You are currently browsing the monthly archive for December 2009.

For my Aunt Marie for Christmas.

I just cast on and hoped for the best, but it is a bit big for a shawl and a bit wee for a blanket…

Pleased tho.

Knitted with big needles and an lovely alpaca wool, and a striking deep fuschia.

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Diet be buggered – lets get the out of the way here and now.

And even though I havent eaten ANYTHING else today, i really don’t think thats going to cut it.

My friend JAke and I had decided rather then buy each other a load of tat, we would treat each other to afternoon tea at Gleneagles Hotel. And boy oh boy did we do the right thing, and pick the right time of year to do it.

I have never had afternoon tea before and had to contain many many squeals of delight. Have you had one before? Was it as good as this? Well lets see shall we. I’ll give you a blow by blow…

We are seated, and a waiter shakes a linen napkin over our laps – this sets the tone. It was formal, but wonderfully so, it made us feel SPECIAL not UNCOMFORTABLE. Quite a skill I’d say. Allow me to continue (see I still feel posh).

He brings us our tea, pours it over the lovely wee silver strainer, and even adds milk and sugar for us. Bliss. Then he brings over a wee plate with hot smoked salmon with a chive and bechamel sauce. Tiny and delicious. The whole experience was filled with we surprises like this. Then he brought a 3 tiered platter, allow me to give details from the bottom up. Level one (ground floor) finger roll with herbed chicken and a kind of homemade picallilli? cucumber sandwich ( I kid you not) Egg sandwich, and ham with cream cheese sandwich. All bread is made fresh by bakers that work through the night. Level two, prawn marie rose and a wee tiny voluvent, mini croissant with smoked salmon and cream cheese and THE MOST DIVINE SAUSAGE ROLL. I can’ t say enough about this sausage roll, i really can’t. And I am afraid I can never have another normal one again, no bad thing. I had to ask for details. Spiced pork and apple. So tasty. Level 3, local mature cheddar, in sticks, served with dinky wee oatcakes, and a DELISH spicy fruity relish.

So really yum. No further expectations.

AND THEN.

An angel appeared. In the form of the smallest most beautiful creme brulee, with passion fruit. Never NEVER has such a beautiful thing passed my lips. I gushed to everyone around me, grabbed waiters to tell them how wonderful it was and generally got over excited. Lets leave it there, you are getting my jist, right?

AND THEN.

Another 3 tiered wonder.

Level one ( you know where it is) Almond tarte, fruit shortcake tarte, chocolate cakey thing that had maybe 6 layers of cake and chocolate in a mille feue kind of style with gold leaf on top, victoria sponge, custard slice. Level two, pancakes, treacle scones, plain scones and fruit scones, where the fruit had been soaked in Drambuie. Level three strawberry jam, clotted cream and lemon curd.

I was determined to finish it all. They clearly call it afternoon tea because it takes all afternoon to eat it all, right? Am I right?

But we couldn’t. We did try. Really really hard. So I decided to bite the bullet and sidled over to our waiter and out the corner of mouth said “Is there any way we can take the rest home?” In is suave and possibly fake french accent he said ” Yes, I ave boxis”. So we filled the left over scones with ‘lashings’ of clotted cream and jam for the Dads who had been home alone all day which we swanned about.

We went for a turn about the gardens, it was dark by then and all lit up like a fairyland, and beautifully frosty and sparkly.

Just so fabulous. But I have to say, the fabulous company made it really special, thanks Jake, We are clever aren’t we???

ps – took surreptitious pics with phone, will try and upload…

Nope, not the temperature, tho it is BALTIC… Shed another 2 pounds of human lard this week. Mainly due to forcing Maisie out for walks in the sub zero nights. Poor kid. Four nights dummy free and counting, although the incidence of tantrums is escalating at an alarming rate… And thats just Nev. (Boom boom)

I know, I have a pile of stuff that I should be knitting, but I just haven’t been. So instead I have been making these origami Christmas decorations. I bought some ordinance survey maps, some musical scores and some olde bookes and started making them up. They are tricky little buggers, but do leave me with a smug feeling of satisfaction, and hopefully will be well-received home-made gifts. Pics up soon…

Ugh. Grr. Pifff.

Between last Thursday and Monday I managed to put a bloody pound on. And I went to the gym. The new gym, with big mirrors so I was forced to watch myself wobbling about on the cross trainer and turning puce.

So forced Maisie to do a 3.5 mile walk with me tonight (its ok, she was in the buggy with a Curly Wurly).

I have a backlog of crafting to do – some Christmas decorations, wrapping and of course, some knitting. But what to knit first, I feel the need to write a list coming on…

Also I need to do some trials for festive baking. I bought some lovely decorations for cupcakes – silver and gold cases, silver edible glitter and tiny gold icing stars, and some tiny wee icing snowflakes. I want to do some of these Toblerone cupcakes, (stolen slightly from Badsparklythings) and the rest probably standard cupcake, but with fab buttercream frosting and aforementioned decos.

Other contenders: Cinnamon cookies, mince pies – natch, dunno if i’ll bother with the pudinis this year, and torn between the stead fast Hokey Pokey/Honeycomb/Puff Candy and the new challenge of peanut brittle. Also in the running: Rocky Road, and possible biscotti for the more discerning amongst us…

Hmmm, hope i manage it.

And don’t eat it all.