Lavender heart

IMG_3122.JPG

Lavender is one of my favourite plants to grow (about one of the only plants I can grow and even then it’s a bit hit and miss), I love the smell of course and I love the way bees visit it. This year my lavender kept flowering relatively late and although I normally like to keep the lavender on the bush for the bees, as it was quite late and a lot of the lavender was still in bud, which is the best time to harvest for dried lavender apparently (which normally seems like you’re depriving the bees to be honest), I did harvest some.

I already had the heart embroidery, which I had been stitching over the summer (which felt kind of apt), in mind. So when the lavender had dried I made a little lavender heart. I was worried I wouldn’t have enough lavender but as it turns out I had just enough and it smells wonderful and it’ll be a great reminder of the summer over the winter.

The embroidery pattern by the way, is from an issue of the Bustle & Sew magazine.

IMG_3125.JPG

#craft365 days 61 – 90

Time for my #craft365 update again.

IMG_0661.JPG

Not much progress on my skulls over the past month, as much as it may be Halloween soon, these were originally a summer project for something I’d wear in the summer, so the incentive to stitch these is unfortunately low, although I should really stick my bum in gear because if I leave it until next summer, knowing me I’ll be finishing it sometime next October.

IMG_0662.JPG

Equally not much progress on my blanket, I’m getting more and more behind.

IMG_0664.JPG

However I have started stitching a Christmas present for Girl Lacer which is going quite well, despite it being quite a complex pattern and not the easiest to read chart. I’m not saying what it is yet or where the pattern is from, can you tell what it is?

IMG_0666.JPG

I’ve also been working through Nicole’s Furry Stitching class, this is my progress near the end of week 3 (I’m a bit behind on that to).

So, not a bad month.

On the menu: Fudge Brownies

Sunday

IMG_2416.JPG

These fudge brownies with white chocolate chips are from The Great British Bakeoff: Big Book Of Baking and have so much sugar in, they are, as you’d imagine, absolutely delicious, with a lovely chew and it has definitely quelled Boy Lacer’s recent complaints that I’d been making stuff “too healthy”, best brownie recipe I’ve tried in ages.

The Son of Sobek

IMG_0660.JPG

Our Rick Riordan odyssey continues with a short cross over story with Percy Jackson and Carter Kane (the hero of a series of books based on Egyptian mythology). We haven’t read the Carter Kane books yet (but will) but I couldn’t resist reading this story early, I don’t think it gave too many spoilers (or maybe it did, like I say, I haven’t read the Carter Kane books yet to know whether I’m being spoiled or not). Anyway, in the Son of Sobek, a giant crocodile is terrorising Long Island and Percy and Carter cross paths as they both try and deal with it. There was a good final fight sequence as there often is in Rick Riordan books and it’s made me want to know more, so I think the story ticked all the boxes!

**** (out of 5)

Richmond Park in Autumn (again)

I tripped and fell badly on my knee and elbow during my last run earlier this week (me – mid fall – you know how time can slow during these things – “Noooooo, my iPhone!” – yep forget the elbow I bashed badly in my (successful) attempt at keeping my phone from hitting the ground, as long as my iPhone is ok, everything is ok – I am way too attached to that thing). Anyway because I bruised my knee quite badly I don’t think it’d be a good idea to run until next week now, so instead of what would have been a run this morning, I went for a walk in the park instead and of course I took my camera.

DSCF4495

The wild flower patch I walk past on the way to the park is still going strong.

DSCF4496

Crunchy nut pods under foot.

DSCF4504

DSCF4508

DSCF4514

And the prerequisite deer, it’s still mating season and it’s like a deer equivalent of a hot nightclub out there at the moment.

And as I thought, whilst taking the photos, that it was a shame that the photos didn’t catch how noisy the park is at the moment, I took a video to, you can hear a stag bellowing and some noisy birds, some of which are parakeets (yep, we have those in the park, I love the theory that they escaped from the set of The African Queen).

Richmond Park in autumn from J Lacer on Vimeo.

On the menu: Insanity Burger, some salad and some ‘healthy’ biscuits

Saturday

IMG_2337.JPG

This was definite cooking with love this one was, as I’m not much of a meat eater and haven’t eaten an actual meat burger since I was forced to as a little kid, was not at all keen then either. But after watching Jamie Oliver make the Insanity Burger on TV the other week and even I thought it looked good, well I had to give it a go, even though I knew that chances were I probably wouldn’t eat all of it but I knew that the rest of my far more carnivorous family would appreciate them (hence the cooking with love bit).

Even so, when it came to actually shaping the burgers I had to get Mr. Lacer to do it as I’m so squeamish. Making the rest of it was fun though and the burger sauce (dressed iceberg lettuce), onion, bacon and melted cheese was gorgeous . I was right about the actual burger though, too meaty for me but I did eat a bit. The rest of the family ate the burgers though, although both kids didn’t think they were as good as the burgers from school. The burgers could have perhaps done with more flavouring with the meat. So, I’m not sure if I’m going to be making these again, I’d like them again but with a veggie burger instead (yes, I’m hypocritical, I’m a semi vegetarian who can’t resist bacon).

You can find the recipe here.

Monday

IMG_2998.JPG

This one is Spinach, Bacon and Pine Nut Salad, also from the Jamie Oliver Comfort Food book, except there’s no pine nuts in it as reading the Ocado reviews made me paranoid, so I used sunflower seeds instead. (For those that don’t know Ocado, they’re a food delivery service on the ‘posher end’ of the market, I use them as they turn up on time – most of the time, don’t screw farmers around and as long as your shop isn’t full of champagne and truffles they aren’t that expensive – and they price match. But reading the customer product reviews on the site can make you paranoid and make you wonder how they ever sell anything, although some of the low scores can be because of things like the chillis not being from the UK. Anyway if you read the reviews of their pine nuts they make them sound like an almost health hazard, as the pine nuts are from China and apparently pine nuts from China can give you something called pine nut mouth, where everything tastes bitter for days afterwards, I don’t want that, I like my food! So I’ve been scrutinising pine nut packets for weeks now, to see their source country and it’s always China. Hence why I substituted the pine nuts for sunflower seeds, it’s probably not even true for all I know).

Anyway the salad was lovely, nice and substantial and quite good for Autumn I think and the sunflower seeds in it were fine.

Wednesday

I made blueberry and lemon biscuits from this recipe, there’s no photos as they weren’t exactly photogenic but that was my fault, not the recipe. It was one of those cases where I thought I had all the ingredients but it turned out that I didn’t. In particular, I had to substitute the normal flour with wholemeal flour, which turned the biscuits healthyish (even though they had a ton of butter in them) and therefore not popular with the rest of the family. They were ok though and actually I thought the wholemeal flour gave them a nice, almost coconutty texture.