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Thursday, 22 September 2016

another season is here

September - autumn is really on its way, but we are enjoying mild and mostly dry days.

The garden is beginning to look tired, but there still is enough to pick for the house.  

Last week I made another batch of jam, and although it is September, I still called it "Summer Jam" - a mixture of strawberries, raspberries, apricots and plums.

This combination really works, it makes a delicious jam.

Another lot of "sunshine in the jar", to be enjoyed during grey winter days.


Last weekend's baking were biscuits, thin and crunchy - with dry cranberries, white chocolate chips and oats. 
They keep well in the jar.

DH and I went for a long walk in the woods; we did hope to find some mushroom, but this was the result of our foraging, rather a sad and miserable show. It has been very dry this summer. 

This is a managed forest and there has been a lot logging going on this summer; places, where we would very often find something, were disturbed; it will take some years to get back to normal.

But of course, we don't come here just for that, the walk itself is a pleasure and interesting.

Not much stitching going on, but I did finish another block (no 15) for Les Fleurs du Mardi,
 Quiltmania's BOM quilt.

©pleasureinstitching.blogspot.co.uk 2016

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

after the rain


and flowers for the house

©pleasureinstitching.blogspot.co.uk 2016

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

September is here....

By English standards we had a good summer; not as hot as the mainland Europe (just as well), but warm and fairly dry.
Any rain we had was needed to keep plants alive.
August this year was definitely an improvement on last year's, which was wet and so, so cold.
And it is not over yet, there is a promise of more warm weather coming from the Continent this week.
 I have been spending little time indoors, there will be enough time for that soon. I still have several projects on the go, making small progress on most of them.

Our grandchildren  returned to school today, but last week, in last days of school holiday, my granddaughter and I started a small project - 
a wallhanging, one of  Lynette Anderson's designs. We are making one each, using the same pattern, but  different fabrics, mainly from our stash.
This is our progress so far. I expect one of them will take much longer to finish, now the school year has started.

We also managed to make another visit to Stourhead last week,
to make most of the continuing good weather.

This time of year there isn't much colour here, but there are other thing to explore.

Behind the Pavilion is a path to the woods and:

"If you go out in the woods today, You're sure of a big surprise...."

Continuing on the "plum theme" I made  "Swiss Plum Tart". This one is one of my family favourites, which I have been making for many years. 
The recipe comes from a book, which has been on my bookshelf forever, and although the recipe is attributed to Switzerland, this type of plum cookery (plum cakes, tarts, plum dumplings) are very common all over the central Europe.

Cake crumbs and almonds in the bottom, next the plums.

After baking the top is brushed with warmed apricot jam and 
here it is. 
Don't even look at this picture if you are on a diet!

Enjoy September!

©pleasureinstitching.blogspot.co.uk 2016

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Our summer continues in a normal way; some good days, some bad, but on the whole the weather is OK.
The rain in the last couple of days was very welcome, DH was getting fed up having to water the garden every day.
And now we are due for another mini heatwave - yes, the English summer is still with us.

I really got into crochet recently, and my Bohemian Rhapsody wrap is coming along, be it very slowly - so many colours and very fine wool.
So I got easily seduced when I saw this blanket pattern by Jane Crow ; worked in a double knitting yarn (with 10% wool) and larger hook, it grows quite quickly.

It is made in strips, connecting the lantern shapes as they are being completed, using the wool randomly.

My St Germain quilt has been resting in its project box for long enough; time to do some more work here. 
I have now started the second long border.

My "play cloth" has been out too.
I am filling in another block; just playing, no idea where this will take me, but just enjoying practising french knots for a while.

My young stitching friend (my granddaughter) has brought her first sewing machine - a present from her parents for her 11th birthday earlier this summer, and together we discovered "how it all works".
One of the first projects she has made is a present for her younger brother.

Back in the kitchen and more jam making.
We now have new English plums in the shops - time go back to my roots again and make "povidla", a traditional plum preserve.
I make it similar to the way I make all my jams, but the cooking time is longer, at least 2 hours, to get a thick texture. The taste will get even better with age.

At the last week's market I bought first Discovery apples this year - rather early, but they did look inviting. 
Unfortunately, despite the look, they were not ready to eat, but just nice for a pie.
 I use a simple quick shortcrust pastry (flour + 2/3 butter + enough water to make a soft dough). To avoid using any sugar, I added to the apples some dried fruit I had at home - apricots and cranberries, and flaked almonds for little crunch,

and some cinnamon . Brush the top with milk before baking


It tastes wonderful, good with little fresh cream (even better if it is whipped with little icing sugar) or vanilla ice cream.

©pleasureinstitching.blogspot.co.uk 2016

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