Granny in Training

I think we’ve had a crochet granny blanket kicking around our house for as long as I can remember. I even found this old photo of one my Mum made, that I remember snuggling up under on the couch. Whether you think the granny is the height of crafty chic or perfectly hideous, you can’t say it doesn’t, at the very least, have a certain element of homeliness and comfort.

OldieTimeyBlankie

I’ve been meaning to make a granny square blanket in some form or another for years, and recently inspired by my mother’s crochet endeavours (she still makes crochet throws), I’ve decided that this year, I’m finally going to make one.

granny

I’ve started with a bunch of aran and bulky weight scraps I’ve had sitting in a tub for years. Yarn I bought when I started knitting and didn’t really know what sort of things I like to knit. That I still have some of that yarn nearly a decade later is testament to the fact that sometimes new knitters, in their enthusiasm, make foolish yarn purchases.

Nevertheless I have now found a use for that stash of bulky yarn and I hope I’ll get a nice granny throw out of it all. It might be a little heavy given the weight of the wool, but it will certainly be warm, cosy and made with love.

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Making Jam

Jam making, for me, has always sounded like something that would be difficult. I had the perception it would be a huge ordeal of some sort with hours of cooking and huge amounts of fruit and just a rather large fuss in general.

strawberries

However I stumbled across Food in Jars who seemed to make it look easy. Making a small batch of Strawberry and Vanilla Jam was a good place to try my hand at jam making, and as I was making this in September before xmas, a good opportunity to have some homemade jam gifts ready. And it worked, I have jam.

bubbling berries

Some of the benefits of small batch jam-making:

If you are not sure about making jam, small batches are a good place to start as you needn’t invest a lot of time or massive amounts of potentially wasted fruit in your experiments.

You don’t cook it for long, so it’s quick and easy – and it was even easier than I thought, I bought a thermometer but I suspect I could have done it without. Apply heat until delicious is a good general rule to have with cooking, and jam-making is no exception.

You don’t get heaps and heaps of  jam – just a couple of jars which means you can experiment with different flavours, or just make enough for your family, or the fridge without having to process in jars (unless you want to, which I did as I was making xmas gifts).

You get to eat delicious homemade jam!

Successful jam

Coconut Berry Cake

Way back in 2013, I found this recipe for a Coconut Berry Cake at MamaGwenM. It looked pretty amazing, so I thought I’d make one myself.

berrycake1

 

I can happily report that appearances were not at all deceiving and this cake tasted as good as it looked. Also if you call it a “Cake aux Fruit Rouges et Lait de Coco” like Mama Gwen does, it sounds super fancy. Oh la la!

berrycake3

I only had 400ml cans of coconut milk in the cupboard and the recipe requires 200ml so rather than let it go to waste I ended up making two cakes, which wasn’t a problem at all. We did not suffer from an over-supply of delicious cake – one went on a picnic and the other happened to just come out of the oven as a friend popped over.

berrycake2

It was very simple and easy to put together, the coconut milk made it quite a soft sort of cake, very moist. I’ll definitely make again and thank you Mama Gwen for sharing the recipe and your Sunday Cake tradition!