3 OF THE BEST WI BOOKS FOR WI LADIES…

When my WI Country Woman’s Year 1960 by Shirley Paget book popped through my door I was so excited to open it and even more thrilled when I saw that the cover was a special retro cloth one.

I love anything WI (although not a member) and this book covers it all. From cider-making and hedgerow basketry to public speaking and committee-meeting protocol and of course, not forgetting the jam making.

If you can’t get inspired to have a go at smocking, upholstery repairs, bread making, lampshade, Christmas wreaths, wallpapering, corn dollies, Welsh quilting or crystallized flowers then I will eat my hat. It’s right up my street and I can’t wait to give one of the crafts a go.

Inside the book it says that a great deal has happened to change the lives of women living in the countryside since 1960 when this book was last published, and it is fascinating to note these changes. But we have since lost or forgotten so many rural skills and pleasures. Following the four seasons, here are dozens of different tasks and hobbies re-discovered in this WI Country Woman’s Year: Six decades on, modern readers may no longer wish to live like their countryside sisters of two generations ago, but they will be struck by the happy gusto with which the then-450,000 members of the WI went about enjoying their busy country lives throughout the year.

The WI Country Woman’s Year 1960 by Shirley Paget is available from Amazon and other good book stores at £15.99

The WI Cookbook : The First 100 Years Hardcover by Mary Gwynn, available from Amazon and other good bookshops from £11.22

This beautifully packaged book, curated by food journalist Mary Gwynn, brings together the 100 best loved members’ recipes nationwide. Organised decade by decade, and setting each recipe in its historical and social context, it spans everything from jams and preserves to main courses, puddings and bakes. Nostalgic favourites like Toad in the Hole and Kedgeree feature alongside contemporary hits such as Lamb Pot Roast with Nettle Champ and Italian Lamb with Roasted Sweet Peppers.

Here are recipes created during the war to make the most of limited supplies (like Stuffed Cod Steak and Apple and Fig Roll) and ideas to overcome the challenges of food rationing (like Elderberry and Apple Jelly and Corned Beef Hash) to current day recipes such as Venison Steaks with Quick Bearnaise Sauce and finally the WI’s own signature cake: The Centenary Fruit Cake from North Yorkshire. Fully illustrated from the archives of the WI, alongside beautiful food photography, this gorgeous cookbook will prove a firm favourite with keen cooks of all ages.

The WI Big Book of Baking Hardcover by Liz Herbert available from Amazon and other good book shops.

With over 200 recipes, the Big Book of Baking will guide you effortlessly through all the stages of bread-making as well as giving advice on how to bake the perfect cake. Suitable for beginners and experienced bakers alike, there is something here for everyone: all types of loaves, pastries, rolls and buns; sweet and savoury breads plus yeast, gluten and wheat free options; muffins and cup cakes, sponges and chocolate cakes; suggestions for cake toppings and finishes Tempting treats for every day and delicious ideas for a festive flourish – all the inspiration you need to hone your baking skills and produce impressive results every time.

THE WI COUNTRY WOMAN’S YEAR 1960 BOOK REVIEW…

When my WI Country Woman’s Year 1960 by Shirley Paget book popped through my door I was so excited to open it and even more thrilled when I saw that the cover was a special retro cloth one.

I love anything WI (although not a member) and this book covers it all. From cider-making and hedgerow basketry to public speaking and committee-meeting protocol and of course, not forgetting the jam making.

If you can’t get inspired to have a go at smocking, upholstery repairs, bread making, lampshade, Christmas wreaths, wallpapering, corn dollies, Welsh quilting or crystallized flowers then I will eat my hat. It’s right up my street and I can’t wait to give one of the crafts a go.

Inside the book it says that a great deal has happened to change the lives of women living in the countryside since 1960 when this book was last published, and it is fascinating to note these changes. But we have since lost or forgotten so many rural skills and pleasures. Following the four seasons, here are dozens of different tasks and hobbies re-discovered in this WI Country Woman’s Year: Six decades on, modern readers may no longer wish to live like their countryside sisters of two generations ago, but they will be struck by the happy gusto with which the then-450,000 members of the WI went about enjoying their busy country lives throughout the year.

The WI Country Woman’s Year 1960 by Shirley Paget is available from Amazon and other good book stores at £15.99

MY LATEST PROJECT – A KNITTED GRANNY BLANKET WITH TASSELS…

“The knitted blanket is a glorious expression of any grandmother’s soul; it is the colours of her dreams woven in delicate and loving hands. She would sit in that old rocking chair, hands moving, brain at peace, and from those delicate fingers would come the blankets.”

Reading this paragraph in a book I was reading inspired me to knit a patchwork granny blanket. I had a box full of odd wool ends in a multitude of colours.

I decided right from casting on the first stitch that I would knit six squares one after the other in different colours rather than individual squares.

All my wool was double knitting and I chose a pair of needles in size 7 for a 9” square using garter stitch ( knitting every row) and casting on 35 stitches. I’m so pleased with the result I’m knitting another in black ( as I have lots of this wool).

CHRISTMAS TIED UP IN A TEA CUP AND MORE…

Last minute handmade gift ideas that are great for #christmas. Easy to follow these lovely teacup candles infographic from Pinterest.

If you haven’t got any tea cups to use how about these shells instead, also from Pinterest

If you are handy with the knitting needles and have some spare wool around why not get this free tea cosy pattern from Love Knitting on Pinterest.

Or copy this DIY cup cosy also found on Pinterest

There are lots of easy handmade gifts all around tea which could soon be knocked up for any tea lover. These were just a few I found on Pinterest. It has inspired me to quickly knit up some of the cup cosy for my friends.

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EASY 3 MINUTE SPELT BREAD RECIPE…

Easy 3 minute Spelt Bread

Ingredients

500g spelt flour
10g fast-acting dried yeast
half teaspoon sea salt
50g sunflower seeds
50g sesame seeds
50g linseeds
500 ml warm water

Method

Preheat oven to 200C/Gas 6
Combine all the ingredients, adding the water last
Mix well and turn the dough into a greased lined loaf tin
Put straight into the oven and bake for one hour
Remove loaf and turn it out of tin, then return it to the oven without the tin for a further 5 – 10 minutes.