Saturday, 19 November 2016

The First Of Our Festive Traditions

Well you know me well enough by now, to know how the day started off...
and what a lovely start to the day it was.
Once I was finally up, my first task was to get the pumpkin prepared for soup making...always a bit of a sad time, I love the pumpkins brightening up the fire place, but we will soon be thinking about more exciting decorations, so it isn't all bad!
Whilst I love the colour, and things you can do with pumpkins, preparing them is not for the faint hearted!
Last week we tried red thai paste and today was the turn of the green thai paste.... was even tastier than last week....less spicy, as we had expected, but beautifully  fragrant....
...and it went very well with this soft batch loaf I bought in Tesco yesterday.
For the first time in many years, I wore my hand knitted socks.
I made them at least 12 years ago, when the patterned sock yarn became very popular.
I must admit, I am not a lover of knitting with four needles, and the socks went a little array at the end, although I was rather proud I managed to turn the heel...and remember my nan "turning heels" when I was a little girl and wondered what she meant!
I have to confess, that I wasn't able to just knit the second sock randomly....being rather irritated by the fact they weren't going to be unpicked it after a few rows, and second guessed where I should wasn't too bad a guess was it?
I must admit, I have rather enjoyed wearing them today and may buy some more yarn!
Yikes! What am I saying!
FQ2FF mentioned in her blog today, that Christmas has come early, well today saw the start of our first Christmas tradition....going to our local Church of England's Christmas Fayre.
We have been going every year since the Teens were toddler's and we love the familiarity of the stalls, the kindness of those who have been working so hard behind the scenes, with the baking, jam making and setting up of it all, and love the very modest price they put on everything.
We usually walk down as it really is only about five minutes walk...but with a heavy deluge of rain right above us, we cheated and took the car, and just to make us feel even guiltier, the rain stopped before we got there!
We were treated to a beautiful rainbow as we walked into the church.
The weather had probably kept some folk away, as it wasn't as busy as usual...
...but the regular stall holders were there...this lady has been lace making for years and I have bought many of her lovely pieces...

...this stall is another regular...various chocolate bars open and you have to guess which one is which...Teen Two was foxed by the Boost and Picnic bars...I have probably never bought them in his lifetime...oh I have let him down!
...this is one of my favourite stalls..."The Human Fruit Machine"
Today Teen Two won!
The man on the left grew up in our house, his father bought the house from new and was a master craftsman....making bespoke items, many of which still survive in our house now, including the oak panelling, staircase, and parquet flooring.
I just love the middle gent's face! So interesting!
Teen Two was delighted with his £1 win....not bad for a 20p outlay, and of course all for charity!
The cake stall is always a favourite of course, and I really loved these Rudolph slices....what a great idea...I will be doing a version of that with our tots and Friday nighters for sure!
These recipe books were only £2, and is a collection of recipes from local people, including the first occupant of our house, so it seems only fitting to have it in the house!

These cute bags of bath bombs were only 10p each.
Then there was the jigsaw table!
We were well and truly spoilt for choice, there was a lovely home scene, with a Grandma baking in a cottage kitchen with her grandchildren, but the pieces were extra large and I thought it would be done too quickly....unlike this one...
...which I suspect I will never even attempt!
But  we couldn't resist the post it note challenge, or the price!
And since we have visited this castle, many years ago, it did hold a certain appeal.
We had to drag ourselves away from the jigsaw table in the end...there are only so many hours in the day!
But right next to the puzzle table was the book stall!
Any three books for £1
Hubby was struggling to find a third book, so when I spotted the Hannah Hauxwell book I thought it would be great for reading on the long flight next year.
I have read it, many years ago, and will leave it with someone in the family rather than bring it back, wasting precious weight in the suitcase!
Once home, Teen One's cold got the better of her and she snuggled under the blanket once again.
I worked on some of the Christmas presents....I must admit, we have put far more time and effort into these than the finished product really deserves!
This is probably a one off!
Teen Two chilled out with the Wii, whilst Hubby did some work on the new fence, unfortunately the heavy rain started again... he spent some time sorting out his coin collection, with a set of new trays that had arrived in the week...
...he is well on the way to becoming almost organised!
There are still a few jars and tins around the place with various coins people have kindly given him.
Teen Two and I spent some time in the kitchen...he was making cookies...
...which he later decorated...
...not bad aye!
I don't usually buy packet mixes, but these were reduced to about 25p and I couldn't resist you get a cookie cutter to keep!
I decided to try out a recipe from the new book...I knew I had some dates  (very unusual, I think Grandma gave them to me) but half way through making it, I realised I didn't have any wholemeal flour, so just used white...but I am pretty sure I would have preferred it with the suggested half wholemeal...I do like the texture of wholemeal products, aside from them easing the guilt (ever so slightly) of eating something so naughty as cake!
Because the recipe uses a tin of condensed milk ( which surprisingly I had in the cupboard) there is no egg or sugar needed.
When I was a child condensed milk was used to make sandwiches!
I used to love to lick the tin, and as I wasn't sure that Teen Two had ever had this indulgent pleasure, I offered him the opportunity....which he loved!
I told him that my Grandad had once told me a story about his friends many years ago, taking their 9mth old baby to the cinema, to keep the baby quiet, they took a tin of condensed milk and a kept the baby quiet throughout the entire matinee!
My granddad used to laugh as he recounted this story!
I also heard a similar story from someone else some years later, so it was obviously a common and VERY NAUGHTY thing to do!
The mixture certainly smelt delicious as it was boiling, and it is smelling equally as delicious in the oven at the moment.
The weather continued to be miserable outside, so we abandoned any thought of finishing the fence, or going out anywhere else and played Rummikub instead...and I was glad that Teen One felt a bit better from her sofa snuggle, and came to join us.
We went straight from playing that to a card game our US friends taught us, its very addictive!
Whilst we were playing...I heard a familiar sound in the living room....when I crept in, look what I saw!!
Naughty pussy!
However...the cucumber was on top of the gerbil cage, slightly hidden by something the experiment continues!
It's been a lovely start to what is the most exciting part of the year for our Teens...and of course us!

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