Old-fashioned pickled eggs

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Ok, so you may be thinking “WHAT”!!!!!! but I promise you these are delicious and a great way to preserve your excess eggs. (chicken owner or not!)

Here in good old Blighty they can often be found in our fish n chip shops but they’ve got nothing on these babies. Honest, once bitten twice smitten!

They look gorgeous as a gift and are scrumptious for supper and also as Hors derves at a dinner party or family gathering.

Grab yourself:

4-6 whole cloves

1 cinnamon stick

480 ml (16 fl oz) white vinegar

2.5 ml (1/2 teaspoon) mustard

25 ml (1/2 teaspoon) salt

2.5 ml (1/2 teaspoon) pepper

6 hard-boiled eggs, peeled

How to:

Put the cloves and cinnamon stick in a saucepan with the vinegar and bring the mixture to the boil. Add the mustard, salt, and pepper. Simmer for 5 minutes.

Place the eggs in a jar with a wide mouth and a tight-fitting lid. Pour the hot vinegar mixture over to cover. Screw the lid on tightly and refrigerate for up to six months.

This is another recipe from my gorgeous book: beginners guide to chickens by Lee Faber.

 

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Pretty crochet flowers

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If you ask me girl can never have too many flowers. I love to give and receive a bloom, but what I really love is to crochet some! There’s nothing cuter than a little bunch of crochet flowers displayed in a simple jam jar on your kitchen table, as part of a brooch or even to brighten up winter shrubs in your garden, and with a little practice you can easily achieve some stunning effects.

Give it a try and see if you don’t get hooked yourself, if your not already that is!

The pattern I’ve used here is from one of my fave books: Crochet Bouquet by Suzann Thompson.

make 5 chain and join with a slip stitch to form a ring. then there is only one round:

make 3 chain and do 2 treble clusters into ring. yarn around hook, insert into ring, yarn around hook and draw through 2 loops on hook (do this twice) yarn around hook and draw through all 3 loops on hook. Repeat for a total of 5 times. Fasten off, and weave in all yarn ends.

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easy peasy “WOW” birthday cake

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This is a show stopper of a birthday cake, it always gets a “wow” and it really is easy peasy to put together, the trick is in the detail!

All you need to do is make three sponge cakes, (I usually follow a Victoria Sponge recipe). Once cooled pop onto a cake plate of your choice and sandwich together with a little lemon curd, which I find helps to keep the sponge moist.

You can now go to town with your butter cream, here I used a shop bought strawberry flavoured butter cream. You can then either scatter with flowers or sweets or my marshmallow topper.

Now you just need to get hold of some floristry paper. You can usually pop into your local florist and ask for some, I usually get a couple of metres at 50p per metre. Lay your paper out and put you cake on top, then gather up the paper and secure with ribbon for a spectacular look. It’s great because this is what gives the cake its “Wow”, and also keeps it fresh for you.