Saturday, 20 October 2012

Fudge...it's only taken me almost 10 years to get it to set right and today I did it my way (I think that's a song). I finally got it to look like this at the first stage where you melt all the ingredients into the sauce pan and let it get to a certain temperature.
So far so good. They are the famous last words! I poured it into two non stick but slightly oiled tins and left it out to set. Did it heck! This is what it looked like at first
The colour is a bit pastie and there are walnuts in one tin and plain fudge in the other. I bashed the walnuts to make smaller and added directly to the tins. Well, as I said before it didn't set so I got the saucepan out again and thought sod it, I am doing it my way. I put it all back into the saucepan and boiled the hell out of it (I think I may not have had it reach the softball stage before and because I don't have a thermometer, I guessed it).
Can you see the colour has got darker, so I got a cold tea plate from my rack and poured a little of it onto it. Hey presto, it only set straight away. I tipped the plate to its side and it didn't go nowhere. So tip 1. The mixture gets very thick whilst simmering and darkens and I used a wooden spoon this time. Tip 2. Boil the hell out of it but use a big big saucepan and then simmer it whilst stirring with a wooden spoon on occasion. Tip 3. Slightly grease the tin and put your walnuts or fruit etc into the tin. Tip 4.Leave it alone on the worktop. It should set within a few minutes but don't touch it yet. Leave it a good 20 minutes. Do the wobble test and it shouldn't move at all. That's when you can get a knife to cut it into the pieces you want but still leaving it in the tin to cool. I on the otherhand, didn't do that and I started cutting it into pieces as soon as it was cold and some of it went crumbly and other bits kept it shape. The fudge with the walnuts tended to be the crumbliest and the plain fudge kept its shape when I cut it. As you can see from this photo, the plain fudge is on top and look's lovely.
The pieces are mishapen but then again, so am I so who cares. I did another 6k jog this morning and intend to do another one tomorrow so that's my excuse for eating fudge and some egg and bacon for dinner tonight. At least now I know where I went wrong last time but am not sure if I will do another batch...we will see. If anyone has got any 'methods' of cooking fudge, please let me know because I would love to make some perfect and give as gifts at christmas. Bye for now.

Friday, 19 October 2012

This is Tipsy, who is the ripe old age of 12. She has not been the hardest of cat to look after either. She has never ventured out far, only ever gone to the neighbour's garden and any sounds she runs back indoors. I am kind of hoping she puts a little weight on, now that greedy peanut is no longer with us. I miss him terribly but he was a bit of a greedy sod and scoffed his food like there was no tomorrow and then would push tipsy out the way to eat hers. Warning next..I have a tree picture for you cause I just could not resist taking this photo.
Yep, these gorgeous trees are bang in the middle of Parsloes Park and they look great bunched up together. I was tempted to walk over there from the footpath but decided not to because of the wet conditions and didn't want to get my boots dirty.
Here is another picture close up of my favourite tree with its beautiful golden leaves turning. I have seen a load of squirrels too in the park but they are quick little buggers and I can't get a decent photo yet. It has definetely turned bitterly cold now at night, I had to give up and put the heating on a couple of evenings because it felt so chilly. Even with the big blanket on me that I am knitting, I still feel cold.
This is the progress on Charlotte's comfort wrap made with the chunky yarn and size 12 mm needles. God, they make your fingers and wrists ache when your not use to knitting with such big ones. The work you see there is 3 balls so far and I am averaging about 14 rows per ball and around 6 inches in length so not bad. I reckon it will be about 60 inches when completed with the 10 balls that I purchased. I will put it on a wool wash when its done so I am sure it will stretch slightly..I am worried about that but lets face it, it has to be washed. Tammie wasn't impressed with me covering her over with it for a photo shoot but I will treat her later. I haven't really been doing anything else, apart from work and home. I did my jogging Sunday just gone and did 6k and hope to do more this weekend. I finally got delivery of my big recycling brown bin which will be a lot easier than the stupid orange bags the council provided. Apparently, it costs the borough too much for the bags so everyone is given these bins and the collection is now only every two weeks. I will put the bin out the back garden cause there are already two other bins out front and I can't stand that. Oh well, I am going to go and start some housework which is never ending and get fed up with it. I might have a go at making some fudge later, if I do, I will post a picture on here before it all gets scoffed. Bye for now.

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Autumn pruning...
After a trip to Romford today Frank decided to prune back some of the shrubs because lets face it, I wasn't in the right frame of mind last year or the year before to look after anything outside of the house. Don't you think it looks bare but tidy. The exciting thing about it though is what's growing in the soil. We planted the Frit bulbs, as per my previous post and we are both looking forward to that. I have decided that Autumn is not one of my favourite season's. Why! Because I hate the dark mornings. It make's it difficult to get up in the morning and you just know it's going to get worse because before you know it, it will be dark when I leave work in the afternoon. Oh well, moan and groan over.
The next photo is of a project I started a few hours ago. I bought a size 12mm knitting needle from Hobbycraft and the yarn, Cygnet Seriously Chunky, from Greenwich & Bexley Cottage Hospice. I paid £2.20 per 100g ball and 49 meter's per ball. I am making a comfort wrap for my friend at work called Charlotte. The pattern is from a book called 'Knitting in no Time' by Melody Griffith. That piece of knitting is only 4 rows of the pattern so it's going to be huge, I can't wait to see how many row's I get out of one ball.
This is the start of a crochet christmas project called 'Crochet Reader's Wrap'. It's from ravelry and I purchased it thinking it would keep my attention. Well, it didn't, I ended up mixing up the pattern and designing a few rows myself. The picture doesn't do it justice but wait till it's done. That's it for now. Oh yeah, I forgot to say, I jogged 6 kilometer's this morning so am very pleased with myself. I could have gone on longer because my breathing is amazing when I jog. Trouble is, I was flipping starving when I got home...sod's law.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Here you are, as promised a photo of Big Ben in August whilst we were walking across Hungerford Bridge. It was a bright sunny day and was getting quite busy on the bridge and surrounding area. I remember this now, cause we went into a McDonald's nearby and we ended up walking out again because it was so busy. When you think it was only the middle of the week and the amount of people around was quite surprising. I do realise now how much there is to see in London. The next picture show's you a close up of Big Ben for all you fans of the history of London.
A few weeks ago we ended up going a different way home from Woolwich Arsenal Train Station. We walked to the bottom, past the MArk's & Sparks Outlet and would you adam and eve it, there was Woolwich Ferry and it looked really interesting. It was a bright day and Frank said do I want to go through the foot tunnel. 'What foot tunnel', I said and we walked down the stairs going down which were winding around an old 'lift' that was not used but the stairs were very steep. Here's a picture of the actual tunnel which was quite spooky. It was very echoey and by the time we got to the end, we realised we had a hell of a lot of stairs to walk up.
When we got out of the tunnel, we had a little walk to the bus stop and then it drove past the old Tate & Lyle Sugar Factory. I never ever realised I have missed so many sites around London because of my lack of confidence in travelling. Well, that's it for now, its getting rather chilly and need to walk the dog. I am going to end this post with a picture of my cat Peanut, who died on Monday from Pleural Effusion (collapsed lungs). He was only 5 years old and we are going to miss him terribly.

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Two posts in 24 hours.....that's a record for me. Why do you say! Well, firstly here is a photo again of the Fritilleria bulbs that Frank put it, the yellow one is my favourite..
We have planted 6 altogether, two yellow, two orange and two that are like a redish black. I can't wait to see them in the spring. The next bit of news is I have achieved something that's taken me a year to do. Now those that follow my blog know I have been dieting and exercising. Well, the dieting has stabled at 13 stone so that's a 3 stone loss and i feel much better for it. Plus, when you get comments from friends, family and work colleagues as to how good you look, it makes you want to stick to it. Then there's the other goal, I have been aiming to jog the 'couch to 5k' challenge and after a year, I have done it. In fact, I did my 5k this morning and could have gone on longer but wanted to get home to my poorly cat. I bought myself a dress and a pair of boots yesterday and the dress is a 16, out of Asda, and fits lovely. Normally, Asda clothes are not very forgiving with their sizes but I can actually get into a size 16 dress and feel comfortable. In fact, I feel quite 'modern' now. My next goal is to get to 12 stone by christmas. It's not going to be easy because lets face it, those that know me, know I love my food but am determined to get to my target and possibly getting into a size 14. If I can do that, I will be really happy because 1. I did it all myself and 2. You don't need to pay to go to a weight control clinic. Its taken me a long time to realise that if you exercise to match what you eat, then you will lose weight and trust me, after eating cakes, crisps and biscuits in one day as well as a two dinners and a bit of chocolate, it can be done. That's me off my soap box now. I'm sorry if I have annoyed anyone.
My final picture today is my obsession with cushions. Do you think I have got too many of them on my bed. I am off now, I have got my new dress and boots, hair looking pretty darn good at the moment and am now waiting for my Frank to come home from work...have a good sunny day...

Saturday, 6 October 2012

My, that's a big one. The bulb you see is the smelly 'fritillaria' that Frank is planting at last. They absolutely stank the cupboard out under the stairs and because its been a lovely bright, sunny and warm afternoon, we decided it was time. Luckily, when Frank opened the pack they come in, the roots on tbe bulbs were getting quite long.
so it's a good job they got planted today. I haven't really been doing much since my last post, just the usual work, rest and play. I have almost finished the final pair of gloves to go with the scarf set that are christmas gifts. I aim to get them finished so I can start on this gorgeous shawl that yarnharlot has just finished. That will be for me, but I will be making aa 'reader's wrap' crochet project on ravelry.com as another christmas gift. I am still having problems transferring pictures from my mobile phone to my computer. I can't wait to show the photo's of big ben..so please keep reading. Anyway, I am off now to walk the dog before it gets any colder and darker. Have a good evening.