Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Never Too Quickly, Never Too Slowly

The great Brian Cant, the voice of children’s TV has just been honoured with a Lifetime’s Achievement award.

brian cant

I read an interview once where he explained that as a young man, wife wife, child and mortgage, he was an out-of-work actor and money was tight. His wife encouraged him to audition for a children’s TV job [which became Playschool] All the others there were much younger, straight from RADA. The man came in and said ‘I want you to be trains’ So Brian [a Dad] got on his knees and went ‘choo!choo!’ [whilst the youngsters stared] He got the job – the rest is history…

brian cant2

"When I became a man I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child and they paid me for it," he said as he accepted his prize

Come on everyone, join in ‘Pugh, Pugh, Barney McGrew…’

Thanks Brian, for so much brilliant children’s TV down the years.

Monday, 29 November 2010

Nativity Costumes – A Tutorial

If you need to produce a set of costumes, here is a simple tutorial. NOTE – these are designed to fit easily over regular everyday clothes, and give an impression of first century Bethlehem fashions – they are not meant to look perfect. If you are outside, in December, it will be cold – so you need roominess to go over fleeces, woolly jumpers etc.

I have made mine from all sorts of leftover fabrics – sheets, curtains, old duvet covers etc. Three sizes – large [for tall men, and generously sized ladies] medium [smaller adults, and teenagers] and small [children]

The pattern is based on a simple T shape

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For each costume you need three equal sized rectangles of fabric. If you are using up remnants, you can make one of these a contrast fabric and use it for the sleeves.

Cut the third rectangle in half, and fold each piece in half. These are the sleeves [Folds are at the top]

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Begin by seaming right along the top of the two main rectangles.

Now open up and sew the sleeves in place

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Fold in half again and sew under sleeve seam, and side seams

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For adult angel robes, cut a curved slit at the neck measuring 10” long and 1 “ deep. This will drop over the head easily. For children make the slit 7” x 1”

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For coats, cut straight up the centre of the robe, making a V at the neck. Hem all edges which look like they will fray!

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If you can make these on an overlocker, that will save hours. The sleeves are long – but they are easy to roll up – but will cover any ‘ordinary’ clothing underneath.

Put a safety pin inside at the bottom of the V, in case people want to pin the robe closed. Supply a few sashes [strips of fabric 2” wide and 60”/48”/36” long] as many people will want to cinch their rob in at the waist.

18” squares of fabric, with more sashes [1” wide, 36” long] will make easy headwear for shepherds, Joseph and Mary. Tinsel haloes for angels, and long strips of bright fabric wound round as turbans will do for the Magi. Don’t forget to wrap up some ‘gifts’ or find other suitable ‘gifts’ for the Magi to present. Sticks and toy sheep are useful shepherd props.

If you have more time, make some elaborate Magi head-dresses, and trim the edges of coats, and hems of sleeves with fancy braids and trims.

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Here they are on a hanger. Pictures of them being worn will appear later – after we have done Get In The Picture!

Top Tips For Christmas – Part 4

Important Tip this one – do not get overloaded with too many jobs! 

So many people have said “Oh, I am planning to come and get my photo taken” that I began to panic a little. My Anglican friends have offered a few adult-sized costumes, and I have the bag of Sunday School ones. But I do not want people queuing up – I need to have enough outfits for people to be dressed and ready as soon as the camera is free. So I filled the car with fabric from The Great Stash [and the Sewing Club’s Stash too] and took it to Norfolk on Friday night.

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After an hour and a half, in front of the TV, I had cut out a dozen or so costumes

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Then this morning, I put up the clothes rail [on loan from Rachel] and got out the overlocker.

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It takes about half an hour to sew up a simple costume – and I worked till midday.

Then we had to go out and do one or two chores.

Back at 3 and I did another 3 hours sewing.

And I have about 14 outfits done – two more ‘angels’ to go, and the head-dresses, and I shall feel able to stop being anxious.

The costume is based on a simple T-shape. The fabrics are all old bits – curtains, sheets etc. The angel robes drop over the head – the rest are coat style.

I shall post a tutorial shortly

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I have been out with a mallet and hammered some promotional signs into the grass verge down the hill into the village.

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Leslie Nielsen 1926-2010

This very funny actor has just died –  and here’s his most memorable line …

leslie nielsen

Surely you can’t be serious?

I am serious, and don’t call me Shirley!

Five A Day Fruit And Veg - At Christmastime

A lovely card from Mags at the weekend reminded me of Dickens’ description of a Victorian fruiterers at Christmas [from “Christmas Carol”]. Read it and your mouths will water [gratis!]

beuckelaer  market woman

There were pears and apples, clustered high in blooming pyramids; there were bunches of grapes, made, in the shopkeepers' benevolence to dangle from conspicuous hooks, that people's mouths might water gratis as they passed; there were piles of filberts, mossy and brown, recalling, in their fragrance, ancient walks among the woods, and pleasant shufflings ankle deep through withered leaves; there were Norfolk Biffins, squat and swarthy, setting off the yellow of the oranges and lemons, and, in the great compactness of their juicy persons, urgently entreating and beseeching to be carried home in paper bags and eaten after dinner.

beuckelaer detail

Norfolk Biffins are an old English variety, crisp with a hint of cinnamon – good for eating, drying and baking. They were very popular with the Victorians and taken up to London at Christmas to be sold in Fortnum & Masons etc! Must look out for these next time I am at Cornerstones.

norfolk biffin

 

 

The top picture- and detail from it are “Market Woman with fruit, vegetables and poultry” by the Flemish artist Joachim Beuckelaer

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Hope In Advent

We are taking a slightly different approach to the Advent Candles this year. Instead of a wreath, we have large candles in 4 locations round the chapel. Today we lit the first – for Hope – people wrote down their hopes, and during the service they came and placed them on the table round the candle

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A Pause In Advent #1

Pause in Advent Logo from Floss

Bob and I are definitely logophiles – we love words, and enjoy all sorts of wordplay, learning new words, making puns… We were talking about advent and he said “I love the fact that advent is the start of the word adventure”. So I asked him if I could borrow that thought for the blog!

the definition of Advent is

  • The coming or arrival, especially of something extremely important [eg the advent of the computer]
  • The liturgical period preceding Christmas, beginning in Western churches on the fourth Sunday before Christmas -observed by many Christians as a season of prayer, fasting, and penitence.

advent

and of adventure

  • the encountering of danger
  • a daring, hazardous undertaking
  • an unusual, stirring experience, often of a romantic nature

adventure

And I thought how true this is –that the coming of Jesus into our lives is the start of an adventure. The Christian journey is one where we can encounter stirring experiences, possible danger and hazard, where we dare to do things with a hitherto unknown courage, and where we can find love [God’s agape love, rather than romance, though!]

buchan

I have always enjoyed reading adventure stories- ‘ripping yarns’ – and I know that every hero who sets out with high and noble intentions still makes foolish mistakes and unwise decisions, has days of seemingly interminable dullness, moments of high elation, and will encounter true and false friends en route to the goal.

But the best adventure stories should have a happy ending, and the treasure discovered, good friends reunited, and the satisfaction of accomplishment and a job well done.

The adventure of faith is like that too – some days are filled with angels and rainbows- others feel like wading through treacle – others are cold and lonely – but I do believe that on the journey, nothing can separate us from the love of God, and that Jesus walks beside us all the way – and we will reach our heavenly destination in His Good Time. Many people take “Hope” as their theme for this first Sunday of Advent – our Christian hope is ‘an anchor of the soul, sure and steadfast’ One great thing about the Christian adventure is that our travelling companion has been along the path ahead of us – he knows what is coming, and will be with us through good and ill.

Wherever He may guide me, no want shall turn me back
My Shepherd is beside me, and nothing can I lack
His wisdom ever waketh, His sight is never dim
He knows the way He taketh, and I will walk with Him

Green pastures are before me which yet I have not seen
Bright skies will soon be o'er me,
where darkest clouds have been
My hope I cannot measure, my path to life is free
My Saviour has my treasure and He will walk with me

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Let It Snow…

I’ve just made a fast Round Trip to Cornerstones – left at 4pm after the Pastoral Committee yesterday, got back at 1.45pm today. I intended to spend longer there, but when I woke this morning, it was snowing there, and here in Leicester, so I decided to return a little earlier than planned [which meant cancelling lunch with Chris- but we can do that another time!]

I put evergreen wreaths on the front and side doors, my “Light of The World” sign in the kitchen window at the front, my illuminated star [on timer] in the side window, and hung Christmas bunting down the hallway. And left the heating on ‘minimum’ to stop everything freezing up.

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I delivered cards to the neighbours, and was sad to hear that Daphne [she was 100 last spring] died last week. I did one or two other tasks – more on that next week - and began reading a new book

garnet angel

This has been on my shelf for ages, but Jim’s recent post on Living Wittily inspired me to sling it in my overnight bag. I would happily have sat in bed till 10am this morning, reading and drinking coffee, but as I say, there was snow.

There was snow on the ground last night when I arrived, and my SIL regaled me with tales of being stuck in Tesco's for 3 hours as a nearby accident on the A47 meant police were restricting the exit from the Supermarket Car Park. [The idea of being trapped in Tescos for three hours actually seems worse to me than being ‘kettled’ in a student demo…] Just round the corner from our bungalow, there was an abandoned car which had apparently skidded into a ditch.

The back garden at 7.30am

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On my way home I usually stop here and pick up some eggs

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Today the sign was snow covered and all the trees looked like they were auditioning to appear on Christmas Cards!

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Horror of horrors! I put the dozen eggs on to the tray – then realised I did not have the right money. After a short dither, I put in what change I had, plus a note with my name and address saying “IOU 10p, very sorry, will pay next time, in December” I know it was only a trivial amount, but I would not want the people at the farm to think that I was deliberately cheating!

The village looked quite charming – but I imagine that a lot of folk do not like the wintry weather as it makes travel difficult. Norwich Airport was closed today due to snow.

The journey back along the A47 was a lot easier than the journey out – the scenery was so pretty and the roads were all clear – but lots of mucky slush being thrown up has left my car very dirty. [Was it Mae West who said “I was pure as the driven snow, then I drifted” ?]

Bob is still working hard on all the connections for the PA system at church. It should all look wonderful when the refurbishment work is finished.

I should be unloading the car and doing other stuff…

Jamie's Beef Tagine

We had friends round for a meal so I served tagine with couscous. It was surprisingly easy to make, and I was pleased with the result.

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600g stewing beef
• olive oil
• 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
• small bunch of coriander [I had parsley]
• 1 x 400g tin of chickpeas, drained
• 1 x 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
• 800ml vegetable stock,
• 1 small squash (approx 800g),
deseeded and cut into 5cm chunks
• 100g prunes, stoned and roughly torn [I used apricots!]
• 2 tbsps flaked almonds, toasted
For the spice rub
• sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 1 level tbsp ras el hanout spice mix* [I omitted this!]
• 1 level tbsp ground cumin
• 1 level tbsp ground cinnamon
• 1 level tbsp ground ginger
• 1 level tbsp sweet paprika

Mix all the spice rub ingredients together in a small bowl. Put the beef into a large bowl, massage it with the spice rub, then cover with clingfilm and put into the fridge for a couple of hours – ideally overnight. That way the spices really penetrate and flavour the meat.
When you’re ready to cook, heat a generous lug of olive oil in a tagine or casserole– type pan and fry the meat over a medium heat for 5 minutes. Add your chopped onion and coriander stalks and fry for another 5 minutes. Tip in the chickpeas and tomatoes, then pour in 400ml of stock and stir. Bring to the boil, then put the lid on the pan or cover with foil and reduce to a simmer for 1½hours. At this point add your squash, the prunes [or apricots] and the rest of the stock. Give everything a gentle stir, then pop the lid back on the pan and continue cooking for another 1½hours. Keep an eye on it and add a splash of water if it looks too dry.**
Once the time is up, take the lid off and check the consistency. If it seems a bit too runny, simmer for 5 to 10 minutes more with the lid off. The beef should be really tender and flaking apart now, so have a taste and season with a pinch or two of salt. Scatter the coriander leaves over the tagine along with the toasted almonds, then take it straight to the table with a big bowl of lightly seasoned couscous and dive in.

*Ras el hanout (Arabic for 'top of the shop') is a blend of the best spices a vendor has in his shop. The mixture varies depending on who is selling it, but can be a combination of anywhere from 10 to 100 spices. It usually includes nutmeg, cinnamon, mace, aniseed, turmeric, cayenne, peppercorns, dried galangal, ginger, cloves, cardamom, chilli, allspice and orris root. Sainsbury’s sell “Moroccan Spice Mix” but it was £2.99 and I didn’t want to spend that much when I had lots of spices in my cupboard – so I just added some fresh ground nutmeg, a little turmeric and pounded a few cloves and peppercorns in the mortar and pestle.

The tagine was fragrant and spiced without being hot.

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To the couscous I added one small, mild chilli, sliced finely [sans seeds] some spring onions, chopped mint and parsley and the zest and juice of a lemon, along with a splash of olive oil.

Time frame – first night – made the spice rub and left meat marinading in fridge overnight

second night – made the tagine this far**

third night – reheated tagine, and simmered to thicken. Made the couscous. Served the meal!

[Jamie’s recipe from website here]

Served this to my guests with a green salad [followed by a chocolate tart from IKEA – I had no inspiration left for a home-made pud!]

We had seconds – but there was still enough tagine and couscous left for a decent lunch for two.

Friday, 26 November 2010

To Be Read At Your Own Convenience

7 old ladies stuck

Oh, dear, what can the matter be?
Seven old ladies were locked in the lavatory;
They were there from Monday 'til Saturday,
And nobody knew they were there

Which was a daft song sung in my youth. There are heaps of verses, but I never got past verse 1 [at which point my Mum would usually stop me and suggest I sang something better!]

I was astounded to read this story on the BBC website this week. It concerns a resident of Epinay Suous Senart near Paris. A 69 year old lady was trapped in her bathroom for twenty days, surviving on tap water. She could not alert anyone to help her – and so, living in a block of flats, she decided to bang on the pipes at night, thinking that they would hear the disturbance when it was quiet, and come and investigate. What I found most distressing was the fact that nobody came to find out where the banging was coming from.

NO – in fact, they started a petition to stop this thoughtless resident from doing noisy DIY during unsocial hours!! Eventually, somebody realised she hadn’t been seen for a while and the firemen broke in and rescued her.

french fireman

A neighbour said

"You could hear banging sounds, like a hammer, even at night," one neighbour told local media. "But we thought they were doing work at night. We said: 'They are going too far! They are preventing us from sleeping!' If we had known....'"

What kind of neighbours are they? Surely the first course of action with noisy DIY-ers is to pop round and say “Excuse me, please could you stop banging at night, it is disturbing me” THEN if they say ‘No’, maybe start a petition. If somebody had tried that approach they might have discovered much sooner that the lady was trapped. I am glad the lady is recovering

Well done, French Firemen!

When we were on holiday in Paris in 2006 we saw a parade which included soldiers, police and firemen. I was a little concerned to see that even the firemen appeared to be carrying weapons. But Bob assured me they were probably just Water Pistols!

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Thanksgiving

rockwell thanksgiving

O Lord we thank Thee for this food

For every blessings, every good

For earthly sustenance and love

Bestowed on us from heaven above

Be present at our table, Lord

Be here and everywhere adored

Thy children bless, and grant that we

May feast in paradise with Thee

Comfort Food For Cold Days

I had some left over bread, so I made bread pudding. I usually make bread-and-butter pudding, but I wanted something heavy and comforting! I modified Delia’s recipe – which actually marinades the fruit in brandy.

I recently discovered some cooking brandy in the back of the cupboard [who bought that? it certainly wasn’t me!!] The pudding has come out just right! Delia uses lemon and orange peel – but I omitted them as Bob isn’t keen.

delia-bread-pud

Ingredients

  • 8oz white or brown bread, crusts removed
  • 2 teaspoons mixed spice
  • nutmeg
  • 4oz sultanas
  • 1 oz currants
  • 1 oz raisins
  • 3 tablespoons brandy
  • 10floz milk
  • 2oz melted butter
  • 3oz dark soft brown sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tbsp demerara sugar

You will also need a buttered baking dish with a base measurement of 6¼ x 8 inches ,1¾ inches deep

Method

Begin by placing the sultanas, currants, raisins in a bowl. Pour over the brandy and leave aside to marinate. Then, in a large bowl, break the bread into ½ inch pieces. Add the milk, then give the mixture a good stir and leave it for about 30 minutes so the bread becomes well soaked. Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 4, 350°F (180°C).

Next, mix the melted butter, sugar, mixed spice and beaten egg together and then add to the second bowl. Now, using a fork, beat the mixture well, making sure there are no lumps, then stir in the marinated fruits, with any brandy remaining. After that, spread the mixture in the baking dish and sprinkle the sugar over it, along with some freshly grated nutmeg. Bake on the centre shelf of the oven for about 1¼ hours.

[find original recipe in How To Cook Book Three – or Delia Online]

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Top Tips For Christmas – Part 3

This is a really easy idea based on something my friend Pat taught me over twenty years ago. You end up with a cute Santa Napkin Holder for decorating people’s places at the table. Her idea involved fur fabric, pink felt, plastic holly cake decorations and goggle eyes. It looked splendid – and I believe she kept the holders year after year.

Mine are much more cheap and cheerful – and even children can make them [I have taught a group of Connexion friends to do it this week too] Plain red napkins are very cheap in IKEA or the Poundshop!

You need

  • red napkins
  • some cotton wool [pleats or balls – you need to shred it finely]
  • pritt stick
  • scissors
  • crayons [red/pink/green]

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Assemble as per instructions below

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This shows how you fold the napkin into three and wrap strip round

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And here comes Santa Claus!

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He sees you when you're sleeping, he knows when you're awake
He knows if you've been bad or good, so be good for goodness sake You better watch out, you better not cry,
You better not pout, I'm telling you why
Santa Claus is coming to town

Does anyone else find these lyrics a little sinister and frightening to sing to small children?

Every year I hear this song being played, and I do not like it! [I think I’d rather hear Noddy Holder belting out '”It’s Christmas!”]

Here is the Connexion Group proudly displaying their Santas and stars made on Monday evening…

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Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Perfect Christmas?

I watched Jamie Oliver offering one street a ‘perfect Christmas’ and thought how brilliant it would be if we could win that for the village. That way the ‘Christmas Lunch’ we provide [free] at the church for people on their own could be super-festive and fabulous [would Jamie come and cook it?] So I entered the postcode of the Church in Main Street [the picture that came up was not our Main Street as far as I could tell].

Then I thought perhaps you had to be a domestic property to qualify. So entered my own street and postcode. That was when I discovered that our street has already been nominated – and the picture that comes up on screen is MY HOUSE!!!!!!

No idea how that happened. At least the cars look relatively clean.

Watch our TV ad

Check it out here!

Top Tips For Christmas – Part 2

IMPORTANT TIP – try to avoid inviting ‘professional’ cooks to share in your Christmas repast. If you are the mother of small children, and are having to host the ‘Family Dinner’ on 25th Dec, then your relations MUST understand that kitchen standards may slip a little, when there are little ones to be looked after!

I first came across this article about ten years ago – relating to Martha Stewart and Thanksgiving – but cannot now trace the original source. I have modified it for British readers – and thought it was worth sharing, just to cheer you up when the festive preparations get on top of you…

delia

 

Delia Smith will not be dining with us this Christmas. I'm telling you in advance, so don't act surprised.

Since Ms. Smith won't be coming, I've made a few small changes: Our path will not be lined with homemade, paper bag luminaria.

 

luminaria

 

After a trial run, it was decided that no matter how cleverly done, rows of flaming carrier bags do not have the desired welcoming effect.
The dining table will not be covered with expensive linens, fancy china or crystal goblets. If possible, we will use dishes that match and everyone will get a fork.

 

Since this IS Christmas, we will refrain from using the plastic Peter Rabbit plate and the Santa napkins from last Christmas.
Our centrepiece will not be the tower of fresh fruit and flowers that I promised. Instead we will be displaying a hedgehog-like decoration hand-crafted from the finest construction paper.

The artist assures me it is a turkey.
turkey talkline We will be dining fashionably late. The children will entertain you while you wait. I'm sure they will be happy to share every choice comment I have made regarding Christmas, wise men and the turkey hotline. Please remember that most of these comments were made at 5:00 AM upon discovering that the turkey was still hard enough to cut diamonds.

As accompaniment to the children's recital, I will play a recording of tribal drumming. If the children should mention that I don't own a recording of tribal drumming, or that tribal drumming sounds suspiciously like a frozen turkey in a tumble dryer, ignore them. They are lying.
We toyed with the idea of ringing a dainty silver bell to announce the start of our feast. In the end, we chose to keep our traditional method. We've also decided against a formal seating arrangement. When the smoke alarm sounds, please gather around the table and sit where you like. In the spirit of harmony, we will ask the children to sit at a separate table. In a separate room. Next door.
turkey carving

Now I know you have all seen pictures of one person carving a turkey in front of a crowd of appreciative onlookers. This will not be happening at our dinner. For safety reasons, the turkey will be carved in a private ceremony.

I stress "private" meaning:

  • Do not, under any circumstances, enter the kitchen to laugh at me.
  • Do not send small, unsuspecting children to check on my progress. I have an electric knife. The turkey is unarmed. It stands to reason that I will eventually win. When I do, we will eat.

Before I forget, there is one last change. Instead of offering a choice between 12 different scrumptious desserts, we will be serving the traditional Sainsbury’s Christmas pud, garnished with whipped cream and small fingerprints.

You will still have a choice: take it or leave it.
Delia Smith will not be dining with us this Christmas. She probably won't come next year either.
I am very thankful.

Monday, 22 November 2010

Meatballs 101

Off to IKEA this morning [at last! been trying to manage this on a Monday for weeks, but we’ve been very busy with funerals and stuff]

piping set Did not spend too much – Bob got some Candles for the Church Advent services. I treated myself to a new piping bag and nozzles – my frugal attempts to economise with a plastic sandwich bag haven’t really worked. [£4.99 as opposed to Lakeland £10.99]

And in the food section, I bought a bag of meatballs

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Lynn mentioned in her post on Saturday that she had just eaten them for the first time. I love them – and usually buy a bag when I go [two bags if there’s an offer]

I always used to cook them in the oven – but of late have sometimes used my mate Rachel’s suggestion and heated them speedily in the microwave. But I love them for their versatility. So for Lynn, and other IKEA Meatball Newbies, here are some alternative ways of serving

  • SWEDISH As per the shop - with chips/boiled potatoes, and a spoonful of lingonberry jam. You can buy the pukka IKEA cream sauce, or just stir a spoonful of cream or natural yogurt into gravy!
  • ITALIAN Heated through in a tomato sauce [homemade or from a Dolmio-type jar] and served over pasta
  • CHINESE With a sweet and sour sauce [again home-made or jar] with rice on the side
  • LEBANESE Cook the meatballs on wooden BBQ skewers with peppers, cubed aubergines, tomatoes, onions etc and serve over couscous.
  • TURKISH Cook and serve with dips of mint&yogurt, hummus, some pitta bread, and a green salad, mezze-style
  • ENGLISH Serve with buttery mashed potatoes, peas and carrots, and rich brown gravy
  • IRISH Make a ‘beef’ casserole, using meatballs and a can of Guinness, mixed veg, and finish with dumplings or a scone/cobbler topping.

We saw Carole and John [Rachel’s MIL & FIL] in the store. Will look forward to hearing what they purchased! Like Lynn, I also bought napkins. More about them later in the week…

[btw that strange U-shaped object on the piping bag picture is a cake slicer, not an instrument of torture]

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Celebrating 125[+2] Years Of Great Service[s]

Another busy Sunday…

Church Anniversary, 127 years not out! Guest preacher was Rev Kevin Donaghy. Kevin and his wife Linda were members here before they went to Brazil with the BMS – then they returned and he became a pastor in Bristol. Here they are with their lovely daughter Anna.

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It is always good to have the Donaghys with us, real salt-of-the-earth Leicester people, but absolutely radiant with God’s Love.

After the service we had a lunch [thanks Janet, Sue, Moira etc for your hard work organising that] but I did not eat much, or stop long as I was off to the Village Hall for the ‘Adapt Christmas Fayre’

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They raised well over £700 – I have yet to hear the final total from Libby who organised it all. The hairclips sold well – but not one pair of baby bootees! There was a gorgeous little pre-term baby in a red and white Santa coat – I ended up giving her the red and white pair of bootees I had made, because they matched her outfit so beautifully. Only about three quarters of my stock went – but it is there for another time.

Attendance generally was encouraging and some people from church came in after lunch and that was good. I was really thrilled as we cleared up by how many of the other helpers said things like ‘I had a nice chat with someone from your church, Angela’ It is really thrilling to feel we are being a positive witness in our community.

People also were telling me they intend coming along to Get In The Picture [now I am panicking I may not have enough helpers!]

I had told myself I was not going to buy anything at the Fayre…but succumbed to this money box

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It was just £2 – and I love Routemaster buses- they remind me of London and my darling daughters. Furthermore M&S may be 125+1 years old now, but our church is 125+2 today!

Perhaps I ought to keep this bus for savings for a Special Project. I shall have to think about that one!