Yarn Along

If you love knitting and reading and having a peek into what others are doing, then head on over to Ginny’s marvellous blog, Small Things, and check out all the wonderful Yarn Along posts for this week.

It seems only right to restart this blog where I left off – with Ginny’s wonderful Yarn Along!

Half A Lifetime and Apple Leaf Cloth

Half A Lifetime and Apple Leaf Cloth

At the moment I am enjoying knitting up little pink items for a little girl whilst reading Judith Wright’s Half a Lifetime, an autobiography covering her childhood and her adult life until the sad death of her partner.  I actually went and borrowed this book from my local library as I haven’t been able to track down a copy to buy, the most embarrassing part of it, however, was finding that I no longer had a viable library card but that was quickly fixed up.

Judith Wright was born and raised east of my hometown, Guyra, and I have to say it has been a very interesting read.  I have a lot of admiration for Judith Wright and the choices she made, especially given her position in society and what was expected of her.

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Yarn Along

If you love knitting and reading and having a peek into what others are doing, then head on over to Ginny’s marvellous blog, Small Things, and check out all the wonderful Yarn Along posts for this week.

Yarn Along 211113

This photo was taken yesterday and everything was finished up last night!  The blue is a feather and fan cowl knit from handspun merino, cashmere and silk mix which I dyed, carded and spun myself, all a little rustic but quite beautiful and warm.  Yet another pair of socks using Poems sock wool, beautifully soft and knitting up well.   Both are part of Christmas presents, the cowl will be heading off with another pair of socks to somewhere cold and blustery, so I am certain it will be appreciated!  On my Kindle I am reading, or rather have just finished, Bronwyn Parry’s “Darkening Skies” – one of those edge-of-your-seat-who-is-going-to-get-it-next Australian novels.  Big body count in this one in a very short period of time, but a wonderful read.

So how is everyone else going with their Christmas preparations?

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Oh The Trauma!

Of Google Reader being killed off.  You can follow me now via Bloglovin Follow my blog with Bloglovin

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Hanging Out At The Hub

Having a good time hanging out at Armidale Digital Hub learning about blogging and websites.

You should check out their website for further information about the classes available!

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The Chick

Remember this…

Three and a bit months on and she looks like this:

You can’t see her feet, but she still has a lot of growing to do to catch up to them!

But if she keeps on eating like she is, it won’t take her long to get there.

Now I just need to give her a name to grow into.

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Slow Cooked Chicken with Mustard Sauce

One good thing about cold weather is that I get to indulge in cooking all sorts of ‘slow’ meals. Made even more fabulous since I purchased a Chasseur French Oven in French Blue.  I have learnt the hard way over the last 20 years that you really should spend as much as you are able on good quality cookware and avoid anything with non-stick coatings.  Don’t think that I have the best of everything, I have the best that I can afford which is Scanpan Impact for my saucepans and fry pans and now my Chasseur French Oven.

Anyway, the recipe below is an old favourite and a good way of cooking older culls from your chicken run or even rabbit (also known as New England Subterranean Fowl). You can cook it either using a stove or slow cooker.  If you are going to use a stove, start off with a heavy cast iron pot that can be used on the stove top and in the oven, with your slow cooker start off in a big fry pan on the stove top and then transfer to the slow cooker.

One Chook or Rabbit butchered into sections or 6 Chicken Thigh Fillets
2 Stalks of Celery Finely Diced
2 Carrots Finely Diced
1 Red Onion Finely Diced
200g Bacon Finely Diced
1/2 Cup White Wine – I tend to favour a good Pinot Grigio for cooking
1 litre Chicken Stock
A good handful of fresh Thyme or 2 tablespoons of dried Thyme
2 Bay Leaves – fresh or dried
2 tablespoons Plain Flour
A good shake of Salt*
A good shake of Pepper
A good pinch of Paprika
50g Butter
2 tablespoons oil
3 tablespoons Dijon Mustard

Turn on your oven to preheat to 160 degrees Celsius.
On your stove top over a medium heat melt the butter, then add Bacon, Onion, Celery and Carrots, stir through and let them sweat down while you flour the meat.
Put the flour, salt*, pepper and paprika in a large plastic bag or in a large bowl, add meat and thoroughly cover in the flour mixture.  Put aside until ready to cook.
Once the celery and onions have become transparent, place the Bacon, Onion, Celery and Carrot mixture into a heatproof bowl and set aside for a moment (or put direct into the slow cooker).
Add oil to the pot, allow to heat through and then add floured meat.  Cook on each side to add colour to the meat.
Leaving the cooked meat in the pot add the 1/2 cup white wine to deglaze, ensure that you scrape all the ‘brownings’ from the bottom of the pan and sides.  For a slow cooker then add the meat to the cooker
Add the Bacon, Onion, Celery and Carrots back into the pot along with the thyme and bay leaves, stir thoroughly and then add the Chicken Stock.
Bring to the boil, stir thoroughly, cover with the lid and pop it in the oven for 2-2 1/2 hours, stirring after the first hour.
You will be able to tell when it is cooked as the meat will fall off the bones or, in the case of the fillets, just fall apart when prodded with a fork.
Remove the meat from the pot and cover with foil, putting it aside to rest while you make the sauce.
Put the pot back on the stove top over a medium heat, add the mustard and stir whilst the sauce reduces and thickens.
Add the meat back into the sauce and serve over a mash of vegetables (my favourite being potato, sweet potato, pumpkin and parsnip) and enjoy.

* Salt.  If you are using a commercial chicken stock it often has a lot of salt already in it, same with the bacon and so you can probably leave out the salt in the flour mix.

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Yarn Along

If you love knitting and reading and having a peek into what others are doing, then head on over to Ginny’s marvellous blog, Small Things, and check out all the wonderful Yarn Along posts for this week.

I am currently knitting a simple jumper for myself out of 10ply as I keep forgetting how cold it gets in my office during the winter.  The wool is Bendigo Luxury in Lake and it knitting up well.  The jumper is just a simple raglan, pieced and then sewn together.  I hope to have it finished this week before the utterly bitter winter sets in.  Of course with colder weather comes darker days and nothing appeals to the Scot in me like scary stories and to sate that need I am currently reading Witches, Ghosts and Signs: Folklore of the Southern Appalachians by Patrick W. Gainer.  It is a fun read, especially as he has kept the language as original as possible.  When I was a child spooky stories during the winter was a great tradition in our family and my Grandfather had a whole bundle of tales that would make your hair stand on end. Some of the stories told in this book are in a similar vein and so it has been a fun read.    

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Very spoilt animals are not content with having a warm coat and their own well padded bed, they just want something a bit more.

But sometimes they go a little too far in their demands!

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Is here!  Hopefully we’ll get a lot of this…

Silver Birch and Snow

Snow in the Back Yard

Time to get knitting!

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Land of lost creatures…

Of rugged mountain landscapes…

And some of the best cider in the country…

Oh so tempting!

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