13. DECEMBER

The latest freeze didn’t allow me to go to the allotment – not only was it too cold to do anything sensible there but also there was a distinct possibility that I might fall. Interesting how we say about youngsters that they fall over but us oldies ‘have a fall’. So I didn’t  go. But I can’t just sit at home and do nothing. Instead of that I have searched the Internet and found a few nice biscuit recipes.

Also a recipe for a favourite from the past years – babovka. It is a Czech recipe that I was used to make very frequently when the boys lived at home. I’ll start again,  I’m sure it will make a nice present.

 

I have also found a recipe for panettone, again never made it before but why not? I had to wait for my shopping delivery for a few vital ingredients  and as soon as I got everything together I was ready to start.

20221213_103523

Two days later I have a result. I’m sure a master baker would have a few words to say about the result but it smells divine and I have it from an expert on cake tasting – Frank – that it is delicious.

20221213_192025

Beside all this I continue making blankets. To start with I made a number of baby shawls but everybody who had a new baby had one of these so I switched to large ones. It comes very handy nowadays, what with the weather on one hand and the cost of energy on the other.

I started making these at the start of the pandemic. There is a website of a wool company, they have a sale from time to time and when I see that I order a fair amount of random coloured balls of wool, that keeps me going during the winter months when it gets dark quite early. Right now I have just finished the latest one and will start another. But it is only eight days until we have the shortest day, from then on all will improve for me.

11. JUNE

A few days ago I decided I would pick my strawberries every second or third day. Today was the third day so I took my empty boxes to the allotment with the view to pick some strawberries. Well, the boxes were filling up so fast I had to go and search in my shed for some more. I was lucky, found one with a lid,  quite a good size as well. It felt I have been picking for ages. After that I just had enough strength to water my four greenhouses and the sweet potato plants, pick a few rhubarb sticks for the tasty crumble and then staggered home. I knew the harvest was good, the bags were heavy but I didn’t expect 7,6 kilo!

20220611_124139

It was a very easy decision – more jam to make and tomorrow I will make a tray bake. It is a sponge base with strawberries evenly placed on tom. It is delicious and any fruit can be used, it was nice with pieces of rhubarb too.

20220611_193734

Another 12 jars of lovely jam. From the farm into the jars in a few hours, not bad.

AT LAST

This is the last baby blanket for this year – the weather is getting better, the days are longer and my allotment needs all my free time. I have used up all the baby wool that I ordered at the start of the first lockdown.

20210402_092711

It is a perfect pattern and I have made a lot of these blankets. I will start again in November or so….

BABY BLANKETS

I have got one tried and tested crochet pattern for a baby blanket. In these difficult times I decided to spread a little happiness in the form of a blanket. In the beginning I made full size blankets to snuggle under but before Christmas I got some baby wool and the result is very good, I’m happy with it.

I’m ready for the first baby to arrive – will carry on making them as necessary, got more wool ready.

A BIT OF COMFORT

Most of my gardening jobs are done and now bad weather stopped play. I need to have something to do – I’m keeping my other indulgence, books, to the evenings.

It is my blankets. Way back I started making them out of crocheted squares and then lined them as I didn’t want the ‘not so nice’ side to show. The next step are these latest ones. As the lockdown started I found an online wool company and ordered a bag of wool in a variety of colours. That was the start of a new line in blankets, I’m very pleased with the result.

JAM

Here we go again – a fantastic harvest of strawberries in the morning – 2,5 kilos – and 14 jars of jam made in the afternoon.

It was great to be able to make jam, I use Certo so the fruit doesn’t have to be boiled for ages to achieve a good set. I’m happy with the result.

HANDICRAFT

This might be the last blanket – spring is coming and I will be busy on the allotment. I didn’t think I would make it at all but after a long thought I decided to change the design and make this one.

I am happy with the result – it was much faster to do it this way and I still didn’t use up all the wool. Perhaps next winter?

DECEMBER

I thought it was just about time to make some more strawberry jam – yes, in the middle of December. As we have had such hot summer I decided to freeze quite a lot of my fruit harvest – strawberries, raspberries and all different types of currants. I did make some jam using the freshly picked fruit but the rest was carefully weighed, labeled and frozen. Yesterday’s job was very easy, just selected enough frozen strawberries (2 kilo), got the sugar ready, lemon juice and a bottle of Certo and after defrosting the fruit and a short cooking time…

20181210_122837

It is not just edibles that are making me happy. My two Christmas cacti are looking their very best this year!

 

WINTER ACTIVITY

After the few days of deep snow in Coventry I managed to finish yet another of my blankets. I love reading but some books have to be devoured in a peaceful atmosphere so for the less quiet days I had my blanket making.

My friend not only gave me bags of wool but also some backing material so thanks to her I have two super elegant and warm blankets.

Even though there was more than a foot of snow on top of all my structures the damage is minimal – as soon as I can I will do some repairs. Nothing major, just a question of patching up.

THE LATEST

I have been busy on the allotment but not the ‘proper’ kind of busy. I think all gardeners will agree that in April everything will start and it will gather pace.

That is why I decided to take photos of my latest five blankets before I stop (or perhaps just slow down) during the busiest times.