My hair may no longer be quite so blonde following a recent, much needed, visit to the hairdresser, but that doesn't stop me enjoying the baked variety.
These blondies were one of the first things I made from Rachel Allen's Bake. They were an immediate hit and have become a firm addition to my regular reportoire. They, contain peanut butter but in much smaller quantities than the peanut butter cookies I make, resulting in a less mouth drying bite. They are satisfyingly squidgy and make an excellent lunchbox treat.
The only change I make to the recipe is to swap the white chocolate for dark chocolate, I really don't like white chocolate much and would find these too cloying with anything sweeter than a good dark chocolate.
Oh and I now double the quantities given. Because sixteen blondies just did not last long enough in this house.
August continues its languid journey and we are soaking up every moment of it, wishing it slow progress but already all too aware of autumn's approach. The fields around us have been harvested, the apples are rippening and the shops have been full of "Back to School" for weeks.
This morning as I stepped outside and turned my face to the morning sun there was a definite smell of autumn on the wind, it was brief and was quickly replaced by warm sluggish August once more, but it was there, for a moment.
We will not be hurried, every last bit of summer counts. Yesterday, on a whim, we put the roasting joint back in the fridge and headed for the Suffolk coast. A bag laiden with cheese, bread, ham and the most incredible tomatoes. The tomatoes courtesy of our green-fingered neighbours and absolutely brimming with the heady scent of summer; a feast to be eaten on the beach.
We returned home in the early evening, exhilarated and tired from a day spent under clear blue, wide open East Anglian skies. Once more, on a whim, we decided not to hurry the children to bed but instead we lit the chiminea, made cocoa and sat a while admiring August's starry skies.
Autumn is one of my favourite times of year and I know that I will soon be ready and eager to greet it, but not yet. A little longer, a little slower August, please.
Of wheelbarrow rides and toffee
I have been meaning to write about Ripping Things to Do: The Best Games and Ideas from Children's Books, for weeks but I can never find it when I want photograph it.
It is simply never in its place on the study shelf and I guess that is a sign of its success. In a similar vein to her previous book, Cherry Cake and Ginger Beer: A Golden Treasury of Classic Treats, this latest title by Jane Brockett, of Yarnstorm, draws inspiration from the rich bed of children's literature. From that point of view it will be of enormous charm to the adults in the house who are pleased to walk down memory lane recalling not only the titles mentioned within its pages but also their own childhood games (I was especially delighted to recognise several of the skipping rhymes and to be reminded of my own Get Better Box which I put together after reading My Naughty Little Sister all those years ago).
So where is this book when I want it? It could be with Dylan, slouched on a cushion, silently absorbed for a brief period before rushing off filled with new ideas, or back to the old ones, like wheelbarrow rides. It could be with Tilly and The Technical Advisor, propped up in the kitchen, as they carefully follow the excellent recipe for toffee.
Or it could be on the table outside with me, next to my teacup, ready to dip into for a refreshing walk down memory lane or to arm myself with a few new ideas in preparation for the next time I hear "I'm bored..." being uttered
In a Whisper
We have taken a few evening walks of late. As the heat of the day disperses and the sun gets lower in the sky, the light is golden and beautiful and we head to the woods.
I love the slow pace of August days, the children can stay up later, there is none of that urgent need to keep to time. No rushing them off to bed at the exact same time each night, by now we are firmly set in the slow rhythm of summer, the mornings are gentle and easy, meals are eaten when we feel hungry not just because it's meal time, we feel lazy and content. Periods of activity are followed by sitting in chairs and whittling or reading.
This is Whisper from Interweave Knits and was completed before the move but the photoshoot was taken last night as we made our way out to the woods after dinner.
Light alpaca yarn which was suprisingly quick to knit. One of those clever circular designs which require no seaming. My only complaint is the rolling edges, I blocked and blocked, perhaps I will work single crochet around the edge, or perhaps I will just learn to like it.
If I make this again, and I may very well do so, I will use a colour that fits in my wardrobe rather better. Perhaps grey would be good.
and the winner is.....
Please excuse those filthy fingernails, in our defence, she had been digging. With her hands apparently!
Nicole has a blog, Cocoknits, which is filled with such beautiful photographs. I know she will thoroughly appreciate this Winter edition of Rowan because it gets pretty cold in her part of the world.
It was lovely to hear from so many of you and to picture the sort of days you were having in various corners of this world of ours, thank you all for playing.
One of those days
It's definitely one of those days. The weather is not fine, nor is it terrible but it just isn't fine, we don't really want to be outdoors but we feel cooped up inside.
Fifteen minutes of happy play is all too swiftly followed by 15 minutes of shouting and arguing. I am tired of being referee.
The brisk walk I suggested didn't really help that much. The clouds chose that moment to really rain.
The board games all end in tears.
I am running out of ideas and about to throw the towel in and resort to a movie date on the sofa.
At least that will give me the opportunity to sit down with a cup of tea and browse through my Rowan 46 and be thankful that tomorrow will be another day.
Hopefully Rowan 46 can cheer up someone else too. I have a spare copy which I would like to give away. If you want to put your name in the hat just leave me a comment on this post, tell me if it's bad day or a good day. You have until 10am next Monday.
By the way, 46 is good, really good. I can feel my day getting better already. I guess the chocolate cake might help too.