Friday, January 25, 2008

Where domestic chores lead to a desperate need to be crafty

In honour of M-i-L's birthday tomorrow I have been rushing around like a loony this morning. First stop was the butcher's for a very nice piece of beef (M-i-L is most definately a roast dinner & red meat fan and did not respond well to suggestions of salmon or lasagne).

At the grand old age of 41 I was a beef-joint-buying-virgin! Therefore, it came as a bit of a shock to me that a piece of fine Scottish beef for one meal (albeit for 6 adults, 2 good-eating children, 2 nightmare-eating children and a nearly two year old = 11) cost me nearly a third of a week's grocery money - I hope the kids don't mind if I don't feed them next week!!

My only consolation is that if DH's highly carnivorous relatives don't make meaty pigs of themselves we may have enough to have with pickles and salad on Sunday - otherwise it's veg rissotto, take it or leave it.

With the in-laws and DH's brother and wife + 3 kids here for lunch and tea tomorrow and in-laws staying overnight I have had no choice but to abandon all crafting and do housework.

I even found some surfaces under the clutter and they responded well to a polish:

I'm pleased to say there have been some rays of sunshine in this begrudgingly housewifely day of mine :)

Postie delivered again - some gorgeous Melly & Me patterns from here.

I don't know if I can handle much more housey stuff today, although a trip to the supermarket is inevitable and then there's washing to hide, cakes to bake, dinner to cook, beds to change in the morning.................... oh, maaaaaan :(

I have plans for this evening, however, as I will be choosing a new pattern to try from this book and will be doing a totally random (possibly rather pink) rippled crochet lap blanket either for my Aunty or for keepsies - depending on how it turns out and when it turns out as her birthday is less than 6 weeks away and that is no time when I'm rippling!!

Just to round off a dreadfully dreary drudgy deliciously domestic day here's some advice you never knew you needed from this valuable reference 'bible':

Handy hint or tip No.1: Adapting a table - Cut down the legs of a small table to make a surface for food or hobbies when you are in bed.

Handy hint or tip No.2: Two-handed dusting - Using two dusters - one in each hand - will help you get around the surfaces in a room in half the time with half the effort. (what about needing a spare hand to lift all the crubbish so you can dust under it? - oh, yeh - just dust round it of course!!!)

Handy hint or tip No.3: Marking the spot - When removing curtain hooks, mark their spaces with nail varnish. This way you will not have to spend time guessing the correct spacing when replacing the hooks.

Handy hint or tip No.4: Removing smells - A clever way to get rid of a smell in the bathroom is by striking a match. The flame literally burns away noxious gases. (or causes a dramatic whoooosh of flame and fetches your eyebrows off!!!!!!!!!!)

Handy hint or tip No.5: Paying for energy - Keep a money jar by main light switches, and fine family members each time a light is left on in an empty room. (might try this as I can see it being quite a money-spinner in this house!!)

Handy hint or tip No.6: Substituting cocoa - if you run out of cooking chocolate, use 45ml(3 tbsp) of cocoa and 15ml (1tbsp) butter for every 25g (1 oz) needed. (mmmmmmmmmmm - will try this and report back!)

Handy hint or tip No.7: Making a low-fat filling - For a low-fat filling, mix together 200g (7 oz) soft cheese made from skimmed milk with 30ml (2 tbsp) honey, then flavour with finely grated citrus zest. Use as a filling or topping for a sponge or carrot cake as an alternative to a rich cream-cheese frosting. (another one I shall try and then feedback the findings!!)

So there you have it. I may or may not do lists of 7 somethings next week - I'll have to see what our bookshelves have to offer first!

I hope you all have a lovely weekend and please think of me when I'm roasting half a cow and dashing around like Gordon Ramsay only much less polite ;)

Love xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx


Lucy Locket-Pocket said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
tintocktap said...

..... oh, maaaaaan :( LOL - you souns like my son! Hope your in laws are more sympathetic than my parents - all crafty stuff has to be crammed into cupboards before they arrive! Forget real meat - we're on haggis tonight for a Burns Supper. After, I'm hoping to spend the weekend with some plastic canvas. And fruit loaf!

Totty Teabag said...

Mmmmmm....Scottish beef! Don't forget the Yorkshires; a grand way to fill up and stretch a joint.

TTT, you will be sad to know that local radio this morning reported a dire shortage of haggis on the Iberian Peninsula, owing to restrictions on the import of offal. Luckily, some of us have local Scottish butchers...

Totty Teabag said...

That sounds as if I'm suggesting you stuff the joint with Yorkshires...what I meant to suggest was that you stuffed your guests with batter pudding.

Bethany Hissong said...

You're awesome... you'll have a great time! I love your lists too though Myth Busters busted the myth about lighting a match. That was my family's way to rid a room of smells though. I still think it does work. Your new patterns are cute! Have fun with all the new projects. And with your speed I bet you could ripple a blanket in a week!!!

Monkee Maker said...

Aha! So now we know the reason behind all that inappropriate floor cleaning!

Good luck with the beef and the out-laws, you know where we are if it all gets too much .....


Gina said...

After all that hard work dusting with both hands and rushing round like a looney I hope you have a lovely day tomorrow - more importantly I hope everyone else appreciates it!

I love the thought of you being more impolite than Gordon!

Gina xxx

French Knots said...

MORE cleaning - blummin heck Mrs!!
I like tip No5 perhaps the money raised could go towards more stash.
You could always hide in the pantry/shed/loo with a bottle of wine if the hospitality gets to much!

dottycookie said...

Good luck with the beef; it is ridculously expensive isn't it? Fill 'em up with swede and parsnips, they're cheap at the minute. Though then you might need your match hint ... maybe not then!

Lucy Locket-Pocket said...

Dear Madam Moogsmum,

One would like to wish one's most important imaginary friend a most enjoyable culinary experience whilst preparing a suitably impressive repast for your esteemed spouse's relations.

May you emerge triumphant, smelling of roses and not old matches (depending on the quantities of cabbage served)

Your humble servant

Mrs Locket

P.S word verif = buhazlnr

do you think that could be a good swear word to adopt for the weekend???

trashalou said...

Oh (insert name of humpbacked manservant of choice)!

I think this time everything worked and I will finally be proved right! Flick the switch now! *CRASH*

(now you have to imagine lightening jumping between two coils)

That is it! Mwahahahaha I have created a living being!!

Mwahahah!! The world will be ours. Ours I tell you.

Look. Watch it stand. It reaches for something to anchor it to this world.

N-o. It reaches for the 'seven interesting facts about everything ever in the whole wide world' book. Oh (insert name of humpbacked manservant of choice)I have created a monster.....

to be continued on a dark and stormy night

Ally said...

I don't know - now you tell me your tip for curtain hooks - after I have just taken out all the hooks to two pairs of double width full length curtain for washing. I think my sister told you to wait until they were in the wash. I now have the lovely task of ironing them and putting all the hooks back in.

Roast Beef my favourite. My Mum (incl Mrs Locket's Mum) often makes suet crust to cook around the joint and tells people she only makes it to get her fingernails clean (would this go down well at the weekend?)

Hope this will make you smile over the weekend that and a secret stash of tins of gin and tonics in your bedroom.

Ally x

Kitty said...

Ooooh, I am SO jealous of those Melly and Me patterns. I'm definitely going to have to treat myself.

Well done on the cleaning - I'm afraid mine only gets done properly when we have visitors *blush*

Hope MiL has a lovely birthday, and that you all have a fantastic day. Take care. x

Ali said...

I'm a roast beef virgin too - mad isn't it. But the cost puts me off just in case I **** it up. I make excellent yorkshire puds though.

Lucy Locket-Pocket said...

Now EXCUSE ME Mrs Moogsmum - how come MY SISTER has commented on YOUR blog when she hasn't even bothered to comment on MINE?????? I will be having words with her! Very very BIG words!!!!

P.S. It's true, mum always says she makes suet crust with beef to get her hands clean after gardening!!! It's delish!

Kaz said...

Good luck with the weekend, I hope all goes well with the beef and you can get back to crafting not cleaning next week. Cleaning two days running is not good for you!

Kaz xx

Julie said...

I am full of admiration for the cleaning! I'm saying nothing about how much I hate cooking beef....I'm trying shoulder of lamb this weekend a la Jamie Oliver (put in scorching hot oven then turn down low and cook slowly. oops! I forget what the low temp. is!
Your side table is gorgeous! Lovely carving!
I liked the tips - crafting in bed, now, there's a thought! And tip No 5 is inspirational. I should be able to get lots of money for my little outings to craft exhibitions lol :))

Julie said...

Oops! I forgot to say - have a great time woth your outlaws! if all else fails finish off the malt!

Leanne said...

Hope the beef goes well. I'm impressed with those dust free clear surfaces. Feel free to visit me if your still in a cleaning mood.

Leigh said...

Oh dear, I can so relate! I have guests and inlaws arriving tomorrow too! I need a maid or I need to get off the computer, one or the other!

the vicious chicken said...

Hello Lesley,

I hope all is going to plan with MiL's birthday celebrations, and that you're feeling suitably serene.

...and if not, don't let the stress get to you too much: just keep thinking about all the lovely crafty things you can do once your guests have gone home again :o)

weirdbunny said...

I with you on the price of beef, soo expensive. That's why we usually have it for Christmas dinner, a once a year occasion !

artisbliss said...

I'm an American born and bred but with Scots in my background (Glendening)and we are ALL quite carnivorous. I'm with Totty Teabag--make a Yorkshire pudding. On the upside, just think how good you'll feel that you did right by your MIL, your house looks nice, etc. Then you can get back to some serious crafting with no guilt!

Ally said...

Sorry, forgot to say, my Mum was only joking when she said it, but it always made us laugh when people believed it was how she cleaned her nails. Mum will never forgive me for having told you the story esp if she looks on your blog now she is more computer literate.

Hope all has gone well and the beef was divine.

Ally x (big sis & parrot tamer)

PS I still have my MiL staying (was due to go home today but decided to stay)

Patti said...

I am shuddering at the very thought of having in laws to stay. My own parents are bad enough!

Off to have a glass of wine to recover.

Lucy Locket-Pocket said...

Now this is not RIGHT MRS MOOGSMUM!!!! My very real big sister finally caved in to the pressure and left ME a comment and then I come over here and find she has left YOU, her imaginary sister, TWO!!!!!


Off to sulk now with the dregs of my red wine!

your former imaginary friend!

katelnorth said...

Well, I like a nice bit of beef myself, but I also love a vegetable risotto. Sympathies on the MIL issue, though, mine used to be a more adventurous eater, but these days won't even eat pasta. Luckily, I don't have to cook for her often.

Jodie said...

You are a domestic goddess!

Lina said...

Never mind the roast beef - how do you find the time to write posts of such epic proportions?!!!

bigbucketgirl said...

or causes a dramatic whoooosh of flame and fetches your eyebrows off!!!!!!!!!!.......still laughing here after reading this a good 10 minutes ago!!
Don't know how i got to you..but very glad i did. You are very funny! The goddess/slut relationship is wonderful. I have one to. The goddess is NOT winning.

monda-loves said...

this made me do a hearty belly laugh
It's nice to hear that you're going feed those kids though :o)


Jane said...

Lesley there is an award for you. Please pop over to my blog and collect it, hope your weekend went well. Jane x

Blogger said...

Have you ever consider automating your free satoshi claims with a BTC FAUCET ROTATOR?

Blogger said...

Did you consider trading with the ultimate Bitcoin exchange company - YoBit.