Monday, 1 September 2014


Good Afternoon to you,

Today is a very different day for me,  because normally I do not post on a Monday, but I have been invited by the lovely CeLynn from CeLynn's Sunflower Patch to take part in the Around the World Blog Hop. I was thrilled to pieces to be asked and so pleased to accept CeLynn's invitation.

I have known CeLynn for about a year or so and the first time I visited CeLynn she shared the most delicious salmon recipe, which she cooked using cedar papers. I have to be honest and say I had never heard of them, and just in case you are wondering, they are papers which are made with 100% western red cedar. When I mentioned that I had never heard of cedar papers, CeLynn was kind enough to say that the next time she went into town, she would buy a pack and post them to me.  We exchanged addresses and a little while later they arrived in the post all the way from America. I have to tell you, I could not wait to use them..... and when I did, I was not disappointed.

We have remained friends and we often email each other.  Now I would like to tell you a little bit about CeLynn. CeLynn is a marvellous quilter, not only does she quilt, but she makes beautiful bags, ranging from small to large with wonderful names such as 'bowling and swing'..... and there is more, not only is she marvellous with a needle and thread, but she preserves food as well, so whether you want to learn a technique for inserting a zip into a pouch or preserving foods, you will find all the answers on CeLynn's blog. Pay her a visit and say hello as I know you will receive a warm welcome.

Now on to the questions I have been asked.


Well, the first thing you need to know about my creative process, is, before I begin, I need to find my reading glasses.... and there lies a problem in itself.  I have three pairs of glasses which I leave in different rooms around the house, so that if I need them, I can easily find a pair. Does that sound sensible to you, well I think it does, but there is a fly in the ointment....George. When he finds my glasses lying around, he will gather my glasses together and place them in another room, so when I expect to find my glasses in a certain room, they are not there and I have to hunt for them. So once I have tracked down a pair of reading glasses, I think about the day's experiences so that I can share them with you. It can be a thought about Ivy, my grandmother, it can be something about Phyllis or it can be something funny which has occurred, and if I think you will enjoy reading about our exploits then I share them. My writing is quite stylised, because the words you are reading are the words, which, if you are seated in the same room as me, would be the words coming out of my mouth.  So the text is not always grammatically correct, and even though sometimes I am tempted to correct the grammar, I don't, because if I did, I would lose the flow of the story and you would lose the flavour of the story.  

So as you can see, I am not a planner, whatever happens during the week, I share with you and whatever I am cooking I share with you. The food I cook, is food which we enjoy eating and whatever I post on a Wednesday or a Sunday has been food which has been eaten and enjoyed.

For instance this Bakewell Tart. This is a tart which I remember Ivy making when I was a child.... admittedly not like the one I made, as Ivy's version would have been made with less ingredients.

Sometimes all you want is a salad and this Three Bean Salad is perfect  for warm summer days.

....and there is nothing like a slice of cake on the weekend and this Pear and Ginger Cake, surprisingly made with tin pears, works beautifully.

or maybe I am making Falafel..... 

or preserved lemons, 

whichever recipe I share, it is always food we enjoy.

..... but I also love to garden,

so, I have added gardening to my blog.


I also


and I love bead work and sewing,

 so they were added to my blog,

and I could not let you miss my many visits to India as this is such a fascinating country..... so my blog has grown to include other things which I enjoy...... and that is the essence of my blog.... my day to day life.


Well the answer to this question is simple.  I had made copious notes in note books throughout the years, to record Ivy, Phyllis and my recipes, as I did not want the recipes to disappear in the miasmal mist, as the recipes were the culinary history stretching from the 1930's to the present day. I wanted Natasha and Danielle to feel a sense of culinary history when they read about their Great Grandmother Ivy, Grandmother Phyllis and me, their mother's culinary lives. 

The trouble was, the notebooks were growing in number.... too many really, so Natasha suggested I start recording these recipes in a blog.... and you cannot imagine how I resisted this idea..... well maybe you will get a little sense of it from reading my first post.  Me, writing a blog, whoever thought of such a thing, I really did not want to write a blog. For a start off, I had no idea how to begin setting up a blog. Now, I have to tell you, Natasha is not a daughter who will take no for an answer, she really believed that not only would I enjoy writing a  blog, but that it would be a success. So after much coaxing from Natasha, I finally made myself sit down and write my first post, I was excited, but nervous and could not imagine that anyone would take the time to read my words.  You cannot imagine my surprise when I discovered I had my very first follower, I could not believe it, and if there is anything which is higher than 'over the moon' then that was the feeling I had. I was on a high for a week. My first follower was Karen from My Little Home and Garden when I saw Karen's  Peony thumbnail appear on my blog, it really was a wonderful moment. 

As my blog has grown, I really do not see my friends as followers, I see them as friends who enjoy reading my blog and I am always pleased to receive comments, which I love answering.  Sometimes a little late, but then, life can become busy at times, but I always make sure I answer the comments.

 After my first post,
there was no turning back
and the rest,
as they say,
 is history.


that is how,  
Ivy, Phyllis and Me! 
was born.


There are so many marvellous bloggers, especially when it comes to the cooking/lifestyle section, but the first lesson I learnt was not to compare my blog with other blogs. I admire other blogs, but it was important that I stay true to myself.  I am a visual learner, so adding step by step photographs seemed the natural thing for me to do. Give me a set of written instructions and it takes me a month of Sunday's to work them out, but show me how to do something and that is a completely different story, as once shown, I learn very quickly. I felt it was also important to share my mistakes, as I am not infallible, there are days when I can be talking to George or listening to the radio and not concentrating and I will make a mistake, for instance,

I have made soda bread a hundred times, but when I made soda bread to share with you, I cut the cross too large and so when baked, the bread was mis-shapen. It didn't spoil the taste of the bread, but it didn't look particularly attractive either, but  I shared it with you, I wanted you to see that I can mistakes as well. Remember, I am the same as you, I am a home cook who loves to cook, but who also happens to blog.


If you have been reading my blog for a little while, you will know that I always say 'it's on with the pinnie'. I always wear pinnies and I have quite a selection, so I have decided that I am going to sew my own range of pinnies..... I have outlined the details in my mind and I am very excited about it, but I just need to think a few things through and then I will be whipping out the sewing machine and as they say here in England,  'I will be sewing for England'.

Now it is time for me to introduce you to the three very talented ladies who I have invited to be part of the Around the World Blog Hop.

Firstly from France, is a lady who started writing her blog roughly about the same time as I did.  Barbara from Barbara Lilian in France has been a little poorly of late, so if you could pop by and say hello I know she will be pleased to see you..... and what is special about Barbara's blog, well, if you love to walk along country lanes in France, admire beautiful flowers or take a peek at beautiful watercolours, then those are the treats which will be in store for you.

Secondly, from America, the lovely Nancy from Pug Mom Quilts, now I can sense you are a little more than curious.... a Pug Mom....who can that be?  Well Nancy is a lovely, newly married lady who also happens to sew the most beautiful quilts.  Her quilts never cease to amaze me they really are a feast for the eyes.... and where does the Pug part of the title come into it.... well let me introduce you to Romeo, Larry and Elvis.... three of the most adorable Pugs.... go on, I dare you to take a look at their photos on Nancy's blog and not smile.

....and thirdly, my friend who I invited to take part was very busy.... you know how it is.... end of summer.... children to school.....lots of things to do.  So forgive me for not sending you a third friends blog to read and enjoy..... but I recommend you visit Karen who lives in Canada and writes, My Little House and Garden, not as part of the Around the World Blog Hop, but purely because I know you will love her blog.

So take care and I will see you, as usual, on Wednesday..... and that will be around before you know it.

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Dear Friends,

It is so wonderful to know you enjoy reading Ivy, Phyllis and Me! Thank you so much for taking the time to leave me a comment. I really do appreciate it.

Best wishes to you.


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