Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Hand stitching and cooking ... two things that I am passionate about.

I love creativity .. in any form!

I am never happier than sewing or indeed cooking in the kitchen. I love both equally and enjoy making and experimenting with both as well.

The other week I had a design day and I was so pleased with a particular design and I have just bought the last bit of what I needed to be able to complete the design basket. ( the clock face that I bought in Midhurst in April)  I had some finishing off stitching to do and then I decided to call it a day to make some butter.  So today for a little change I thought I would share with you my other love!

Yes I make my own butter and I love doing it, it is so easy now, gone are the days of churning for hours until your arms drop off - now you have a kitchen aid and it is a matter of putting your double cream in there and waiting for the 'clonk' sound .. this means butter.

You then  have to get a bowl with muslin in it and pour the contents of the mixer bowl into it and then with very clean hands squeeze the muslin together to extract all the buttermilk and form a ball of butter.  To form it it is easy to do just dunk it into cold water and form with our hands or get butter pats ... either is good.

Then I put a little salt crystals on top and pop it in my Susie Watson butter dish ...

Now what to do with the butter milk.  Well I do two things, firstly I make a double batch of banana breads one with a Cinnamon swirl through it and the other with fruit such as blueberry or raspberry or fresh  nectarine..  When they are cooked and cool you can freeze one or both and they come out of the freezer beautifully.  Sometimes I warm them slightly again but you do not need to.

 My husband and I are very fond of these and he loves them toasted with fresh butter on for breakfast sometimes.  I have to say this idea for them at breakfast came from America from when we have visited often .... He thinks it is a civilised custom of the Americans and has adopted it here at home.  Well you all know by now how much he loves cake!  I do not know where he puts it because he is not fat at all.

The other thing that you can make from the buttermilk of course are fresh scones and I like to make heart shaped ones.  Now do you butter then jam then cream OR do you have no butter and then put cream first then jam?  Well we like the first choice in our home.  I had made some blackberry jam at the end of last summer and it went perfectly with them. I love blackcurrant jam with scones as well.

Then ladies and gents there is nothing like getting out some of your finest vintage china and having a little tea party mid afternoon..

When my husband works from home he loves a mid afternoon cup of something warm and a scone and banana bread and he got it this day .. with some strawberries too!

As you can see we enjoyed our selves perfectly and there were enough to freeze which is perfect.

I must show you one of my prized china coffee sets that I bought several years ago and it really is not just for show.  We do use it and that is what it is all about.  I got it at the large Shepton Mallet vintage fair and I got it home and hand washed it but did risk putting the coffee pot through the dishwasher to get rid of stains .. which worked and now it is beautiful and clean and use able.  I love this little service with a milk jug and sugar bowl as well as six cups and saucers... and in the picture with the two banana breads can you just see my lovely round butter dish from Susie Watson Designs ... It is just right for making round pat butter in.

It was a perfect tiny picnic and then whilst I waited for my husband to finish work and to have our supper around 7pm I got on with some personal cross stitch, which I enoy to doing in my spare time.  I have been working on some pictures for our new house .. I can't help it!  I have done the red and white hare sampler ( as you know I adore Hares!) and the Cranberry tea and cookies one and now a have bought a few more.  These are just two of them for you to look at.

Loving Samplers as I do I am cross stitching some and making some myself with my designs as well but with appliqué and embroidery.

The herb garden one I am going to change some colours in it but I loved the sentiment so I have bought it to stitch as well.

Well I know it has been a little different today but I hope you have enjoyed a look into my other passions and loves .. cooking and cross stitch today.  I will be adding some recipes from time to time as well.  I have got three amazing cook books and would love to share them with you.

Well I am off to my stitching .. not cross stitch until later!  I have to make up some more project baskets and get on and finish my patchwork sampler!  Also later in the week I will report on the Vintage Brocante I went to yesterday!! It was a good one ....

Have a great day and whatever you are doing enjoy your day and of course as always Happy Stitching!


  1. Lovely to se you yesterday, I'm on the search for envelopes for you! I am very impressed by your butter making, what a joy! Jane xx

    1. Hi Jane

      It was really lovely to see you and your wonderful antique books, your stall looked stunning with fresh Spring flowers and ribbons tying book bundles.

      It would be fabulous if you could find me some envelopes.
      I actually enjoy butter making Jane and it is quick and easy and very good tasting. You ought to give it a go if you have an electric mixer with a balloon whisk.

      Talk soon lovely lady!
      Sarah xx

  2. Ooooh homemade butter. I am just going to have to have a go at that!
    Looks like we have the same passions, hand sewing and cookery. I hated both at school yet I absolutely love it now!
    Julie xxxxxxxxx

  3. Julie homemade butter is the best truly! and do make some scones with the butter milk .. they go hand in hand.

    Let me know how you get on!
    Sarah xxx