Monday, 8 October 2012

Revamp.....Reclaim.....Re-hash....with a hint of School Dinners !

Hello there ... hope all is well with you.

Just a little bit of pretty to start with ....

 How do you like my little pink chocolate box?

I think it is so splendid ... I was smitten at first glance ... its a bit battered and bent  ... but 'arnt we all ..d'harlings!

Such a thing has just got to have been designed to hold love letters....once you have scoffed choccies of course... love letters ...ummm you think I could wangle the odd one out of Hubby P .... not something I could envisage these days ....

 Mind you .... I must say he is always so busy.

He's been Revamping today ... giving a new lease of life to some rather excellently made but tired looking furniture.

I suppose Revamping is a rather old fashioned word nowadays .... should it be Upcycling Recycling or something.
Anyway it means he has spent time and effort on something that was a bit tired and worn looking... and made it into an attractive and functional piece of furniture. 

 Even the handles are just so stylish ....

 Here we are ... all done and ready to be loaded into the van .... ready for sale.

So .... what have I been doing ... other than faffing around with the camera?
Well .... it must be said I have been rather inspired by the Wartime Farm series on TV. I find it fascinating what they did with so little.... I am sure it was all very stressful and not at all what anyone would want to go through ... but all the same an incredible feat ... feeding the country on so little.

 So inspired ... and the fact that I have a rather large stock of suet thanks to Approved Foods bargain prices.... I fancied an old fashioned steamed suet pudding .... a jam rolypoly ... just like we had for school dinners.
I wanted a real trip down memory lane ... I wanted that warming sweet stodgy fulfilling taste... that special smell... and it had to look the same.
I did a bit of trawling the web ... I wanted to make it in a puddin cloth ... this way of cooking was often used in the north where the cotton mills often meant there was plenty of odd lengths of cotton about (it was cheap and readily available). 
Another ... of the many ... names for this type of pudding was 'Dead Mans Arm' this was because the rolled up pudding was cooked in an old sleeve of a cotton shirt ... the pudding being a bit pale and puffy/flabby looking oozing red jam... could be likened to a dismembered arm.
Bit gruesome... 


I followed the instructions and the pudding steamed gently away on the lowest of heat.
It did stick to the cloth somewhat and didn't look just as it should ... or as I remembered it .. I think I should have floured the cloth more.
But the smell ..... wonderful smell... as soon as I started unrolling the cloth ....
..... It took me right back to the school dinner hall ... and Mrs Green dishing up the pudding... with lashings of bright yellow custard.
Hubby P wasn't too worried what it looked like and we ate it up with much glee ... wonderful!  

Not that I would have felt like going out to do an afternoons work after such a pudding ....

This pretty little flower was featured on Wartime Farm too..... its Soap Wort .... it grows a bit rampant in my garden.
Its a wild flower .... and can be used as a mild soap.
On the programme Ruth (the historian)makes a soapy solution from the plant to wash her hair. 
I find all this fascinating stuff ...yet ...
 all this knowledge and know how is just ... well .. disappearing... just not getting passed down from mother to daughter as it once was. 
It has never been so easy to pass on information, to store it , to retrieve it ... and yet day to everyday homes and families the art of everyday growing... cooking... caring ... is being lost.
.... how many young people do you know who can bake a cake... sew on a button ... wire a fuse....etc

Am I getting a bit carried away ... or do you think you might agree ....should we be worried? 
As they say ...'Is It Me??

Enough of the ramble for now ... take care x


  1. Absolutely Fabulous!!Scary looking pudding but mmmmh I can just smell the jammy aroma and the custard..

  2. Wish the show was on here in the US....maybe I can catch up when I am in teh UK next week...soapwort is something I always wanted in my garden but did not know how to find!

  3. I'm with you all the way on Wartime Farm. I've been with them since the Victorian Era! But isn't poor Peter starting to show his age?

    I too was inspired by the programme this week - it was those boiled onions that did it - and got out my "Good Houskeeping" wartime recipe book. It's a facimile, but the recipes are genuine. We had stuffed leeks for dinner on Saturday, and very tasty they were too!

  4. I am loving the War Time farm - I have watched all their various era's, Ruth is just so totally over the top with enthusiasm. The pud looks delicious, so glad you went for that and not the MURKEY!

  5. Funnily enough I was just thinking about lost skills myself, and I agree with you 100%. What worries me is that these are life skills we are losing.
    PS Blogging again but under a new name. Lovely to catch up with you!

  6. Jam roly poly - that takes me back! did you have any of the gorgeous chewy jammy bits on the edge that everyone fights over??
    Am also loving Ruth and the wartime farm - would love to dress up and join in.


I do so like to read your thoughts and my blogg-y doings ... Thankyou for leaving a comment.