Sunday, 17 July 2016

bread and butter banana pudding

Bananas drive me mad at the moment.  I seem to only be able to find green ones or ones that are getting brown and spotty and mushy.  Don't get me wrong I like very ripe bananas, but now and again I don't want to be eating hard unripe or mushy bananas. Everyone seems to try and ignore the last banana to. When we did our weekly shop on Friday I picked up a nearly out of date sliced loaf knowing we had a few very ripe bananas at home.  Today I made use of both things for the men in the house. 

Started with cutting the crusts off 8 slices of bread and buttering them cutting in half i triangles and laying half of them in the bottom of this pie tin, I artistically cut up ( hacked) a banana and a half into rough slices and layered over the bread and butter with a small handful of chocolate chips.  Sprinkled over cinnamon and then a small handful of demerara sugar. I layered over the rest of the bread and butter and sprinkled a few more chocolate chips, more cinnamon, a thin coating of sugar and a grating of nutmeg. 

I them mixed together 350 mls of milk ( we had semi skimmed to hand) a teaspoon of vanilla extract and 3 medium eggs. Pouredd the milk and egg mixture around the edges of the bread and squished the bread down a bit and left the bread to absorb the eggy milk for about an hour before putting it in the oven at gas mark 4 for about 30-40 minutes. 

The top goes crunchy, to be honest I found the banana to be a bit to bananary but I only had a spoonful so not to sure if that was just my spoonful.  The rest of it was eaten by the men who were quiet eating it and made good comments afterwards.  Now to find something to do with the rest of the bread! 

30 days of gratitude

I am not really behind on this I just haven't posted for 11 days.  Life got to the point I had to stop everything else and focus on one area in life that became like a back hole.  Every aspect of life seemed to get sucked towards this situation as we sat around waiting for an outcome. We eventually sort of got to a stage where life could return back to normal from tomorrow so I have prepared a new sewing project to start sewing up tomorrow.  It feels great to be able to be able to get lost in a sewing project and an audio book again. 

I am listening to The girl with all the gifts by M. R. Carey now.  I saw an advert for the film to this the other night on TV so am vaguely interested in the film after I have heard/read the book. 

Anyway shall we get back to this 30 days of gratitude?

Day 7

What memory are you grateful for?

Hearing my first granddaughters first cries.  As a Mum I had no hearing when all 3 of my children were born.  My daughter asked if I would like to be at the birth of her first daughter.  I had only had my implant for around 5 or 6 weeks so I will always cherish hearing Evers first noises in this world 

Day 8

What book are you most grateful for?

This is a very difficult question because I am a book worm/addict.  All books are like old friends and sometimes I use books to get me through difficult times.  When I had a brain tumour and was recovering from it's removal I went through a stage of dark horror books and supernatural kind of books.  It helped to imagine there was stories worse than mine.  I think though it's more reference books I am so grateful for.  I am always trying to learn something new.  My brain is always on the go so having cooking/sewing/craft/quilting and baking books around are my favourites.  Theres always something to immerse myself in and something new to learn.

Day 9 

What place are you most grateful for?

That is easy, my home.  A place I can be myself and a place my family can feel they can come back to even when they are big enough to leave home. 

Day 10

What taste are you grateful for today?

Mints, I love mints and I always keep a pack around.

Day 11

What holiday are you grateful for?

Christmas holidays, fun and games preparing for the festivities and ready the night before Christmas to the granddaughters on Christmas Eve

Day 12

What texture are you grateful for?

I have no idea at first thought, but then I thought of marshmallows.  I love the texture when eating them. 

Day 13

What abilities are you grateful for?

I  am grateful for my patience, ability to cook, being able to hear again, being able to drive and having the ability to almost mind read my children some days x 

Day 14

What sight are you grateful for today?

emails that were actually a response to ones I had sent

Day 15

What season are you grateful for 

I love Autumn the most.

Day 16

What about your body are you grateful for?

My eyes, with one blue and one brown I am not unique but I do feel a little different and I think my eyes are brilliant so I am grateful I am not the same as everyone else in that respect

Day 17

What knowledge are you grateful for?

Anything I have learnt in life. Cooking knowledge is something I love having.  I have even been jokingly called Delia now and again! I love having enough culinary knowledge that I can walk into our kitchen I can make a meal up even after everyone one else has declared there's not enough food to cook a meal with.

Doris dress

I loves Lisa Comforts patterns and her book Sew over it Vintage. She has 2 shops in London and a website as well.  A great selection of sewing patterns as well.  I had recently made her Carrie trousers and my latest sew was her Doris dress. Took a bit of bravery as the length is a bit shorter than I am used to wearing.  I haven't got any buttons to sew onto the front of the dress but I sewed the front shut instead of adding button holes for closure, so for the moment I don't really need buttons.  The Dress has a side zip so the front buttons aren't actually functional.  

I found this fabric at fabric land, It is a very soft floaty cotton blend I think. Love the little bright cherries on a black background.The dress was a breeze to sew up as the instructions were very good and apart from one moment where I sewed the facings to each other on the wrong way round 4 times running it went like clockwork.

 Sorry the back is so crinkled in the photo below I had been wearing the dress for a good while before asking someone to take some photos. 

I see a few more of these Doris dresses in my future but with a little more length.  The length is lovely unless there is a breeze.  On this day there was a lot of breeze, which is why I am holding the edges of the skirt.  I have a thin pair of shorts that are very figure hugging and think it would be best to wear them under this dress.  I don't particularly want to be flashing my underwear to people. 

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

30 days of gratitude days 5 and 6

I didn't forget this yesterday exactly, just by the time I went to type it out it was 11.55 pm so I decided sleep was needed more.  So 2 posts in one today

Day 5
What sound are you grateful for today?

Anyone who knows me well knows that I spent 19 years Deaf and every sound I hear I am grateful for.  Yesterday though I was really grateful to hear the sound of my sewing machine running and the hiss of the steam iron as I pressed. Sewing while Deaf was a bit more dangerous as if I glanced away I wasn't always aware of the sewing machine running if the children were about. I don't have children around to cause lovely chaos as often now and not in my sewing space, but it does make sewing less frightening :o) 

Day 6

What in nature are you grateful for?

Plants, trees and birds.  They change with the seasons and always something to admire and wonder at if you look close enough to be amazed. Trees fascinate me greatly and are far from boring. I never really noticed the beautiful songs of birds when I was younger but I do now. 

Will be back a little later to show you what else I have been up to today 

Take care
Jules x 

Monday, 4 July 2016

30 days of gratitude day 4

Todays question is what food are you grateful for? Simple answer to this one is the food I get to sit around a table and share with family and friends.  Doesn't matter if it's a simple piece of toast, or a roast dinner with all the trimmings.  Food shared with good company, good conversation and with love is always the food I am grateful for.

Being a fan of cooking it gives me much pleasure to see something I have prepared bring a smile or a look of contentment on someones face as they eat food I have cooked. The eyes that light up when someone realises you baked that cake for them. 

I couldn't pin down one individual type of food. Food and cooking for me is very mood based so it changes daily what I think is a fantastic idea for todays dinner or treat to make. You could say I am a very moody lady in that respect!!  Very often I will start the morning off thinking I am going to cook a certain dish for dinner that night.  By the time the youngest is home from school my mind has usually changed and my mood has dictated a big change. The family are used to it by now though so all is good.  I rarely have complaints about my cooking so I must be doing something right :o) 

Take care 

Jules xx

Sunday, 3 July 2016

Gadget review Verteggo

Anyone who knows me well knows that leaving me with a laptop and the internet when bored is dangerous.  Especially when left online surfing on Amazon or eBay.I have to admit most the purchases are good bargains but also most of the time I didn't know I needed or wanted the things until I saw them. Am worse than a kid on pocket money day some days. So in my defense I am going to say it was YouTube that tripped me up this time.......I can't remember what I was watching but it had something called a Rollie egg something or another which is a vertical cooker for eggs.  Then if that wasn't clever enough the eggs rise out the top when they are cooked. Watched a few of these gadget reviews on this then headed on over to Amazon. Just to look you understand..... Found a very very similar product that does the same thing called the.....wait for it....... the.....Verteggo. The rest as they say is history.  It arrived at our house yesterday. 

Looks pretty much like a travel coffee cup. Plug it in and the light is red

When it is hot enough light goes green.  Pretty simple so far.

Instructions say to spray inside the tube with non stick spray.  We have Frylight so that is what we used. Then crack in 1 or 2 eggs. There are other recipes but for now we just have been doing eggs

Put in a skewer if you like but not needed you can tip the eggs out onto a plate or use tongs.

Then the fun starts at the 6-8 minute mark roughly the egg starts to rise up. 

And up.......

Keeps going up.........

So magical for the easily amused like me!

And here it is out on a plate.  Now I admit you can't do the family a big plate of eggs all at once.  But this is a lot easier to clean up than a pan and utensils, and a lot less thought to it if just one person wants eggs

The eggs come out not quite hard yolked but not runny. Tender and not rubbery at all.  You can play with the times to find your favourite way.  There is no timer so you can pour out the eggs early if you like.  If the eggs aren't done to your liking you can pop them back in the tube again.  Big bonus for me is the upper bit of the Verteggo doesn't get hot not even in the inside upper lip so it is not to dangerous for little inquisitive hands to hole while trying to get a look in, or by helping crack the eggs in.

With 3 of us at home now we all have different breakfast habits, especially during the week.  This may be very amusing at the moment but for an antisocial, slow, and on autopilot Mum like me first thing it could well be the answer to the perfect eggs for one son in the mornings.

30 days of gratitude day 3

What colour are you grateful for? That question made me stop and think. I love the colour purple but it isn't the only colour I want around me. I pretty much have a love of most colours as they all have their own beauty and uses. I admit I am not drawn to some shades of green but I do love it in nature.

So in conclusion I am grateful for all colours and having eyesight to see them with.  I sew, quilt, colour, scrapbook and papercut and use a wide variety of colours often.  There is no way I could narrow it down to one colour.  So can I answer rainbow coloured? Yes I think rainbow colour is my final answer.

Saturday, 2 July 2016

30 days of gratitude day 2

Todays question is what technology are you grateful for? The list could go on forever for me. The first one that comes to mind is Cochlear implants.  Because of that nifty piece of technology I get to hear family and friends these days. I talked about my 5 years of having an implant not to long ago on the blog.

Another piece of technology is my mobile phone. Even before I could hear better again I always kept a mobile phone, and sometimes 2!, close to hand.  I could text and email people that I needed to contact and others could contact me that way to.  I have an iPhone the technology in them works well with my implant and I love staying in touch with family and friends either by phone or on one of it's many apps. I also listen to audio books on my phone and music.

Both these these pieces of technology I am grateful for as they both have made me feel less isolated at times and given me a much richer quality of life having them.

A few other things would be sewing machines, overlockers/sergers, computers and the internet,  All of which deserve a mention today

Quick post today, but I am hoping to give you a review on a gadget tomorrow and show you what I have been up to. 

Take care
Jules xx

Friday, 1 July 2016

30 days of gratitude day 1

I had this photo come up on a group last month and decided it would be a good idea to go for it this month and do 30 days of gratitude of what things I am grateful for.

So day 1 what smell am I grateful for today? The smell of fresh English strawberries I think would of been today's smell I was grateful for.  We had a hospital appointment for our youngest son.  Just a  general check up and discharging from that department kind of appointment.  The drive up and back to the hospital made me wonder how many people on the roads had been drinking before they got in their cars and vans? I was glad to get out of town and off the motorways.  Popped into our local fruit and veg place on the way home and as we walked in there was this most gorgeous sweet smell of  strawberries. It was so calming and called up memories of strawberry picking and making summer jars of jam ready to perk up dreary days later in the year.  It's amazing how a mere sniff of something can take you on a journey down memory lane and cheer up a day that had been stressing you out a bit. And of course we bought some strawberries home. 

Gerties 40s style blouse

Over the last year or I began to hear a lot about 'Gertie' Who is Gretchen Hirsch. She has a flair with vintage sewing and dressmaking. A while back I treated myself to her latest book, then had to have more. Love this woman's sense of style and patterns.  Before making a dress I decided to give her 40's style blouse a go.  I know I want to make a sleeveless version to but to start with I gave it a go with sleeves.  The sleeves have a lovely cuff detail, even though they are short sleeves.

Started by the usual trace the pattern off and cut it out. The next evening I cut the fabric out. I used a navy and white big checked gingham. Hoping I won't look like I am wearing a tablecloth.

First day of sewing went fairly smoothly. I did all the interfacing beforehand etc.  I had a few stages I had to use my seam ripper. That was however my error from not reading the instructions properly. When I did reread them they made perfect sense.

By the end of day 1 of sewing I had the shoulders and sides sewn, The sleeves with their cuffs attached and sewn into place. I had to do that more than once as guess which lady forgot to turn the machine back to normal stitch length after using basting stitches? All answers on a postcard please. And I put the collar together and had the first part pinned into place ready to sew the next time.

All I had to go was to finish the collar, add the front facings, do button holes, add buttons and hem the shirt.

Then a migraine struck me yesterday, I was really itching to finish off this shirt but with pain and meds I had to wait. So after a rather slow morning and having to drive my son to school, I had a coffee or 3 and spent an hour setting up and finishing the blouse. 

And ta dah

I didn't try to pattern match as didn't have enough fabric but I like it and it doesn't look school uniform or tablecloth like to me :o)

I left out the lower darts as didn't want it that fitted and added on the 3 inches as recommended for the sleeveless variation. The arms are a 'touch' tight on me but I do have big arms so next one I will make an adjustment.

I look a bit crinkled in these photos sorry I should of checked the way shirt was hanging and straightened it.  But all round I am pretty impressed with this pattern and it's outcome. I mostly followed the instructions word for word and it worked as it said it would.  Always a good start.  My biggest trouble with this was finding 5 buttons for it as hadn't bought any. I did however find some small clear ones.

So now I have become acquainted with Gretchen Hirsch AKA Gertie I look forward to making a few more variations on this pattern and making more of her clothes.

For now I am off out for an appointment and going to give this blouse it's first outing.  
Take care
Jules x