In the end, Hannah didn't come round but I obviously had to go ahead and make the bread pudding. I have always used a simple recipe from my Mum. I have no idea where she got it from, but it is as follows:
4oz butter or margarine
4oz dark brown sugar
1lb bread that has been soaking in water
1lb mixed dried fruit
1tblsp mixed spice
However, because I thought it's a given that I'm going to try a piece (!) ...... I wondered if I could make it with slightly fewer calories and so I tried a little experiment.
I only used 3oz margarine and 2oz sugar and then worked out how many teaspoons in 2oz sugar and dissolved the appropriate number of sweeteners in a little bit of hot water to take the place of 2oz sugar.
I also decided to add 2 stem gingers and cut them up really small to add to the fruit. John likes ginger :)
- So ..... how to make it! Set the oven to 200 degrees C.
- Cream together the margarine and 2oz sugar until fluffy.
- Squeeze out as much of the water as you can from the soaking bread and add the bread to the margarine and sugar mix. Squeezing out the water can be a bit messy! Don't worry if you think there's too much water; it just might increase the time required to cook.
- Add the dissolved sweeteners, dried fruit, mixed spice and chopped up ginger and mix everything thoroughly.
- Put mix in a lightly greased baking tray and cook in the oven for about 1.5 hours. Please note that the surface fruit can get easily burnt, so it is a good idea to cover the tray with foil.
Did the alterations to the ingredients work? Well ..... both John and I (don't mention the diet ......... my bit was small) tried a piece and it was great! The change had no effect :)
Anyhow ...... the knitting ....... I'm not really a knitter to be honest! A friend's Mum did teach me basic knitting when I was about 7 years old but I've never got on with it and knitting patterns always look like advanced Russian to me! However, back in April last year, I won a lovely give-away on Joy's blog and it included some lovely but unusual yarn that I just didn't immediately know what to do with. You can see what it's like in the photo below:
So ...... I just cast on 60 stitches and started knitting! I found that this yarn is quite rough on the index finger of the right hand, so I had to wear a protector finger bandage to stop getting a blister! I have got into the habit of knitting whilst watching things on the TV! It's been quite a relaxing thing to do ........ unless Flossie has been anywhere near as she takes great delight in chasing the moving yarn or the knitting needles! Since I got 5 balls of wool, I decided to use 2.5 and see how long it was and this is the result! It makes a pretty good loose weave shawl or scarf. I'm going to use the other 2.5 balls to make another one :)
So thank you again Joy for the yarn. It's been fun to use :)
This week I've also managed to finish de-cluttering our smallest bed-room with a view to making it into a little office for myself. I don't have any 'before' photos! You'll just have to take it from me that it was a mess! It was a dumping ground for all sorts of stuff, including a lot (and I mean A LOT) of needlework materials I inherited when John's Mum passed away 2 years ago. I have actually been sorting things out since the beginning of January ..... and can't believe how long it's been taking!
I've never actually altered curtains before! I measured, measured and measured again and carefully noted how the original hem was done so I could copy it exactly! However, I found that my machine had a bit of trouble sewing through certain areas where there were several layers of fabric. Possibly it needs a new needle? The stitches kept jumping and creating a thread tangle underneath. In the end, I used the machine for the bits it could cope with and hand sewed through the thick bits ...... and it was thick!
Phew! A busy week!
And I must share this one final photo! Minstrel as a techno-cat :)