Sunday, 31 July 2011

Six Car Boots and a Recipe ......

Oh deep joy I have had the weekend all to myself to indulge in some serious car boot scavenging .... I haven't had a weekend like this for months and it was bliss to wander around in the sunshine with no distractions from small people.

Yesterday I went to two in Hertfordshire and today managed four in a row in Hitchin and just over the border into Bedfordshire.  Would you like to see my haul???   Well here we go .....

These are vintage linen tea cosy covers with beautiful cut work and embroidery .... I shall be lining these with some pretty fabrics and some wadding to make proper tea cosies.

A pine corner shelf which is to be painted and used for display at the Vintage & Handmade fairs .... hopefully it will be ready for this coming Saturday's first event at Market Harborough.

On it are three cute Windy Miller preserve pots from the Camberwick Green series .... a jam pot, honey pot and one for marmalade.  A set of six Babycham glasses and four blue utility ware soup bowls which are impressed Made in England but no maker (I am 99% sure they are Wood's ware) and a set of Cath Kidston vintage florals badges.

The largest jug I have ever seen standing just under 12" tall and is made by the Eastgate Pottery which was part of the Hornsea stable hence its resemblance .... it is from the fauna range and was made in the 1960s.

A Sylvac planter in the Hyacinth design ... it has the original wire 'oasis' in which to arrange flowers

An Art Deco peach glass dressing table tray

A James Kent cruet stand

Six Royal Albert bone china cups and saucers and two stoneware bed warmers ..... I'd spotted them on a stall but wandered off only to be tapped on the shoulder by my cousin.  I tend to be blinkered when booting with head down and don't take much notice of stall holders unless I want to buy something ..... I'd walked straight past her and it turns out she was selling a load of stuff from her ex's old aunt's estate and had a shed load of stuff.  She hates doing car boots and said she was going to dump the rest of it!!  Hold on there says I and you guessed ..... I'll be hot footing it to her place to rescue what I can.

I am dividing my haul between the fair, Ebay and my little country Aladdin's Cave.

Do you have time for the recipe ???

We have some onions in the garden and a workmate of my husband's had given us potatoes, carrots and turnips so I had a flick through my recipe file and found this which is delicious

Sausage. Black Pudding & Potato Bake

2 onions
cooking oil
3 good size potatoes (I added a couple of turnips too or any root veg could be used)
6 sausages (I used Cumberland)
1/2 ring of black pudding (skin removed)
500ml chicken stock
S & P

Cut the onions and potatoes into large chunks and fry in the cooking oil until coloured ... keep the skins on the spuds for extra flavour

Place the above into a roasting tin

Cut the black pudding into 1" chunks and cut the sausages in half.  Add a little more oil to the pan previously used for the onion mix and fry them.

When nicely coloured add the chicken stock and season.  Bring to boil and then add to roasting tin.

Roast in the oven at 170 degrees C (Gas 5) for 30-40 minutes  or until the stock has reduced to a syrupy glaze.

We had ours with some boiled carrots followed by Apple & Blackberry Crumble .... apples and blackberries from the garden of course.  I love being able to wander down the garden and pick what I need to make a meal .... closely followed by my fan club who live in hope of a treat ;-)

The girls will be getting ready to greet some new arrivals this week ... we have half a dozen bantams coming from a friend of ours.

Hope you have all had a glorious weekend x

Friday, 22 July 2011

At the end of the day .....

I've just got back from walking the dogs over the playing fields .... just the sound of the birds singing and the dogs panting as they ran around in circles.  The sky was still blue on one side, as it has been all day here thankfully, with black rain clouds looming on the horizon.  They followed me all the way home and now there is the fresh smell of rain soaked grass wafting in the French doors.

Today has been the first day of our school summer holidays and as a registered childminder the hols become my busiest time and today I had three girls, two aged 5 and one aged 7 plus my 7 year old grand-daughter and 2 year old grandson.  I'd asked everyone to bring wellies and coats because I was convinced it was going to be a wet day but how wrong can you be .... it has been perfect and they have played outside most of the day making dens and playing schools (I know you'd think they would have had enough wouldn't you!).  It can be a long day when the first one arrives at 8.00 a.m. and the last one leaves at 6.00 p.m. but thank you Mr Sunshine and Mr Blue Sky for coming out today.

Lala has a new toy ..... I have coveted one of these for years and up till now had taken advantage of freecycled blenders and mixers ...... so it was about time that I splashed out

First test run was with the blender attachment .... yes more courgette soup!   Thank you all for your suggestions after my last post .... some lovely recipes to try and not a rude one among them :-)

I've got a load of turnips gifted from a workmate of my OH in exchange for my homemade jam .....  turnip soup anyone????

Me and the girlies started the day with a little baking session ..... well a girl has to have something to keep her going doesn't she

Just as I was about to round the chooks up and get the last of the washing in I spied this sneaky creature

Mr Zachary Binks having a nose in the bird shed window ..... my OH has had a bumper year breeding his canaries, budgies and parakeets and the sound of tweeting had obviously attracted his attention.  Fortunately there is wire attached to the inside of the window so he couldn't get any further.

Just wait till your father gets home and I tell him!

Well it's tootsies up time now with a cuppa and a couple of those scones & jam and then I'm going to get hooking again ..... I don't know how big this one will end up yet ..... I'm quite enjoying making the odd hexagon and joining them as I go .... not sure about the white yarn I am using to join them though mmmmmm.

Fingers crossed that the rain has cleared by morning as I am really looking forward to a thrifting weekend at the car booties.

Have a great weekend x

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Jamie Oliver eat your heart out ......

With all the rain of the past week or two the garden seems to be exploding and the courgettes in our veggie patch are fast turning into marrows!

They are so easy to grow but I am usually at a loss as to what to do with them apart from ratatouille so I investigated some recipes in my WI books this morning and came across a Courgette & Mint Soup ..... with a little tweaking it became Garden Veg & Mint Soup and here's how.


1 lb of courgettes
a handful of fresh mint leaves
1 onion
1 potato
a handful of garden peas
a few runner beans
salt & black pepper
1 pt vegetable or chicken stock

  • Finely chop the onion and fry gently in some butter or olive oil
  • Cut the courgettes into chunks and add to pan with the potato (chopped), peas and sliced runner beans
  • Gently fry for a couple of minutes and then add the mint leaves
  • Add the stock and simmer gently for 20 minutes

  • Allow to cool for a short time and then liquidise the vegetables .... I find it easier to strain off the stock and put it to one side and then add the liquidised veggies back to it. 
  • Season to taste and add some more fresh mint if required.

It was absolutely gorgeous and can be eaten hot or chilled.  My second portion is chilling in the fridge now for tomorrow's lunch.

I really should take more time to make fresh soups .... what better way of getting your 5-a-day with no preservatives and it really is so quick and easy.
Does anyone else have some ideas for courgettes????
Keep it clean though ;-)

Monday, 11 July 2011

A new addiction and a little rant ......

Some time back I found one of these little gadgets in an old sewing box .... I wondered what on earth it was for and popped it on the shelf and there it sat until I found a collection of 1970s Golden Hands Craft Books.

I had a little browse through them and found some of these

which I copied and sent to Serenata who makes lovely clothes for her Sasha doll collection here

and then I came across this one

and when I looked inside all became clear

It's a daisy maker ..... so no guesses as to the new addiction!

Car Booty pickings this weekend were scarce unless of course you wanted to deck out a nursery and clothe lots of small children.  Here's what I did manage to find ...

and now dear bloggers I must get this off my chest!

Apologies in advance if I upset anyone but this is fast becoming my pet hate and our experiences on the roads this weekend just reinforced it even more. 

The common lycra lout

To be found on rural roads and on busy dual carriageways
Usually out in packs in matching fluorescent lycra and funny hats
Mostly male with boney bums on sharp saddles
Insist on riding three abreast and hogging the road

This weekend we passed some peddling like hell on both sides of a busy narrow road and causing no end of problems for other road users  .... one was so lucky not to have ended up on the verge as he wobbled along and the traffic was not going fast ... in fact quite the opposite everyone was slowed down to around 20 mph

On the busy dual carriageway near us there are regular time trials with hoards of them going back and forth with flag bearing numpties standing on islands and corners encouraging them.  I really don't know how they get permission to do this.

Gawd I am getting a grouchy old bat :-)

Saturday, 2 July 2011

Sunny Saturday ....

Was up with the larks so decided to take myself off to a couple of car boot sales .... perfect day for it with brilliant sunshine and a warm breeze

My little old heart skipped a beat as I turned off the road into my first car boot which is set in open countryside with poppy fields to one side and sheep grazing on the hillside on the other.  I like this one because there is a good mix of items and lots of "we've been clearing granny's house" type sellers .... my favourite !!

First to be popped into Lala's booty trolley today was the blue coffee set ..... the coffee pot, cream & sugar are Grindley Petal Ware and the cups & saucers are Johnson Brothers

The little box on the front caught my eye and on closer inspection it was obvious that with a midwife for a daughter I had to have it .... she can take it into work and show the new mums ..... this is how it was done pre Cow &  Gate etc.

It is made by Maws who apparently have been in existence for some 200 years and now sell under the Tommy Tippee brand.  The Improved Breast Glass ..... a breast pump from around 1890 ..... must have been sitting in someone's cupboard for a very long time !

Next stop was a ten minute drive away and although it was cram packed today it was mostly stuff for babies and children .... anyone who is a bit cash strapped could kit out an entire nursery and clothe a child for years for very little outlay .... wish car boots had been around when my lot were small - I'd have saved a fortune.

Did manage to pick up the brass candlesticks here and the deco green glass boat dish ... I've seen lots of these but this is the first time I've seen one in a pretty plated basket type stand.

This CB is right next to a PYO so with some time to spare I thought I'd get some strawberries

From polytunnel to punnet to jar .... mmmmmmm

Hope you have all had a sunny Saturday too xx