Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Rib-Sticking Fare and Hand-Made Dollies

I thought I'd show one or two of the dolls I've been busy with over the past month or so. I didn't manage to take photos of all of them, as I had to whisk them off to their owners pretty sharpish (working to a deadline is not one of my natural strengths). I'm very much enjoying making them and when they're finished I pat them and fuss with them and sometimes give them a little cuddle. (Good grief, what an admission to make! I am probably certifiable, but generally harmless). I've had some great feedback from my friends though, one said her niece was taking the dolly to bed, which I think is the finest compliment I can get.

I've noticed I'm developing a definite doll-making style. I can't help but make a little knitted corsage for most of the doll, and always feel it necessary to give the doll "big hair". I have made a straight haired blonde doll, but for me it just wasn't the same as making a curly-girly! The next doll I shall make will have different feet though, Jenny's new ones have feet you could slip a shoe on, this would be a definite improvement to the dolls I make.

Anyway, the brown haired girl went to my friend's granddaughter this weekend, and I'm not sure what the little girl has named her, but the one below was given to my youngest one, as she fell in love with the red hair when I was making her. We've called her Aishling, after the lovely Christy Moore song.

Also this January I've set myself the task of learning a few new recipes. Seeing as I have a certain avoir du poids ce moment I haven't been baking as much as usual. Well, apart from that carrot cake I made the other Sunday, oh, and that cheesecake I made when Sarah came a-visiting. Well, okay then, I have been doing a fair amount of baking, but some of this baking has been sickeningly virtuous.

The cake that looks a little like malt loaf or tea bread below is actually made from All-Bran and contains no egg or fat. No, don't say "yuck" it's actually jolly nice, does taste somewhat like an old-fashioned malt loaf, is a doddle to make. I like it spread thickly with butter. There really is no hope for me. Oh, and if you eat the cake neat, there are no more calories per slice than a bowl of cereal with raisins. Here's the recipe.

4 oz All-Bran

5 oz caster sugar

10 oz dried fruit

1/2 pint milk

4 oz self-raising flour

Put All-bran, sugar and dried fruit into a bowl and mix well together

Stir in milk and leave for at least 30 minutes

Sieve in flour, mixing well and pour mixture into a well greased 2 lb loaf tin.

Bake in oven at 180c for about 1 hour.

Next up I've been trying out new recipes for various stews and casseroles. I don't know about you, but I developed a stew recipe years ago and I've pretty much stuck to it. I do so many slow braises and stews in the winter-time and it was all becoming a bit same-y so I thought I'd have a go at something a little different. I can highly recommend the Blessed Delia of the Mispronunciation's Beef in Designer Beer, and also Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall's Savoury Beef Cobbler and Chicken in Cider with Rosemary Dumplings. I shall link to a page where the nation's favourite gentleman farmer has waxed lyrical about stews and pies, a nice read, good recipes, with the added bonus of a picture of the man himself...I find him personally quite charming.

Oh, and talking of photos, here's a picture of the aforementioned Beef Cobbler, looks quite similar to the one on Hugh's page. Am I the only person in the world whose food looks rarely like the picture in the cookbook? I imagine this is because I am a bit of a sloppy worker. Well I think that's enough for today! Anon, gentle reader and happy housewifery to you!


Left-Handed Housewife said...

I really like your use of the phrase "a doddle to make." I've never heard it before, but was able to suss out the meaning immediately. I will adopt it as my own and use it whenever possible.

Your dolls are adorable. I love your big hair ethos. May it ever reign!


Anonymous said...

Love those dollies! And I will definitely be having a go at the all-bran cake thingy...sounds very healthy and looks tasty too! :)

Anonymous said...

Feeling quite ill here so can't think about food. But the dolls look gorgeous.

You have an award at my blog, a Marie Antoinette award..."let them eat cake", she said, just like Dulce Domum.


Scriptor Senex said...

Like the dollies; going to try the cake and as for you being certifiable - so long as you stay harmless that's all that counts.
(Makes strange burbling noises to self and signs off...)

Jenny said...

They are beautiful. I love the little corsages. And the hair is gorgeous.
I love that you are already developing your own style.
You can make the foot more of a foot by bending it to the position you want and then ladder stitching it in place.

ps. You know that a doll can't really come to life unless the maker gives it at least three cuddles when the doll is all finished.

Zillah said...

Well, DH says your cobbler looks better than Hugh's! I'd love to make it, but for the dratted eggs. Not sure a cobbler would be so good without them, do you?


Erin said...

I love the dolls and the recipes. .. especially the one from Hugh. . . hopefully I can get hubby to eat it. . .

One question, do you make little boy dolls too? I've been looking for a homemade doll for my little turnip for awhile now. . .

Gumbo Lily said...

I suppose you have big hair since I recall that you thought we had the same kind of hair -- so big and curly I'm guessing? And why shouldn't your dollies be so too? They're cute.

And that beef cobbler looks sooooo good! I'll be over for supper.


Dulce Domum said...

Hi Frances
I find myself wanting to say "y'all" in converstation and hanving to stop myslef pretty sharpish, only a fellow blooger would understand the kind of cyber-esperanto we use!

Oh, regarding "big hair" you can take the girl out of the 1980s but you can't take the 1980s out of the girl!

Hi Tina
Let me know what you think. My friend gave me the recipe and I was doubtful, but we're all loving it chez domum.

Hi Sarah
I spent all last night hugging the loo too! The Dh had to take the kids to school for me, I woke up about 11 o'clock and I'm having a cuppa. I think I'll keep it down as I'm feeling quite chipper (go figure!).

Thank you for my award. Yes, I do say "let them eat cake"...but just not today!

Hi Scrip
If you like malt loaf, you'll like this cake. Yes, I'm still harmless, when I think the dolls are talking to me, then I'll begin to worry!

Hi Jenny
Thanks for the tip of the foot, I was going to make a little sole, but your way sounds much easier. I'm so glad you're a cuddler too, I felt sure you were! I owe the old doll making extravaganza all to you, you know.

Hi Zillah
Well what a compliment from your DH! We tried to explain our "egg embargo" to the little one the other day, but she got all upset and missed the point completely, saying "I know egg sandwiches make me fart, but I just love 'em!" Dh wet himself laughing and I realised I'm hardly bringing up little ladies.

Oh, I can highly recommend Hugh's dumplings, very light and fluffy.

Hi Erin
When I was eating it I thought the cobbler topping would be good made with stilton too. Try to persude your DH, as it is very nice. I can make little boy dolls, you may want to email me with your requirements and I'll tell you what I can do!

Hi Jody
Big hair, big glamour, that's what I say. I sometimes feel like I'm waging a one-woman war against the tyranny of the straightner!
Come over anytime, I'll pop a cobbler in the oven just for you.

Angela said...

I have used that bran loaf recipe and it never fails.

If you say you "avoir du pois", shouldn't you be making French Pea Soup!!

Dollies are adorable too

Islandsparrow said...

Your dollies are very sweet - I think I might be certifiable as well - when I tidy my daughter's room, I "arrange" the dolls and teddies - sitting them nicely - putting a little stuffed arm around another's neck - straitening dresses - ok, ok I'm playing with them :)

Dulce Domum said...

Hi Angela
It's surprisingly good, isn't it?

Hi Island Sparrow
Oh, it's nice to know you're another certifiable!

Anonymous said...

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