Pretty Maids All In A Row





One of my favourite blogs to visit is http://www.rosylittlethings.typepad.com/ and a while ago, Alicia posted about a pattern for paper doll softies that she had produced for a book, Softies by Therese Laskey.

When I was at the cross-stitch show in London last week, I kept my eye out for pretty felt and rick rack so I could make some this week in my time off work.

It was lovely having my writing desk to work on; there is just no room in our dear little flat for a big sit-at table, and normally I use a tray on my lap or sit at the coffee table. These little dolls are quick and easy to make, and I had such fun choosing the colours and trimmings for them. I think I will make some more, and put some dried lavender in with the stuffing that goes in their skirts, add a loop of ribbon on the back, and I can hang some in my wardrobe.

Please do not run away in horror if I also say that it has crossed my mind that they might make lovely little Christmas gifts. I would not mention the C-word now if wasn’t for Nigella- I visited her website yesterday, and read that she is writing a Christmas book! Which got me to thinking about hand made little gifts….

Although these little dresses are easy to make, you can get very absorbed in beading and so on, and before I knew it, I had watched three episodes of ‘Emma’!

Due to this wretched cold, I have absolutely no sense of taste or smell at the moment, but Carl tells me that the tomato soup I made yesterday is nice, so I will share the recipe with you. I like to try and cook seasonally, and I know that tomatoes really are not in season at the moment, but I had this for lunch when I visited a dear Aunt a while ago, and it was so warming and savoury, it was just what I fancied eating. She was kind enough to give me her recipe, and here it is, for you.

Aunty Dottie’s Tomato Soup

1 lb tomatoes, quartered

1 medium sized potato, diced

1 small onion, chopped

1 rasher streaky bacon

1/4 pint water

1/4 pint milk

1/2 oz butter

pinch sugar

1/2 tsp paprika

1/4 tsp celery salt

1) Tie on your prettiest apron and switch on Radio 4

2) Melt the butter, and cook the onion and bacon for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3) Add the diced potato, quartered tomatoes (skins, innards and all) sugar and water.

4) Simmer gently until the potato is well cooked.

5) Take off of the heat, add the seasoning, and blend with a stick blender.

6) Add the milk and blend again to mix.

7) Pass through a seive, return to the pan and warm through.

This soup is really delicious, and I put my own twist on it by adding a pinch of chilli flakes at the seasoning stage.

It seems to be sunny and beautiful again today, so I will take a gentle walk into town later for a cup of tea, although I hear it is going to be really cold next week, so I will need to stock up on hot chocolate for then. This evening is book club; we read In The Company Of Cheerful Ladies which was the first Alexander McCall-Smith novel that I have read. It was gentle, and not at all what I expected, and I have ordered the rest of the series from the library.

I hope the sun is shining on you this morning, and you have a really scrumptious day!
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