Scones

So if we are having strawberry jam, what better to have it with than the traditional scone!

I love the smell of them baking, the texture and of course the jam we put on them, mmmmm.  Do you fancy making scones today? Superfast and easy, convinced? Read on…

As you know i’m still working in lbs and oz. Sorry about that to you modern peeps out there. Here’s a weight converter for you.

8oz self-raising flour
1oz butter or cooking margarine(i’m naughty and use butter for cooking!)
1oz sugar
1 egg, beaten
milk to make egg up to 1/4 pint
Pinch of salt

Preheat your oven to 220 C.

Sieve the flour into a large bowl. Rub in the butter. Lift the mix with your fingers to introduce as much air as possible. Think light airy thoughts there’s no good knocking the living daylights out of a scone mix unless you enjoy eating hard, heavy rocks of course!

You may want to add a handful of raisins, chopped cherries, chocolate chips or whatever you are fancying at that moment. We are putting jam on them so i’m leaving them plain. Stir in the sugar and a pinch of salt.

Use a jug to beat the egg then make this up to 1/4 pint. (keep a little bit for brushing the tops of the scones with)

Gently mix the egg and milk mixture into the dry ingredients. Pull it together with your hands and place on a floured surface. I never roll scones with a rolling-pin just squash it down until it’s about an inch high (here we go again, back to the converter!) Cut out circles, shape and cut again. Being gentle all the time. If you don’t want to use a cutter or don’t have one, don’t despair. Shape the whole mix into one big round then mark it into sections like you would a pizza.

Place your separate scones or pizza shape on to a tray then brush with the egg that is left. Bake for 10-12 mins or separate scones or 12-15 mins if it’s a pizza shape.

Munch with strawberry jam or however you wish and enjoy ;-D

004

The thought of many people making these, in their own homes in different parts of the world makes me smile.

Strawberry and Apple Jam

I wanted to share with you, the delight of this gorgeous jam. It’s far more superior to shop bought jam even if I do say so myself!

You need to have good fresh strawberries because they have the best flavour and bramley apples because they are fantastic for baking and cooking.

I use my pressure cooker pan because it’s big and there’s lots of room for extremely hot bubbling liquid. You could use any big pan but don’t fill it anymore than half full.

 Anyhow, let’s get to it… These are the proportions that I used because that’s what fruit I had.

1 lb 15 oz strawberries, without tops
1 lb 10 oz bramley apples, peeled, cored and chopped
3lb 4oz Sugar (you could use preserving sugar if you want to)
a squeeze of lemon juice
a scrape of butter(quite literally a scrape, not even 1/2oz)

You don’t need much water with this jam but you will need a splash to stew the fruit. Slowly stew both the strawberries and apples in separate pans. Put both the stewed fruit mixtures into your big pan. Mush them up a bit with a wooden spoon. Add the sugar. Dissolve over a very low heat. Add the lemon juice and butter.

Turn up the heat and bring to boiling point. Don’t walk away or turn your back as it may just boil over, it comes up to the top of the pan very quickly if not attended to.

Boil for about 8-10 mins. Always test after 3 though. To test jam see here. Mine took 10 mins.

Leave the pan to settle, off the heat for a couple of mins. If you don’t and you pour it straight into the jars, any large pieces will stay at the top of the jar.

Lid the jars and leave to cool.

Now for the best bit… Throw a piece of bread in the toaster. Scrape out the remains of the jam from the pan. When the toast pops up, spread with butter and the scrapings. A great way to taste and test your new jam after all that hard work, waste not want not! ;-D

Enjoy. x

002

PS. Apologies for the pictureless blog today. I forgot to take photos in my excitement of summer jams again!

Gardening and things…

It’s been a busy week, I don’t seem to have time to sew at the moment.

I passed my maths exam on Monday *yay!* and will be starting the next level in September *urghhh*.

Hubby and I have been outside, tidying the garden with a rather runny nose, itchy eyes and sneezing all the time. It is apparent that you are supposed to eat local honey to ease the effects of hayfever. It’s not working, believe me!

We have put up a new fence in our little front garden and planted flowers. It looks very pleasant and it now means that I can open the front door and not hang onto the dog!

our little garden

our little garden

our little garden

our little garden

Our small apple tree gave us two apples last year but I can see about 12 now!

our little garden

A sneaky potato plant that we didn’t put there??

our little garden

Strawberries and raspberries, mmmmmm.

our little garden

our little garden

The Little man brought a sunflower home from school and has planted some dwarf beans, radish, kale and numerous other things.

our little garden

our little garden

our little garden

There’s an old plastic tub that we keep seeds, bits of string and odds and ends for gardening in. It was left unattended for a few minutes. Hmmm, you guessed it – little guy had a rummage when I wasn’t looking and I now have various green sprouts of things popping up here and there where he’s planted the seeds. So far I think I have found nasturtiums, sweet peas and lettuce! I fear weeding in case I pull out the things that I shouldn’t!

our little garden

This is our pepper plant.

our little garden

our little garden

We have been nurturing and checking it (sometimes 5 times a day!) for some time now and to our delight there is a little pepper growing there 😉

Little man had the fun of bashing eggshells again to keep away the slugs and snails. We need more eggshells soon. If I get chance I might just bake a cake later. On a second thought no, scones because I made some really lovely strawberry and apple jam the other night. It deserves to be eaten with a good scone so the cake will have to wait. Talking of jam, I may add the recipe for strawberry and apple jam so that you can make your own very scrummy jam!

My sewing circle

I have to tell you about this. A new site out there called My sewing circle. It’s like ravelry but for sewists like us, how cool! It’s free to join the sewing community and you will meet lots of new people too.

Is this just what we need or what! Spread the word and come and join in the fun! x

Sewing machine pictures

Like I said you don’t need to be an artist if you don’t want to be! I’m no expert but this is the way I do it.

You will need;

A sewing machine
Coloured thread of your choice
Some kind of fabric to put your picture on (not stretch)
Starch (I buy mine but I know some people make their own earth friendly version) or an embroidery hoop
Water soluble pen to mark the picture on the fabric
A picture to sew

For your picture…draw one if you are artistic…If you aren’t, no prob get out a children’s colouring book or just find a picture that you like and trace over it so that you don’t ruin the original picture. (I use grease-proof paper from the kitchen because it’s easy to see through.) If you can copy it on your printer that may make it easier for you.

butterfly

Wash the piece of fabric that you are going to use for your picture, dry and starch it. The starch is going to help it keep it’s shape whilst you sew. You can wash it out later when your picture is complete.

butterfly

Now you need to put your fabric over the picture to trace the picture though, using the water-soluble pen. You could use a light box if you have one…I don’t, everything gets taped to the window here! There are various ways to transfer pictures to fabric. This is the way I do it. You could google it if you wanted.

butterfly

butterfly

butterfly

butterfly

With a transfer on fabric, You can sew this two ways.

1. Drop the feed dogs on the machine and use free-motion sewing. If you aren’t used to this type of sewing (it can take a little practice) you could do it this way instead.

2. Leave the feed dogs as they are. Put the stitch length to very short. Use a foot so that you will be able to see the front, where you are about to sew.
At this point I make a cuppa, you want to be relaxed when you sew these pictures or you will have jerky lines, lumps and bumps.

butterfly

Ok? Let’s sew. There really isn’t much to it. Follow the lines. Try not to break the thread off at the end of a line. If you do, tie it off underneath straight away to keep the underneath free. sew over other lines to get to other pieces that you want to sew. Use straight stitch, zig-zag whatever you fancy. Just have fun and create!

butterfly

butterfly

butterfly

Give it a squirt with some water to get rid of the soluble pen marks or wash it if you want to get rid of the starch. Press with and iron (no steam) then admire your handiwork 😉

butterfly

You could do this on clothes too and give them a new look, drawstring bags for the kids, little zipped make up bags, even patches over holes! Anything at all really, the list is endless…let your mind go! Most important HAVE FUN!

You could go a step further if you really wanted and embellish your picture with seed beads or a bit of hand embroidery etc. X

Just for the sake of pretty butterflies, here are the coasters that I made some time ago that live on our coffee table.

butterfly coasters

Happy Birthday

To our larger lad. I hope you have a very special day. With love and best wishes.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY. xxx

PS. I promise not to eat all the chocolate cake that I baked for you! he he he!

A top for me!

We have had a lovely time this week. I said that I wouldn’t be doing anything that didn’t need doing but this really, really did! What a pick me up, whew!

I have spent a lot of time sewing for other people lately. Turning up, turning down, letting in or out. Making new, cutting up old…It seemed never-ending to be honest.

SewMamaSew are having a “Make it wear it month” which has given me a nudge to do something for me.  So here it is, my “get knotted top!” Only joking! Ha ha ha!

new top

It’s from a free pattern on the burda site. I just spent ages looking for it but they seem to be having a change about over there and I can’t find it to link to, sorry about that. If you want to sew it too, I have saved a copy of the pattern(which was in the free section so I don’t think i’m breaking any rules by that, if so please let me know!) and can email it to you. There are plenty of other cool patterns on there too by the way.

It’s soooo easy and fast to make. The most difficulty I had with it was tying knots in the straps that actually looked kind of tidy or the same-ish but opposite(If you know what I mean).

I winged it with the length of the straps, not bad but they could have been an inch shorter for my liking, soon sorted though. Another thing was that I made my size, well as you would expect to do…with this pattern I should have made a size smaller. It’s on the large size to be honest. Maybe it’s to do with it being made from jersey stretchy fabric? Not a prob there though, i’m putting some shirring elastic along the waist line at the back. Only probably 6 inches or so, just to take a bit of the excess away. I am actually sporting a clothes peg at the back, cinching it in, which you can’t see on the picture!

Anyway, I will be happy when the alterations have been made.

A new top and a refreshed feeling that I spent time on myself, doing exactly what I wanted to do! Yay! Probably selfish but so what for once! 😉