Saturday, January 05, 2013

A winter afternoon.........

Hello there, everyone! Jean and I are on coffee duty at church tomorrow morning, so this afternoon was one of the Baking Days which precede coffee duty. I have to say that some of the ladies who cater are amazing bakers, and the cakes.....OH MY SAINTED AUNT!! They go straight to the hips without stopping anywhere along the way. I am ashamed to say I show no restraint when confronted with a carrot cake cupcake topped with cream cheese icing. It is just as well our turns only roll round every few months, is all I can say. 

Where was I...

Oh yes. We baked our cupcakes, and iced them at Jean's house, where there is an oven which actually cooks at the temps selected. A marvel. And there is the added appeal of the warmth, thanks to a wonderful wood burning stove. One of the best ideas ever invented. I need one. It tops the list, even dislodging a tumble drier. 


There was much laughter as we baked, and we have done this so many times that we know how to get things done with the minimum of fuss. Jean made her cheese straws, which are a great favourite....



And I made some rice crispy cakes. Melted chocolate and rice crispies. The end. 


They could not possibly be any simpler and the kids love them. 


I do believe that no-one will starve tomorrow, if you also add in the Christmas cakes, mince pies, stollen, shortbread and chocolates which we fully intend taking too. It is a wonderful way to get Temptation out of our homes asap after Christmas. 

And now we come to the star of the show - the wood burner. Mum sat in the study which opens off the kitchen, in front of the wonderful wood burner, and carried on sewing up her latest blanket for the homeless, and she was beautifully warm and toasty. You can tell by the fact that Jean was not wearing any thick cardigan, that we too, were beautifully warm in the kitchen. Those fires really do warm the whole place. Wonderful. 

I want one. 


There really is nothing better than a beautiful fire to relax and warm you at the same time. One of my great delights is to find a fire, and simply sit in front of it, with just candles or Christmas tree lights, and watch the flickering flames and let my mind wander. One of the best things to do on a cold winter evening. 

Now all I am missing is the real fire, but I do have my DVD. There is that. It will do for now, and I have a wonderfully well developed imagination! 

I was looking at a couple of Jean's new sewing projects, and I started thinking about all the things I have made in my day, and honestly, some of them amaze me now. I looked at some rucksacks/backpacks I made one year, complete with all the buckles, and toggles, and eyelets, and strapping and pockets and I turned them over in my hands and honestly, I could hardly believe I made it. Notebooks. Photo frames. Pictures. Bears. Clothes. So many things over the years. Sewing baskets. There have been some interesting projects, believe me. I have every reason to believe that there will be other interesting projects in the future, but seriously, have you ever looked at something which you made once, and shaken your head a little in amazement that you actually had the skill once to do it? 

I am not talking about blowing trumpets here. I am just wondering if anyone else goes through these funny phases? I forget these things, you know. And then I unearth something and just grin. That was then and this is now and right now we are in the "Simple" phase. Simple=easy=I-don't-have-to-think-too-much=uncluttered=clean=perfect. 

That will be just fine for now. 

And now, it is not many hours before you all get to watch the new season of Downton Abbey. It is good. And after that, no doubt you will be seeing the Christmas Special as well, which the entire nation sat down to watch here on Christmas night. I am not going to say anything to spoil it for you ! 

We, on the other hand, have nothing of great interest to watch at all right now. Sigh. There was a time when all the good shows aired all autumn and winter, when the greatest number of people are at home, indoors, with the TV on. Those days are gone, though. Repeats are the order of the day, unless you have Sky. But there are always DVDs to watch, now that I have mastered the art of working the 12 year old DVD player. Some kinds of technology suit me, and other kinds....hmmm. 

Enjoy your weekend, everyone!


Run Quilt Knit Write said...

I think I'd like to come to your make our tea or coffee (no biscuits) look paltry to say the least!

Kelli said...

I cannot tell you how delightful and relaxing it was to end my night with a wonderful, long conversation with you. I feel as though it could have gone on forever, but of course I had to sleep and you had tons of yummy baking to get up and manage.

Today is the last day with son before he leaves for Round Two of uni. Sniff. But, I am so excited to see where things go this semester in so many ways.

Love you. Will talk again. Soon. Soon.

Now, I think I will try my hand at making those chocolate rice treats things!

Vee said...

Oh yes, Sunday evenings at 9 are reserved for Downton Abbey for a few weeks. Good thing that it does not interfere with my fairy tale Once Upon a Time just the hour before. We don't have a lot to watch either. Mondays will include Dancing With the Stars, which began over there...Strictly Come you watch that one? comedy...a half an hour's worth. Friday...two comedies and Shark Tank, which for some crazy reason I really, really like. Saturday evening we watch ancient British comedies that we've seen before, but still love. Then back to Sunday. I know you're fascinated, but I've typed this all up and you're getting it. =D

Oh the woodstove is lovely. I'm sure that your mother enjoyed it while you were busily baking. I have very much enjoyed sitting by the wood pellet stoves at the kids' place, too. The cool thing is that they don't need to be vented into a chimney. We've come a long way since the olden days.

Needled Mom said...

That baking looks absolutely wonderful. I am a real sucker for a carrot cake with the cream cheese icing too.

I cannot wait for the new season of Downton Abbey tomorrow night. We were getting the updated Upstairs, Downstairs too, but I heard they cancelled it after the first 2 seasons. It, too, was soooooo good. Both are so well done, but my favorite character is the Grandma in Downton. She is a classic!!!!!

Isabelle said...

I know what you mean about past projects. I used to make things - not on your scale, but the odd bit of knitting or recovering chairs or embroidery. And now I feel I couldn't do this any more. Which is ridiculous, of course.

I haven't seen any D. Abbey. Am I alone?

Cait O'Connor said...

Yes TV is not so good now,I agree. Lovefilm comes to the fore now.

Sandra said...

I'm with you, keeping quiet about Downton Abbey so I don't spoil it for anyone, and it's so hard not being able to chat about it.

Mr. Selfridge just started on ITV tonight, I'm enjoying it so far, as well as Ripper Street on BBC as well.

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