Sunday, 18 December 2011

Lime Pie

It's been a while since I posted a recipe. I guess I've been too busy baking with my students to do much on my own. However...last Sunday was the Christmas family get together for 'my side'. We used to be able to squeeze round the dining table for a turkey dinner but now the littlees are becoming teenagers (and in fact are nearly all taller than me)  it's  just not possible. So this year I had the bright idea that everyone do their 'Signature Dish' (possibly I've been watching too much Masterchef).But we all got very enthusiastic about the idea if not even a bit competitive and with the most anticipation being for my niece's boyfriend's Rum Cheesecake. Sadly I don't have the secret recipe as it was delicious but this was my offering

Lime Pie

  1.  preheat oven 150c/390F/Gas mark 2
  2. Crush 100g plain chocolate digestives ( I think they're Graham crackers in the US) into crumbs. I use a plastic bag and a rolling pin

  1. Melt 85g butter in a pan and add the crumbs and mix well

Press the mixture into the base of a 20cm loose based tin (I base line with baking parchment) and bake for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile zest and juice 4 limes and juice half a lemon. Preferably with a nice zester not an old grater like mine. Save a bit of zest to decorate.

Then whip 300ml carton of double cream lightly. Add half of a 400g can of condensed milk, the lime zest and juice and lemon juice. Fold in enough of the remaining condensed milk to make it sweet enough for your taste.

Pour the mixture over the base and chill for at least 2 hours. 
Decorate with white chocolate buttons and lemon zest.

Some people have told me this is a Key Lime Pie? I always thought that was more of a baked affair but I've never tried one...

Monday, 28 November 2011

Advent is about....

Advent is not about shopping, 
stressing, planning or buying

Advent is about expecting,
waiting, hoping and praying

And if you're sick of Christmas by 25th December
You haven't done Advent properly.

Sadly not my words but from a great video our Pastor showed us as we lit the Hope candle.
(And it is a little bit possible that I'm using a video rather than writing because I'm busy shopping, stressing and so forth but I still have hope...)


linking with Hear it, Use it.

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

The trivial round, the common task, will furnish all we ought to ask...

New every morning is the love
our wakening and uprising prove;
through sleep and darkness safely brought,
restored to life and power and thought.

New mercies, each returning day,
hover around us while we pray;
new perils past, new sins forgiven,
new thoughts of God, new hopes of heaven.

If on our daily course our mind
be set to hallow all we find,
new treasures still, of countless price,
God will provide for sacrifice.

Old friends, old scenes, will lovelier be,
as more of heaven in each we see;
some softening gleam of love and prayer
shall dawn on every cross and care.

The trivial round, the common task,
will furnish all we ought to ask:
room to deny ourselves; a road
to bring us daily nearer God.

Only, O Lord, in thy dear love,
fit us for perfect rest above;
and help us, this and every day,
to live more nearly as we pray
 Words: John Keble, 1822

We had a guest preacher, an older Pastor who led us in this lovely old hymn. I was struck by the lines "The trivial round, the common task,will furnish all we ought to ask". I hadn't thought about my chores as a way to deny myself...
The lesson was Luke 9 and in particular  “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me" and the lovely hymn a reminder that each day we continue our Christian walk.
Based partly on the scripture 
2 Yet this I call to mind 
   and therefore I have hope:
 2 Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed,
   for his compassions never fail.
2 They are new every morning;
   great is your faithfulness. from Lamentations 3 21-23

I pray that I may wake every morning with that awareness of heaven in everything and everyone, and my mind set to hallow everything I find. I love every verse of this hymn... what a great reminder of how to deny self, take up your cross and follow Him.

linking up with Michelle at hear it, use it and this week I'm really planning to use it!

Monday, 17 October 2011


Twenty years ago when my eldest son was one and I started regular church attendance again, a Christian friend told me how, when she conceived after a lot of problems she dedicated her son to the Lord and her son then became a missionary. And I was a bit scared...did God want my son too?

On Friday my son was received as a Senior Scholar at Trinity Cambridge.
It turns out we did have to give him to God.
Born gifted, he was reading at two,
Struggling within the limitations of the state school system
we were blessed by extraordinary teachers who nurtured his talents
by a supportive head who re worked the curriculum.

But when he started to talk about Cambridge
we started to doubt.
Maybe one or two students a year get there from our town
And not from comprehensive schools
Or our family’s background.

I recently read Stephen's post about using your talents.
My son worked those God given talents.
Dropped favourite science and did
Maths, Further Maths, more Maths
God gave him those ten Maths talents
And he brought them back with interest.

But with submission, with faithfulness
And when he got an interview,
the test was whether he was teachable
if they could teach him and he could learn from them.
First year was so hard
State system just hadn’t prepared him well.
He worked without ceasing to win the First.
And the second year. The second First
Senior Scholar.
But still with time to give it back
To the holiday clubs
And to support the next generation from his old sixth form.

After I wrote this, at church we looked at how Solomon asked for wisdom and God was pleased. And how James recommends that wisdom from above

Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom.3. 13

But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.3.17

Sometimes it’s not so easy to discern your gifts and I really seek that heavenly wisdom to understand how to use my God given talents.

linking with Michelle at Hear it, use it

Tuesday, 11 October 2011


Drop Thy still dews of quietness,
Till all our strivings cease;
Take from our souls the strain and stress,
And let our ordered lives confess
The beauty of Thy peace.

I'm looking for that peace and sense of order this week.
But how to stop striving for it
And just accept?

I can't write much this week but still linking up with  Hear it, use it as I know there will be a word for me.

Monday, 3 October 2011

In which Twiz finds herself Martha...

But  learns to be like the widow of Nain

Hard times at Twiz Towers this week. 
My father is still in intensive care ten days after surgery 
and his recovery is painfully slow. 

Why, instead of finding myself on my knees praying, 
do I find myself baking,
turning out cupboards,
bringing extra work home?
 If I’m on my knees it’s because I’m cleaning the skirting boards. 
I am that busy Martha with no time to wait on the Lord’s word.

And I’m scared to pray.
I’m scared to ask for God’s healing 
                            in case he doesn’t heal Dad 
and I’m scared not to pray for healing 
                            as it shows how little faith I have. 
So I bake.
And I clean.

We had a visitor at church today.
When she read the story of the centurion, I was shocked. 
I had just been thinking of his story
seeking his faith.
But then she read on.
About the widow of Nain.
The woman who din't ask for anything.
Didn't even think anything could be possible for her dead son
And Jesus saw her need.
Without her asking.

Our speaker said that on our journey with God sometimes we don’t know how to pray.
We can’t see what God can see.
What God can do.
And that’s okay.

And sometimes our faith is strong enough to ask for what we want.
Like the centurion.
And that’s okay too.

And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, 

for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. 
Matthew 6 v 7,8

Linking up with Michelle and Hear it, Use it Every week I feel blessed and encouraged at how God speaks t me through this community. I'm sure he gets one of you to write something especially for me every week!

Monday, 19 September 2011

Waiting for that damp fleece?

What you meant for evil God used for good.
Genesis 50 20

Before I went to church I had a discussion with my son about waiting for a sign before making a decision. Many people are telling me I should become a teacher. I was telling him that I feel that if it’s the right decision the way will be made easy for me. Over the past fifteen years I haven’t got a single job by interview, I’ve prayed and waited and at the right time someone has needed me. 

My son had a different point of view that God can use our mistakes and bad choices for good. He said I shouldn’t waste my time waiting for a damp fleece! 
(I had to look that up, it was Gideon asking for a sign before a battle).
And he said God can use our bad choices because he already knows the future.

Then in church today, the story of Joseph in Genesis. The brothers, selling Joseph for a slave, living for years with the burden of guilt and their father’s grief. Then finally all reunited and reconciled, God uses what they meant for evil to continue the story of the Israelites and prepare the way for Moses.

The Pastor talked about how God can use broken people with all their flaws and baggage to advance the kingdom. That God doesn’t use perfect people, he perfects people. 

My Great Uncle used to always advise “ a firm decision in good faith”.
  I’m not waiting for a damp fleece. But please God I would like a bit of a nudge?

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28

linking up with Hear it, use it

Monday, 5 September 2011

The Bible stands...

The Bible stands like a rock undaunted
’Mid the raging storms of time;
Its pages burn with the truth eternal,
And they glow with a light sublime.

The Bible stands though the hills may tumble,
It will firmly stand when the earth shall crumble;
I will plant my feet on its firm foundation,
For the Bible stands.

The Bible stands like a mountain towering
Far above the works of men;
Its truth by none ever was refuted,
And destroy it they never can.

The Bible stands and it will forever,
When the world has passed away;
By inspiration it has been given,
All its precepts I will obey.

The Bible stands every test we give it,
For its Author is divine;
By grace alone I expect to live it,
And to prove and to make it mine.

 Haldor Lillenas, 1917

We sang that great old hymn in church on Sunday. We were surrounded by Bibles as we are hosting a Bible exhibition. What a blessing to attend a church that's foundation is God's word.

Now I'm getting ready to have my life changed
This week our church starts a programme of Bible study called E100 from Scripture Union.
100 selected daily readings to cover Genesis to Revelation.It's challenging, it's exciting.
Our speaker on Sunday said the Bible can change lives. And Timothy says with it the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work."By grace alone I expect to live it and to prove it and make it mine".

 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,  so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 16-17

linking with Hear it, Use it with Michelle at Graceful,

Thursday, 1 September 2011

The end of the Summer holidays...

Went for a last summer walk with my hubbie on the downs before the start of term.

Took the pics on our phones so they're not great but you could just see the sea in the distance...

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Do I matter?

Trying to be ever alert for the slightest nudge from God, I got the second of two almighty knockout punches this week. And a great and unwelcome revelation of the error of my ways…

I should have heeded the first sign but I didn’t want to. A lovely young woman was leaving work and had invited me to her leaving party. As the day came nearer I started to make excuses to myself. It’s twenty miles away, we can’t afford it, my husband needs me to cook his tea...
But the real reason was that I didn’t think I’d be missed. Didn’t think I really counted. With the fifty other people invited who would notice me.

The next day my friend said to me, “I’m so glad I made the effort to go. A dozen of us had to split the cost of a buffet for fifty as no one turned up.”  Well, I felt sick. I couldn’t make it right. I apologised but…

I know I matter to God. My name is written on his hand. Sometimes I can’t seem to get that I matter to other people too.

This week my church had thirty visitors for tea. The Pastor had mentioned that she might need some help. My mum was making cakes. Again I thought that there would be lots of people to help - the real important church members would turn up and I wouldn’t be needed. Poor mum popped down with the cakes, found Sarah alone making sandwiches and ended up serving sixty cups of tea and clearing up.

I don’t know when or how I started to feel so negative about myself. I know I would have been wanted at both occasions and would have enjoyed them. But I also know that it’s going to be hard to convince myself that I’m really wanted when the next invitation or request comes.

Here’s my plan. I hope it works. Paul says the church is a body. So even if I’m the tiniest smelly little toe, if I’m not there I will be missed. If God provides the opportunity for me to serve and the time free to do so, then I will serve.

12 Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. 14 Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many.
 15 Now if the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? 18 But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. 19 If they were all one part, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, but one body.
1 Corinthians

Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands Isaiah 49 16

 linking up with Michelle at Hear it, Use it.

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

Recently I’ve been praying for discernment. I wanted the ability to understand the signals, the nudging that God was giving me. It’s been a scary time for our family as my husband was made redundant at such a bad time in the economy. We were provided for financially and it was a blessing for him to escape an abusive work environment but just to wait on the Lord was hard.

All I could pray for was for God’s will to be done..

Over the last twelve weeks, as my husband has gone for interviews, I’ve prayed for each one to be the right one. Okay I didn’t like the one that involved a two hour drive home every night but maybe God thought that was right for our family.
When he didn’t get what we thought was his perfect job, I prayed for understanding. Well, I didn’t need that much understanding as the company went into receivership the next week.

The thing I was afraid to ask for, or even to hope for was what I thought this family needed - a local job, no late nights, a good employer.

"And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do,
For they think that they will be heard for their many words. Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him."
Matthew 6:7-8   
 Well, God gave my husband a job. He can walk to work, finishes at 5.30, (unusual in his line of work), has had a training course and there’s a pension. And, (and this is practically unheard of in retail) they close Christmas Eve!  God  answered our unasked prayer and provided just what was needed.

 linking up with Pages in Your Heritage of Faith . I don’t feel like I'm as eloquent as the other great contributors but this is my witness to answered prayer and God’s faithful provision. 

And also linking up with Hear it, Use it .I love reading everyone's encouraging words.

Monday, 15 August 2011

What would Jesus do, hug a hoodie?

Terrible events have shocked our nation. The police have stood by watching while people’s homes have been burned. Angry mobs have ransacked and destroyed people’s businesses. A sixty eight year old man has died after being attacked for trying to put out a fire.

The perpetrators have faced up to us in their designer clothes saying they are entitled to protest because they have nothing.
The papers want to evict them from their social housing, take away their benefits. Our taxes are supporting their bad choices.

Returning early from his holiday the Prime Minister says
There are pockets of our society that are not only broken, but frankly sick"
   He adds  ‘We needed a fightback and a fightback is under way.’ I find a Christian colleague has started a vigilante group to fight  ‘the yobs’. Other people set out to clean up the community with brooms. There is a peace rally in Birmingham led by the father of  someone who died defending his community.

Someone asks what would Jesus do?

My pastor shares this link on facebook
Jesus came not for the righteous but the riotous

And I understand what Jesus would do, what he did.

10While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and “sinners” came and ate with him and his disciples. 11When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and ‘sinners’?”
12On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. 13But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’a For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”  Matthew 9

Glen says it so well I'm going to quote him
Jesus is the Doctor for the sick.  Only for the sick.  Don’t spend your time pointing the finger at others.  Don’t spend your time thinking, thank goodness I’m not like those bad people.  Don’t pick up a broom if you think that by it you can clean yourself up.  Confess your sickness: “Jesus I am sick, heal me.”
Jesus is a Doctor for sick sinners. He did not come into this world to congratulate the healthy, He did not come to condemn the sick.  He came to heal the sick – that’s what a Doctor does.
He did it by taking our spiritual sickness into Himself.  He deliberately contracted our terminal illness.  On the cross he died the death of sick looters, sick politicians, sick policemen, sick journalists, sick hypocrites, sick me and sick you.  That’s how much He is for the sick.  Then He rose up again and offers to meet you in your sickness – not with condemnation but with healing.
And that’s the only power to change rioters, and politicians and police and the media and you and me.
I’m not just broken, I’m sick.  Thank God there’s a Doctor!  Call out to Him now to receive His care.  And take this Gospel from me to read about Jesus who came for the sick."

linking up with Michelle at Graceful

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

My first amigurumi

Found the pattern in an old knitting magazine from a charity shop.
I was quite pleased with how he turned out as I am pretty much self-taught.

The dog and youngest son both seem to think I made it for them!

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

What does God want?

I was a bit worried when Pastor Sarah said we were going to look at Malachi. I’ve never read it and I couldn’t have told you where to find it. Although I am aware of the stories of Exodus and some of the prophesies of the Old Testament, I do tend to disregard it as ‘the old covenant’ with all its dietary rules and an eye for an eye.
In my defence, although my Bible study notes include the Old Testament, in my previous 10 years attending the local Parish C of E church, I don’t remember hearing a Bible talk on the Old Testament.

So, on to Malachi 1.

“When you bring injured, lame or diseased animals and offer them as sacrifices, should I accept them from your hands?” says the LORD. 14 “Cursed is the cheat who has an acceptable male in his flock and vows to give it, but then sacrifices a blemished animal to the Lord. For I am a great king,” says the LORD Almighty, “and my name is to be feared among the nations.” Malachi

God is telling the priests how unhappy he is with their sacrifices.
They are bringing to God the blind, diseased animals that they don’t want.
The priests are then complaining that they have to tend the defiled table. God says it would be better that they just shut the temple door.

Worse, they are promising God the best of the flock and then keeping it for themselves.

 It says in Samuel ‘to obey is better than sacrifice’.  And in Mark, Jesus commends the man who says “To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbour as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices."

Sarah went on to say that it is really important that we understand who the God of the Bible is and we don’t pick out the bits we want. I am very comfortable with the father God who provides for us and forgives us. I prefer not to think about giving everything up and taking up my cross. I read a couple of blogs this week that discussed how we can be obedient to all of God’s word and obey Jesus. .

I love to sing the chorus ‘I surrender all’. And I really mean it. Then, as the week goes on, I rush my Bible reading to check out my other emails, I find excuses not to get up for an early prayer meeting, I take a couple of pounds out of my tithe money to buy the Sunday paper. God is not getting the best ram. Sacrifices rather than obedience? This week I am praying for an obedient heart.

To obey is better than sacrifice
I don't need your money
I want your life
And I hear you say that I'm coming back soon
But you act like I'll never return

Well you speak of grace and my love so sweet
How you thrive on milk, but reject My meat
And I can't help weeping of how it will be
If you keep on ignoring My words
Well you pray to prosper and succeed
But your flesh is something I just can't feed
Keith Green

 linking up with Hear it on Sunday

And this is my first attempt at joining in a blog hop - I've enjoyed reading everyone's blogs. Hope you like mine.

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Should we boast about the future?

I have many friends who are discontented with their current lot. They say “when my husband earns more money we’ll get a bigger house”, “when we get the kids off our hands we’ll get a decent car”, “when we retire, we’ll go on a cruise”.
Maybe I boast of the future too as I plan for my sons to go to university, as I  talk about my next holiday or as I look forward to a day off?

James 4 13 Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” 14 Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. 15 Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” 16 As it is, you boast in your arrogant schemes. All such boasting is evil.
 As we trust in God’s provision for the present, we should accept his will for our future. I’m more of a worrier than a boaster, I would really like to be sure of what will happen tomorrow. The uncontrollable uncertainties in my life are waking me up at four am to relive the worst case scenario. I remind myself daily Do not be anxious about anything,

James 4 also says “You do not have because you do not ask God. 3 When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.” and that God opposes the proud but lifts up the humble.

I pray that I will be able to ask in humility for what I need rather than for those pleasures that I want And that I may so show an acceptance of God’s plan and purpose in my life that it may be a blessing and help to my friends..

6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4 

Sunday, 17 July 2011

In the world but not of the world...

The visiting pastor last week said that the book of James was a bit like an MOT. Because you know your car is going to be judged you are prompted to check all its parts are in order and put it in order.

The part that James 3 exhorts us to put right is the tongue
5 Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. 6 The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell. 

 I feel like I understand that I should be honest and not gossip. Since becoming a Christian I have accepted that my tendency to gossip has been a thorn in my side that I daily bring to the Lord.   But what I really struggle most with is talking to non Christians. I can tell a Christian friend something and I know we will see it the same way. If I tell her someone is struggling, she will pray for them and find ways to support and encourage. But other colleagues, even lovely people sometimes seem to take my words and seize on them for their own purposes. I guess just writing this down has shown me the answer. Once again the gift I most need is that of discernment.

I wrote this before I read Michelle's blog on being a living sacrifice and I feel so encouraged by her words. I pray that this week I may discern what is the will of God – what is good and acceptable and perfect.

linking up with Hear it on Sunday, Use it on Monday

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Where I'm from...

I am from reading The Famous Five under the covers with a torch, from Mothers Pride white sliced bread and Clarks t-bar school shoes.

 I am from the leafy suburbs, tree-lined streets, suited dads leaving for London at eight every morning, Saturday sounds of lawnmowers, smells of grass and petrol.

I am from the fragrant, thorny rose bed, the shady Willow tree. From feeding the garden birds and knowing them by name. I am from the long hot summer of ‘77 when the earth cracked and the tarmac melted.

I am from finishing everything on your plate (because there are people starving in Africa) and ‘love a duck‘, from ‘ a firm decision in good faith‘, home made Christmas presents and hand knitted clothes. Helen’s Christmas pudding and Dorothy’s frothy 'snowballs'. I am from Uncle Phil, who’s real name was Ernest, paying his rates in old pennies.

I am from the service men who served their country and lived with the consequences and I am from the women who coped.
From land owners in Bishopsgate and farmers who made their fortune driving Hanson Cabs in Notting Hill.
I am from non conformist pastors, baptised in the Nene and from gamblers, losing that same fortune to bookmakers.
I am from the words of Wesley, my chains fell off my heart was free, and from salvation through grace. From the seven readings and the seven carols, sitting cross legged on the floor in the school hall.

I am from London and Lancashire and Leicestershire, I am from roast beef dinners and sherry trifles. From the Head Chef of the BBC, making cakes for Blue Peter, the entrepreneurs of the eighties, creating a restaurant loved by the local community, the Sweet shop in Bournemouth with the brightly coloured jars and little paper bags.

I am from a tin box in my loft, dim curling photos of stern faced ancestors, from Great Aunt Lillian’s polished pie crust table, from the faded sampler on my wall, hand sewn linen on my dressing table.

You knew me before I was born, All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. My past, my present, my future, where I’m from and where I will be.

I read a beautiful poem on DRGT Just Wondering and when I found it was from a template (I didn't even know you could get a poetry template), I decided I would try. Its not perfect, I haven't written anything for thirty years except notes on work stuff and shopping lists. But I did weep over this, so many memories, the sights and smells of childhood, people I haven't thought about in years so it has a certain value to me.

The template is here
Why not have a go?

You saw me before I was born.
Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
Every moment was laid out
before a single day had passed.
Psa1m 139 v 16 New Living Translation

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

The home-made Prom dress

In a spirit of thiftiness, I decided to make my own dress to wear as a guest at a High School Prom. We didn't have Proms back in the day, not even a leavers' disco so I was really looking forward to it. And I was hoping to make a dress that would actually fit and be reasonably modest as I am not only petite (actually short) but also two different dress sizes...

I have just got back into sewing. My first project was a loose jersey shift which was well received, from a free Prima pattern, so I thought I was ready for a challenge. But I thought I'd save too much fitting by sticking with jersey and I also avoided confronting my fear of zips.

The pattern was a wrapover, full-length. Somewhat hard to fit, but luckily the stretch jersey helped with that. I managed to get a remnant on ebay of lovely black jersey and I found an old chiffon shawl that was my Grandma's in the loft to add a bit of luxurious sparkle, and as it turned out, to protect me on the windy balcony, where I got a good view of the limos.

the finished dress

And as for the was very enjoyable. A really lovely rite of passage for the students: a way to say goodbye to their schooldays and schoolfriends and start moving on.

Giant Cocoa Meringues

I saw these in Carluccio’s restaurant and had to go home and work out a recipe. It’s best to weigh the egg whites and then use double the amount of sugar. And of course they’re low fat and gluten free.

200g egg whites (approx 7 medium eggs)
400g caster sugar
12g cocoa powder
½ teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch salt

  • Preheat the oven to 110c and line two large baking trays with baking parchment.
  • Mix the cinnamon with the cocoa.
  • Set up a double boiler. Put the egg whites, salt and sugar into the top bowl over gently simmering water. Stir to dissolve the sugar. Use a clean hand to check the sugar is dissolved and the mixture doesn’t get hotter than 37c.
  • When the sugar is dissolved, whisk the mixture with a balloon whisk to thick ribbon stage. You need a large bowl and this takes longer than you might expect!
  • Sieve the cocoa mixture over the top. Do not mix in.
  • Using two spoons, take deep scoops of the mixture to get a ripple effect.
  • Drop onto the baking trays to make 12 meringues. They can be as rustic or even as you like. I quite like them rough and uneven. Leave gaps around so they can expand.
  • Bake for two hours,
I have adapted this recipe from the original which you can find with great pictures at The British Larder I wasn't brave enough to put my mixture directly over the heat as they do as I was sure I'd get scrambled eggs.

Friday, 1 July 2011

My First jewellery commission!

czech crystals

My creative friend and I made a few bits for a fund raiser. I made some earrings and some crocheted bracelets.
pink and gold crochet set

The little green crocheted bracelets with the 28 gauge silver wire sold first. Creative friend’s lovely beaded bracelets went well and she also made some great surfer style ones (with what we used to call macramé type knots!)

green  and silver crochet set

And there was of course a pan of Malteser cake which went down well.

Then I got an order, my first, for two more bracelets! I know they’re for charity so priced to sell but I’m still well pleased.

my first commission

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Joy in trials?


James 1

“ 2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.   4 Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. “

A couple of days ago I posted about my current time of trial. So, I was encouraged Sunday when Pastor Sarah chose this passage.
How hard it is to consider trials as pure joy but although I know that God doesn’t tempt us (v 13) I do accept that God has a plan for us and “12 Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.”
It is hard not to be angry when you feel you have suffered injustice but James tells us “19 :Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, “

I am working towards the day when my faith will be mature and complete and not lacking anything. I find it hard to rejoice in this trial but I will embrace it, persevere and be quick to listen for God’s voice.

linking up with Graceful     


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