Thursday, 10 August 2017

Raspberry and Mint Gin recipe



Ok, so here's another winner that I made a few weeks ago. It's a lovely refreshing drink and my sister loved it!  She's my official tester (taster) not a bad job on a Friday night, your sister arrives with another gin to sample! I've tried a little and loved it but have left mine to mature for another week. Truth is I'm still drinking my rhubarb gin and like to save it for sunny evenings and the weather isn't sunny right now.


Here is the recipe in case you want to try it .......

You will need...

500g Raspberries
Caster sugar
Fresh Mint
Gin

Glass Jar or bottle big enough to hold the ingredients, that seals well enough that you give it a good shake without wasting the contents! I personally love the Kilner jars and you can get them in most supermarkets, TK Maxx etc.


Add the caster sugar to the raspberries – I used about 100g (you can leave out if you prefer a less sweet drink, or alternatively add sugar syrup to taste once the spirit has matured)
Throw in a couple of handfuls of fresh mint - I've used spearmint thats growing in my new handy herb garden near the back door (the container I picked up at the Hampton Court Flower Show in July when we had sunshine!)

Top up with the Gin (I used Gordon's London Gin). I don’t sterilize my jars, I just go for dishwasher clean (I do this for my jam jars too)

Give the jar a good shake and store in a cool dark place. Then give the jar a shake each day for the first week. Leave to mature for at least 2 weeks, you will notice that the colour leeches out of the fruit into the spirit as time goes on.The original recipe I found here suggests a whole month, why wait, 2-3 weeks is long enough I think and the fruit is still nice to put in the bottle to give as a gift or to serve over ice.


Sunday, 30 July 2017

crochet granny square scarf

A customer recently sent a photo of a granny square scarf, it was a picture I'd saved to my Pinterest crochet account a while back. I took the order and as there was no rush to complete it, I've been making squares in-between other projects. Anyway its been some time since I started so I'm attempting to finish it soon and have started to join the squares, over half way since this photo was taken a week ago. The finished scarf will have another round then three pom poms on each edge. It will be a very cosy scarf in merino yarn (Debbie Bliss Rialto DK my favourite) I'll post some more pictures next week, I'm adding the two more tonight before bed.

The denim blue from the Heathers range is beautiful and sets of the other colours perfectly. I love it so much I plan to order more denim blue and make one for myself!

glorious granny squares
I tasted my rhubarb gin last night and its delicious and I'm now officially a gin drinker! We took Moss for a long walk over the fields tonight and the sun was shining the wind picked up, perfect weather for a walk and a G&T in the garden! I've started a new flavour gin today, raspberry and mint. I'll post the recipe next week, next plan is damson picking this week in the orchard near my house.

Sunday, 16 July 2017

Rhubarb Gin


I came across this recipe over the weekend and I had a bumper harvest of rhubarb in my garden veg patch to try it out. I thought I'd share it with you. I've not tried gin before, but I know my sister loves it and its very popular right now and the colour is going to be amazing.

I also made rhubarb crumble cake and it was delicious served warm with cream. I still have lots of rhubarb left over, I think I picked over 3kg! More cake I think and yes more gin.


Ingredients:
*1 litre of gin
*300g caster sugar
*600g rhubarb, cut into 2cm pieces
*1.5 litre jar (I tried a 1.5 litre jar and it wasn't big enough, try a 2 litre instead!)
Chop the rhubarb into roughly 2cm pieces, the redder the rhubarb the more pink your finished gin will be. I put mine in a bowl with the sugar and set aside for a couple of hours, I do this for jam making too, the sugar extracts the pink in the rhubarb. Then put the rhubarb into a 2 litre Kilner jar, add the gin. Make sure the jar is sealed and then give it a good stir until the sugar dissolves (most of it will be syrup from where you left it to rest previously). Leave in a cool, dark place for a couple of weeks then sieve and bottle it up. I bought the lovely Kilner clip top preserve bottles in Dunelm for £3 each, will make a lovely gift and they come with a cute label ready for you to write on (or you could make your own as I will)



Rhubarb Crumble Cake
Serves 6 people
Cooking time: 45 minutes
Ingredients:
  • 100g butter
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 100g self raising flour
  • 225g rhubarb (cut into 1 inch chunks)
For the Topping:
  • 50g butter
  • 75g plain flour
  • 25g sugar
Instructions:
Grease a 20cm/8inch deep round cake tin and preheat the oven to gas mark 5/180C. Make the crumble topping by rubbing the butter into the flour, add the sugar and place the bowl in the fridge. I make mine in the food processor as it saves getting your hands covered in butter.
For the sponge, cream together the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Lightly beat in the eggs and then fold in the self raising flour. Pour the mixture into the cake tin and level it off, place the chopped rhubarb pieces on top of the mixture and sprinkle with a tablespoon of sugar. Cover the rhubarb with the crumble mixture and place in the centre of the oven for 45 -55 minutes until golden brown and firm to touch.

A lovely summer cake or pudding with squirty cream!

Saturday, 6 May 2017

follow your dream (knitted shawl)

I was asked to test knit a beautiful new shawl pattern recently by one of my lovely Instabuddies (Lisa at Lisasattik) and the yarn suggested was Scheepjes Whirl. You've probably seen this on Pinterest, Instagram and blog land. It's a fabulous new yarn made up of 60% cotton and 40% acrylic. My choice of colour was green tea tipple, there are so many to chose from but after seeing this knitted up (and crochet) I was drawn to the colour. You can follow my progress over on Ravelry just click here

looks too good to dive in


The only problem with starting with such a dark colour it was hard going but now that the subtle colour changes are emerging the knitting is much easier, quicker and far more enjoyable. I've not tackled many lace patterns before (but the birch trees scarf that I love) but because the panels are inter mixed with garter ridges and garter bands even I've managed to cope. The pattern flows beautifully and the colour change yarn guides you quickly to the next colour. Its a difficult pattern to put down and very enjoyable!

and we have lift off


Lisa is very talented and recently crochet me a beautiful shawl in this yarn from the pattern Lost in Time Shawl, its absolutely stunning and I've worn it a couple of times but saving this for my holiday later this month. So soft and warm yet light and very comfortable on your skin, which is a bonus after the last shawl I made which was a little itchy.

I'm hoping to get some knitting time this afternoon to continue with the garter band before going onto the longest zig zig lace panel (which requires a little more concentration) Enjoy your Saturday and here are some pictures of my progress so far.

The pattern has now been launched and is available to buy on Ravelry, please click here 


getting to grips with the Zig Zag lace panel

Thursday, 4 May 2017

Baby bunny costume

I've been working on the loveliest of custom orders (from my niece for my great niece). A request came in about three weeks ago would I knit a bunny costume for my great niece because she was attending a fancy dress party in May, she's only two months old so how could I resist!

I took two seperate patterns that I had found on Pinterest and made them into my own version adding a few little tweeks. I really love how the knitted bloomers turned out. The pattern does suggest the knitted band on the legs, but the first pair I made were made on 4mm needles and looked a little small and restricted on movement so for comfort I've left this part out.

The pattern links can be found here for an alternative pattern in garter stitch and here for the one I used. The baby bunny free knitting pattern can be found here

I do take custom orders (but please allow plenty of time because I do work full time and this is my hobby in my spare time)

So a big ta dah moment from me .......

it started like this

work in progress, love a pom pom


Ta dah
I love how the knitted bloomers turned out with my own flower drawstring design

Sunday, 23 April 2017

my vintage Sunday afternoon

Not only am I enjoying this new Drops Puna yarn (new to me) its like crocheting with cotton wool, I love it. My really-easy-crochet-shawl is coming along nicely in this yarn. I've started with the light grey, on my second ball and the next is grey then some rows of colour or maybe dark grey first. I'll decide when my next yarn delivery arrives from Woolwarehouse, I just couldn't resist ordering the colours they had on their Instagram account a few weeks ago (this is what made me buy the grey yarn!) I'm a sucker for yarn adverts, who isn't?

vintage Sunday afternoon


I've enjoyed an afternoon drinking tea from my vintage Alfred Meakin china I bought last weekend in Whitstable and of course yummy French Fancies. Reminds me of Sunday afternoons spent at my nans flat in London, drinking the, eating home made cake and counting buttons out of my nans large jar, fond memories.

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

my gardening mojo is back

Earlier this month the weather was very warm for this time of year. After receiving some good news regarding my biopsy results I decided to chill out and potter in my garden. So glad  I did, a few hours on and I was totally loving it again and my compost bin was overflowing with gorgeous new soil! So my gardening mojo is well and truly back. Here are some photos of my work in progress. Lots of seeds have now been purchased, a huge bag of seed compost - I'll start sowing this week. I hope you've managed to get out in your gardens over the Easter weekend.

Next job is to get my veg patch dug over and some fertilser added ready for the dwarf beans - still deciding what else to grow. I have started one sack of spuds and two large pots of salad leaves (they germinated this weekend) Lots happening and lots to do in a small back garden in Kent.

Ladies Mantle
tea break

new life and pretty buds

Head Gardener Moss

gravel garden is tidy again