Friday, 3 April 2015

Queen of Sheba...

The queen of Sheba came to Jerusalem "with a very great retinue, with camels bearing spices, and very much gold, and precious stones". "Never again came such an abundance of spices" as those which she gave to Solomon. She came "to prove him with hard questions", all of which Solomon answered to her satisfaction. They exchanged gifts, after which she returned to her land.....


painting by Piero della Francesca


Queen of Sheba cake...
160g unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
320g plain chocolate broken into chunks
160g caster sugar
drop of almond essence
5 eggs, separated
50g ground almonds
icing sugar, for sifting
Marmalade cream
55g Seville orange marmalade
125g mascarpone cheese
3 tablespoons Greek yoghurt
icing sugar to taste

1-Heat oven to 180'C and grease a 22cm spring-form cake tin.
2-melt the butter ,chocolate and sugar in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water.Stir in the almond essence and set aside.
3-Beat the egg whites until they form medium peaks. Stir the egg yolks one by one into the chocolate mix.
4-Fold in one large spoonful of egg whites to loosen the mixture, then fold in the rest and add the almonds. Pour into the tin and bake for 40-45 mins till the cake comes away from the edges. Leave in tin for 15 mins.
5-Whizz the marmalade, cheese and yoghurt in a food processor. Add icing sugar to taste.
6-Run a knife around the inside of tin and turn the cake onto a wire rack...the top will be cracked and slightly sunken. Dust with icing sugar and serve with the marmalade cream....






Happy Easter !
Gail x






Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Vintage bunny...








I made a little nest out of hazel twigs ...just right for the goose eggs from my uncle's allotment...
one egg made a huge omelette that filled the frying pan !! 
And then a little bunny...made from a pair of old, satin, brocade curtains that were quite threadbare ...I salvaged what fabric I could ... and made "Dylan" so named by my husband...(a fan of the old magic roundabout !)...

As I have given up chocolate for lent I have been looking for a nice recipe for Easter....a seriously.. chocolatey... indulgent... recipe ...
that will be my next post !

warm hugs ...Gail x

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Scatter kindness......







These are photos of our local Abbey.....taken first thing in the morning ....
the ruins are wrapped in an eerie glow.....
perfect for imagining the monks that once walked here....
after the mist lifted, it was a perfect, sunny, spring day...cold and bright...

sending good wishes out to you.....
 wherever you may be !
Gail x


Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Spring flowers....









Some hellebores...
 and a sprinkling of primula vulgaris...
have a nice day !
Gail x

Thursday, 12 March 2015

A hare for Easter.....


 It's time to use the lavender from last year to make lovely sleep pillows...
and as it's nearly Easter I thought 
an image of a hare might be nice....












I stitched the hare by hand on an old piece of linen after an attempt on the sewing machine went badly wrong ! sometimes hand embroidery gives it a nice naive look...
I filled it with sweet smelling lavender.... 
and added some ribbon to finish it off ....
You can see my "design" book is bursting at the seams...It is stuffed with all sorts of bits and pieces of embroidered fabric and ideas for creating.... I think it's time for a new one !

Best wishes to you all and thanks always for your visits and comments...
you make my day that bit nicer !
Gail x




Friday, 6 March 2015

Amaryllis time.....

I love amaryllis and have quite a few dotted about the house...


I actually had to move all my hyacinth bulbs to the back porch as the smell was delicious but quite overpowering !


I finally got round to making a stripy scarf...


I used garter stitch which makes it nice and flat with no curled up edges....it's nice and long....husband has taken a liking to it so I think I have lost it hehe


 an old enamel sign....




A new addition to our family...
 "Treacle" ...










I'm so glad that the days are getting lighter and that the garden is waking from her slumber....rewarding our patience with wonderful and delicate spring blooms...even the flowering cherry is on the verge of blossoming.....
Wishing you all a lovely weekend !
Gail x


Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Walkies...





















My sister and I had a lovely walk in the woods....about 30 minutes from where we live....we set off quite early in the morning....there was snow on the hills and the air was lovely and fresh....I love these kind of winter days ...the sunshine is so welcome and yes, you have to wrap up warm but once you are walking you soon get quite toasty ! The lake was frozen solid and had the most beautiful images across it...like wings...other pools of water held fabulous reflections of the bare trees....birds were busy gathering food and nesting materials...it was a stunning day.....
natures healing gifts come in a variety of shapes and sizes.....sometimes it's the feel of the sunshine on your skin...sometimes soft,summer rain or the smell of the moss on the woodland floor....or maybe a fleeting glimpse of a wild creature amongst the trees... after today's walk my soul felt truly nourished.....thank you mother nature you are awesome....
Hope you all have a lovely week...
Gail x
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