I love all things domestic, I also enjoy wearing clothes that feel good. I was inspired by the fabric when I was sent on a course to London. Near our HQ is a wonderful fabric shop and there was a whole range of lovely heart fabrics in all different sizes. I could imagine it would be the best thing for a fifties inspired apron and bought enough for a project. I don’t go that often and I have always regretted the times I have seen something and not bought it! (That is my excuse and I am sticking to it!)
I admit it is hearty! I researched several vintage designs of aprons and there were many fifties aprons that had heart shaped bib sections.
The problem is that sometimes the bib sections don’t keep their shape so I re-enforced this with some interfacing, in addition I also re-enforced the front of the tie section so it keeps its width and does not fold over as some tend to do.
I made the tie nice and big, to create a lovely bow on my bottom! It adds to the appeal of femininity, which is what the fifties era personifies.
It is a period where women were able to wear very feminine clothes, together with new materials becoming available so much happened to change the lives of the Brits from the deprivation of war to the optimistic 60’s. I am going on a fashion lecture about this era as it is a particular interest of mine.
The skirt section is a half circle and it feels lovely as it sways around, it reminds me of a gypsy skirt I had in my dressing up box as a child. I think we should all dress up still!
It is one of those things that I can simply slip on and indulge in a little baking imagining I am Doris Day! it makes me feel wonderful, just like a little girl again! Now that can’t be bad can it?
It was a short spell of sunshine that made the idea of pick your own tempting as we passed Roundstone Farm. http://www.roundstonefarm.co.uk/
The fruit wasn’t as well signposted, and it was a little muddy underfoot, so we ended up next to the bayberry bushes and could not find raspberries anywhere.
Tayberries are a cross between black berries and raspberries, but they have their own unique flavour.
This took days to strain but well worth the effort, it does mean that you get a very good jam base that can be used as a basis for sorbets and puddings, mixed with apple works well, or simply little jam tarts!
The syrup is good on ice cream, or combined with fizzy water for a nice long drink. The best thing about eating the jelly is the memory of spending the afternoon gathering the fruits together, it was the first bright day for a while and we picked them together.
There is definitely something goddess like, to have these little pots sitting in the pantry.
This is the view of my kitchen window sill, I thought I would post it here, because it was while I was doing the washing up last night that the title of this post occurred to me.
I have been on quite a journey two years ago I was living in a large detached house with a garden and a large art studio, but when I left I spent a year living with other people. It isn’t until you have to cook in someone else’s kitchen that you begin to really appreciate your own.
I know the view from my window isn’t rolling hills, and my kitchen is a quarter of the size I used to have, but, as I washed the dishes by hand I realised I had learned a good lesson, happiness is found in small pleasures.
I remember a time when I would stack dishes in the dishwasher it would be a chore, but now, I wash my dishes by hand as I don’t have room for a dishwasher, and it has surprised me just what a simple pleasure it is. I am connected to my beautiful things, it is only as I am putting loving care into cleaning my favourite pan, that I remember what a pleasure it is to use it. My plates are very pretty and as I wash them and wipe them clean, I am given a moment of the joy of owning such a charming pattern. I am connected with small things that make me happy.
We are bombarded with images of large houses and big gardens, but I am happier now in my small flat than I ever was living in that large house. I don’t spend my weekends worrying about the garden, weeding and watering. Yes, I do miss sitting out in the fresh air, but if I really want to do that I can sit in the communal gardens and enjoy them while the gardener cuts the grass. It takes me no more than an hour to clean my flat, but in a large house, it never seemed to get tidy.
That isn’t to say I don’t miss some things, like having a fresh egg from my own chickens, or having room for a big party, but on the whole, I feel happier and more content that I have in years.
The larger bottle is de-ionised water that I have collected from my tumble dryer, and the other little bottle is vinegar, the best cleaner by far. Washing up uses less water than a dishwasher, and now because I don’t have a big house to keep clean, I often use my airing cupboard to dry most of my clothes, again, as I hang them to dry, I can appreciate them, rather than throwing them in the dryer. I love pretty bottles, it makes cleaning a pleasure, and it is magical to clean my possessions as I spent a year without them. I do enjoy having appliances that make life easier, but I think we also lose that connection with our possessions.
More is not always better, some times it is about finding the simple pleasures.
I am amazed at this little gadget, not only is it over 50 years old, but it is still boxed with the instructions and works beautifully.
A ninety year old lady lent it to me, and we often talk about a love of sewing. She is still making things to this day on her thirty year old singer, I can only hope that in fifty years time when I am her age, I will still be enjoying sewing.
I will have to look for one of these, as I am struggling to thread needles these days! I spend a lot of my time searching for my glasses!
I love marmalade but the best bit for me is the thickly cut rind, and it seems that no matter how expensive the make of marmalade it is more jelly than fruit.
I like to make my own marmalade, and often double up the number of oranges to make it extra fruity. Hartley’s do a very good marmade, which makes up to 6lb and great value and usually makes it very successful, but I add my own oranges.
Cut 8 large oranges in half, and extract the juice and then put the oranges in a large maslin pan, cover them with water and bring to the boil for around an hour and a half. Switch off then allow to cool.
Take the orange halves and scrape out the inner segments and scrape out the white pith. Chop the rind either thinly or thickly to your preference. Using the directions on the marmade, but instead of water use the juice, it really brings out the orange flavour. You can also use jam sugar which has added pectin if you wish, this will help the marmalade set.
I have been trying out different recipes for cheesecakes, I know the cooked cheesecake is the best for flavour, but no matter how hard I try the biscuit base ends up soggy. so I decided to try a non cook cheese cake using cream and muscapone but to bring out the real flavour of lemons I made some lemon curd. Make the usual digestive biscuit base. It really does make a great mix for a lovely lemon cheese cake, just fold into thick cream and muscapone, mix and then pour on top for a lovely lemony flavour. Home made lemon curd tastes so much nicer than commercial types. zest four lemons, add to 5 and a half ounces of melted butter. Add lemon juice and 1 lb of granulated sugar, heat gently until the sugar has melted and then add four beaten eggs. Stir constantly until the curd thickens up and then put in sterilised jars.
Will keep up to a month, but keep in the fridge once opened. Of course the lemon cheesecake won’t last long at all!