Friday, 29 October 2010

need a scarf in a hurry?

If you knit and need a new scarf or want to knit one for a present why not try this link Sirdar one hour scarf I bought some in green and they offer free delivery!

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Chestnuts in the woods

We had a very long walk in Cobham Woods this morning and its the best place to find chestnuts. We don't have an open fire but you can roast chestnuts using this simple method in the oven. The weather was just perfect, sunny and not too cold and we collected 2lbs! We walked around for about 3 three hours stopping once for a coffee out of my flask and Moss enjoying his water! I can't think of a more perfect thing to do on a Sunday morning. Now I'm off to have an afternoon nap!

Saturday, 23 October 2010

Christmas crafts

Just popped in to say have a great weekend. I'm currently concentrating on Christmas crafts for presents and the plan is to have a crafting afternoon. I've almost finished three pairs of fingerless gloves and I need to get on with some bunting for a friends present in Holland. There just isn't enough time is there? I was thinking of giving a pair of gloves and some nice handcream as a small gift to some friends at work, what do you think? Would you be happy to receive a hand made item? You put a lot of effort into making something and I'd hate to think the receiver thinks its a dull gift. Anyway enjoy your weekend, Sunday looks like the more promising day weather wise, so we are off for a long walk in the woods. Amanda x

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Pickled Chilli recipe

I popped into Homebase on Friday and found three chilli plants heavy with fruit for 20p each, well you just can't let a bargain like that go. So I plan to make some pickled chillies and found a Jamie Oliver recipe. I planted up two of the plants into pots and have put them in the dining room where its south facing. Hopefully I can continue to get chillies, who knows. The other one has been striped of its chillies and planted outside for now.

600g/1lb 5oz medium green chillies
15 black peppercorns
5 bay leaves (fresh from my garden)
3 tablespoons coriander seeds
5 teaspoons salt
6 heaped tablespoons caster sugar
1 litre/1¾ pints white wine vinegar or rice vinegar

For this recipe you must use perfect green chillies without any blemishes (you can use red chillies, but they will be slightly hotter).

Carefully score from the stalk end to the tip on one side only and remove the seeds (use the handle of a teaspoon for this). Pour boiling water over the chillies, let them sit for 5 minutes, then drain. This will get rid of most of the seeds left behind.

Next put the black peppercorns, bay leaves, coriander, chillies and salt into a large jar, or other airtight container. Put the sugar and the vinegar into a pan and heat until the sugar is fully dissolved. When this is quite hot, but not boiling, pour it into the jar with the chillies. Allow to cool down and then put the lid on.

Put in the fridge and leave for a minimum of two weeks before using. They will keep in the fridge for at least four months.

Friday, 15 October 2010

Newbold Tunnel
The lighting is lovely and we went through here twice.

Well we are back from a fantastic holiday, would recommend it to anyone. The slow pace suits me and I didn't even get any knitting done but I did almost finish a book, rare thing for me. And I came back to good news, a local pig farmer has contacted me and they are on for the Nov farmers market, how cool is that! I'll give more details once I have confirmed everything including their web site link. So onwards and upwards and now to tackle the washing pile. Have a great day whatever you are up to.

Our hire boat Tarrys 74, named after a bridge

A rare sight, a steam engine.
We had to stop to se this after we saw lots of photographers on the canal path! I had one chance to grab my camera and this is the shot, amazing!

Monday, 4 October 2010

farmers market update

I'm feeling very positve this evening, might have something to do with going on holiday this Friday!

Yesterday we held our October farmers market, my fourth since the village hall committee took over running it with a local resident and caterer, Dave Manning. It's been hard work taking over a market that originally started over 18 months ago by another local resident, but it's been a very rewarding experience. Each month I concentrate on contacting existing stall holders, sourcing new ones and marketing and taking the money (which all goes back into the village hall). Because I already write for three newspapers freelance, I can advertise to local people but we also do leaflet drops and advertise in our own village newsletter and local shops and businesses. Yesterday we had people attend from a little further afield, so it's good to know our advertising is working.

I am having to turn away craft stalls because we really need to keep a better balance and offer more food based stalls. We run our own fruit + veg stall with the help of a small group of local volunteers including myself! It's a great way to meet local people and to ask them what they want in the market. We are also very lucky that we have two local farms in Iwade so we can offer very fresh produce, including free range eggs, with the knowledge of where they were grown. You can't get more local than that!

In September we introduced Mighty Meaty, a local group of residents who sell a range of fresh meat and poultry, they even offer a home delivery service. It's working really well and they sell out in the first hour or so! They now sell their sausages in our local farm shop.

For November one of our stall holders will be taking orders for Christmas cakes. Her savouries sell out fast every month and because she makes wedding cakes professionally it's a great opportunity to offer a seasonal service. Her neice runs Cornupocia cakes and she makes the best cup cakes I've tasted, her Champagne + strawberry are delicious. She will also be opening her own tea room later this year in Halfway.

We offer free car parking in the village hall and Dave and his son make fresh bacon rolls + tea/coffee so that visitors can sit down and relax. We have been complimented on the friendly atmosphere and how well run it is. Dave also makes the best game pie (Granny Manning's Pies) and these sell out quickly, his pastry is just perfect!

So if you are in the area please pop along and say hello. Amanda x