Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Gifts and some festive ideas from the Humble Bungalow

I finished knitting the cozy scarf I was working on this past week.
 I delivered it this afternoon after the Christmas coffee with my knitting group.

Our group took up the challenge and opened up our wallets to donate to the local newspaper The Times-Colonist Christmas fund.

The scarf is a simple 4 row repeat.
I can visualize this enlarged as a cozy throw or made in to a lap blanket.

This week I made a delicious apple chutney with the apples that were left in the fruit bowl.
 Recipe is from The Barefoot Contessa Ina Garten
found on  The Food Network website here is the recipe.

It was easy and quick to assemble.
Simmered for about an hour and the whole house smelled wonderful!
As it turns out, I was out of raisins, so I substituted dried cranberries instead 
they add a nice sweet tang and pretty seasonal colour.

It keeps in the fridge for 2 weeks...
 I am planning to serve it with turkey, pork, ham and a strong cheddar cheese.

I melted some cheese on a whole wheat wrap and topped it with this chutney
and ate it for my lunch.
I could not wait to try it
oh my it is good!

Traditional "Grannies" dish cloths are in production
using up cotton leftover yarn.
They make a useful Hostess gift paired with a luxury soap or fancy dish detergent.

Glazed Lemon Loaf with raspberries
I doubled the ingredients and made two loaves

One off to family and the other shared with Mother and some for our house.
It freezes well so I may end up popping half into the freezer for future use.

It is a time of year where we give tokens of appreciation 
to those who work with and for us 
 give gifts to friends and family.

When considering "Hostess Gifts"

I prefer gifts that are consumables...
we have enough "stuff" 
so I give things that do not take up unwanted "space" 
 gifts that are (hopefully) useful.


Beeswax candles
linen tea towels
bath salts
soaps and a dish cloth
scented votive candles
emollient hand cream
candied nuts
jams and marmalade
olive oil
balsamic vinegar


African Violets
Forced Bulbs


These are gifts chosen specifically for the individual based on their tastes
are considered much more intimate than a Hostess Gift.

gift certificates
spa vouchers
tote bag 
restaurant or event gift certificate
bath robe
a collectible chosen specifically for the recipient
something specific from their "wish list"

There are so many wonderful things to see in town at this time of year.
We took Mother to the Festival of Trees last week and this week we went to the gingerbread displays at Laurel Point Inn.

Entry #10 Wanderlust
Gingerbread at its finest!

A cookie dough Pentax!

Chris Hadfield our Space Station, guitar playing Canadian astronaut. 

I recognize these landmarks...

now it is time to close...
It has been a busy day and with more to do on my list I will say goodnight.

Sweet Dreams

~ Be Well and Be Kind ~


  1. My goodness, those gingerbread displays are quite incredible, and what a good outing for your mother. I miss taking my father on such outings; we always enjoyed his pleasure in being taken to see something interesting. Thank you for the thoughtful gift list - I have printed it out for inspiration. My shopping will be quite hasty next week as the past month I have been busy with visiting family. Oh, and I really do have to try making that chutney!

    1. The gingerbread creations are over the top...we are always impressed and amazed.
      I do hope your visitors made you very happy!! Nothing like having your family in your midst.

  2. I loved the gingerbread displays. Unlike any that I have ever seen.

    1. Oh and if I snapped more photos...you WOULD be incredibly impressed!

  3. You certainly have been busy! The scarf has a very pretty pattern - it must have been fun to make. Thank you for all of the gift suggestions. I hope to finish up all of my shopping this week so next week I can relax and plan the Christmas dinner.

    1. I have felt energetic....knitting and cooking have been my focus this past week.
      I need to plan our family menu too...I go to sleep each night and the menu options keep me awake!

  4. I really like the gingerbread art. I don't know how to knit. My nana taught how to knit a scarf for brownies and I never progressed. Maman can't hold her needles now because of arthritis. We're off to Puerto Vallarta on Tuesday so my gifts must be shared before then.

    1. Happy Holidays Madame....I appreciate your blog and thoughtful comments.
      One day, perhaps we will meet...

  5. Another great post. The finished scarf looks really cosy.

    1. Thank you Marilyn...and now I am knitting a smaller one for Isla!

  6. The scarf is beautiful - love the pattern. Going to make that apple chutney this weekend. Will be great with ham on Christmas. Thanks!

    1. I forgot to mention that you repeat the pattern in its entirety...
      if you have any questions please ask.

  7. I always enjoy your blog posts! This one is no exception! That scarf looks so cosy and soft, and I copied down the pattern. Your lemon loaf is very tempting. I just baked some cookies to take to the folks at the library where I volunteer. Baking always makes the house smell wonderful. Thank you for all the gift suggestions, and the peek at all those cute creations.

    1. This time of year reminds us to give thanks...
      those acts of kindness go a long long way and not forgotten.
      Your library friends will appreciate your cookies...
      Seasons greetings!

  8. Such a lovely post, I am definitely going to try the apple chutney. We have had a heat wave here over the last two days, 38 and 37 degrees, very uncomfortable. A cool change came through with rain, lovely for the garden, it is now a delicious 20 degrees

    1. Oh My! such hot weather...we are below zero...
      Happy that we have a furnace and sweaters.

  9. Some wonderful ideas for gifts, and I agree, consumable gifts are good. Homemade gifts are wonderful. Your chutney looks delicious, and so does the bread. My kitchen is almost done, and is in working order, so I am hurrying to put up some Christmas goodies.
    If I don't stop by beforehand, have a very Merry Christmas. xo Deborah

    1. Good news about your kitchen!
      Seasons Greetings to you and your family Deborah...

  10. Scarf is beautiful. And there's that dishcloth which is the only pattern I can knit! Thanks for all the gift ideas - great lists.

    1. The dishcloth is a CLASSIC!
      I am hoping that you take a leap in the new year and learn to purl....if you can do both those stitches you can knit almost anything.

  11. I love your ideas! Especially giving homemade baked goods as gifts. And also knitted items, if only I knew how to knit. Taking lessons is on my to-do list for the New Year! Wishing you a very Merry Christmas! xx Sunday

    1. Knitting is quite easy...you just need a decent teacher and some time to practise.
      Thank you for all your informative blog posts this past year.
      Happy Holidays!

  12. Lovely seasonal post Leslie. I love the shade and pattern of the scarf you knitted ..and the home made apple chutney sounds delicious as does the lemon loaf with raspberries ..yummy!
    I hope alls going well with your Christmas preparations and that you're having a good week.

    1. Rosie, Thank you for all your comments this past year...
      the holidays are fast approaching and I still have some baking and knitting projects to finish but there is time.
      Best wishes to you and your family.

  13. I like your scarf pattern and have some leftover yarn to use. It is, however, a lighter weight yarn I believe than what you have used. I'm going to see if I can work out extending the pattern to make the scarf a bit wider and also use a #10 US size needle to work with. I do not think my yarn is heavy enough to use the 10mm needles, which translates to a #15US. Will be a little project to work on after Christmas and it can be done while watching TV. Will let you know how it turns out. Thanks for giving us your pattern. Have a great holiday!

    1. Good luck...
      The rows are to be worked repeated as a complete row...I wondered if I did not specify clearly...please ask if you need clarification!

    2. Got that. I think I'll be okay once I do a sample of the first four rows to get size and pattern worked out. Thanks again. J

  14. I love the scarf pattern and am going to try it. May I ask how much Andes yarn it took you to complete the scarf. The idea of upsizing to produce a throw in that pattern is also intriguing!

    1. I used two balls of the Andes yarn for the adult size scarf I made a smaller one for Isla who is 6 years old and used about 1 1/2 skeins. The upsized pattern blanket would require quite a lot and would be very expensive to make but it would be so cozy!