Our blog is dedicated to seasonal living: cooking with local produce (sometimes our own), sewing for the home and searching out vintage bargains.

We believe that most of the pleasure is in the journey - in the making and creating, even if in a simple way.

Sunday, 25 May 2014

Porter cake

16oz, 450g plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
half teaspoon each of mixed spice, nutmeg and cinnamon
16oz of mixed fruit (currants, raisins, sultanas & mixed peel, if you like)
About 350ml of Guinness or other stout
8oz, 225g butter
8oz, 225 brown sugar
2 large eggs.

Sieve the flour, baking powder and spices. Rub in the butter.
Mix in the sugar
In a jug or bowl mix the stout and the beaten eggs.
Add the liquid mix to the flour etc.
Mix well.
You need a dropping consistency.

Put into a greased 8" tin and bake at Gas Mark 4, 350/180 for about 2 hours until a skewer comes out cleanly.

Store for a day or two before eating

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

In the spirit of Chelsea

I always enjoy watching the coverage of Chelsea and the gorgeous plants on display there, so I thought I'd record some of the flowers that have just come into bloom.  All the sunny weather has made such a difference...only a couple of weeks ago the garden was mainly just green but all of a sudden there's colour.   These alliums are a favourite of mine.

And this clematis has just opened in the last couple of days.

Has anyone else noticed that the flowers of the Welsh poppies appear larger than normal this year?  Wonder why that is.  They can be a nuisance seeding everywhere but I still like them.

Another favourite is this rock rose.  I think it's probably helianthemum 'Fire Dragon'.

This bright pink rock rose against the path opens in bright sunshine.  Beautiful May!


Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Cushions 2

Another cushion using hand embroidery in one of the squares...this from an old traycloth.

And these two have appliqued bunting.  I've realised at last just how useful bondaweb is, and the design potential it provides.  It's fab stuff! x

Monday, 19 May 2014

Cushions galore

Well, this is one of the cushions I've made...yet to photograph the others to show you.  I like rescuing old embroidery...quite often the original fabric is marked or damaged in some way so it feels fine to cut and sew into something else.

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Ginger Biscuits

I love these biscuits. A friend gave me the recipe and I have slightly modified it - mainly adding more ginger.

9oz plain flour
4oz butter
half-teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
4oz butter
6oz golden syrup
4 teaspoons ground ginger
a little of the syrup from a jar of stem ginger
grated piece of ginger

Melt the butter with the golden syrup over a gentle heat. Add the grated ginger and the syrup from the jar (optional).
Sieve the flour, ground ginger and bicarbonate of soda into a large bowl.
Add the syrup mixture and mix well.
Form into rounds (about 8) and put on a greased baking tray. 

Bake for about 10-15 minutes in a moderate oven.
Cool on a wire tray.

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Butterfly summer?

Wouldn't it be lovely if that's what we have?  Until then I'll keep sewing them.  I've made this cushion as a gift for a friend...hope she likes it. x

Saturday, 3 May 2014

Moth Orchid

I have not had much luck with nurturing moth orchids (Phalenopsis). I suspect the position has been the problem. Ironically, I have given several as presents and been told that these are all thriving.
The common problems tend to be: over-watering; too direct sunlight and using usual plant compost.
Any advice would be welcome!