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
9 oz (255g) plain flour
1-2 tablespoons poppy seeds 3 teaspoons baking powder 1/2 teaspoon salt 3-4 oz caster sugar
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.