Wednesday 30 November 2011

It's Starting to Smell a Lot Like Christmas

Yesterday I started making our Christmas Cake...I had intended to follow Rose's bake-along at the forum but Life got in the way as it does at times ;)

The one I'm making is from the Women's Weekly "best recipes from The Weekly" which contains their most requested and best recipes. It's the Melt and Mix Fruit Cake on P72 and is delicious.

I've altered it slightly so here's my version

1 1/2 kilos mixed dried fruit 1/2 cup Cointreau* soaked together overnight.

This morning I added

1T Golden Syrup
1 grated apple
1 firmly packed cup of brown sugar
2 organic duck eggs and 2 organic chicken eggs

I melted 250 gms unsalted butter and added that once it had cooled a little

1/2 cups of wholemeal self-raising flour
2 cups of wholemeal plain flour
1t mixed spice and
1/2 cup of milk were mixed in very thoroughly and I pressed a few pecans nuts into the top once the batter was in the tin and smoothed flat.

Mum brought the Cointreau back from the UK in 2008...Uncle Kenneth had bought years ago as you can see from the old label on the has a beautiful orange flavour. My camera batteries died at this stage but hopefully I can add a pic of the cooked cake later today.

I lined my large square tin with 3 layers of baking paper to prevent the cake from burning and it will cook for about 3 1/2 hours, near the bottom of a slow oven ie 150C Then I will brush it with another 2T of  Cointreau let it cool completely and then wrap it firmly in cling film and aluminium foil to keep in the fridge until Christmas.

The cake is taking forever to cool down but here it still in the weighs well over 2kgs which is maximum my scales go up to and would have cost about $15 to make as I already had the Cointreau and the eggs were free...

I also have a 2Kg turkey breast in the freezer and will buy a ham nearer the time as I have less fridge space than usual.

Priscilla has still not been called to the specialist's rooms...I find this quite outrageous...everything we ever hear about cancer is get it seen to quickly. She will phone her GP again tomorrow.

Bye bye for now,
Love from Sue

*you could use sherry, brandy, rum or whisky 

Sunday 27 November 2011

Jennet Cragg, A Distant Great Grandmother

Firstly thank you all for the messages and words of support for Priscilla...I will keep you informed regarding her treatment and condition.

Jennet Cragg, a distant great-grandmother, that's an understatement really. her life dates back to the mid 1600s and she was my great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great-grandmother. Her story has survived because it was so outstanding and courageous and was also printed and sold, even in France!

Jennet Townson was born in 1633 and married Thomas Cragg of Chapel House in 1657, they had four children before Thomas died in 1667. Their youngest, a daughter named Elizabeth was born in 1660 and it was she that married into the Kelsall line on September 2nd, 1682. Elizabeth married a young widower named John Kelsall, a tailor originally from near Delamere in Cheshire who had moved to London with his first wife. It is unsure how they actually met being so far apart, perhaps it was Quaker Friends that introduced them.

Instead of me recounting this tale and perhaps missing something I will post the following words by George Adamson, a cousin of my Kelsall mother and fellow descendant from Jennet. You will have to click on the pages to bring them to readable size.

This photograph was taken near Littledale in the Forest of Bowland, about 8miles from Lancaster and about 15miles from Over Wyresdale where Joseph Kelsall farmed and raised his can see the Lakeland Fells in the background...

John and Elizabeth Kelsall were the parents of the two orphans rescued by Jennet, I am descended from the younger son, Joseph(b 1684) who farmed near Wyresdale, not far from Lancaster. The elder brother, John(b 1683) became a teacher and was appointed school-master at the Quaker School in mid-Wales, Dolobran when it opened in the early years of the 18thC. This is John's account of his early life, including his Grandmother Jennet's adventure to London! Once again it will be legible once you have clicked on the photo/scan.

Once on-line I found the report that a Kelsall ancestor had been in prison with John Bunyon but I cannot find that now...will keep looking and add it when I find it.

Today's post is mainly for my family, this blog is my way of bringing together as much information as I can find about our ancestors before it becomes lost to us all....however I think many others will find it interesting and perhaps will begin at their own family tree.

Bye bye for now,
Love from Sue

PS have recently been shown theses links

Saturday 26 November 2011

Hawes in North Yorkshire

Just a few photos today from Hawes in Wensleydale. We visited the Wensleydale Creamery and tasted and bought some real Wensleydale cheese and then walked down into Hawes itself...quite beautiful. Beware the lurking Border Collie waiting to pounce...what a devil! I can see apples growing in the tree above him.

That's all for today. We were shattered to learn yesterday that Joe's 28yr old daughter, Priscilla, wife and mother of two(3 yrs and 3 mos old) has a very rare cancer in her abdomen, a type of sarcoma measuring 15 x 6 cms. Priss will see the specialist on Monday in regard to treatment, it is so rare that only one doctor in Ottawa(Canada's capital) has had experience of working with a patient with it. Please keep in her and her husband Will in your thoughts and prayers.

Thanks to Kaylene Taylor here in Perth for her work on the photograph of Priscilla's daughters.


Friday 25 November 2011

Friday On My Mind...

I didn't give birth to Priscilla but she will always be my daughter, be strong Darling.

Thursday 24 November 2011

The Book Depository and Other Tales

I can't recommend the Book Depository highly enough for good value and service too,  I made my purchase on-line, the site is easy to navigate and the book arrived after 2 weeks from the UK. The best thing about them is that they post worldwide for free and this wonderful book that I use almost every day cost $8.23!

When I 'went off' meat in early September the one recipe book from the library that made it very easy was "500 Greatest Ever Vegetarian Recipes" edited by Valerie Ferguson. It seems to be a compilation of recipes from various sources and leaves out dessert recipes in favour of many more savoury recipes, fresh fruit is enough when we have dessert.

Almost every recipe is illustrated and there are various unusual sections such as Hot and Spicy and Special Occasions as well as beautifully photographed pages of ingredients and techniques at the beginning of the book...

It would a lovely gift for any vegetarian or any-one who simply wants to eat more vegetables, they certainly  reduce grocery bills!

Yesterday morning the plumber turned up to repair some dripping taps, one so bad that it was filling a 9 litre bucket in 2 hours(and then being poured onto pot plants). The constant dripping noise was driving us mad as well as the waste of good clean water. He also fixed the leaking toilet so it's lovely here again now! Later in the morning I had a message from a new forum friend who lives quite close offering her DH as an amateur plumber to fix the taps...I thought this was such a kind and neighbourly gesture...ty Mandy and Paul xx

We had a tasty salad before heading out on the mid 30C afternoon, sans car air-conditioner :(

The specialist we went to see for Joe's shoulder and elbow was wonderful, he got all the details and then examined the patient and he feels it may be a trapped nerve in the neck. He sent Joe for extensive bloodtests and a bone density scan (Sat.) as well as recommending (each day) 10 x 1,000mgs fish oil capsules and 4 x 1,000 mgs of Vitamin D; both of these should help Joe to sleep better, feel happier as well as improving bone and joint health, Joe cannot process Vit D from the sunlight.

So that was our day, this afternoon Joe has chess club at the local school and I have to drive to Mandurah to see my haemachromotosis specialist and have a bag of blood taken's in the oncology dept and the staff are so wonderful but I count my blessings when I see the other patients on their day-long drips.

Hope my fellow Aussies are keeping cool and safe, there are already bush fires burning,

Love from Sue

Tuesday 22 November 2011

A New Sewing Machine Cover

Last Friday I showed you Elizabeth's painted roses that she's given to me to make something with. My daughter paints on fabric using acrylic paints and is self-taught. She also gave me a piece of this fabric to help me along and yesterday it suddenly occurred to me that a new sewing machine cover would be would show off the beautiful painting and rarely need washing. I've used this easy tutorial several times, always without the lining to save fabric. Sew Mama Sew have heaps of  free tutorials and ideas...have a look!

I needed to add a little extra fabric to make the painted panel wide enough for my machine and I think this pink roses on a yellow background really carries the theme along.

Now it's the first thing I see when I open the door and it really delights me. Thank you Elizabeth! xx
our breadmaker cover
Thank you to Claire for your good wishes for Joe we see the rheumatologist  in Fremantle, Joe's GP thinks it's something like Tennis Elbow(highly unlikely it's sports related lol) but whatever it is the pain is very severe :*(

Hope you have a Wonderful Wednesday wherever you are
Love from Sue

Mum and Dad's Cruise Photos

...Mum and Dad got home to WA on Friday after the cruise, you may remember that they were carrying on around New Zealand and into Sydney after we left them in Melbourne...they sailed into the stunning Milford Sound in the South Island and sent us these photographs...hopefully we'll get to see lots more.

Isn't it beautiful? Here they are enjoying a formal dinner...

This last photo features a pretty white church, not sure where it is but it looks warmer than Milford Sound. The ship was unable to visit Christchurch because of the devastating earthquakes there earlier this year so they called in at Akaroa 75 kms away. Mum said it was beautiful.

Hope you are well and I wish you a Terrific Tuesday...we're off to get an ultra-sound on Joe's shoulder...he has had severe pain there since we got home :(

Love from Sue

Monday 21 November 2011

Fabric Treats

Two weeks ago I posted a short message about a Giveaway at another blog. My beautiful fabrics arrived last week and I was so delighted by the generosity of the two lovely ladies at Beach Vintage Blog. Thank you Simone and Jody. They had been making sweet Christmas napkins last week and I do hope they will stretch this to making re-usable gift bags too ;) I did that last year and won't need to buy any wrapping paper this year.

Aren't they gorgeous? Now the hardest part will be deciding how to use these fat quarters to the best...I don't even want to cut them! These fabrics and many more are available for sale at their new 'shop' and they have some great 'specials' too.

This little jumper finally got finished and sewn up on the's from this free pattern...obviously altered some-what and the bottom needs pressing a little....the roll is meant to be much more even than that.

I'm really looking forward to getting back sewing after a frantic few days of having to go out...I much prefer days of pottering around home lol

and you? What plans do you have for the coming week?

 Have you started your Christmas preparations yet? There's a great thread running at the Down To Earth Forums where members have been sharing how they are getting ready for this special time of the year.

Bye bye for now,
Love from Sue

Saturday 19 November 2011

My Favourite Shop of All Time

That's a big claim but it really is the only shop that makes me dizzy with delight! It's name? Kakulas Bros and you can find it in Northbridge, on William St just over the Horseshoe Bridge. I was suprised and very pleased that no-one asked me to stop taking photographs, you can see their low prices in some pics. They are closed on Sundays and only accept cash...the sign says, "Yes Really!" lol

Here's why....

The floor is large and original wooden planks and these are at times quite uneven as you move around the place. There are also boxes and boxes of dried fruits, cooking chocolate etc, a large range of fresh cheeses and gourmet style cold meats/cuts and lots of sweet treats too!

Joe can't believe his eyes lol Here's some more seeds...

 various rices with bottles of olive oil in the background...some of the oils are locally produced...

 spices and herbs galore, even dried nettles this visit...

many varieties of dried beans and lentils...

large cans of olive oil...

look at these colourful spices, so fresh and fragrant...

cassava and other flours...there are sacks of loose flours too, including the Indian grams and chick pea flours...

the olive bar...

sacks of whole nuts still in their shells...

imported jams and other treats...

coffee corner, roasted beans that they will grind for you, Joe grinds ours at home...

colourful boxes of pasta...

jars of pickled vegetables, red capsicum especially...

What do you think of this 'paradise'? Hope you like it as much as we do. The floor is large and original wooden planks and these are at times quite uneven as you move around the place. There are also boxes and boxes of dried fruits, cooking chocolate etc, a large range of fresh cheeses and gourmet style cold meats/cuts and lots of sweet treats too!

Enjoy your weekend,
love from Sue