Monday, 22 November 2010

The British Homefront

As you know, the women of the 1940s are a true inspiration to me. I am fascinated by the way British women ran their homes during the war, under extreme rationing and hardship.
I'm in awe of the incredible ingenuity and creativity from the WWII homefront.

First please allow me to share this from the home sweet homefront website.

With the scarcity of so many everyday items during World War Two, Britons were encouraged to become much more self-sufficient and make greater use of the materials they had.

The phrase most associated with this British wartime drive for self-sufficiency was 'MAKE DO and MEND'.

Some of the ingenious ways of how people got by included;

i.   making wartime JEWELLERY from old beer bottle tops, cup hooks and corks
ii.  supplementing a shortage of CLEANING MATERIALS by crushing egg shells for use as a scouring compound and cutting squares out of old stockings for use as dishcloths

iii. using the dregs of cold tea to clean WOODWORK

iv. varnishing the soles of CHILDREN'S SHOES to prolong the foot-wears life and
v.  cutting up old Mackintoshes to make BIBS for babies.
 Just look at this brooch! It was made from a button and electrical wire! Isn't it brilliant!?! 

Nothing wasted.
Kitchen scraps were all saved and recycled to feed pigs, goats and chickens which could be used for milk, meat and eggs. People created Pig Clubs to keep pigs which would later become meat and be shared by the members of the club.
Keeping rabbits was popular during the war...but not as pets! Eek!

Phil Bryne writes:

Households were asked to wash their recyclables before putting them out in tied bundles. Waste was segregated for the following uses:

- Tins and metal were collected for use in aircraft, tanks and weapons
- Boiled bones were used to make glue for aircraft, ground up to make fertiliser or made into glycerine for explosives.
- Kitchen waste provided feed for pigs, chickens and goats and people would bring their scraps to communal bins.
- Paper for munitions - newspapers were printed on low quality paper
- Rubber was collected to make tires

Man oh man, we've got it good. So good.
We're recycling for different reasons now, but I would love to be as committed to making do and reusing as people of the WWII homefront. I have a loooong way to go to change the way I view waste and what's still "good".

I'd love to hear some of your recycling and making do tricks. Or what you like or don't like about the home front during any of the wars.

Bye for now!

I've got a lot of jewellery to finish for this week!

Monday, 15 November 2010

Crafty Tattoos

I know tattoos aren't everybody's thing. I can totally appreciate that. But I happen to like them, the good ones. My Dad had "Joker" tattooed on his forearm from his time in the Navy I suppose. He was always ashamed of it, but to me it was just part of him. My brothers are covered in tattoos! My mom HATES them!!! Especially on me.

I have 4 tattoos. One of my best friends and I have a tradition of getting tattoos together. She and I drove to Savannah, GA a few times for tattoos when it was still illegal in SC. Last time I was home each got a small tattoo on our day out.

South Carolina Palmetto Moon :)
We've been talking about a repeat of our tattoo day out. Jestine's Kitchen & Holy City Tattoo.
I've been giving some thought to what small tattoo I'd like this time. I got the Palmetto Moon which is the emblem from my state flag to remind me of home last time I was there.
I've seen a trend in craft tattoos recently. Maybe just because I've only started looking. Some are rubbish, but some are cute & fun!
I totally love this one!
The Dainty Squid 

I'll be giving it some thought....
but right now I have a serious craving for shrimp & grits!

Do you have any tattoos?

Thursday, 4 November 2010

The Pumpkin Pie of My Dreams!

So living in the UK is wonderful, but there are a few disadvantages like finding canned pumpkin is hard work. And then it's expensive when you do find it.

I'm a pumpkin lovah. I couldn't wait for the pumpkin spice latte from Starbucks every year {esp in a red cup!}.
But alas. Starbucks UK does not do the most wonderful Pumpkin Spice Latte :(
I have found a copycat recipe but I haven't tried it know the whole lack for canned pumpkin thing.

I like pumpkin bread & pumpkin cupcakes & most of all pumpkin pie! Truth be told I could probably eat the pumpkin pie filling out of the can! I'm serious about pumpkin.

So can you imagine my delight when one of our American friend in the village said I could have her left over pumpkins!?!

But then I thought..."now what?"

As I am all about starting from scratch I got on my little kitchen laptop and looked for a pumpkin pie recipe for fresh pumpkins. And I found one that looked really easy. Everything goes in the blender! Look what it made!

i couldn't wait to take the photo....i ate it.
and it was really, really good!
I won't go back to canned pumpkin. I'm not kidding! Are you ready for the recipe that will transform your pumpkin pies???

Recipe by Canarygirl

Ingredients (for 2 pies):
2 pounds (1 kilo) fresh pumpkin, halved
2 pie crusts (use your favorite recipe, or cheat and buy pre-made ;) )
1 can (16 ounce/410 grams) evaporated milk
2 eggs
2/3 cup sugar
1-2 teaspoons vanilla
cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves and allspice to taste…I like a spicier pie, so I add quite a bit (2 teaspoons cinnamon, 1 teaspoon nutmeg, 1 teaspoon ginger, 1/4 teaspoon cloves and 1/2 teaspoon allspice *approximately*)

Heat oven to 390ºF/200ºC.
Line a baking sheet with foil and place pumpkin cut side down on sheet.
Bake about 30 minutes or until tender.

*this next step is the most important!!! You've got to remove as much liquid as you can!*
Line a sieve with a tea towel, and place pumpkin in sieve over a bowl, covered.
Allow to drain in fridge 24 hours, or, if you’re in more of a hurry, just twist the tea towel and squeeze out excess liquid.

You should have about 2-2/12 cups pumpkin after draining.

Heat oven to 390ºF/200ºC.

Prepare pie plates with crust, poking with a fork.

Puree all ingredients in a large bowl or blender.

Divide mixture between the two pie plates.

Bake at 390ºF/200ºC for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 375ºF/175ºC.
Bake about an hour to an hour and a half, checking center of pie until no longer “jiggly”.

Remove from oven and allow to cool.
Serve with fresh whipped cream.
Chill any leftovers (if you’re lucky enough to have them) in the refrigerator.

Seriously just try to have left overs!

Next time I'll share with you the first recipe I've written myself!
Pumpkin & Chocolate Chunk Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing!

We're still eating them...and when I say we I mean me.


Monday, 1 November 2010

Thanks Bono Baby!

I just want to say that I got a sweet surprise in the post from the most gorgeous little man, Bono Baby.  
Little Heartbreaker! 
Look what arrived for me as a gift for participating in a project on Bono's Mom's blog
Bono Baby know I love the Wizard of Oz! 

pretty packing tape! 
what a wonderful treasure to remind me of the hanger collage I made! 
Thank you Bono Baby! I love it!
add a glass of red and you've got perfection! 
Isn't he just the sweetest little man! 

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