properly tonight too.  If I can stay awake long enough that is.

The one above had JUST the pattern I needed to use up my mini-hexis . . .

Whilst in W H Smith for the PO side of things on Tuesday, I couldn't resist this one either . . .

Which had this supplement with it . . .

But no time to sit and enjoy.  I woke up late - woken in fact by our eldest daughter phoning on her way to work as she often does.  Then I tried for the next hour to come to properly but had No Energy.  Finally I managed to get myself motivated and remade the non-setting Pear and Ginger Jam from yesterday, with the juice of two lemons in it.  Did it set properly?  Did it heck!  Ah well, easy to spread on toast then . . .

It made 5 jars (one was in the fridge in the hope that when cool it would set, but no . . .)  The Damson Wine from 2011 was to go into the Pear and Ginger chutney which I began to make after lunch, whilst listening first to the Archers, and then a play on Radio 4.  I have to say, very ripe pears are the very devil to deal with.  Yukkety yuk . . .

All I really wanted to do was to sit out in the warm sunshine and read a few more pages of my Phil Rickman novel.  But instead, as we have another Fair on Saturday, I painted these up.  The first coat went on the left hand one yesterday, and the 2nd coat this morning.  T'other one got its first coat this afternoon, and then, as I listened to Claire Balding's "Ramblings" programme I began to shabby chic the first chair - rubbing it back a little on the stretchers and back and edges, and then waxing it.  It looks quite nice now and isn't quite as bright as in the sunny photos.  The other will get done tomorrow.  Remember, all this time the chutney was also bubbling away, being stirred . . .

Three more little tables/stools.  Rubbing down and waxing for them tomorrow now they've all had their second or third coats of paint.  Meanwhile the chutney was still bubbling away, being stirred regularly, and I was still listening to Radio 4 - Open Book with Mariella Frostrup.

It was so lovely in the garden, and I am amazed that one of the Delphiniums I cut back in August has flowered a second time.

I wandered down to the bottom of the yard, saw how overgrown the Banksia rose had gotten, and went back for secateurs and gardening gloves, and made a good start on tidying up the overgrowth and deadwood, finding it had tip-rooted 12 babies for me, all potted up now . . .

Then I remembered the Chutney!!!

Here it was just after starting, and by the time I dashed into the kitchen, despite it being very watery (over-ripe pears to blame I suspect) I found I had managed to scorch it on the bottom, so I've stood it on one side until tomorrow morning, when I may be able to resurrect it!

Here's the recipe, just in case you want to make your own, non-scorched, variety!!!


  1. There's pink, and then there's VERY pink!
    I love that little stool. What paint do you use?

  2. Hope you get some time to sit down and put your feet up, I still have 2 magazines I have waiting to read, but have not had any time.

  3. SSS - The paints were just £1 emulsion tester pots from Wilko's. In fact, I bought 5 and got a pound knocked off. It was Very Pink, Barely Pink or Raspberry, so I went with Very :Pink!!!

    Suzie - I have had a lovely "evening off" where we watched Practical Magic, much recommended by my friend Kim, and I sewed more mini hexis and sewed the first patches and middle bit together, so excited! to see it taking shape. I will probably have to have a wider border as mine are smaller than the ones used in the magazine.

  4. A very busy day.
    Can you save the scorched chutney ?
    Magazines look lovely just in time for colder autumn days.

    cheers, parsnip

  5. Oops, I once forgot about a pot of beetroot chutney, all that sugar. The chutney was burned for about 2 inches and the pan went straight into the bin. Now I make sure that I stay in the general area at all times. Lemon juice has no pectin in it, you need the white pith and the pips. When I make strawberry jam I take the zest and juice fro a couple of lemons and chop the rest up, simmer in a little water and then press and squeeze through some cheesecloth. That liquid goes into the fruit and sugar and does the job. Some fruits get grated apple cooked with them for the pectin, it just depends on whether I can force myself to eat some lemon meringue pie.

  6. Pam - it had lemon peel in it (as my grated knuckles will testify!). I'll make your home-made pectin next time . . . Normally I have a mixture of high and low pectin fruits, but it sounded such a nice recipe and she did warn it would be runny (and how!)

    parsnip - every day seems to be busy recently. I think I can save the chutney - I am about to turn it upside down into my old (bigger) pan and spoon out any browned bits, and then we shall see how it cooks up . . . The magazines are great, but I want to make just about everything in them - hardly practical!

  7. Having read about your tussles with pears I shall avoid doing anything with them other than keeping them until they are ripe and then eating them with a slice of Wensleydale cheese.

  8. Best bet, but I had nearly 10 lbs of the darn things!!!

  9. . . . and you can't waste money, they cost me £1!!!

  10. Oh no! I did that with some stewed apple and the whole lot tasted smoky despite carefully separating the good form the burnt. What a productive day otherwise - amazing, and I love your furniture painting.

    I was listening to the Archers last night in the bath and actually made a noise of disbelief as Ruth suggested selling the farm. She'll be run out of the village! x

  11. A favaorite niece gifted me with a year's subscription to Fons and Porter--I'll never make a fraction of the projects in my quilt mags, but they fun to peruse if one can get a minute to sit down.
    Its called 'multi-tasking'--trying to manage several projects at once! I was never a star at that and now don't dare to wander off leaving something simmering on the stove.
    I do miss delphinium--and that special late fall flowering. Kentucky is apparently too hot and humid for delphinium, even the New Zealand hybrids which can supposedly take more heat.