5 good things for Easter

five good things for Easter …

playing with fire

ONE: Playing with fire as we try out some ideas for  courses at Slamseys Art. Foraging walk with lunch cooked on the campfire anyone?

huffer

TWO: Bread Huffers, which seemed appropriate for Easter time.

hot cross buns

THREE: Cross Buns.

Hot Cross Buns today. Toasted Cross Buns tomorrow. Bread and Butter pudding for Easter Sunday.

Easter biscuits

FOUR: Easter Biscuits, which should be round but aren’t. Ignoring instructions to roll out the dough and use a cutter, I thought it would be easier to make a log and cut it into slices. Those pesky little currants proved rather difficult to saw through and the log grew flatter and more misshapen as I progressed.

FIVE: Young people doing good things. Essex Young Farmers is a fantastic organisation whose chart-topping challenge is in aid of the NFYFC’s Rural+ campaign, which is raising money for the charities Young Minds UK and The Farming Community Network. The campaign aims to raise awareness of rural isolation and mental health issues in young people and support those who suffer from, or are affected by them. 

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And now, the sun is shining and I’m going outside to sow seeds and sort out the flower beds. Got to get it looking pretty for June.

Easter

This Easter.

hot cross buns

Hot Cross Buns. This year, I tried sourdough buns with added fruit and spices rather than the normal soft dough enriched with eggs and milk, which was an interesting experiment requiring a strong jaw and good teeth.

easter eggs

Dyed eggs. I thought it would be fun to blow some eggs and decorate them (a result of too much Pinterest). A pinhole in the top, a skewer hole in the bottom of the egg, a little shake of the egg and blow the egg out into a bowl. It sounds so simple and indeed it is if you use old eggs. However, the only white eggs I have are ducks eggs, which start off far more viscous than hens eggs and as they were very fresh, were even harder to blow. After five eggs, I was blown out. The pretty blue eggs were left alone but for the white eggs, I diluted some food colouring with a little water and a spoonful of vinegar, scribbled on the eggs with a wax crayon and dipped them into the food dye.

The eggs are sitting in a string nest, inspired by Jessica’s beautiful and tasteful creations. Turn a bowl upside down and cover it with clingfilm. Then cut garden twine into 1 metre lengths and dip the twine into a bowl of PVA glue thinned with a little water. Drape artfully over the bowl and leave to dry overnight. I mixed a little paper in as well to give the nest a bit of substance.

I planned only to make a couple of nests, but the glue bottle was so old and brittle, that when I squeezed, the bottle cracked into several pieces and glue dripped everywhere. I found an old yoghurt pot and managed to decant most of the glue into that and left it on the side. Realising that the glue looked exactly like yoghurt and fearing that someone would tidy it away into the fridge, I thought I’d better use the rest of it and made some string Easter eggs.

string eggs

The idea is to put chocolate eggs inside a balloon, blow it up and cover it with string dipped in PVA glue. Once the string is dried and stiff, you pop the balloon and fish it out , leaving the chocolate inside and everyone will ooh and aah and wonder at the cleverness of getting large chocolates inside the string casing. Well, I tried to get the chocolates inside the balloons but had to call in help as it was definitely a two person job. I should warn you that a glass of wine, pushing chocolates into a balloon and blowing it up is a recipe for innuendo and silly giggles. I should also warn you that it needs lots of string to go round and round a balloon leaving no big gaps and that you should cut the string before you start dipping your hands into the PVA.

string easter eggs with eggs

I left the string eggs to dry overnight, remembering not to leave them somewhere warm as there was chocolate inside, popped the balloons and hey presto – the chocolates fell out because the gaps were too big. Never mind, they can be poked back in or maybe I’ll just have …

string easter egg

… sculptural balls instead of Easter eggs.