Armadillo sits on pillow…

Under a willow 

munching a marshmallow…

I won’t labour the point for anyone (like me) who finds a little of Dr Seuss can go an awfully long way, it’s literary wasabi as far as I’m concerned. Barbary Boy however is a huge fan and is delighted with his new oversized squishy cushion to curl up on his bed and read his favourite books. Currently not Seuss but Roald Dahl, because you can guarantee that as soon as I’ve invested in fabric to reflect a favourite that favourite will instantly change. Still he looks pleased with it, which is probably about as much constructive criticism I can reasonably expect from a six year-old boy.
The cushion was basically a ‘make it up as I go’ job. I thought the improvised nature with lots of bold brights would suit the subject matter. I was originally planning to make the back very simple with an envelope closing but made the fatal mistake of asking the lovely Kiwi for his opinion. He thought I should make a randomly patched back to match the style of the front and insert a  zip instead. Zips and I don’t get on terribly well, but after much swearing (the monkeys were at school I promise), I finally got one in. It’s not the neatest closing ever, but it was a good lesson in using the hitherto untouched zipper foot. Also a salutary reminder to never, ever ask the lovely Kiwi’s opinion on stitching projects again – he always has notions far above my patience and expertise levels!
These little hourglass blocks are far more in keeping with my usual style. They’re also highly addictive to make. Miss Marmoset after all, really doesn’t need another quilt, but these pinky/purpley blocks appear to be almost making themselves! If you fancy having a go yourself I’m using this wonderful tutorial over at Red Pepper Quilts and trying to kid myself that if I follow all the instructions exactly my quilt will be as beautiful as one of Rita’s. I very much doubt it!
It’s Friday it’s Friday! Have a wonderful weekend and lets hope the dreadful drought (pfft!) holds off just a little so we can get outside a bit this weekend.

Thanks for reading,

Every day baking

I’m no Domestic Goddess, (whatever that over-used, faintly snide term means), but I do love baking. I put this down to way back when in the mists of time I used to have a proper, real job. One that paid a, (fairly meagre but still), salary and meant I got to wear lipstick every day and go to the loo on my own. Part of that job was editing the occasional book; cookery and children’s books. The cookery books, I was handed purely on the basis (I’m sure) that one day I turned up with a home-made birthday cake for a colleague. Baking has always been something I love to do, and I bake, I think probably every week for my little family.

The only thing is – the range is nowhere near as extensive as it used to be. My days of whipping up a smoked salmon quiche for supper seem as distant as freshly applied lippy and solo bathroom visits. We are pretty much down to muffins – normally blueberry, Anzac cookies, banana bread and a chocolate/coconut sponge that apparently hails from Australia and is knows (of course) as Boomerang cake. 

Today’s diversion from the norm started with these two unusually perfect pears. I say unusually perfect because it’s incredibly rare I find a pear that’s anywhere between bullet hard or schmush, but today was that happy day. With the assistance of my two delightful, accommodating and maddening sous chefs, I produced a batch of pear and ginger muffins and a loaf of banana bread. The picture of the fruits of our labour is a bit muted due to the weather changing from dazzling sunlight to pitch dark from minute to minute today.
Baking is great for children, I think Barbary Boy has already a better grasp of cookery in general than the lovely Kiwi and Miss Marmoset is just so keen to try everything. What I do need to do now though is broaden everyone’s horizons a bit. For no other reason than the head chef, (still me, although I dream of the day there’ll be competition for the title), is bored to tears with the rotation of four we’ve fallen into. Do you have any favourite family recipes? I would love to hear of any you’d like to pass on!

Happy Easter everyone and as always, thanks for reading.