Friday, 9 September 2011

This blog comes with warnings!!!

Warning 1:  Don’t read this paragraph if you are a meat eater!  As it is a biased paragraph.
Discrimination in eating out is rampant.  Why do restaurants think it ok to offer flesh eaters a wide choice of meals and then have a throw away line at the bottom of the menu saying “vegetarian option available”?  Well they don’t reduce the price to vegetarians to reflect the lack of choice.  Would meat eaters be happy if the menu said "meat option available?".  Part of the dining out "experience" is to be afforded choice, and not to be virtually told "this is what you can eat today", and the next waiter that yells disdainfully "Who is the vegan?" when approaching the table is going to get some retort from me that is not expected in polite society.  They do not use that tone when asking who order the Tbone steak at the table, but a more gentle enquiring tone. 
Warning 2: Opening your purse can damage your health!

Summer holidays have gone and the card bills are coming in to pay for those hazy lazy days.  Christmas is coming with all its attendant expenditure.  So is it time to look at some money saving sites?  There are numerous ones to visit for both crafters and non crafters alike. 

So with domestic expenditure in mind…..   This site is rather like having a magazine to browse through, the headings on the tabs are: Money Saver, Family, Recipes, Diets, Health, Sex & relationships, Fun & Win.  The Money Saver page  has vouchers/coupons/money saving tips etc and some of the days out vouchers are real savers.

I know in “polite society” money was not a subject up for discussion, but one needs to  be financially aware, and one of the most informative sites is  Martin Lewis  is a reliable source of information  and his newsletter which can be subscribed to for free is a gold mine of information and potential money saving ideas.   This site points the way to bargains of the week in supermarkets and departmental stores,  and “free stuff”  there is information on cheap petrol and diesel, besides all the usual “financial” information  this site has to offer.  He also announces Travel Lodge Sales and this week it was for rooms from  £12 a night.  I checked the site and there were lots of rooms.

With a rather quaint retro air  take a look at   This site is loaded with tips and money saving ideas, besides having a good free resources for crafters, and  even home made beauty recipies.  Again a weekly newsletter is free to those who leave an email address.   There are also home remedies, and lets face it you cannot fault a site that gives as a remedy!!!  I think if it doesn’t cure the arthritis it probably helps the suffer forget they have it!
Podcast Recommendation:
For those wanting to listen rather than read about frugal living  try  which combines crafting with money saving in mind.  The description in itunes says "I will be sharing ideas on saving money, both on yur craft, and in your daily life if you are a crafter, or anyone on a budget, this is the show for you" 
Warning 3: bread making is addictive
Recipe of this blog: Soft bread rolls

Over the next weeks I hope to give more bread recipies, but will start with basic recipe that will give confidence to those who have not baked their own bread before.  Bread making is easier than cake making anyday!  But if anyone wants more information or clarification on this or any of my recipies then just get in touch.
This can be made into a loaf, or rolls.  Ingredients are:
1 lb strong bread flour
1 sachet easy blend yeast
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 oz margarine/butter/soya spread just choose one of these.
½ pt milk – or soya milk which should be tepid
Method: Put the flour in a bowl and add yeast granules, salt and sugar.  Melt the margarine and put it in the tepid milk.
Slowly add the milk/margarine and keep mixing flour and liquid.
If the dough is too sticky then stop adding the milk, if it is too dry then add a little more milk.  The idea is to achieve a dough that is soft and pliable, which doesn’t leave any flour in the bowl and doesn’t stick to the bowl. 
Then knead the dough by pummelling the life out of it, (great stress reliever), this should take about 10 mins by hand, or 3 in a big kitchen mixer.
Put the dough in a bowl and cover with damp tea towel or cling film, make sure the dough will be able to rise to twice its size without the cling film or cover hampering its progress.
If placed in a warm place* the dough should have risen sufficiently in about an hour.  Don’t worry if it takes longer.
Then take dough out of the bowl and divide it into 6 large or 8 medium pieces.  The dough will have now reverted to its former size. Knead each piece lightly and shape into rounds, then place the rounds on a lined baking sheet and flatten the round.  Sprinkle with flour.
Leave to rise, covered with damp cloth, or in a plastic bag which is not closed at the end, for 18 to 20 mins.  Then bake on number 7 for 9 minutes.  Check they are done, they will sound hollow when the bottom of the roll is tapped lightly.  If necessary put back in the oven to cook a little longer.

*re the warm place, I place mine on the stove top, ensuring no rings are alight, and turn the oven on low.  Or I put the dough in the airing cupboard.

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