Wednesday, 31 December 2014

No matter how lazy I have become about blogging this year I have managed to put together a photo sampler each month. It's something I really enjoy doing and really enjoy looking at at. I try to include samples of what I have been cooking that month and what is blooming in my garden or the local hedgerows. I hope you enjoy this look back at 2014.













2015 will be a year of milestones for us.
In January this little blog will be 5
In February Tom will be 18 and Charlie and I will celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary.
In March Katie will be 15 (not really a milestone but I didn't want to leave her out).
In July George will be 20
And in December I will be 50. 
Bring it on.

A very happy new year to all readers of this blog, may 2015 be filled with good things.

Sue xx

Post Christmas


Monday, 29 December 2014

Peppermint bark

These are all gone now. Of course.

I like these post-Christmas days. The house is full of food and drink and nobody has to be anywhere. We have a stack of new dvds to watch, a necessity at this time of year we find, as there is practically nothing worth the licence fee on telly. We have Spooks and Northern Exposure -remember that one? and Lawrence of Arabia for New Year's Eve because it is so long.

I find myself looking forward to New Year's Day when we will take down the tree, put away the baubles and start thinking new year thoughts. I've already started actually. I'm making lists; books to read, projects to knit, things to write about and subjects to photograph.

The Feast Approaches


Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Christmas doesn't really get under way in our house until school finishes -school in this case referring to work, college, uni as well as actual school. This will be Friday when we will bring our tree into the house and decorate it. We will put fairy lights around the room, light candles and open the bottle of Baileys. I've talked about my approach to the winter feast here so I won't repeat myself now except to say that for our family Christmas means a holiday from work and studies, a holiday made extra good by twinkly lights, delicious things to eat and copious amounts of booze.

On the food and drink front here are some of things I plan to make during the holiday
mince pies
sausage rolls
roast beef and yorkshire puds for Boxing Day (Christmas lunch at my mum's this year)
banoffee pie
ginger ice cream
dark and stormies
peppermint bark  *Katie wants to make this for presents and I am hoping there will be some leftover
malteser slice

*See also Julie's method here.

I would like to say that I promise to photograph all of the above and bring you an 'In My Kitchen at Christmas' post but I've been such a lax blogger lately I'd better not make any promises. We'll see how it goes.

The Year In Books ~ The New House by Lettice Cooper


Monday, 8 December 2014

I thought Nella Last's War would be a good choice for my December read as it was dramatised by Victoria Wood as Housewife, 49 and housewife, 49 is a very apt description of myself this December as I am now 49 and a housewife. But I have read it several times and I am trying to read new things for The Year in Books. I do recommend it though, especially if you are interested in how women managed to keep a household going in the face of rationing and shortages not to mention great emotional upheaval. Nella was incredibly resourceful and could make a tasty meal out of almost nothing. What a great blogger she would have made.

The book I have chosen is a Persephone publication, The New House by Lettice Cooper. I was lucky enough to be given a six month subscription to Persephone Books by my generous parents and this is the first instalment which arrived a few days before my birthday wrapped in pink tissue and tied with grey ribbon. What a treat! The New House, written in 1936 describes one day in the lives of a family as they move from a large house with grounds to a new, smaller house. I haven't got very far with it yet but so far, so good. I also have Because of the Lockwoods by Dorothy Whipple waiting to be read which I know I will enjoy.

I can't remember all six of the books I have chosen and I don't want to check as I'm looking forward to being surprised when they arrive. I do remember that one is Housebound by Winifred Peck and one is Hostages to Fortune by Elizabeth Cambridge. I have gone for domestic books, books which like Nella Last's War deal with how women go about running their homes under varying circumstances. Persephone excel in finding such books to republish. I am sure if it weren't already in print then Nella Last would be an admirable addition to Persephone's list. The Homemaker by Dorothy Canfield is perhaps the best example of this genre, a book I must reread soon.

Meanwhile in the garden we have frosty quince leaves in abundance.

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