Friday, 30 January 2009

Hasta la tortilla baby

So, Hubby's Dd and SO were due round tonight for food ... they've recently returned from a quick break to Spain and are settling back, somewhat uncomfortably, into cold, wet, windy and wintry UK weather, so to cheer them I decided on a Tapas type menu.  It was rather fun actually, spending a couple of hours making :-
Albondingas (meatballs in a spicy tomato sauce)
Champinones al ajillo (mushrooms in a garlic and sherry juice)
Chorizo de horno (chorizo cooked in oven in garlicy oil)
Ensalad de tomate (tomato salad)
Lentejas con chorizo (lentils stewed with spicy sausage, red wine, onion and herbs)
Pan de horno (hot fresh bread)
Patatas bravas (hot crunchy potatoes in a very oomfy chili tomato sauce)
Pimientos morrones con queso (baby peppers stuffed with cheese)
Queso - Manchego \ Mebrillo (cheese and a quince "chutney")
Tortilla espanola (spanish omelette)

Then, just because a few calories had been left laying around on the work surface and I figured people may still be able to poke a few inside, I created a raspberry vodka, raspberry and hobnob cheesecake.  Now hobnobs are oaty biscuits, like digestives only nicer - they made the base (mixed with some melted butter); the cheesecake was marscapone, whipping cream, egg white, raspberry vodka, gelatine and a little unrefined icing sugar, with the odd chopped raspberry thrown into the mix; the top was raspberries steeped in raspberry vodka - it worked really well!!  

The wine was from northern spain - up near Barcelona in Catalunya ... 

Good it was ... stuffed I am (Yoda has returned!!)

Have undone waist buttons so as not to explode whilst knitting! 

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

New hearing aid

So I took mad Mother to audiology clinic today; we went several weeks ago when they retested her hearing (no, it has not magically got better despite her belief that eye drops have cured her) and they fitted her for a new hearing aid.  Her last one was big, cumbersome, that awful greige colour plastic and whistled whenever she passed by audio equipment. 

After sitting, knitting, whilst waiting for a very long time ( buttercup cardigan in pale sunshine yellow, of which I have to knit two as they will be easter gifts for gorgeous girls) MM emerged.  I was ready to fight at this point, as I thought she was without hearing aid; how extraordinary - she had been fitted with, and was wearing, a tiny discrete, fully working hearing aid.  All the way home she was whispering (she could now hear herself) and moaned about the noise the indicators made.

Once home, she turned her TV on ... and nearly wet herself.  The volume was set at 88, which she quickly lowered to 34, and was horrified at the thought of what her neighbours must have been enduring.  I shall go to hell, without stopping and without passing go:  I have told her she will save electricity if she has the volume down ... she is a "frugal" person.  She may just wear this hearing aid!

Meanwhile it will be her 80th birthday in early May, and two of her daughters (me excluded) are "stepping up to the mark" and vying for the best "party" scenario.  Me, I think we should ask her ... but hey I could be wrong, perhaps after all this time she may develop a liking for surprises!

Gung Hay Fat Choy  and don't for get your red underwear, apparently it's lucky at the start of the new year - worked for me, MM now wearing hearing aid!!!

Monday, 26 January 2009

Happy Birthday for yesterday RB

Before going to bed last night I twittered ....

"recovering from Burns supper - haggis, mashed neeps, tatties, whisky, crannachan, whksiy, pomes, hiskwe, snore"

This morning I woke to thick fog ... was it a hangover??  No, it was thick fog!    

Wherever you are, if you joined in the 250th birthday celebrations for Rabbie, then sending a hug and a virtual asprin!


Saturday, 24 January 2009

I see ... visitors from afar

So, on days when the wind howls and the snow swirls, when winter clings and spring seems months away, so on those days you may perhaps empathise with my grumpyness (or should that be with an i ??), so, on those days you might understand why I would stand up and confess to being a Grump, a Grouch and a generally unhappy bunny. This may even be more clearly understood if you accept that my MM's cat was sent to the big mousehunting land in the sky and I have had to support my MM for at least 10 days ... which is 9.5 days beyond normal endurance levels. So, in a general apology for my lack of bounciness, I posted a note on my friendly forum on Friday that I had been stressed and was somewhat of a moody person.
Today, Saturday, just around lunch time, I got a phone call from a friend who lives over 165 miles away, asking how I was and what I was doing. When I replied I was doing nothing she told me she had driven all the way down and was at a local coffee shop, just waiting to buy me a cake and a cup of coffee. At that point I knew how lucky I was .. this is a lovely friend met originally through knitting and the internet. She had bothered to down needles and put foot to pedal to visit ...

So we had our coffee and tonight she came over for dinner ... she knew I was shattered, so rather than impose she had booked into a local travel lodge and has now gone there. I shall see her tomorrow but, in the words of Yoda (my mentor from Star Wars) "Lucky, I am"

Happy, I am, so bed I shall go


Thursday, 22 January 2009

So ... nothing for ages ...

Then two come along at once!

Here is my newest friend, MA.  I bought her from a couple of lovely ladies whose mother had owned this.  They showed me photos of their mother, Mavis, using the wheel and chair at craft fairs .. she looked very happy.  So, as it is an Ashford my lovely new friend is now named Mavis Ashford, or Ma.  She and I are still becoming acquainted, but she is more forgiving that I of my fingers and thumbs. My spinning thus far would have to be classed as less than rustic!

Meanwhile ... back to the pirate costumes, they were for my nephew's 18th birthday party ... and here is the dread pirate CookknitWine with sabre at action stations.  Possibly just a touch heavier on the old eye make up than usual but fortunately the image is too small to see the full extent of my excesses.

I'm not sure where I thought my life would lead ... but I don't recall imagining spinning wheels and piracy!


Where did I put ....

 Where, oh where, did I put November and December and, come to that, 75% of January?

Well, I did put a lot of it into knitting a veritable multitude of Christmas presents ... there were:

9 scarves (DD, SDD, DDIL, DGD1, DGD2, Friend Treez, Friend Hils, MM and one sis) 

3 pairs of socks (DD x 2 and DH)

2 jumpers both for DD - one completely of my own design and one from DB Stella

1 jumper (in 4 ply might I add) for DH - why I would knit in cashmere 4 ply for a 42 inch chest is beyond comprehension.

14 egg cosies - 9 from Debbie Bliss magazine and then one chicken, one teddy, one rabbit, a cup cake and a marmalade cat

One bag with goth skull and cross bones one side and a pretty cat among the flowers on the other (I called it the mood bag ... the dear friend it was for could display a side appropriate to her mood and her DH would then know whether he was safe or he should adios himself!)

After Christmas I started on an alpaca cardigan for me (Honey from Nectar), a fluffy mohair mix cardigan for MM, another egg cosy as part of a birthday present for sister and then, in between, made a couple of pirate costumes, and nurtured my MM after her cat had to go to upstairs to meet ceiling cat.

Meanwhile, as a present to myself, I took up a subscription for some Sundara yarns ... the debit has been going out a while now and today, YES!! the most gorgeous Aran Silky Merino in Black over Violet arrived courtesy of a USPS box, which I ripped open with indecent haste and then spent the next hour just touching, swooning, stroking, photographing and trying not to droole over the four precious skeins. mmmmmmmmmmmmmm

Off now to research how best to put this itty bitty piece of heaven to best use, although I fear I may well keep it for a while as a stash slave!

PS Pirate dude with drink about is Shiver me timbers Yo Ho Ho pirate DH!

Missed you ... sending hugs

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