Sunday, 11 August 2013

Homemade Ice Cream without a Machine

This is a recipe I got from my Swedish Aunt M. I think she had seen it on the telly. It is really easy and you don't need t agitate the ice cream while it is freezing. The result is even better, if you bother doing some mixing once, just when it has solidified. (I have bothered, ehm...once). I have adjusted the recipe a bit, the original had 3dl cream to 1dl condensed milk, too sweet in my opinion.

The basic recipe is:

100gr condensed milk (1/4 of the tin)
3dl whipping cream

Add the vanilla seeds to the cream and beat the cream really stiff, without turning it to butter. Fold the condensed milk in and freeze. DONE!

I have experimented with different flavours. I tried to make a fresh strawberry ice cream, but the water contents were too high and I ended up with ice particles in the ice cream.  I think it would have been better to use my jam in it.

I made a very good mint-chocolate chip one by dropping the vanilla, but adding a few drops of peppermint oil and a good amount of chopped milk chocolate. I am now in Elf Son's good books!

I also made absolutely gorgeous PISTACHIO ice cream. I was not aiming at the taste you get in most places, which is almond/marzipan taste. I wanted pistachio like we get in our local ice cream parlour Spurreli's. I dropped the vanilla, but chopped a good lot of nuts and put them in. I saw that some of the nuts were chopped to very fine powder to make an even distribution of the taste. I used roasted, but unsalted nuts. Oooh, so good!

Third flavour this time was vanilla-chocolate chip ice cream made by simply adding some chopped dark chocolate in the basic recipe. Very good as well.

I can recommend this recipe, especially if you find the commercial ice cream too sweet and cannot be bothered with whipping your homemade ice cream every hour and/or don't own a machine. The only sweetness comes from the condensed milk and the bits you might add.

HINT: As the condensed milk tin has nearly 400gr of milk, I tend to buy 1.2l of whipping cream and make a lot. Last time I made three different ones, about 3-3,5l of ice cream.

Friday, 9 August 2013

Progress Report

I have been absent this week. I don't know what I thought to report to you, as there aren't and won't be any before and after pictures for a good while. On the other hand I am all for seeing other people's work in progress, so I thought I might bore you with that.

I have been covered with wallpaper paste to my elbows. Although there was thankfully only one layer and the lining, it was painted, so had practically a plastic coating. I had forgot how much the old paste smells like cigarettes. It is not a strong smell, but there is definitely a resemblance. First I thought that someone had walked past the window smoking, but as the smell persisted, I figured out what it was.

The pictures show you how far we have come with ripping. We have started in the upstairs as well. We don't need to remove wallpaper there, just to do some painting and the floors. The floors will be the big job both down-and upstairs.

What you cannot see is all the work we have done pulling the carpet tacking strips off the floors. Elf Husband have been doing this, but there are billions of staples and nails left behind from earlier carpets as well. I have been on my fours on this floor today and pulling out these nasty things

They are SO tricky to see. The new shiny ones are easy to spot, but these rusty ones hiding in that Victorian floor staining and old wax are a challenge. In the end I was running my hands over the boards trying to detect them by feeling. I had a few punctures in my hands as a result and left some interesting patterns made with my blood on the boards.

I hope to show you more exciting things next time, but the progress is slow, as predicted and take s a lot of my time, so there is very little sewing and such. I hope you have a relaxing and maybe productive weekend!

Monday, 5 August 2013

Linen Shirt


Last summer I was shown a beautiful linen fabric by my sister. I did resist the temptation to buy, until I was given a sewing magazine with a perfect shirt/tunic pattern. I had to go back to the shop for the fabric. I managed to sew the shirt in July this year.

I changed the pattern only by replacing lace, which was on the front and around the middle by making strips of pintuck pleats. The idea was to cut the fabric off under the lace. I don't think that would have looked that good: My tummy is normally not tanned and also it is not slim like the model's.

These pictures are grazy, I don't like taking piccies of myself, but bear with me!

The shirt has been used a lot and I try to limit my usage a little bit, so it is not worn out this summer.

Friday, 2 August 2013

Garden News

I promised to show my grapes as they are now. They have started to change their colour.

The view from the "front" door of my polytunnel:

It has now reached the stage where everything has exploded and I have given up trying to keep the plants in check. I merely try to spot the harvest amongst all the greenery. I photographed some cukes from my jungle for you to see:

The tomatoes have gone wild as well, but are not ripening as yet. I think I better cut their tops soon, so we can start to enjoy  the harvest.

Usually I open both doors for the day, but I might have to start to use my screen doors.  All sorts of critters seem to think that it is free for all situation. I have been finding a black bird in the tunnel rather more often than I am comfortable with.  I removed 5 big snails from there too. Luckily they were  mainly in the passion vine, which can tolerate to be munched. I also noticed that some of my grapes looked as if they had exploded. It didn't take long for me to figure out that as I am not watering the vine, the culprits are the sweet thirsty wasps. I even found one red handed or should I say with red nose/mouth!

The weekend promises nice weather (again!) and I hope to be in the garden some of the time, although I expect that I will be ripping some wallpaper down as well. 

Have a nice weekend and I'll be back next week telling you about my exploits in our nest!

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Constructive Destruction

Yesterday I took Elf Son with me and we went to our new house with some cleaning materials. The Son was happy to camp in his room with few books and such.

My priorities might need checking. There I was in my new home, all poised for a spot of cleaning and home making. Like by magic my legs carried me into the mini yard to see that all the weeds were pulled out as the first job:

Afterwards we went to buy a feather duster for the house, just round the corner. The Son chose a red one. On the way back he was asking if we could go via the Town Square. It is not far from the house, so I said yes, sure, but why? There was some muttering about exercise (?) and as soon as we got there he headed for the public toilets. I was trying to persuade him to wait as our house is literally a minute's walk from where we stood. "Oh no, I want to go here", said he. Afterwards I remembered him telling me that the bathroom and toilet needed "serious scrubbing". When I told the story to the Husband, he was about to choke in his tea for the mirth. "Someone has a Mum, who likes cleaning", was uttered under his breath. Enjoying cleaning? Moi? No way, I just don't like dirty house. The toilet and the bathroom got cleaned, so the Son does not need to run to the public toilets every time the nature calls.

So...let an Elf loose in a house needing doing. The living room looks a bit dreary, but not too bad:

After I had been at it it looked like this (slightly different angle):

Notice that the horrible gas fire has lost the cover. This is Elf Husband's doing. He came after work and checked that indeed we need a gas engineer doing the removal of this "beauty".

The carpet has a taker, hence I have tried to safeguard it a bit. As I folded it to see how the floorboards (YES, floorboards!) looked like I found this:

Original floor tinting from Victorian times. They had a carpet and dyed the floor where the carpet did not reach. Obviously the floor has been covered since those times. People have done decorating without cover as there are paint stains along the walls.

As Elf Husband was on the move he decided to rip some more carpets up. (No "before" pictures but same type and colour carpet all over the house).

The stairs have had a runner, as one might expect.

And there he is, swiftly moving the carpet in refuse sacks. The floor is really dusty, but not in bad condition. I was already dreaming last night about oiling the boards and I had not even started with the job yet. How bad is that?

I noticed immediately yesterday that something was wrong. Nothing drastic, but something kept niggling in the back of my mind. It took some time for me to realise that the house did not smell like our home. It is nothing I notice much coming home, but when it is missing I do. Sense of smell is very closely connected to emotions, so I did some remedial work today by burning incense and letting this chap watch over my work.

I don't burn incense regularly at home, but it has often been the first thing to do in a new abode. Maybe it serves as a purification? The house itself has a nice feeling,  so nothing wrong there.  Have you been constructively destructive lately?