School Summer Fair

Just as I started to see some time ahead for a weekend off, I received a text from school, asking if I would like a stall at the upcoming school summer fair. With only a weeks notice I was going to decline, however, Alice talked me into it as she loved to help set up. I’m not so sure she’ll be able to as she should be in class, but I’ve said if she’s really good all morning she can ask her teacher if she can come and help.

So it’s been all systems go again this week. I decided to make up a collection of mainly thank you cards, specially for this fair. I’ve gone back to some old favourites and there will be groups of ten cards in each design. I’ve gone with owls, birds and apples as my main ideas.

P1250104

P1250109

P1250115

I will also take my now dwindled stock, along with some fruit keyrings and rose brooches.

Rose Brooches

Rose Brooches

Keyrings

Keyrings

I’m also toying with the idea of running a raffle to win a collection of five ‘dangler’ cards, but I’m not sure I’ll have the time to make them beforehand, so if I do go down this route I might raffle one of my knitted cats instead. Actually I could do a ‘name the cat’ and donate the proceeds to the school. They are raising money to do some work on a rather neglected wildlife and pond area, an area I reckon my two naughty kittens (Lily and George) have begun to frequent (and the less said about that the better).

Well it’s back to my desk again for now, these apple cards are not going to make themselves!

Happy crafting
x

Baking Therapy

Just as I was starting to feel relatively back to normal, my daughter gets sent home from school!  Coinciding with the hot weather too.  So I have spent the last few days looking after her and worrying.  It turns out she had a virus and she’s pretty much back to normal again now.  So, to cheer me up a bit, I thought I’d do some baking for a change.

With not being able to have any fat in my diet for quite a while, I haven’t done any baking in ages.  And as it’s almost time for the local community group summer fair again (this Saturday coming) I needed a baking fix.

I decided to make some scones.  As we had some cheese left over in the fridge, I used that to make these delicious little cheddar cheese scones.

Cheese Scones

Then I thought I needed a sweeter fix too, and I found some chocolate chips in the baking cupboard.

Chocolate Chip Scones

As the scones take so little time to make, I started to hunt through the recipe books and came across a recipe to use up over-ripe bananas.  I have an old recipe for a banana and bran loaf which is fabulous, but I didn’t have any bran in the cupboard, so I thought I’d try another recipe, this time for a banana and walnut loaf.  I was given this recipe by someone at Bury Council Recycling Team and it’s quite different to any other cake I’ve made.  I’ve never added bicarbonate of soda to warm milk before – great scientific experiment!

Banana and Walnut  Loaf

The loaf took only 40 minutes to bake and is so light and moist.  It may take over as my new favourite way to use over-ripe bananas.

The house smelt amazing after that little baking session, although as there’s only 3 of us at home I think I may have overdone it a bit!!  At least I have something in if I get any surprise visitors.

My husband has kindly said I will make the scones for the cream teas at the summer fair on Saturday, so it’s time to make sure I have enough ingredients in.  If you have a cream tea do you prefer plain or fruit scones?

Happy crafting
x

Jam Tarts

This weekend was the Summer Fair and I made plenty of scones and biscuits. I didn’t have quite enough ingredients for another batch of fruit scones so I decided to take the plunge and make some jam tarts. To most people this wouldn’t seem a particularly daunting task, however, I have managed to get into my 40’s without ever having made pastry! Watching countless cookery shows and the Great British Bakeoff has completely scared me off making pastry before.

I always remember my Mum making fruit pies when I was little, and her pastry was great. She used to make a jam tart for me and my brother with the offcuts. So no pressure at all (not..)

Anyway, I had a quick look through Delia’s Complete Cookery course and remembered the ‘half fat to flour’ regimine that had been drummed into me at some point. Out came the butter, flour and a little bit of lard (Mum always swore that lard made the best pastry). I added some water as directed and ended up with a lovely ball of pastry dough. I made a second batch and put them in the fridge to rest, while I went out on a last minute panic shopping trip to the corner shop as I didn’t have any jam to fill the tarts with.

After a half-hour rest, the pastry was cool and ready to roll. I used my new pastry cutters to make the cases and each batch made a dozen tarts.

Blackcurrant Jam Tarts

Strawberry Jam Tarts

I overfilled a few of the cases, but they looked ok I think. And oh what joy, no soggy bottoms!! They tasted good too and were very much appreciated by the kids after school and at the Summer Fair. I think next time I shall try to roll the pastry a little thinner and not overfill the cases.

Happy summer crafting
x

Baking

Tomorrow is the summer fair and although I’m going to be attending as a community member, I am also doing my bit by baking for the cream teas and cake stall.

So today I have a list of plain, sultana and chocolate scones for the cream teas and a batch of biscuits for the cake stall. It’s a busy morning for me in the kitchen then! I’m just hoping I don’t run out of milk, butter and flour, or I’ll be on an emergency trip to the shop.

Chocolate Raisin Scones

I love making scones and in particular the chocolate ones are so delicious. The recipe I use is on a previous blog post and I would recommend you give it a try. It’s a simple recipe and always goes down well at the local fundraiser (and at home). My only problem is that I have to give myself a talking too so I don’t eat any. What I want to know is, why, no matter how big I make the scones, do I always get left with a tiny piece of dough? Is it a subconscious decision I make so that I have to have a bit to try?

Easter biscuits

Well I ‘ve got all my ingredients out ready for the scones. I can’t decide whether to make lemon and fruit biscuits or ginger biscuits, so I’ll have to see how I feel when all the scones are made.

Time to get baking!

Happy baking
x

Summer Fair 2014

It’s that time of year again. All the kids activities and school are finishing this week and the local community group Summer Fair is on Saturday.

This year we are having a summer party without a major fundraising. And I’m going to be able to attend as a member of the community instead of being on a stall. I’m really looking forward to it.

So if you’re at a loose end on Saturday afternoon, pop along for a cream tea. It would be great to see you.

FOWV Summer Party

Happy Summer
x