Today I needed to get my creative powers going but it’s tough getting the sewing machine out with the kids around so culinary creativity is the best option. I had apples left over from our trip to Brockhampton Estate which seriously needed using and a huge tub of fresh raspberries so the answer was easy. Jam!
Apple is high in pectin as are most berries including raspberries so they are perfect for jam. The recipe was basically : –
500g apples peeled, cored, diced
750g jamming sugar
Juice 1 lemon
Soften the apples and raspberries in a large pan with the lemon and water for about 10 to 15 minutes. Add the sugar and continue to boil until the sugar is melted then rapidly for approximately 5 minutes.
You can test for setting by putting a spoon of jam on to a small plate cooling in the fridge. If after a minute or two it starts to skin and wrinkle when you push it then it’s right. If not continue to boil for another minute or so and test again.
Your jam jars have to be sterilised and heated. I wash mine in the dishwasher on high then stick them in the oven in a tray to warm.
Once your jam is ready use a large spoon or ladle to fill your jars then seal them tightly. You are supposed to put a ring of paper on top but mine gets used so quickly I don’t bother.
I also baked my favourite ginger loaf cake today too. My best mate is coming to stay tomorrow and it’s her favourite cake too. I love this recipe. So easy and yet a wonderful cake. I will add the recipe another day.
Update following morning toast with yummy jam xxx
I promised my cousin I would write a quick blog entry on how to make a sock snake so here it is.
To start with you need a pile of socks or sock ends. I make lots of sock animals www.sockanimalsandfriends.co.uk so having a pile of sock snake parts was easy for me.
It does not really matter what colour or pattern though I mostly had stripes. It also doesn’t matter if each part isn’t the same length but I would make the socks the same size so that the width is more or less the same. I stacked my sock tube parts up then and got my sewing machine ready.
To sew each part together I folded one sock tube inside another making sure the right sides were together. Then pin the raw edges together.
Once the two parts are pinned together you can sew as neatly as possible around the tube.
I did this from the inside as you can see. Removing the pins carefully as you sew around the tube. I didn’t bother zigzagging the edges of the join but I did whizz round a second time to make the seam strong.
Now simply repeat this process until you have the length you want. I should note that I started with a sock toe so this could be the snake tail.
I simply kept going and going as we wanted a lovely long snake. Once you have finished the length choose another sock toe section for the head. I used my scissors to cut a neat hole in the toe that I will sew up later for the mouth.
Stuffing was not as easy as other animals and I had to roll the whole snake back in on itself to start stuffing it’s tail. I use lovely soft toy stuffing which I buy in bulk from eBay. It’s proper safety fire regulation tested too which is good. You can buy this type of soft toy stuffing from most fabric stores. I know big stores like Dunelm also sell it.
Once snake was stuffed I cut a length of ribbon and sewed the opening closed with the ribbon in the middle. I did this in a straight line not gathering. After I had sewn the sock closed I created a mouth by pushing the end of the sock in and sewing it closed with a running stitch along the edge. Running stitch being just in and out. It created this lovely ridge.
The eyes are pieces of felt bought at a local fabric shop. I craft glue them into place then sew them on. There you have it. Lovely long sock snake.
Finally the outfit for me to wear. Since the theme was Pirates for us I opted for Pirate wench. This is the finished outfit lol.
The skirts are mine. Two skirts layered with the top one tucked up. The hat was an eBay bargain. The shirt and little waistcoat thing I made. The fabrics were cheap as the black is craft velour velvet and the teal is poly cotton lining fabric. Both bought off eBay for under £5.
I used a pattern. It’s a simplicity costume pattern 3618. I chose to only make the top part.
Here’s the fabric when it arrived.