Monday, 21 October 2013

Of Kettles and Pots and Steaming Good Stews ...

Hello there ...
its rather cold wet and windy here today .. so I am using it as an excuse to sit by the fire and 'fiddle about' .. I've dabbled a bit with my ebay listing .. messed about with a crochet hook .. having a go at some Christmas Robin type corsages ... or similar!

Can't really summon up the energy to do very much ... I think ..I am feeling .. Winter has come ...

We worked yesterday ... in the rain .. dreary...
but I picked up a box of old linen ... 

Rooting about in it I spotted some interesting 'colours' .. 
you know how you do ...
You spot a scrap of fabric ... a tantalising  glimpse of something interesting .. a nice shade or pattern ...
The colours were muted ... vintage-y colours ... mucky looking but interesting to me.

 After wading through the gents old underpants and yellowed string vests ... 
(its no wonder I have a strong healthy immune system)

I pulled out  these old tea towels and dish cloths ... I just loved their ... oldness?
They are very worn and faded and somewhat stained ... they haven't come up very clean after a good hot wash ...
but that's their story ...their life ... a long and hard  one..

And I love them just the same.

 The tea towels intrigued me ... they are/were obviously a good quality cotton . They have little makers labels which double as loops to hang them up.

They were produced by The Bombay Dyeing Company ... I looked it up .. its still going today ... India's foremost textile company founded in 1879.
The company sponsors Miss India ... 
just a random piece of information .. you may wish to have at hand to use when in a difficult situation ... at a Dinner party ... or whatever!

And I must just show you my new (to me) kettle ... 
again found at the car boot ... by the ever industrious treasure seeker Hubby P .

A Girl does of course dream of large shiny kettles in splendid kitchens ... a large .. wonderfully warming Aga on which to boil said kettle.
But in the real world we are content with the modest kitchen we have ... thankful that we can cook and bake and make a warming cup of tea ... 
I think the kitchen must be the heart of any home.

My dinky little kettle fits just nicely on the cooker ring ... and makes such a pleasing 'boil-y' sound ... I'm sure the tea tastes so much nicer.

And as for steaming good stews .... what could be nicer on a cold miserable day.... 

A nice pot of stew and dumplings ... the stew ... a simple 4 oz of cheapest minced beef to give a bit of flavour .. and lots of veg ... onions.. a odd 'inch' of a leek .. a carrot and scrapings of the leftovers dish ... and of course a handful of oats to plump it up a bit.
Whatever is handy really ...the dumplings were from a packet (reduced to 20p at the local shop ..Hubby P bought all six packets ... well trained you see!).

So I will leave you with the dumplings ...
Its that time of year .... 
whats your tried and tested frugal and filling dish?



  1. Agree about the tea towels, know what you mean about liking the "oldness" of something. I like things that are quality yet nolonger perfect...just like me hi hi ;-). My favourite frugal dish is eggy bread. There is always some leftover bread in the breadbin, too dry to eat but too good to throw away. I make egg bread and supplement it with fresh tomatoes etc. Very cheap and filling. Pam xx

  2. I made a large chicken casserole with 2 chicken legs and plenty of veg. We had it last night with rice and again tonight. There's another 2 person helping still in the freezer. My mince and potato stew was similarly portioned up. One portion will have a crust on it tomorrow for our tea. The others are in the freezer.
    Old linens feel good as well as look good, don't they?
    Love from Mum

  3. So good to see a new post...I must confess I save your blog for last to read as it is one of my most favorites!
    I am definitely a sucker for old fabrics...doesn't matter too much what it was! Quilts made from them with a bit of redwork or other embroidery are my favorite! But how many quilts is too many? Need to start marking them for the neices and nephews...
    It is lovely and sunny here (east coast US). Have to take the camera out to record the weather. So many black walnuts on the ground in the back pasture, you can hardly walk. Does anyone eat them? Have veg-beef soup in the slow cooker. Sorry to the vegetarians out there, but I need a bit of meat with my meals, however small...I guess best frugal meal here is eggs, as we usually have tons (except when they are moulting, like now!)

  4. Lovely dumplings!! Mr Twigs made a lovely mince and onion pie yesterday and a scrummy loaf today - hmmmm Winter cooking.
    Twiggy x

  5. My go to meal for pennies is a big pot of split peas, every veg i can lay my hands on diced about 1/4" and chicken stock with some herbs simmered till thick.I have been known to through the rind off a lump of cheese in and any little bits of meat that are floating round the fridge. The last batch that I made had half a pack of cooking bacon diced fine and I served it with a Crunchy Pudding. A stiff batter made with SR flour, suet, an egg and water, with a very fine diced onion mixed in, tipped into a square tin and baked like a Yorkshire Pudding. Good Rib Sticking grub.

  6. My granddaughter bought me 4 packs of dumpling mix. They were FREE as the shopkeeper was throwing them out because they were (just)past their sell-by date!
    We had lamb cobbler yesterday. There is some of the casserole left over - guess what we shall be having with it tomorrow?!

  7. Just had a quick sticky beak at your blog before I go and get dressed and go to work. Its been such a long time since I have visited so I had a bit of catching up to do. Loved reading about what you have been up to - the toweling curtains brought back memories of making a toweling beach robe in sewing class at school, mum bought fabric in bulk and so I matched the bathroom curtains and the towels and washers.

  8. Love the kettle, all bright and shining and cheery looking! I love dumplings ... they add a bit of ballast and comfort to the simplest of meals. Whatever meal I make I usually make more than I need and the leftovers become the basis of the next meal. On Sunday I cooked 3 packs of reduced braising steak in the slow cooker and we had that with loads of also reduced veg. The ledftover veg became bubble and squeak (yesterday's lunch) and the beef was turned into a huge pot of chilli which will go in the freezer.

    Have a lovely Tuesday

    Claire xxx

  9. My cheap and cheerful 'go to' meal for a wet miserable day is a big pan of homemade soup. Just a few handfuls from my big jar of dried soup mix and all the odds and ends from the bottom of the fridge. The smell as it simmers away gently on the cooker usually inspires me to knock up a few homemade bread rolls and then I know there'll be soup and bread for the next couple of days and the kitchen will be warm and cosy to eat it in.

    I love that kettle, there's something so 'right' about it's size and shape. I have serious kettle envy!!

  10. Our all time favourite treat are my individually made shepprds pies.
    I so do love the look of your kettle! I had one very similar many years ago,when I had first moved into my council house. I have a shiny red whistling kettle now that still has some vintage look to it. It reminds me of the 50`s style kettles.


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