Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Week Moves On...

As I had to be at the comp to check emails, thought I'd grab a few moments more to reply to comments and do a bit more 'blog-chat'.

A bit disappointed yesterday when I had my second email from 'Contact the Elderly' (re hosting tea-parties).  Apparently they don't - as yet - do these in Morecambe, but have put me on their list.  By the time they do I'll probably be too old to cope (nearly am at the moment).

However, it turned out that a lot of the now unneeded foods I was hoping to get rid of (from my larder) were able to be given away to a couple or so people who could make good use of them, so not wasted.  I can now sort out the rest today, plus the freezers and hopefully dispose of this food in the same way.  That made me feel a lot better.

As to  how I got interested in painting Granny G.  My Dad was a very good amateur artist, and I used to watch him paint. It was when I was 13 I suddenly felt the urge to paint a picture myself, so asked my Dad if I could borrow his oil paints, and he let me take them up to a spare room and set about painting a picture.  It took me all day, and I missed both my lunch and my tea because I could not bear to stop what I was doing.  My Dad understood and told my Mum to leave me to get on with it. 
My daughter still has the picture, and considering my age and it was my first attempt, have to say it was quite good.  Probably painting is in my genes.

From then I used to draw on small picture in a book each day when I returned from school, usually something simple like a Disney character, but more complicated as the months went by.   My daughter now has that book.
From there I began to paint larger pictures, usually in acrylic (it dries much faster than oils), and painted loads of flowers, my favourite being roses.  Did a few landscapes, but liked to include animals such as larger animals: horses, elephants, leopards....    Later I was asked to 'paint' pictures of friends dogs, copied from photos given, and for these I used pastels.  Probably some of my best efforts.

Was able to sell quite a few pictures, but charged only for the cost of materials/postage etc,  my enjoyment came from painting, not making money. 
Not quite sure why, but was not able to paint well all the time.  It seemed to come in phases, and when I felt like painting that was all I did for about 6 weeks, the very next day I couldn't do anything right at all and it might be 10 years before the mood came over me again.   At the moment am waiting for this 'mood' to strike.

Had thought of making a Rum Baba for the Sailing Club Jane, but they usually ask me to provide desserts that I have made before and that have been a great success such as Tiramisu, Sicilian Cassata, Tropical Fruit Cheesecake.... and I've also suggested Black Forest Gateau, Pavlova, and Profiteroles.  Will have to wait to hear their final choice.
There are many other desserts I'd love to provide such as Banoffee Pie, Key Lime Pie, Lemon Mousse.... but this year am leaning towards desserts that can be prepared in advance (such as making chocolate cake to freeze, then assemble later for BFG), and need an overnight chill in the fridge before completing/decorating.   This will make things much easier for m as I'm still not able to work at full stretch ALL day.

Those 12 portions for £3 (25p each) is amazing jane, and giving your costing for each ingredient has proved just how simple (if you can call it that!) it is to make a cheap meal. 
Many home-made meals can be a lot less expensive to make than we think.  The trick is first do the costing. 

Ready-meals often seem incredibly cheap for what we get, but we have to remember that the ingredients would have been bought in bulk, far cheaper than we would pay per kg. and not always the best quality.  This doesn't mean to say that fresh foods have to be perfect.  I understand that a large sack of 'pony carrots' (small, misshapes, but perfectly edible) cost very little (remind us of the price Kathryn and where they could be bought).

When we buy quality ready-meals (read on to find it is sometimes worth it), then wait until they are reaching their sell-by date as yesterday my daughter brought me a Marks and Spencer ready-to-microwave meal (curry), and we all know how good their meals can be.  This was reduced in price to £1.55 and I ate it yesterday for my supper and it was gorgeous with tons more flavour than something similar from those companies who provide and deliver frozen-to-microwave food for the elderly (at double the price). So am lucky to have my daughter to shop around to see what is on offer especially at M & S.

Had thought about keeping a pet rabbit Cathy, but prefer guinea pigs, mainly because they will 'talk' to you (rabbits don't).  We used to breed guinea pigs (aka cavies), and I also judged them at pet shows, so am especially fond of them.   They are very 'homing' little animals, and discovered (more than once) if they managed to escape from their run and hide somewhere in the garden, the pet ones would answer when I called them by name, or - at dusk - would return to their run and hutches all by themselves, where I would find them early next morning.  Even the baby ones could do this.

The advantage with guinea pigs (also rabbits I suppose) is that their hutch could be kept indoors (at least in our conservatory) during the colder months.  Have to have a think about it.

That's it for today. Nothing much of interest - for which I apologise - but thought I'd keep in touch. With maybe visitors tomorrow, and certainly one on Friday, then the weekend, it may be a few days before I return to blog.  All depends on what time I get up I suppose.  These cold mornings bed seems too good to leave.  TTFN.