Wednesday 22 February 2012


Last week it was a very chilly minus 15 degrees centigrade,

tomorrow it's due to be plus 15 degrees centigrade.

I am totally confused...

So sought comfort by making pie (chicken, mushroom, leek, sweetcorn and barley)

Terrible photo but it tasted good...

The Making Winter Blog Hop is open until the end of the February.

There are also lots of wonderful photos over on the Making Winter Flickr page.

Monday 20 February 2012

February Making Winter Blog Hop

Welcome to the last Making Winter Blog Hop...

The last few months have been unseasonably warm and it seems as if winter has only just arrived here in Cambridge. No sooner had the snow gone than spring promptly arrived...

First Daffodil of 2012

If you'd like to join in with the last Making Winter Blog Hop, please add your link below...

Friday 17 February 2012

Scratched, Dented and Watermarked Wood

The table top after treatment

Our wooden floor looked wonderful until I mistakenly dropped the iron leaving a large dent. Our wooden table looked equally good until I over-watered a pot plant & the large watermark bore witness to my foolishness. Similarly the wooden surface of a box has been scratched...

The scratches were easily dealt with, I remembered, from long ago, being told that a sharpened brazil nut solves the problem. Use the sharp end like a pencil & 'colour' in the scratch. The oil from the nut is absorbed by the wood & will usually return the wood to the right shade.

The dent in the wooden floor was tackled in 2 stages. Put a damp cloth over the dent & iron gently with a low heat. The heat encourages the wood to absorb the water thereby re-swelling the dent. Once dry, the chipped wood was lightly sanded & wood glue smoothed over.

The watermark was the most satisfying and the easiest. I mixed a teaspoon of oil and a teaspoon of vinegar, then applied it (in small amounts) on a cloth to the watermarked surface. I massaged it in, left it to dry and then kept on reapplying it until the mark could no longer be seen.

Having finished, I admired the handiwork. 'Did you do a before & after photo?' enquired Mr TH...


The last Making Winter Blog Hop starts here on Monday 20th February.

Wednesday 15 February 2012

Mr TH does not buy Roses...

...but he did present me with these gifts...

Glorious sticks of delicately pink, forced rhubarb

A bag of fresh dates (which we promptly started to consume, these are all that's left- at the moment)

And a large bunch of egg yolk yellow Daffodils...

Mr TH knows me so well!

(I made lemon biscuits for him)

The next (& last) blog hop in the Making Winter Project begins here on Monday 20th February. Please join in and add links of anything to do with winter!

Thursday 9 February 2012

Spitfire Sauce

With a name like that, how could I resist?  (Recipe from 'How to Store Your Garden Produce' by Piers Warren.)

I roughly chopped an onion, 2 cloves of garlic, about 10-20 chillis and a pepper. I didn't have quite enough chilli so topped up with some dried chillis. Obediently I left the seeds out of the mix... (I'll dry them & try sowing them instead)

Then I put everything into a small saucepan with a teaspoon of sugar, a teaspoon of salt & 150ml of vinegar.

I brought it all to the boil & simmered for 30 mins. In order to save my eyes & my nose, I kept the lid firmly on! (Except to take a photo...)

The Aztecs used to punish their children by holding them over cooking chillis...

I left it to cool, then blitzed in the food processed.

Finally bottled...(2 small bottles were filled but I only photographed one)

It lives up to it's name!

In anticipation of another batch I've started sowing seeds for this year's chilli crop...

Fascinated by the UK/USA spelling variation of chilli/chili...I sought the answer here.

Thursday 2 February 2012

Under the Weather

This is often the time of year when extra cosiness, comfort & added TLC are much needed.

Here's what I do when I sense my body is desperately trying to fend off the latest bug...

I head for my battered paperback copy of the Fragrant Pharmacy by Valerie Ann Worwood, open it at page 41 & diligently follow these instructions...

  • Run a warm bath
  • When it's ready add the following essential oils; 5 drops Tea Tree, 2 drops of Lavender & 2 drops of Thyme
  • Stir the water to distribute the oils
  • Wallow for about 10 mins ( sometimes whilst sipping a hot toddy)
  • Dry myself 
  • Massage my whole body with 2 drops Tea Tree & 3 drops Eucalyptus diluted in 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil
  • Go to bed clutching a hot water bottle

It works for me...what works for you?
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