This week I have been busy again. I started the week by making another batch of laundry liquid. It still amazes me how much I save by making my own liquid and it only takes about fifteen minutes to make approximately three months worth (and I wash a full load every day).
I also made some more dishwasher liquid too, using soap nuts:
And I topped up my homemade multipurpose kitchen spray too, using white vinegar and a few drops of teatree oil. The vinegar cuts easily through grease and dirt and the teatree oil turns it into an antibacterial spray.
All of the above things help me to save money around the home and I don’t use any nasty chemicals either.
In the garden:
I also managed to buy another bag of woodchip to complete my the paths in the new area in my kitchen garden:
I then brought a couple of bags of soil conditioner to spread over two of my beds (I will buy some for the other beds another day):
I have left the soil conditioner on the top of the soil so the worms can do the hard work for me over winter. I have also covered the two beds with weed suppressant to prevent weeds from growing and to also prevent the winter rain from leaching the nutrients out of the soil:
I am already looking forward to growing crops in this area next Spring.
Preparations For Christmas:
Well Christmas is nearly here and this week I have been turning my attention to Christmas presents.
On Saturday I talked to BBC Radio Leicester about Christmas presents on a budget:
You can listen to the interview here if anyone is interested. The interview starts 11 mins into the show.
I love chatting to Radio Leicester and they always make me feel very welcome. I hope this comes across in the interview.
One of the things I talked about was homemade presents. I love homemade presents as I always say they are “from the heart and not just the bank account”. I took in three homemade presents to show (and taste) and explained that they are far cheaper to make than buy and by making them yourself you can have far nicer presents for far less money:
The present on the right looks like a Christmas pudding and my daughter made these for all her friends and teachers last year and kindly made this one for me to take to the radio show. It is a chocolate orange with maltesers stuck on with melted chocolate and she melted white chocolate over the top (to look like cream) and she put a little bit of plastic holly on the top. She wrapped it in cellophane and it looked fantastic.
The box in the middle had homemade truffles in. I love homemade truffles as they are so easy to make and look and taste really good:
I also took in a present of which contained cubes of chocolate with cranberries and sultana’s and this is how I made it:
First I melted a bar of my favourite chocolate in a bowl over a pan of gently simmering water stirring all the time…
When the chocolate had melted I added some cranberries and sultana’s and mixed them until they were fully coated in the chocolate (you can use anything you enjoy e.g. smarties, maltesers etc)…
I then poured the mixture into a tin / container that was lined with clingfilm (you can use silicone bakeware too if you have it)….
I then left the chocolate mixture to set (don’t put it in the fridge).
When it was set I took it out of the mould and removed the clingfilm….
I drizzle some melted white chocolate over the top and again left it to set…
When it was set I chopped the chocolate into cubes and wrapped it in cellophane….
Top chefs will tell you that the chocolate should be ‘tempered’ to keep the shine on the chocolate, but if you slowly melt the chocolate and keep it away from the fridge whilst setting, I don’t think you need to for this.
This week, as Christmas is near I turned my attention to my Christmas hampers. I started by covering my homemade jars of jams and chutneys with a pretty pieces of tissue paper, tied with a bow:
And then I wrapped a few surprises (including my homemade wine) to also go into my hampers too and then I started to put them altogether:
I am very pleased with the result, though I do still have two hampers to do.
I also made three mini Christmas cakes this week and a full sized cake too. The Christmas cake recipe I use is very easy and can be eaten straight away, without having to continually ‘top it up’ with brandy. The recipe is here.
I like to give the mini Christamas cakes to our parents, as they are just the right size for them to enjoy.
I decorated the mini cakes and wrapped them in cellophane and I think they look great and I would be very pleased to receive one….so lets hope they like them:
Just incase you are wondering, I brought my roll of cellophane approximately three years ago on-line and I still have loads left.
I checked this week and you can buy a 100 meter roll of clear cellophane for about £12 (incl. delivery).
Before I finish today I wanted to show you a lovely couple of chocolate logs that my daughter made last week for her friends at school…..apparently they all enjoyed it. The recipe is here.
Each chocolate log costs approximately £1.50 to make and tastes delicious……to buy a supermarket ‘finest’ chocolate log it costs £3 and I bet it wouldn’t be as nice!
I also want to show you some wonderful cakes that one of my daughters friends made to take into school too this week:
I think the cakes look wonderful and it just shows what you can do with a little bit of imagination!
“Homemade really is from the heart and not just the bank account”
Thank you for reading my blog today. I will be back next Friday as usual.
Have a great week!