Sunday, 6 November 2016

Autumnal Homeliness

We are well and truly away with the Autumn/Winter turning now, Halloween and Bonfire Night are over so the next celebration is the big 'C'- which we will try not to mention too much until at least the end of November. The festive feeling is really starting to kick in now though, decorations have gone up in all of the shops, the crazed shopping is starting with poor postmen dragging sacks of online purchases to each door, and present lists are appearing on fridges all over the country. I absolutely love this run up, mad though it is!

I have been working on a new Stitchscape, based on another of those maddening mental photographs which almost sound an alert in my head until fully out and represented in stitch form in the hoop. I loved stitching the trees in my Silver Birch Stitchscape, and am having another go in this piece, trying different ways to create the texture of the bark whilst following the fabric design in my usual fashion.

There is a surprise to come in this piece as well which I am excited to show you, it is the strongest part of the mental photograph but will be one of the last things to go in, so you will just have to wait! I can reveal that I have found a beautiful pack of bronzed sequins in my stash and am going to try adding some of these in for extra sparkle and glam. Oooo it's too exciting for words!!

I think you may have seen this wreath before, created by The Mother from a Bucilla felt kit, but I thought you might like to see it again. We have a tradition of having wreaths indoors which change with the seasons. Some I have created, like the Summer Wreath, and the Valentines Wreath, but mostly they are Mother made. Currently up we have the Harvest Bucilla Wreath, and a Halloween Bucilla Wreath which gives a very autumnal feel to our home.

This weekend I have also finished up the last of the pumpkin leftovers from the Halloween weekend by making yet more of the Pumpkin and Apple muffins. They have gone down an absolute storm in our household and I have had many requests to make some more.

As they have been so enjoyed here, I thought you might like the recipe to use up any leftovers you may have, or if you can get hold of any remaining pumpkins. You might just want to keep the recipe for next year, I promise you will be absolutely in favour (just in time for the C*******s present buying to start).

Pumpkin & Apple Muffins


200g Butter (I use Stork Margarine)
175g Light Brown Muscovado Sugar
1 Egg
85g Stem Ginger in Syrup (Optional)
250g Grated Pumpkin
1 Cubed Bramley Apple (or other cooking apple)
200g Plain Flour
2 tsp Baking Powder
1.5 tsp All Spice
1.5 tsp Ground Ginger
1.4 tsp Ground Nutmeg
1 tsp Ground Cloves
1 tsp Vanilla Extract

How to:

Set your oven to 170 centigrade (fan assisted). Cream together the butter and sugar, then add the vanilla extract. Slowly beat in the egg. Add the stem ginger (if using), pumpkin and apple, then stir in the flour, baking powder and spices.
Divide the mixture into muffin cases, about three quarters full and bake for 25 minutes or until a knife/skewer comes out cleanly. Leave to cool and scoff with coffee- or break up and add custard for a delicious pudding!

Actually one of the nicest things about these muffins is the smell they create in the kitchen whilst cooking. It's such a festive, homely smell which pretty much captures all of the scents of Autumn you could possibly want!

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