Sunday, 19 February 2012

What we've been up to....

Since I sadly had to close my grooming salon because of my health, I thought I'd try and sell some knitted items, as I have recently taken up knitting again. I was thrilled the other day, when I made my first sale on Folksy, from my shop, Dancing with Wools. It was a cuddly heart design hottie cover, in a lush and lovely 50% alpaca and 50% merino wool and it's so soft. I made one for my daughter as a Christmas present too and she says she uses it every night. There's only one item on there now, a make-up bag, but there are a few things in my Etsy shop too. I must get clicking those needles!

George has been busy in the kitchen while I've been ill. He has made two large pans of curry to freeze - Lemon and Coriander Chicken and Mughlai Lamb with Turnips, both from 'Madhur Jaffrey's Indian Cookery', except we swapped the turnips for butternut squash and I think the turnips would have been better. Her recipes are all fab, and he made naan breads too this weekend from the same book. It's become our curry bible. I think I'll start a favourite recipes page, with links to the sources of course, but it may just fill up with Madhur's yummy curries!

Next, George made two batches of Seville orange marmalade - yes, he bravely soldiered on, cutting the rind into nice little - fairies! Yes, I  know, you're saying 'WHAT!!!' I was brought up by a mother who strangely called the shredded peel in marmalade fairies and so I do and I think my children may still! Just a little quirky, maybe! Anyway, Here's his fabulous marmalade - it's a tastebud sensation!

I had decided to make a load of sausage rolls for the freezer, as we love them for lunch, and homemade are much nicer and cheaper to make. I'm very fussy about sausage and sausagemeat, and buy mine from an award winning butcher, as everything can be trusted to be top notch, yet not overly expensive. I thought they would be lovely with a bit of orange marmalade added on top of the sausagemeat and George agreed, so I made them and they taste fab! I always use homemade shortcrust pastry, as I don't like flaky and hate the way flakes constantly fall off. These came out of the oven with sticky jamminess oozing out of the edges and we had to be very good to put any in the freezer. Now I want one!!

George's most recent make was a spelt loaf he kneaded in the breadmaker, but shaped and baked in the oven for a change. The reason is that the top is always left pale and soft in the breadmaker, and though we now put it in the oven for a few minutes, it's not as good as the 'real' stuff. Also, we sometimes have a failure as spelt is not as easy to rise and prove as wheat flour. Anyway, he made it and it looked fab. It was much more risen than we often get in the machine, but ended up a bit doughy and with a huge hole in the middle and a small lump of dough inside! Shame, but I think it probably needed longer in a cooler oven. Looking at it, you would guess it was perfect.

George is so good doing stuff around the house and fortunately enjoys cooking, mostly savoury dishes. As I prefer baking pastry, cakes and puddings, it works out really well, though not too healthy! However, I think it's back to the breadmaker for a while now.

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