Good morning and welcome to . . .
That's how I always start my morning message to my children, written on the interactive white board when they come in. The hope is, of course, that the children will read it, especially as it sometimes has a starter activity on it.
So - good morning and welcome to a cold and very wet early morning here in not-so-sunny Essex. We were promised a mixture of rain, sleet and snow and it looks as if the rain bit was correct anyway. It seems to be raining, not hard but very steadily, and it makes me heartily glad that I don't have to go out today, having done my bit of shopping yesterday.
Yesterday, after a nominal and half hearted clear up, and a few culinary endeavours, I set to and knitted and crocheted and knitted all day, more or less. Alex was here but teens don't want their Nan playing games with them and Alex is more than capable of entertaining himself in between raiding the kitchen for snacks. Regular readers may remember that last week I wrote about crochet owls and daughter Beth pounced on the idea and asked if I could make a couple of owly themed hats. I had a pattern but the first size was 0 to 3 months and Beth wanted it for a newborn, so I modified the pattern (not difficult at all) and got the hat finished. Now to make a crochet owl to sew onto the hat. I made one last week and it was fine but first efforts are usually a bit rough and ready so I'm having another go today. The other hat is for the newborn's nearly-three-year-old sister so I logged onto the incomparable Ravelry site for ideas and found a whole page or so of free patterns. When Beth got back she picked one and that's my project for today. It shouldn't take long and is all crochet - English instructions too, which helps. If you don't crochet, you are unlikely to know that American instructions are different. An English 'treble crochet' is called a 'double crochet' in American patterns, which can be a bit bewildering when you first start a pattern.
Must remember to take some photos of the hats.
The granny square bed cover is coming on although, as is the way of the world when one makes it up as one goes, after doing one row I decided I didn't like something and started again. I'm not going to try to unravel what I've done: that's the disadvantage of sewing all the ends in as you go. It can go in the dressing up box at school where I am sure they will use it well.
A friend (thanks Joan) pointed me in the direction of a hexagonal granny 'square' and it's lovely. Hexagons make nice patchwork too, don't they? Oh, dear!
The sticky sausages I made yesterday for Alex's lunch were delicious, so I have posted the recipe on t'other blog, here. It's loosely based on a Nigella recipe but with enough variation/changes for me to be able to claim some creative credit.
I was expecting Alex and Beth round for dinner today but they're not coming after all. In Morrison's the other day they had some beef. Just lumps of beef. Not identified, just vacu-wrapped lumps of beef. It actually didn't look bad at all and was on special so VERY reasonably priced and I popped one in my trolley for our Sunday dinner. I will cook it anyway and use it up over the week in various ways. Given that it might be a bit tough and that I don't really go for pink beef at the best of times anyway (sorry, Diane), I am slow roasting it on a bed of carrot, onion, parsnip, red wine, beef stock, seasonings and what was left of the sticky sauce from yesterday (because it needs using up). It's in now a slow oven and will stay in until I feel like looking at it. With any luck I will have a lovely gravy at the end as well as some tender, melt in the mouth beef. Fingers crossed.
And I still think I will make Yorkshires but will put some in the freezer for another time. Not as nice as fresh cooked but very useful at the end of a long day when you don't have the time to cook from scratch.
Well, better go and make some breakfast. Either bacon and beans or beans on toast (beans were left over from yesterday so are not a variable). Decisions, decisions!