Friday, 3 March 2017

Let there be light.

Standing ironing on a miserable cold wet day, I lit my scented candle, a Christmas present from my good friend. The smell is lovely and fills the air with a 'Tropical get away' fragrance of sweet coconut and crushed pineapple. The male members of the family are not so keen on scented candles so I light it early before they arrive home. Originally I had chosen a lavender candle as I love the smell but it just gives me headaches. I thought lavender was supposed to be relaxing!  









I'm joined by my cat QT who's half asleep along the back of a chair listening out for the rustle of a biscuit tin or the sight of someone heading towards 'his cupboard'. Looking as if they want to go out are my chicken and cat, still in the house waiting by the patio door. The cat on a bike has been out but his eyes and feet all went rusty (poor chap). Apparently he should have been oiled first, who knew!



Cookery Calendar Challenge

For the March cookery challenge I thought I'd have a go at making a 'Meatloaf with Spicy Tomato Sauce' as the first new recipe to try. I've never made a meatloaf before, so it'll be interesting. It's from The Hairy Dieters 'Eat for Life' see here.





The second new recipe to try from this book is the 'All-In-One Spicy Pork and Rice'. Usually for pork I cheat and just buy a jar of sweet & sour sauce, though I have made a sweet & sour sauce from scratch before. This will be totally different and I quite like the idea of it being cooked all-in-one.




Thinking of cooking, I'm pleased to say that the chocolate cheesecake was more successful this time around. The base was set perfectly, though the cheesy part did have chocolate chips in it, oops! The recipe did say to heat the cream but as I wanted it all instantly... I actually had 2 recipes but just picked the less complicated methods from both and re-wrote it.

                        No Bake White Chocolate Cheesecake.
Base
400g digestive biscuits
125g butter melted

Filling
150ml double cream
500g full fat soft cheese
350g white chocolate melted

Place digestive biscuits into a food processor and chop until fine breadcrumbs, mix in the melted butter, then empty the crumb mixture into a 9" greased loose bottomed tin. Press down firmly and leave in the fridge for 10-15 mins until set.

Beat the soft cheese and cream to mix and stir in the melted chocolate thoroughly.

Spoon the creamed mixture over the biscuit base, smooth the top and leave in the fridge for at least 8 hours until set. 

And now for some crochet.

                                      ......(a).....(b)....(c).....(d)..

I thought I'd experiment with M's SLR camera to take some pictures of the beginnings of a granny square. The F stop - ref WI photography speaker - above is 1.8
From the left-
(a) Starting with a slip knot, crochet a chain of 5 sts and join to make a circle (into first st) with a sl st.
(b) Work 3 ch st.
(c) then 2 Tr st into circle.
(d) Work 2 ch then another 3 Tr sts into circle. 
Work (2 ch, 3 Tr) twice more, then work 2 more ch and finish with a slip st, see (d) hook joining sl st.

St - Stitch
ch - Chain,
Tr - Treble.
Sl - Slip Stitch

For the people that don't do facebook, here is a link (with UK terminology) for some crochet tutorials on youtube. Bella Coco provides excellent tutorials although I do find her corners on a granny square rather strange. I find mine a much easier and simpler way *  There seems to be many ways to do granny squares, some don't have any chains on the sides - attic 24 has some like this, it makes a very close knit crochet finish. Also it has a more wool than spaces look, which is nice. For beginners I'd recommend having a chain between the clusters of trebles and 2 chains in the corners. It just looks neat and makes it easier to see if you've gone wrong.

A useful UK US conversion chart is here in case you should ever need it.

* I'll add some more photos soon of further rounds of the granny square - as I get used to the camera.

Please feel free to add a comment or ask a question.  

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