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Good Friday 2021

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This year's hot cross buns come to my kitchen via Marguerite Patten's Everyday Cookbook, using a veganised rich dough (soya milk, baking marge & egg replacer powder instead of milk, butter & egg), wholemeal bread flour (because the white flour is self raising) & 6 oz of mixed dried fruit. The recipe makes '16 - 20' & I made 16 (I know you could count them, but some might have evaporated from the cooling rack before the photo shoot) since it was easy to keep halving the dough till I got to 16. But I'm glad I didn't go for 20, as they're jolly small!  I guess they're better for being small, but I'm used to the commercial ones that are twice the size! And I clearly didn't use this recipe last year since last year, I only just got 12 on the cooking rack and the crosses are piped on. But I didn't record what recipe I did use then, so I really needed to post today!  I also made economical Easter biscuits, usi

Spring!

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Progress on my March socks -  Strawberry Milk by Mai Edelweiss  - is slow but I've nearly finished sock 1 It's a combination of doing more hours at work (parents who wanted their little ones at home seem oddly keen to get them back to preschool now their other children are back in school!); other craft projects (surprise gift which is currently stalled due to needing more yarn, jumper for me, oh, and could I make some dolls' clothes for work?)  This was from my scrap yarn & an adaptation of  Nix Needles Striped Autumn Jumper  which I have clearly worked without stripes 😁 but work have paid for yarn & patterns for other dolls' clothes. Also, church meetings - I'm helping at our online Alpha course, I'm on the PCC (Parochial Church Council, like school governors but for churches) and our lovely vicar has got a wonderful new job to which she is very well suited and they are lucky to have her. But it means she has left our church, wh

First primroses

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Elder Son had the dentist yesterday, so we took the car and parked in the car park near the dentist and I walked the dog in the park in the centre of town. It's a lovely lovely park with a tudor mansion that anyone can go and look in and admire the 18th century clothes or the victorian toys or the old kitchen. Well, not now, obviously. But, y'know, when things can be open. And there's no charge for it. I've not got any primroses in the garden, so was very excited to see these and made the dog stop so I could take a photo.  It's really well managed, I think, from a horticultural point of view, with the older formal planting with seasonal surprises like the primroses, and masses of crocuses under trees, and daffodils under other trees.   The daffodils weren't out yet though it won't be long, and all the dead flowers and the leaves must just get mown away when finished, so if you don't see them at the right time, you do

Candlelight

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I haven't shut the curtains in the living room yet as the candle looks so cosy in the little house! I don't suppose it's visible from the outside as there's a motorbike in front of the window...  We took the dog out at half past one today, which is just ridiculously late, but after I had to drag him down the stairs on Wednesday to get him to come out at 9am, I've just left till he gets off Elder Son's bed. I do not need extra stress right now!  And there was freezing fog this morning, which is no good for my asthma lungs. When we had freezing fog in... November? (I'm sure it was late November rather than early December) I found it so hard taking the dog out. I can manage fog or I can manage low temperatures. But not both combined.  Anyway, the point is that there was still ice at the side of the river then. Just a bit chilly today. And misty.  I was taking Younger Son's socks off the clothes horse the other day, and no

Grey days

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So, here we are in lockdown again.  If you're getting a rescue dog, these are questions you need to ask the rescue centre: "Will this dog toilet in the garden? In the event of global pandemic and consequent lockdown and exercise restrictions, will this dog be able to manage with the resultant changes to the walk patterns we've established by then?  Where will we walk the dog if a global pandemic means we shouldn't put him in the car to go to the nearby woods for his walk?" Because, 2 & a half years ago, we didn't ask those questions! I know, I know - we really weren't ready for a dog if we didn't think to ask them.  (Photo from Christmas Day - Elder Son and doggie are on a path... Younger Son and I not having welly boots remained on the evidently slightly higher path!)  I'm furloughed, Elder Son is furloughed, Younger Son is still at college - but it's all online (which is probably easier if you're doing a course

Happy New Year 2021

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I got the action for happiness app last month, and this morning's action was to find 3 good things to look forward to this year.  I don't usually comment but I did today : walking & running (probably more walking!) 100 miles over January to raise money for our local Mind; celebrating family birthdays either in person or online; & knitting more socks to keep my feet warm in winter! Christina from A Colourful Life  reminded me yesterday that supermarkets usually have fresh yeast in them - I'd even seen it in Morrisons! But as I hadn't got round to getting any yet, I thought I'd better make bread to use some of the 16kg sack Elder Son bought from the farm shop... Used 2 tsp of sugar to 1 kg flour as well as salt, water & yeast, & proved it in the airing cupboard again, & it turned out well.  I made some mittens for Middle Sister to match her coat and was trying to get a cowl finished while the bread was proving no

Dough in the airing cupboard

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The last batch of bread I made didn't rise as well as usual, probably because its getting colder now. So I proved the dough in the airing cupboard & after an hour & a half, it was ready to knock back. So now it's in the loaf tins for the 2nd rise. I did notice the yeast says best before 2019, so that could also be a reason! Looking for fresher yeast could be tricky in the new lockdown though. Hopefully, I can get use out of the rest of this lot with more sugar, more yeast & more warmth. I was talking to Younger Son about the bread as he saw me checking the dough in the airing cupboard, & I said I'd put 2 teaspoons of sugar in the mix this time, & he said I was like subway ha ha.  ( Subway's bread is too sweet to count as bread in Ireland  & some has more than 10% sugar!!) Finished my grey socks so I'll do a post about them soon. Now all I have in my yarn projects is my jumper & a head wrap! I could do with some soc