A warm Derbyshire welcome to Trudie's Cottage, K Fan, Lisa Heath, Tree Hedgewytch and Marie Barlow on Blog Lovin. Nice to see you here. Please comment away and tell us about yourselves.
When I started to write this post I was just about to watch a Watchdog about how to save £1,000. " Bet I've heard it all on blogland before. However it doesn't hurt to have a look does it? I see jack Monroe is on the programme and as the family she is working with spend £160+ on food a week you just know they are going to save loads!" I wrote.
Well, unsurprisingly, I learnt nothing new. I DID know that if you stripped a car down to a shell, leaving just the driver's seat and then drove along the motorways at a steady, highish speed you would save money on petrol, but that's of little use to us folk who use the car when we are collecting food for ourselves or the animals or making a local journey to friends, picking the children up from school with an occasional trip to Cornwall with a loaded car!.
Now that Christmas has past I will talk about Christmas presents!
What do you buy a man who has all he needs?... Answer.. Nothing!
A dear friend of ours (DF), who we consider as family, is very comfortably off. As he always spends Christmas day with us and we have a big present giving session, I give some consideration as to what to give him and he is always the recipient of a homemade present. A couple of years ago I made him a tea cosy, with an embroidered picture of his old house on the front and his name on the back, last year I made him an apron with a drawing of his new house on the pocket and this year I knitted him a dishcloth! I found some old proper dishcloth cotton in my old yarn stash. After I knitted all the available cotton into a cloth I made a loop and put a label on saying "proper dishcloth". I then made him some polishing cloths from an old soft shirt of David's which I put with a jar of home made furniture polish. To complete the parcel David found a photo that he had taken ten years ago of DF's cats. (One of these cats went missing five years ago) he printed out and framed the picture. DF tells me that this present has been the subject of discussion at many functions he has attended and is deffo his favourite present this year!
Some of the presents I received this year were items to keep me warm. Hurrah! Have the seen the weather forecast?! Pics to follow in my next post.
Here is a pic of the wax I processed this week.
The winter is a good time to sort out the odds and sods of Beekeeping jobs. The one ounce bricks are made in a mould that I bought many years ago and I put for sale alongside the honey and eggs. The rectangular lump is for a guy who makes his own hand cream and the round lumps are for my next polish making session. The jar, which was given to me by a friend who only uses goose fat for roast potatoes, contains beeswax polish. (I made three)
How I make this polish. -
To each ounce of wax I use 100 mls of olive oil
I place a metal (could be glass or pot) dish over a saucepan of water and put on the hob to simmer. Into the bowl I pour olive oil (cheapest) and bring the oil up to just hot. Keeping it at this temperature, I slide in the clean beeswax and gradually melt it in the oil. While this is happening I put wide necked jars into the oven to warm a little. When the beeswax is fully melted and stirred into the oil I pour it carefully into the warm jars.
This is my preferred recipe as it uses natural, simple ingredients and still has a faint smell of honey.
The early maincrop tomatoes, onions and tall (for cutting) snap dragons are now in the propagator, So I feel that the gardening year has started.