Friday, 3 July 2020

Friday Chat Day

Hello friends.

Pop the kettle on, it's a very chatty Friday Chat Day this week!
Starting off with crochet update.


The squares are done, all 126 of them.
A year ago I couldn't make Granny Squares, 
a year ago I didn't like Granny Squares, oh how things have changed.
It has been the perfect project for warm days, it's a bit much having 
a blanket over your lap, whereas these are very portable.

The joining has commenced, instead of sewing together,
it's 'Join As You Go' method, which creates a sixth round of crochet.
I had to have the room in complete silence to grasp it, well aside from 
snoring from this one.

I'm getting there, it's going to take a while but enjoying it.
I plan to do the same blanket in different colours,
a brighter version called Summer Harmony, all details on 
Lucy's Attic 24 blog here.


This week it is Blueberry Muffins. 
I am a huge fan of Blueberry Muffins, possibly because they are not
as sweet as chocolate ones.
When it comes to shop bought ones I recommend Asda as they use
whole blueberries whereas as other stores seem to blitz them into pieces.
But you cannot beat homemade and, as you can see, I'm rather
generous with the blueberries!  
And good news - you can use either fresh or frozen blueberries.

100g butter (softened), 100g sugar,
2 eggs (beaten), 1tsp vanilla essence,
300g self-raising flour, 140ml milk,
1tsp baking powder, 150g blueberries
(fresh or frozen, if frozen – no need to thaw,
coat in a little flour to prevent sinking).

Preheat oven to 180C, Gas Mark 4.
Line a muffin tray with paper cases.
Cream butter and sugar together until fluffy.
Beat in egg gradually.
Add flour, baking powder to make a thick batter, stir in
vanilla essence and milk.
Add the blueberries and spoon the mixture into
The muffin cases.
Bake for 15-20  minutes, leave muffins in the baking tray
for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack.
Quite possibly one of your 5 a day!

Click here for the Blueberry Muffins printable.
This recipe has also been added to the Recipes page/tab 
at the top of the blog here.

Out and About:

We are still being very cautious here in the Emberson household,
our 'out and about' extends to finding new local places to walk Bella
and that is just fine with us right now.
This week Elliott and I visited Windmill Hill in Gravesend,
it is only about a 20 minute walk from our home and I had forgotten
how lovely it is. (It is also up a steep hill, may have to cut back on those muffins!)
The view goes across the town and River Thames to Tilbury.
And that beacon, well that's pretty special - it commemorates the 
advance of the Spanish Armada.

So Gravesend, not the most beautiful town but it does have some fascinating 
features, I thought I would share a couple with you this week.
  Pocahontas died at Gravesend of unknown causes, aged 20 or 21.
She was en route to Virginia with John Smith (Rolfe).
She was buried in St George's Church, Gravesend and we have a statue to 
mark the possible spot.

Gravesend is also home to the biggest Sikh Temple in Europe,
the Guru Nanak Darbar Gurdwara.

It is not only a venue for weddings and events, right now it is massively appreciated
within the community.  Each day they prepare 850 meals 
which get delivered to our local hospitals, care homes and vulnerable individuals. 
The volunteers start chopping vegetables at 4am!

Under normal circumstances (outside of the pandemic) it is possible to visit the temple,
they are very happy to show you around and always the offer of food.
For now, here is a video tour, it's rather grand.


If you have Netflix you may have seen a trailer for
Schitt's Creek?  You may have totally disregarded it, as I did for years,
until recently, I've now watched all 6 seasons!
It's a Canadian sitcom created by a Dad and Son team -
Dan and Eugene Levy.

The storyline - a rich video store magnate, Johnny Rose and his family
suddenly find themselves broke and they are forced to leave their
pampered lives to live in a small town called Schitt's Creek.
It stars Catherine O'Hara known to many of us the neglectful Mum
in the Home Alone movies.
It starts with the typical comedic adjustments of going from wealth to poverty
but builds to be a fascinating comedy with strong characters. 

And I discovered something else I've been missing... 
something huge, 
something wonderful...
Gardeners World!

Thanks to my Mum and Dad who mentioned it (mainly because
Monty Don has a Yorkie) that I've started to watch it. 
20+ episodes available on BBCiPlayer.
And isn't it a gem. I've learned lots and it has inspired me to 
got a little bit mad in my tiny garden.


Fueled by Monty our first extra gardening project has been herbs,
Mitchell and I planted these up from a little kit we bought online.
I noticed this morning that Rocket is already sprouting.

And then I went potty!
I put out a request on Freecycle for terracotta pots and struck gold.
If you are not aware, Freecyle is a website
where you can put items up as 'offers' or stipulate 'wanted'.
It is local to your area and, as in the name, it has to be free.
We've found it invaluable at this time to find new homes for 
some unwanted items too, this week we waved off an office chair and old TV.

A lady local to me messaged and said she had lots of herb cuttings 
so Bella and I walked to collect them.
The rhubarb was a nice bonus.

And then this lovely lot was made available from a huge
garden in Meopham (near Gravesend).
Turns out gardeners are super generous.
Thankfully I've got plenty of soil as Mum had a spare bag
and our milkman delivers garden items.

I admit to forgetting what all the plants are, I recognise the tomato plants,
but there is a distinct possibility that I could have veg growing in lavender!

I have also been in the cabin this week finishing off the 
July Charity Kit.  Here's a little sneak peek.

Please stop by on Sunday for details, this month we are donating to
supporting families through childhood cancer.
Plans for this weekend - yes, more gardening, crochet
and thinking up some recipes to share with you.
How do we feel about savoury dishes or stick to sweet?

If you've made it to here, thank you for reading and
very grateful for your comments - it is always so nice to read your news.

Take care friends, please stop by on Sunday.

11 comments: said...

Good Morning Christine.
Wow you have been very busy. thank you for the lovely chat.
You may be safe to eat the muffins as you can walk it all off and with your little garden.
Take care stay safe and have fun Kitty.

hazel young said...

Wow you have been a busy crocheter. MMM blueberry muffins, I need to get my plants to produce more got 5 off them yesterday, maybe I will have to buy some to make these. Thank you for the recipe. I dont mind savoury or sweet is fine by me. Lovely local monuments. Love gardeners world have been a fan for years. There is also Beechgrove on BBC scotland on a thursday 7.30pm its is based in Scotland but still gardening. Alan Titchmarch mondays ITV I Think its around 8pm grow your own at home. It looks like it has finished broadcasting now but the last one was Monday and will all be on catchup. Loving your herb, plants and freecycle haul. What a great collection of pots you gained. I'm a big fan of all the recycling sites. Have a great weekend gardening, crocheting etc. Looking forward to the charity kit xx Hazel

JeanD said...

Morning Christine, I really enjoyed your blog today and am so pleased you’ve discovered Monty Don, I think he’s great, I’ve been a big fan of his for years. We’ve been to the Gurdwara several times, it’s our latest place to take friends and family when they stay with us. Everyone is so friendly,y and it’s such a beautiful. Building. They do such a lot of good in Gravesend, particularly in lockdown. Am going to make blueberry muffins today. Your lemon cake and chocolatey cakes went down very well. Good luck with your gardening, hope you have a watering can we’re supposed to be having another heatwave in the coming weeks. Take care. Jean

Anonymous said...

Hi Christine, Thank you for sharing so much diversity this week. What a beautiful Temple (although it did make me laugh as at the end people were walking backwards). I think I've seen one episode of Shuitts Creek when it was first launched - can I make a recommendation - Sinner (crime and drama (3 series)). It's not light hearted like Shuitts but something different. WakeyL

CraftyCoffey said...

Great catch up on all your news. Let’s hope the weather stays fine for your gardening.


Kim Hupke said...

Morning Christine!
So nice to read your blog this morning! We have blueberries on our farm just turning ripe, I think you have inspired me to make some muffins. 😁

Tomorrow will be a busy day for us, Brianne’s family will be with us and we will be celebrating the Fourth of July! I’m going to make fruit pizza, have you ever had it? It’s a family favorite and I haven’t made it in years. I’ve also got a freshly made black raspberry pie sitting in my fridge!

Sending the best to you and your family for a wonderful weekend!

Jackie Durrant said...

Hi Christine,
All those granny squares but such lovely colours and the joining together looks so neat.
Your walk to Windmill Hill park looks lovely in your picture and it must be interesting spotting the different places in the distance - while you get your breath back!!

I have to say the architecture of the temple is impressive. I hadn't realised Gravesend and that part of Kent had such a large Sikh community - but is that a dalek at the back overseeing the preparation??

I've seen Shitt's Creek on one of the Freeview Channels but not actually watched it so I may give it a try - but Gardners World - that is regular viewing every Friday night. You learn so much in such an easy informal way and I love looking round other people's gardens. I'll look forward to seeing your garden produce in due course.

Enjoy your weekend, Jackie xx

karenlotty said...

Lovely chat CHRISTINE I love blueberry muffins! But I’m up for savoury recipes too
The crochet looks gorgeous Like you, my mile a minute blanket is joined the no sew method Takes a little bit of getting used to when you crochet our way
The views and monuments in Gravesend look amazing and that Sikh temple - wow!
Great idea for the community “swap”
Tried to get Schitts Creek on my tele and has only brought up Series 6 I will try another way of searching
Take care x

Patricia Howarth said...

Hi Christine, A lovely chatty day today.
The blueberry muffins look yummy, I used to make them a long time ago, and I used whole blueberries too, I love the way how they burst on the top and leave the lovely colour.
Your crochet squares are delightful, and will make a fabulous blanket, Bella looks totally disinterested haha. I've just finished a patchwork table runner and will be starting patchwork covers for the backs of the couch and chairs next, I am so in love with sewing and am so eager to use the beautiful fabric I have.
Fabulous piccies of Gravesend, and what an amazing temple.
You are getting on well with your britbox etc series, do you manage to watch whilst you are crocheting, I tried putting programmes on whilst sewing or papercrafting, but I can only concentrate one one thing, so I tend to put something on that I don't have to watch or concentrate on hahaha.
Your cuttings are coming on beautifully and well done you getting all those pots and cuttings and yummy rhubarb too.
Take care, stay safe, stay well.
Lots of love from Patricia xx

Littlelamb said...

Thanks for,the lovely chat Christine. I always look forward to Fridays. Your blanket will look lovely when finished. Looking forward to seeing it. Your walks look really nice. We have a large lake 5mins away so my son, granddaughter and I walked around on Tuesday. Lots of swans, cygnets, geese and ducks. We only walk half way these days as part of the path is very narrow and it would be very difficult to keep,even 1 metre apart from people coming towards you. With a wall one side and wire fence the other it’s impossible. So walk half way and turn round and come back. Looks as if you will have a lot of produce this summer. The blueberry muffins look lovely. I have usually got blueberries in the fridge but first must make banana cake as have some soft bananas. Have a good weekend whatever you decide to do. I am still isolating and don’t really feel ready to go out apart from seeing my son.

Christine said...

Love your chats. Full of 'well, I didn't know that!'
Monty is ..... the best gardener since Jeff Hamilton..... then again Percy was good!!! Giving my age away here!!! lol
So pleased you are enjoying the gardening, true gardeners are the most generous and kind folk I know.

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