Late September and the weather is certainly heating up, but surprisingly the nights are very pleasant indeed. I relish these final weeks of sleeping with the window open while the trade winds blow the curtains high above us in our small bedroom. Some years the winds stay through October, and other years they blow themselves out weeks earlier...we are hoping this year we have them for a good while yet.
Molly has settled in beautifully, as our dear and treasured pet, capturing our hearts and becoming the wonderful four-legged companion we prayed for. She had a bad tummy early in the week but after a trip to the vet and some doggy probiotics she's much improved and back to her energetic and quirky self. While I sit at the computer she chews on her favourite toy in the leather recliner nearby...
If I'm in the kitchen she's by my feet; when I'm in the sewing room she's snuggled on a large square pillow that I covered in one of my old quilts; when we're watching a movie or a good sermon she's wedged between us on her couch blanket; and at night she's sleeping in her basket right beside our bed. Where we are, there she is. And we're all very content. :-)
Have you made them? I had never made one because I imagined they'd be awfully difficult, but last week after watching a very old episode of the Great British Bake-Off, I decided it was time to give one a try. I chose the recipe in Jane Brocket's book "Vintage Cakes" (I love this book!)...
With easy instructions and having all the ingredients on hand, I set to the task. What a surprise to discover my fears had been groundless, as Swiss rolls are not difficult at all.
Waiting for it to cool so I can unroll and fill...
Cooled and filled with homemade berry jam...
This was really delicious, but as a lover of lemons, I wanted to make another using lemon curd for the filling. Rosie was coming to visit this morning so I decided to make some quick microwave lemon curd while the Swiss roll sponge baked and cooled. Turned out even nicer than the jam one and we both enjoyed a second slice each!
Hubby will enjoy it for dessert tonight, and there's still plenty of luscious lemon curd to fill cupcakes for the grandkids when they visit on Saturday morning.
Remember when I showed you the penny rug I made using the next set of Tilda fabrics?
Tilda Australia want to display it at a couple of Tone Finnanger's Jubilee Tour events early next year in Brisbane and Melbourne, so I quickly packed it away safe and secure to be posted off, and decided to make another using some Tilda scrap fabrics from my stash. This one is for our coffee table.
I contemplated making another in woven fabrics, but decided to stop for now and return to another project I began a few months back. These are some of the blocks I've finished so far in Gail Pan's "Sopwell Ladies Basket Society". Admittedly I have taken the liberty to tweak some of them to suit my own preference, but I think most of us do that? People often ask my permission to use different colourways or switch up blocks in my patterns which they're in the process of making and I get excited about that because adding touches of your own creativity and style is so important to how you feel about the final display of all your hard work.
I'm planning on remaking this table topper if I can find the pattern. It was in a copy of Australian Country Threads way back in 2005, and was my very first hand-stitched piece when I was teaching myself to quilt, embroider and applique. I had no sewing machine so every seam is backstitched...
If you're an Aussie and have a copy of the old magazine it featured in, would you mind if I borrowed it? Next time I'd applique with the needle-turn method instead of blanket stitch, but keep the same colour scheme. It looks lovely on my kitchen butcher's block and always makes me smile.
The gardens need a lot of water these days so I am always rotating the watering schedule. Out front we have planted daikon radish, sunflowers and sweet potato as they all help to break up the clay soil, and we've decided that working on the quality of our soil is the number one priority for our quarter acre over the next year. I'll take some pics next week and share them. In raised beds we still have tomatoes, capsicums, snow peas, sweet potato, beans, lettuce and herbs growing; and in pots there's plenty of spring onions. In the ground we have chillies, cucumbers, and more herbs.
Other baking lately was cheese twists using the last of the puff pastry in our freezer and the end of a bag of grated cheese. The grandkids (and Blossom!) love these so they disappeared quickly...
And to use up more bits and pieces from the fridge I baked a really delicious Banana, Date and Apple loaf. Sliced and served with butter, this has been a regular afternoon tea all week!
USE IT UP
That's how I cook lately. Open the fridge and see what needs to be used. Open the freezer and pull out things that have been there for a while before cooking them into something. Look at the fruit bowl and decide how to use ripe pieces that day. Check the expiry date on pantry items and jot down recipe ideas for the next week's menu.
ORDINARY DAYS and GOD
I titled this post Ordinary Days because that's what my days are. Ordinary days come in many different guises, often sprinkled with challenges or triumphs, but one thing that stays the same is the heart of a homemaker, and her desire to make the most of all she has in order to honour God and bless her family. That's what I believe...and that's how I live.
Bless each and every one of you. Whether life is all roses right now, or if you're being blown about in the storm - look up, pray and give thanks to He who holds your very life in His hands. Draw near to Him and He will draw closer to you. Cry out in praise, in pain, in thanks, or in need - He will hear, His love will abundantly surround you, and He will guide you along the path you may need to take. Your burden may be heavy, but His is light...offer it to Him and rest in blessed assurance of His promises that never fail, His Word that never returns void.
I read this the other day and can't get it out of my mind because it's true and I really needed to hear it. Maybe you need it today? Bless you. xxx