Regular readers may remember our popular Suffolk Puff tutorial posted back in March. They are such a versatile little addition to your craft arsenal and they certainly have an enduring appeal. We were therefore delighted when we came across yet another variation while searching the Internet for new blogs to read.
We instantly fell in love with Craft Passion Blog’s crochet suffolk puff tutorial here. What to do with a myriad of colourful puffs though? Anne had a shamefully plain lampshade sat in the corner of the room, so she grabbed a crochet needle and set to work.
She made the puffs in double knit cotton yarn with a 3.5mm crochet hook. Anne started making them the same size explained in the tutorial. Then she adapted the pattern to make some that were slightly smaller.
To make the smaller variation start with only 6 chains to begin the second round and then wind the yarn 3 times around the crochet hook instead of 4.
Parents all over the country are either breathing a sigh of relief (no school runs for awhile) or mildly panicking on entertainment choices as half term begins. Happily I can point you in the direction of an exciting free event which is also educational (just don’t tell the kids!)
The Ministry of Food is staging a whole week of activities at the Imperial War Museum North in Manchester. Learn about rationing and growing your own food during the Second World War. Ask why carrots were once eaten on sticks or parsnips used as a substitute for pineapple. Why were people encouraged to ‘Dig For Victory’ or what on earth is Woolton Pie?
The kids wont have time to get bored with creative sessions, hands-on art activities, storytelling and music. They’ll even be able to handle real artifacts!
Depending on which day you choose to visit, you could make your own gardener’s apron, colourful fruit basket or allotment tote bag. Under 5s are also catered for, Jo Jingles will be providing sing along sessions all based around food and growing your own. My children received some Jo Jingles sampler CDs and I’m sure your kids will love her.
There’s also a 360 degree cinema style experience to see the ‘War At Home Big Picture Show’.
The Museum Cafe is getting in on the act as well, selling ‘Ration Bags’ to hungry visitors.
Open Studio Family Drop-in Session 22-30 October – daily 1-4pm.
- Gardeners Apron, 22, 23 October.
- Bountiful Baskets, 24, 25, 29, 30 October.
- Allotment Totes, 26, 27 & 28 October.
Jo Jingles Session (under 5s) 22, 25, 27 & 29 October.
Timestacks Object Handling, daily at 12.30pm and 3.30pm.
Visit the Imperial War Museum North website for more details
Did you know?
- Traditional orchards have declined by nearly 60% in the UK since the 1950s (a sad fact)
- Only 31% of eating apples sold in the UK are home-grown, despite the fact that 2,200 varieties exist in this country today
- There has been a recent project by the National Trust to restore apple orchards (http://www.orchardnetwork.org.uk/content/orchard-project-celebrations)
- The National Trust is encouraging people to support orchards in the UK and buy British grown apples
- Awareness of British grown apples has decreased throughout the generations – 83% of over 55s correctly said that Cox’s Orange Pippin was British grown, compared to only 27% of 18 to 24-year-olds.
Apples are such a versatile fruit, great as a snack and perfect as an ingredient in soups, main meals, desserts and even drinks.
The fabulous Bramley Seedling Apple celebrates it’s 202nd birthday this year. The following recipe honours the memory of Mary Anne Brailsford. In 1809 this young lady from Southwell in Nottinghamshire planted some apple pips left over from her mother’s cooking. One of these pips grew to become the very first Bramley Seedling apple tree.
Mary Anne’s Cushion
What You’ll Need
400g Puff pastry
1 Bramley apple – peeled,
quartered, cored and sliced
70g Apricot jam
55g Unsalted butter – softened
1 Egg – beaten
15g Plain flour
55g Caster sugar
55g Ground almonds
Icing sugar for glazing
Pre-heat the oven to 220C/425F/Gas Mark 7. Roll out a third of the pastry and cut into a 20cm circle. Place on a baking sheet and spread the centre with the apricot jam, keeping a clear edge to the pastry of 2–3cm.
Cream together the butter and sugar, add the beaten egg and fold in the flour and ground almonds. Spread the almond mixture over the jam, leaving the pastry edges clear.
Arrange the apple slices evenly over the almond mixture. Brush the base pastry edges with egg wash. Roll out the remaining pastry and cut into a circle large enough to cover the apple filling to the edge of the base pastry. Seal and decorate the edges. Brush with egg wash.
Bake for 20–25 minutes until golden. Remove from the oven and increase the temperature to 250C/475F/Gas Mark 9. Dust the cushion with icing sugar and when up to temperature, return to the oven to glaze. This will only take a few minutes, so take care it does not burn.
Have a happy and delicious Apple Day!
For more fabulous recipes, games and event listings visit www.foodgloriousfood.org.uk