Ok, so it’s not a luxury pudding, it’s not stylish, it doesn’t even have a fancy name, but I think it does have merits. It makes good use of a staple most of us have languishing in our cupboards, it is warm, stodgy and filling and it quivers and squeaks gently on removal from the oven. It’s been a sturdy, thrifty classic bake for many a year now.
The recipe I’m sharing today is the slightly sophisticated relative to the basic bread and butter pud. We always just made it with milk and eggs when I was a child, but this one contains a whole carton of cream. We just had sugar and raisins for flavour whereas this recipe adds the zest of an orange to cut through the richness of all that cream. This is how it looked pre-oven:
It is Mary Berry’s Mother’s recipe ( http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/mary_berrys_mothers_97161 ) and who am I to argue with such a lady? It was a lovely rich alternative to my usual recipe and the addition of orange zest was delicious. I sprinkled light brown sugar on top, which formed a nice crust.
The Dr and I disagreed on whether it needed to be served with custard. I said no, because it had all that cream and those eggs in it, surely forming something akin to custard? I always feel it’s a pudding that can stand on it’s own two feet without accompaniment. What do you serve yours with?
The ceramic checkerboard tiles on the floor look great and the silver grout really sets them off. The subway tiles on the wall look classy, so pleased I chose them.
I have fulfilled a long held dream and I have a roll top bath! It really is lovely and so comfy too. I have had a quite a few baths – and to be honest, whilst pregnant it was a real treat to have soothing soaks in my gorgeous new tub! It has a raindrop shower above it and the builders sealed the bathroom floor so in the unlikely event we have any spills or floods the floor timbers and electrics are safe! I love my bath caddy (a gift from Sam and El) and it’s currently housing my Christmas bath ballistics from Lush and Albie’s ducks.
My vintage cistern has come into its own when combined with a nice Burleigh toilet bowl and mahogany seat. It looks better than I could have hoped and love the fact it cost me a tenner! I bought this copper basket to store my toiletries in, and tucked a black towel in front so it doesn’t look messy. I continued the copper theme by adding a copper posser as a loo roll holder.
Another incredible eBay find was this lovely and bargainous sink – £10. It’s in perfect condition and my builder said it would have been around the £200 mark when new so I’m very happy. I love the chrome towel rail at the front. This ladder works rather well and fits perfectly into this nook next to the sink.
This vintage sheet music was also from eBay a while back and I’ve been saving it. I love the fact it’s a Howard Hughes film and the ‘Underwater’ theme makes it perfect for my bathroom. The light pull was left by previous owners, with a clean and polish it looks great.
A mirror and shelf and I think we’re done. These were both eBay finds that my brother put up for me when he came to meet Albie.
It was a long time in the making and cost more than we’d hoped but it’s well worth it and will be the family bathroom we wanted – I can’t wait to bath Albie in here when he’s a bit bigger, singing songs and playing with his bath toys!
It hasn’t taken me long to fall in love with a retro inspired range of clothing for kids. Albert is just 3 weeks old and I’ve already discovered the Little Bird range of clothes, designed my Jools Oliver and stocked by Mothercare.
I think I like the range because it reminds me of the kinds of clothes I was wearing when I was teeny. Photos depict me in 70s styles, despite the fact I was born at the beginning of the 80s. My Mum, like most new Mums, took all the hand-me-downs she was offered, knowing that you can never have too many outfits in those early days. This meant I was in my cousin’s 70s outfits for the first few years.
It seems traditional to put babies in pastels, but I think I rather like these 70s inspired rainbow brights.
I particularly love these rainbow cot sheets – how cute!
I think Baby G is going to look cute as a little 1970s rainbow…
I’d like to introduce my latest homemade creation: Albert Aneurin Grace.
Albert was an early Christmas gift – born on Christmas Eve at midday, weighing a healthy 8lb 5oz.
My little thinker is a delight and we’re enjoying getting to know him. He brings with him – I hope – a whole host of new vintage experiences. Vintage toys, vintage boys clothes, vintage children’s books and lots more. He’s going to fit right in! Can’t wait to add him to my vintage journey and see what new adventures are out there.
Here’s my yearly round up of the decorations in my house.
I did debate whether to have a fresh tree this year or just to put up a fake one I have. I thought dealing with the aftermath of a real tree might be one less thing to worry about with a newborn in the house, but my Mum was so horrified when I mentioned this that we went ahead with a real one. Must admit I don’t regret it – it looks and smells so lovely. My friend Becca helped me decorate it, doing the crawling around on the floor and the positioning of the lights etc – things I’m struggling with whilst heavily pregnant! It has my two strings of vintage lights and mostly vintage baubles too. I love it!
I’d wanted a vintage sledge for ages and finally found a local vintage seller on Instagram who had some available. I fell in love with this one and I think I paid £40 for it, but it’s well made, in lovely condition and – who knows – there might be a little person who wants to use it for its real purpose next winter. That would rely on us having enough snow to actually go sledging, which is unlikely in the South but I can dream! For now Mr. Sledge is our coffee table for the festive period…
My three vintage Christmas themed prints in the dining room have been flipped! I literally have these back to back with other images that I can just rotate during December. Makes life easy!
As with lots of jobs this year, I’m just glad I’ve managed to get it done before my Baby arrives and other things take over! Baby is currently two days overdue and who knows when they may finally appear. We’re trying to relax and be philosophical about it! At least the house is cosy and welcoming – this may be the most exciting (and demanding) guest we’ve had in a while!
It is with a whole new level of Christmas excitement I say:
It’s all taken longer than it should (not the builder’s fault) and gone way over budget, but finally! I can share it with you! I’m starting with the downstairs bathroom.
My brother was here at the weekend and he put the finishing touches to the downstairs bathroom. He is essentially Handy Andy to my Laurence Llewelyn Bowen. I come up with odd ideas, he shakes his head and then makes them a reality… This is my long wanted floating shelf. Slice of tree from eBay and rope from The Range. This is a vintage copper posser – it’s for agitating your washing, but I’m using it as a loo roll dispenser… another eBay find!
I absolutely love these tiles! A guy on eBay had a couple of dozen to sell and he wanted £9 each for them. I asked if he’d do me a deal on 6 and he said £30. Bargain! I have to say, I’ve often been pleasantly surprised when haggling with people – if you have the cheek to ask for a deal or a couple of quid off, the response is favourable. My bruv chipped off some very uninspiring and poorly laid plain grey tiles and I think these have so much more character!
This copper towel rail came from jacobre_123 on eBay (http://www.ebay.co.uk/usr/jacobre_123). I liked the raw look of the copper and it’s not lacquered so it can be polished or allowed to tarnish depending on the look you’re going for.
I think the vintage tiles were a great find, they blend well with the copper towel rail and I’m so chuffed to finally make the hanging shelf a reality.
I’m not sure if it’s too early or not but I made my Christmas cake this week. Last year I made a 20cm fruit cake using a Mary Berry recipe. It was lovely but rather bigger than I anticipated (I’m terrible at judging sizes!) and most of it ended up in the staff room come January. Why does no one like fruit cake?
Last year in the January sales I bought these cake decorations:
We loved the Raymond Briggs books The Snowman and Father Christmas when we were little so these were a must for me. They’re a nice quality ceramic so will hopefully be an investment and can be reused year after year.
I need to spend a few weeks feeding my cake spirits before I marzipan and ice it. This year it’ll all get eaten!
It is with a tablespoon and a bottle of value brandy in hand I say:
For some reason the faux fur cushions are a step too far. Perhaps because Kanye West once tweeted “It’s hard to sleep on fur pillows…” I associate them with the interior decor of a drug lord or an idiot who has more money than taste.
I’m afraid I can’t even remember where I came across this image but it was probably Pinterest. I fell in love with this little downstairs loo – quite charming, don’t you think? I like that fact that even though it’s a tiny room, its owner has lavished attention on it in the form of elegant wallpaper and a range of vintage mirrors.
Part of the work we’re having done at the moment is to our down stairs bathroom. We’ve removed a badly leaking shower and made the room smaller, to give us more space elsewhere. This gives me a snug downstairs loo that I can decorate in a vaguely quirky way.
So far, these are my ideas:
I like the idea of putting some wallpaper on one wall. I don’t have it anywhere else in the house as I’m not usually keen on too much pattern and colour, but I think maybe a little pattern could go a long way. I looked at botanical prints, but decided I liked these geometric designs better. I just need to pick one now!
I’m sticking with the copper posser as a freestanding toilet roll holder and thought I might bring in the copper theme again by adding this towel holder. It’s rustic, possibly ‘steampunk’ and I like it.
I absolutely adore these tiles. I found someone selling them on eBay and managed to get a deal on half a dozen of them. They’ll go above the sink and Incorporate my love of vintage advertising.
My final idea is this. I found it ages ago in Pinterest and have always fancied it but it enough room in my bedroom so I though maybe I could put a selection of books on this suspended shelf. I’ve located a chunk of Waney edge wood, just need to track down some rope and suitable hooks.
Those are my ideas. I just hope my brother is onboard for making them a reality, cos I’m stuffed if it’s down to my DIY skills! I see myself more in a supervisory role…
I have some tricks up my sleeve for my bathroom remodel. It’s a lot of money to spend and we want to get it right.
My secret weapon is this vintage cistern I bought on eBay for a tenner on a complete whim last year. My husband though I’d suffered some kind of aneurysm, my brother said something I can’t print here, but I knew it wasn’t a mistake. When I showed our builder, Jon the cistern – covered in cobwebs and lime scale – he dusted her off, examined her insides and said “Ah, isn’t she lovely!”. I knew from that moment he was the builder for us.
I’ve bought another copper posser which will become a loo roll holder – I like using things for purposes other than those they were intended for. I wonder if there’s a name for that?
I love the whole mirror collage thing. We have three vintage mirrors in a row in our bedroom and it’s a nice effect. Although looking at my reflection in a state of undress is definitely not my favourite past time – especially at 7 months pregnant!
I’ve been a fan of these ‘subway’ tiles since they became the in thing and they do actually lend themselves really well to the kind of remodel I’m planning. We’ve talked about using black or silver grout too – I think it will look fab!
I’m also obsessed with the idea of a ladder for my towels. I’ve never really liked heated towel rails. They waste so much energy, and always seem to be rusting somewhere! This seem rustic, rather than rusty.
I hope it all comes together smoothly, I’m so excited – it will be the first time I’ve ever got to design my own bathroom. I do love long relaxing baths and I’m looking forward to bath time with Baby too. Hopefully it’ll be a family bathroom we can all use and enjoy!
It is with a dream of the Cadbury Flake advert that I say: