Friday, 11 January 2019

January Rituals


I'm struggling here. I've updated my iPad and it no longer supports the blogger app which I always use to upload my photos for blogposts. I still write posts on my laptop and I do that because if I try to write on my iPad it randomly deletes the posts half way through. I suppose I could go back to using my camera and uploading all the photos on my laptop via a cable but it seems so long winded that I might just give up blogging altogether. With a bit of fiddling about I've got the photos from my iPad onto a draft post but now I can't space them out and put them where I want them. I'm silently screaming with frustration. Anyway, I'm here, I'm writing and I'm trying to ignore the fact my photos are all over the place (but I don't like it!)

I finished the first of my nine projects for the year although before I'm accused of being overly keen it did only take a couple of hours. It turns out that I had already started the apron dress kit - which was printed out onto the fabric a little like the old Clothkits patterns - and I had already cut it out. Slight problem in that I've had it so long that I had cut it out a size smaller than I actually am now, but I went ahead anyway.


Despite the pattern pieces not fitting too well together and the 'optional' darts not being marked on the pattern it went together relatively easily and quickly. And despite being a size too small it does fit... well sort of, if I breath in and ignore the fact it is a little snug around the bust. I might possibly wear it one day and at least it is one thing finished.


The other thing I have been making this week is marmalade. We don't really eat that much of it but there is something about the lure of Seville oranges when they appear in the shops in January that I can't resist and so it has become something of a ritual that I make marmalade.


I enjoy the slow process of juicing the oranges, scooping out the white pith and pips and slicing the peel into fine shreds. I love the fresh citrus aroma that fills the kitchen as it bubbles away in its pot.


And then when it reaches setting point I like to add a large slug of bourbon before filling up the jars. It really does lift the flavour to another level.


Lots of lovely jars of sunshine in the middle of winter, softly set and glistening, bittersweet and fresh tasting. Some will be given away and some will be kept for spreading on hot buttered toast.


It has also become something of a ritual that I make a marmalade cake in January too. Recipe from Nigel Slater's Kitchen Diaries.


Soft and fragrant, it is too good for only one slice.... which means that apron dress is not going to fit better any time soon!

31 comments:

  1. Just thought I would let you know that the pendant I bought from you for a friend for Xmas was well received .She loved it.

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    1. Thank you for letting me know Barbara x

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    1. Thank you... and thanks for visiting my blog and leaving a comment, much appreciated x

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    1. Thank you and thanks too for coming by and leaving a comment. It’s always appreciated x

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  4. The pinafore dress looks good as does the marmalade. There is nothing like homemade but I think my hands would complain about all the preparation so I cheat and by the tinned pulp which gives a very passable result.

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    1. The preparation for making marmalade is rather time consuming I must admit. Wouldn’t want to do it too often!

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  5. oh wow! you have been busy so far in january! I must get my skates on and make some marmalade! xx

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    1. The Seville orange season is so short it is easy to miss them. They were particularly early in our farm shop this year.

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  6. I still haven't got my old knitting out! You put me to shame.

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    1. I’ve decided that if I don’t finish things this year then it’s time they went!

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  7. The first finish for the new year is a big one, I think. Now, you are on your way. I love your choice of fabric for the apron dress! I also love your lines, "Lots of lovely jars of sunshine in the middle of winter, softly set and glistening, bittersweet and fresh tasting." Yum yum!

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    1. Thank you 😊The fabric for the dress came as a kit so I don’t think there was a choice of colours... but the print is very cheerful on the navy background.

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  8. Goodness that marmalade does look good!!!

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    1. It was a particularly good batch this year!

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  9. I remember clothkits. I made the original farmyard padded jacket for my daughter, who is now in her 30s. You are further on than me in the creative stakes, but at least I did get some things ticked off my list that needed doing. It's a start I guess and I've finished reading a book - it has been a long time.

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    1. Both my older boys had those Clothkits padded jackets... with the little stuffed animals that went in the pockets!

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    2. Oh yes! I had forgotten about those :)

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  10. Love your January makes. You've reminded me there's a Clothkits skirt kit stuffed in some cupboard or other that's been hanging round here for some years now. Unlikely to ever be completed as I no longer wear skirts.

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    1. I have a Clothkits skirt that came out far too big so that doesn’t get worn either!

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  11. Clothing relaunched about 10 years ago. They still do the farmyard jacket. Marmalade looks super.

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    1. Predictive text strikes again. It should say Clothkits relaunched.

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    2. I knew they had relaunched but didn’t realise they still did those cute little jackets. My boys loved theirs.

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  12. Your dress fitting challenge really speaks to me. This year I've actually got thinner for a change though. Well done though for getting on with it - like the fabric v much! Lots of UFOs to keep me busy here too.

    I hadn't caught up with the arrival of Seville oranges yet. Like you, I like ve the way marmalade making scents the kitchen and the gilts img jars do cheer up the kitchen on these grey days.

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    1. I usually stay much the same weight but have put on over Christmas and it’s being very stubborn to shift! Maybe I should stop eating marmalade!

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  13. That should say glistening jars. Thumb malfunction undetected by low light. Dear oh dear.

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  14. Your marmalade looks delicious Gina, and your pinafore dress is a success, even if it feels a bit tight, it looks good.

    I use the Apple photos app, which automatically collects all photos I have taken with my phone and iPad. I can pm you how to upload photos on the iPad when you are on the webpage for blogger. Just let me know. xx

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    1. Thanks Christina. I might do a bit of research and will get back to you if I need help x

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  15. Happy New Year Gina. Lovely to read you creative posts and yes I want to catch up with some Sevilles! Saw some before Christmas and told myself absolutely not... the guilt of leaving them lurking would simply be too guilt ridden! There is NOTHING like home made marmalade. Wishing you lots of happy creative times ahead. Making some Make it up as you go along cushions to salve a stressful time with M.I. Law this morning. Breathe... breathe... sew!!! Much love Liz x

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  16. I haven't made marmalade this year, as I still have some left from last year! But I do love the sight of rows of jars of homemade preserves and yours look lovely.

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