Wednesday, April 20, 2011

All present and correct!

What a beautiful, sunny day to be able to sit and 'do' one of the nicest hobbies, in such ambient circumstances, with friends.  Today was Caroline's day to play hostess to the Tuesday Girls and her neighbour's 'Conservatory' was just the place to hold it.  All the windows were open and the doors were flung wide. We began gathering just before 10.30 as Alison was first to arrive and soon the kettle was on.  Janet arrived next, closely followed by Amanda.  At that point poor Janet realised she had left some important items behind and so rather than play 'shuffle the cars' Amanda ran her home.  Luckily, most of us live close to each other so it wasn't long before they were back.  Chris chose the healthy option and cycled round, bringing a much needed cucumber for lunch - guess what we were having? 

Soon, mugs of tea were served and just for something different, (LOL) a batch of Lemon and Lime Poppyseed Muffins (plus a disastrous number of fruited bran muffins - having used the recipe quoted quantity of liquid, they came out heavy, but still tasted ok ) .  Everyone was very kind about the disasters, but shall have to 'play around' with that recipe to get it right. As always, the conversation flowed freely - from books we wanted to read, had read or wanted to pass on to what was happening with family or friends; happenings with other groups to which we belonged and on to Alison's impending building works; amongst many of the subjects we chatted about.

Chris had brought her latest quilt, which Yvette from Needle and Thread had quilted using her-long arm machine... all very summery colours and it looks beautiful.  Amanda was working on some pincushions for a group - but had forgotten stuffing.  Luckily, Caroline had an idea and rushed next door to get something to solve the problem!  Amanda has enough stuffing now, probably for about 20 or more! Janet was working on some diamond patchwork pieces and Alison was hand quilting her 'Washed and Worn' quilt.

 Caroline...  was attempting some DIY.. having had the idea that she wanted an extra table to use for machining/cutting fabric.. but, needed to attach the plates to screw the legs onto first!  Having purloined her husband's ratchet screw-driver, she set to and it was soon ready to use, laid out with cutting mat, ruler and fabric... then suddenly it was time to go and prepare lunch! Where did the morning go to? 

 In the mean-time, Janet held a quick 'show and tell' session with her late father's medals; both poignant and interesting to hear about! Also, there were some quilting books to look through, with some interesting points of view offered by the group about the different colourways of the fabrics.

As the day's heat built up, it was decided that we would eat under the shade of the willow tree, so very quickly the patio table and chairs were washed off and a table cloth added.  Lunch, consisting of citrus salmon (well, I had to use up the lemon and lime from the muffins somehow), prawns and salad with a lime couscous, and the usual salady 'bits'.  A tear and share garlic bread completed the main course and then... well a little bit of chocolate heaven followed... some pots of Gu!  Chris had to leave slightly earlier than usual but of course, after a moment or three to allow lunch to go 'down',  the rest of us had another cup of tea!

More conversation and absolutely no stitching followed lunch... it was just too pleasant to sit in the fresh air.  Eventually it was time for Alison to 'hit the road' so Janet and Amanda (who were parked behind her, decided to go also!  Sadly, Tea on Tuesday was over for another week.  Same time next week?  See you then!          

 Lemon and Lime Poppy Seed Muffins

(Makes 12)
9 oz   (255g) plain flour
1-2 tablespoons poppy seeds
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3-4 oz caster sugar
1 egg
8 fl oz veg. oil or 3 oz melted butter
1/2 teaspoon lemon flavouring (optional)
3oz icing sugar
3-4 teaspoons fresh lemon/lime juice
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated rind

1. Preheat oven to 375 - 400 degrees F ( Fan oven - 180 ; Normal 190 -200) Gas Mark 5-6
2. Sift flour, baking powder, salt and sugar together in a large bowl and add poppy seeds.
3. Beat egg; stir in milk, rind,oil/butter and lemon flavouring.
4. Pour all liquids into the dry mix and stir until just combined.
5. Spoon into muffin cups and bake until light brown (muffin will spring back when pressed  lightly.
6. Spread glaze over immediately so it melts over hot muffins.

(I used the juice of two lemons and two limes and grated the skins of one of each into the glaze...the rest went into the muffin mix.  I didn't use any flavouring, but they could have done with just a little, in retrospect - I had some recently that had also a teaspoon of home-made lemon curd, which was also very nice).

Recipe from' Muffins' - Fast and Fantastic (3rd edition) by Susan Reimer.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Five Minus Two Plus One

There were only threeTuesday Girls today, Amanda and myself for the morning and Caroline who came for the afternoon. Chris is on holiday with her sister in Yorkshie and Alison had other plans, but were were joined by Amanda's niece Molly.

As usual we started the morning with tea and cake.  Today we had types of muffin, Spiced Apple with sultanas and walnuts and Double Chocolate Chip from the Lakeland muffin recipe book, which I believe is no longer available.

Amanda and Molly were working on a cushion for Molly's bedroom.

I was sorting out the blocks from a Kansas Trouble pattern for jelly rolls that I had started on a  workshop  at Needle and Thread.

For lunch we had cold chicken, ham, prawns and smoked salmon with rolls and salad.

After lunch we were joined by Caroline just in time for a chocolate mousse dessert.      

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Car trouble

Ever had one of those days when everything seems to going along too well then...
Chris and the girls had set off good and early this morning predicting an arrival about 10.30 just in time for the banana and chocolate chip muffins ...
then I got the text ... 
car broken down half way to you, have called RAC will keep you posted....  

After a very prompt service from the roadside patrol, off they set again, this time followed by the RAC man to ensure all was well ...
it seemed to be fine ...
but no ...
 the warning lights came back again. He had another look at it then decided that the best course of action would be to follow them to their destination and then tow the car to the nearest garage.

Chris, I can't believe you remembered to take photos for the blog!

They arrived at about 11.50 and of course were in time for muffins - we just didn't leave much time in between muffins and lunch today. 
Unfortunately Caroline was working today, you were missed!

Show and tell and some sewing soon got under way. Janet has just got the binding to sew on her Thimbleberries 9 patch and snowball quilt, she had hoped that making this quilt would make a dent in her  Thimbleberries collection - not likely!! 

Isn't it gorgeous? so cosy or should I say sew cosy!  She was also busy putting together more diamond stars - the collection is growing but judging from the comments Janet made I don't think it's destined to be a queen size quilt!

Amanda has been busy creating a mini quilt using one of the panels that Chris brought back as 'postcards'. We are all trying hard to live up to the saying.

Chris had brought her houses draught excluder/back cushion with her - its sleek lines made mine look very overstuffed, mind you we had some howling gales coming under the door in the winter so it needed to be well stuffed.

Chris was also showing her beautiful log cabin wall hanging/throw, it really is lovely - sorry I can't remember the name of the fabrics. The quilting motif looks really good.

In between making cups of tea I was working on my diamond stars, don't know why I forgot to take a picture of them.We even managed to squeeze in some lemon drizzle  cake which was a yummy finish to the day.  
 Recipe is from here - delicious and not too many calories

Throughout the day Chris was kept occupied trying to ascertain whether a promised replacement car would be available and delivered or would the garage be able to solve the problem. The end result was the garage said they couldn't find anything wrong with the car but the suggested that Chris book it into her own garage where they could have another look at it. So off we went to collect the car that had nothing wrong with it and the girls set off home. unfortunately the problem re-occurred and as the car computer inhibited their speed it took them a very long time to get home. 

Post script to the car saga is that a replacement part has had to be ordered and will be fitted asap!! Cars - they are great when they work but a total pain when they don't.