xmas eve nosh up

I hope you are all keeping well, and, for those of you who celebrate xmas, that you had a lovely time.  It was quiet here, just the husband and I on Christmas Eve, which is when we traditionally prepare something extra special for dinner, before opening our presents.  Even though it was just the two of us, the husband was busy and happy in the kitchen. He loves cooking, and the festive season is an excuse to play around a bit more.

Here is what he made.

To begin with:  a slice of toasted GF bread (that’s because of me) spread with a creamed mixture of goat’s cheese and St Moret cheese, and then two scallops on top, which were quickly fried in olive oil & garlic.  A small bowl of “mache” salad to go with that.

Next, some foie gras, and a glass of Sauterne.  The husband always buys a fresh duck liver, which he cooks “au torchon” approximately 5 days before the meal is planned, and this year, he added some very thin slices of “truffe”.  When the raw liver is rolled tightly in plastic cling film, then rolled tightly in a clean tea towel, and cooked at 62°C in water for the correct time, the fat separates from the liver (the yellow bits you can see around the edges) and, when served straight from the fridge, it’s easy to scrape the fat off, to enjoy only the liver, which we like “mi-cuit”.

After the foie gras, we had two “gambas” each (basically very large prawns) which were cooked in whisky and various herbs.  By this time, I was already feeling quite full up, but the meal wasn’t over yet!

The main course was guinea fowl and chanterelle mushrooms cooked in a cream sauce, with cardoons!

I was very lazy this year and didn’t make a dessert, so we just had a slice of Vienetta ice-cream to end a lovely meal. No photo of that, because I’m sure you all know what Vienetta looks like lol.




“Shavo” happy dance

Having a yarny happy dance here with a project that’s kept me amused for several weeks. The project in question: knitting a sweater for the husband. This one.

“Shavo” a free download by Berroco.  I didn’t use the recommended yarn because Berroco (while made in France is impossible to find in France) so I decided on some DMC Magnum balls, which are aran weight.  The husband chose grey (ref 997) and I began knitting in November.

It’s now finished – yay!

What I loved about this pattern is the texture obtained by a very easy 28 row pattern repeat.  Also interesting because once the front & back are knitted, you sew together at shoulders and pick up stitches for sleeves directly on the side of the body.  This means, much less sewing up to do afterwards, and no bulky seams around tops of sleeves.

Pattern had said 900g of Berroco for the largest size, and I bought in 3 x 400g of DMC Magnum, because I was pretty sure 800g would not be enough. As it turns out, I’ve got 140g left of my second ball, meaning a total of 540g of this lovely grey aran for a future project.  But in the meantime, I’ll be measuring myself up and casting on to make a second “Shavo” sweater for myself in

In real life it’s leaning more towards a stone-washed red (or at least mine is) but maybe that’s just bad lighting indoors.


SAL “together we are magic” # 12

I’m sorry to say I’ve let the side down this time.  I’ve been so distracted making some last minute xmas presents and also busily knitting the husband’s sweater,  that cross stitching fell by the wayside.

I did put in a few stitches, but even I can’t tell the difference since last time.  My last photo was

and photo for this time

Oh well . . . let’s hope that other SAL members found time to work on their projects!



and we’ll back again in the new year!

Scraphappy # december

It’s the last scrappy link up for the year, linking with

KateGun, EvaSue, Lynn, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy,  Tracy, Jill,
Claire, JanMoira, SandraChrisAlys,
ClaireJeanJon, DawnJule,
Gwen, Bekki, Sunny, Kjerstin, Sue L,
Vera, NanetteAnn, Dawn 2, Bear,
Carol, Preeti, EdithDebbierose and Esther

and it’s the husband who’s the star of the show today.  Like Jon, of this group, the husband enjoys messing about with “men tools” and had his very own pallet gate adventure.   We didn’t have a proper gate around the net fencing on our hen coop. Just used to move part of the netting every day to nip in, but the husband decided we needed something more permanent (after 5 years of hen-keeping).

and this is what he made.  Had to buy two hinges, and fixed it to a sturdy wooden post (with net fencing being secured with blue twine to the post).

It does the job perfectly!

I, in the meantime, was busy with needle & thread, not to mention recycling some @m@zon cardboard packaging . . . and finished off a small batch of xmas decorations.

hen happenings # november round up

Hello, well it’s 1st December already, so time to do a November round-up of hen happenings in this neck of the woods.  All four gals are happy & healthy.  And Ruby is looking (almost) splendid with her new feathers.

Ruby is the red hen on the left. Easy to differentiate from Doris, because Ruby has quite a few dark brown feathers at the end of her tail, and she’s also slightly smaller in size.  There are still a few spikey bits on her head, but I think you’ll agree the scrawny look is behind us (until the next moult).

On the egg-laying front, gals are not firing on all cylinders.  Some days there are 3 eggs to collect. The one top centre here was a double-yolker – I’m pretty sure that was laid by Rita.  Most days there are only 2 eggs in the nesting box.  It seems they’re taking it turns to lay but, with 4 hens, that still gave us a total of 67 eggs for November.  Since I took the above photos we had our first snowfall – hens not too happy about that.