Friday, 31 August 2012

Revisiting Wedding Shame

So the last post was disjointed, weird and rambling. I think my main issue is the shame associated with weddings. "WHAT EVER YOU ARE DOING IS BAD AND WRONG! STOP THAT NOW! ITS NOT ALL ABOUT YOU! ITS YOUR DAY DO WHAT EVER YOU LIKE BUT NOT THAT!"

You spend too much money, or not enough. You are getting married, or you aren't. And you can bet the groom doesn't get the same kind of grilling (except Bloke, but he works with lots of little old ladies who want to know everything about him.) The problem is of course is that this is part of the idea that all the life choices women make are up for public discussion. Education. Marriage (and I include all legal and non legal bindings that may or may not be refereed to as marriage in here.) Babies, or not. And how much effort you put or not into the latter. Its all up for discussion and criticism! See also how you spend your money, the extent of your grooming regime and any other number of bizarre life choices.

Weddings are defiantly the big palooza though. Every one has an opinion, EVERYONE. And every one reads far too much into it all. Are having a big lavish do? well you must be putting the lot on a credit card! taking it out of your parent retirement fund! You terrible, terrible person. Its only one day! Having a cheap as chips party, making your own dress/buying second hand? You poor, poor dear! This is supposed to be YOUR DAY! Why don't you put it off a for a few years?!

I would say that I suspect these people have missed the point of marriage, but so many people do it. People who are other wise fairly normal. people who you wouldn't expect to be probing your financial and emotional plans.


Fuck that noise. And on that note I'm off to try out my new delicious smelling coconut shampoo. I'm waiting on a parcel delivery and you can bet as soon as I jump in the shower the door bell will go.

Any of you get ridiculous "wisdom" of late? Minnie xoxo

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

On weddings and thrift.

Watching last night's Superscripmers wedding episode I was struck with the urge to laugh.

Now don't get me wrong we're a thrifty household, and we will be diying a lot of the wedding. But here's the thing like the lovely ladies at A Practical Wedding like to stress its not always cheaper and some times it better to get some one else to do it. Your own time is something you must take into account.

Its so easy to get caught up in Wedding! and completely forget the whole Marriage bit. "But I'm not participating in the Wedding Industrial Complex, I'm not a Bridezilla, I don't pour over millions of wedding magazines1" Yes, but just how much time do we pour into this? How much does that cost us?

And I am saying this as a woman who is making her own dress and bouquet and will probably be catering her own wedding with bloke and a few willing friends. But this is the kind of wedding we'd have regardless. Emphasis on the we.

If you want a lovely polished wedding, with lovely photos and everything looking shiny and flawless, diying and scrimping on costs just won't give you what you want. If you want a book full of really lovely photos, higher a proper wedding photographer. If you only want a handful of cute candid shots then that's less of an issue and you probably could get away with a flickr pool for every one to load their photos into.

Now on the other hand if you quite frankly don't care and just want to be married and think some cake and dancing is a lovely way to commemorate the occasion and don't care, then yeah. You'll be fine!

Er what I'm trying to say is that its just as easy to get caught up in not being part of the big expensive game of getting married as not. And its not always cheaper to diy and diy greatly depends on your combined talents as a couple.

So just have fun with it? Uh I dunno. I got a bit ranty last night and it think that it's a simple case of in weddings everyone is so ready to judge. Being judgemental is bad guys.

At of the end of the day we all end up married, or something pretty close to married.

Er its early, I may revisit this later when I'm feel less ranty.

Love Minnie xoxo

Sunday, 26 August 2012

My week in hipstertastic pictures

I found me a cake topper, she'll be sans the club and the mannish face... Maybe.

Finally admitted that these boots are past it, which makes me super sad but they are woefully beyond repair. Don't you wish you could go back in time and buy 4 pairs of your favorite shoes? Sigh.

Love it a larger shandy with raspberry syrup and a straw.

Bloke's home brewing came on leaps and bounds this week. We got a keg, a teeny tiny plastic keg.

The weather has been horrid, but the uni campus is at least gorgeous in the rain.

So, how was your week?

Minnie xoxo

Saturday, 25 August 2012

Christmas cake!

So in the spirit of poverty, and giving people some time to find out what kind of cake every one likes I am going to post the ingredients and supplies list today. (Don't worry this will all be posted together at the recipe stage again.)

You probably have at least some of the things you need in the pantry. Don't worry, if you have to purchase some of the more expensive items, they are all staples in standard holiday baking, so any left overs can be used later in the year quite easily. We aren't going to be working with anything horribly complicated or unusual.

So, ingredients wise you will need

200g of glacé cherries (French style are best but to be honest it won't make much difference in this cake)

200g of candied peel (some times referred to as mixed peel)

1kg of currants and sultans mixed

(if peel and cherries are not your thing just sub with more dried fruit)

175ml of dark rum (just buy a bottle of the super market own brand, as we'll need more to feed the cake weekly)

25ml of vanilla extract or essence (NOT flavour. Flavour isn't real vanilla and lets just not go into what it is)

250g v. dark brown sugar

250g butter (I actually use a butter substitute as I've got a dairy allergy)

6 medium eggs

400g plain flour (all purpose)

1/4 of a teaspoon of salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

100g ground rice or ground almonds.

2 teaspoons of cinnamon

2 teaspoons of mixed spice (pumpkin pie spice)

See! Nothing scary there at all!

So any special hardware?

A large (23cm or so) Spring form pans (or two if you prefer a shorter cake)

A roll of grease proof baking paper

Some kitchen string

A flat baking tray that's wider than the cake tin

A large bowl to soak the fruit and mix the cake in.

A pastry brush

A kebab skewer

A wooden spoon

So far so good? Any questions yet?

Now given that my recipe is the way I like my christmas cake, so I'm going to link to the classic christmas cake.

Delia smith's christmas cake is a really traditional cake, it's smaller than mine and made with brandy, treacle and chopped almonds. Still quite simple.

But a quick search will bring up any number of versions of the classic! Not all are made as far in advance, this is because my cake is quite a dry cake and the rum keeps the cake and adds much needed moisture.

We won't be starting for a few weeks yet so we've all got plenty of time to buy the ingredients and supplies with out breaking the bank. So don't feel panicked into buying everything at once!

I hope that wasn't too over whelming minnie xoxo

Friday, 24 August 2012

The Christmas count down begins.

"Ha! That's ages away you crazy lady!" I hear you scoff but it's less than 18 weeks till Christmas! 18 weeks people! 122 days. Yikes. I love Christmas, and we're usually quite ahead by now, but I'll be honest this year I'm not even ready for Bloke's birthday next month much less Christmas. The move, the wedding planning, my depression, uni. Everything has been so intense this year. So its time to take a massive step back. Do an august spring clean and hunt out the christmas cake recipe. Which brings me to my point, who's up for a Christmas cake along? Anyone? we'll bake it in september feed it over the months and decorate in December. And I'll post an alcohol free version in December too. I strongly encourage recipe swapping and any questions with regards to technique I will answer as best I can, with videos even! Most importantly a good, tasty christmas cake does not have to be expensive (really!) or full of weird green glacé cherries unless you like that sort of thing, you weidos. And if you don't like fruit cake don't worry, there will be plenty going on as we get a bit closer to the festive season! Now I'm off to have a cup of tea while I try to pretend like I'm not the crasy person who just brought up Christmas/Yule cake in August... Take care, Minnie x

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

On knitting for men

There are millions of patterns out there that proclaim to be "FOR MEN", intricate jobs that are filthy with cables or colour work. They are utterly beautiful works of art. I am in serious awe of the designers of said pieces, but here's the problem. They are designed to be interesting to knit. Not to be worn. While fashion has granted us knitters a boon by making texture knits and tweed quite fashionable, it does nothing for those knitters who love people who like clean and simple lines (both men and women, but there is far more choice in the lady knits dept.)Bloke likes his jumpers very simple in colour and construction, pockets and buttons are too fussy by far. Miles upon miles of stockinette or in my case fancy rib. Fancy rib makes it sound less endless.
See its "fancy". What I'm knitting is one of Cascade's free patterns, its Men's Pullover (W353) I have grand (read:insane) plans to finish it in two weeks, well before Bloke's birthday. Ha! I'm knitting it from a large mystery aran ball so I should have enough yarn. But really, who knows?! Anyway I best get knitting. Take care! Minnie xoxo