Monday 28 February 2022

Soda Bread

Unless you want to eat pancakes for breakfast for days you can use up that buttermilk by making a loaf of soda bread.

An interview with Rory O'Connell worth reading up on the background of soda bread.

My version below is not typically traditional as it has sunflower/pumpkin seeds but it is tasty.

Warm oven to 180 c

Butter a 2 lb loaf tin

In a mixing bowl:

1 cup self raising flour

1 cup of Howard's extra coarse flour (or another brand of wholemeal flour)

1 teaspoon of baking soda

pinch of salt

4-6 dessert spoonfuls of seeds (pumpkin or sunflower) optional

mix in 400 ml of buttermilk, mix well

Pour mixture into tin.

Sprinkle with seeds

bake for 1 hour at 170-180 or until brown.

Enjoy fresh with dollops of butter.


Sunday 27 February 2022

Pancakes- Crumpets-Drop Scones


With the shop aisles filling with pancake pans and ready made batter mixes,utensils I never heard of etc etc I want to share this Drop Scone recipe. Drop Scones do not resemble scones at all but look more like Scottish Crumpets, thicker and smaller than French Crepes.


For Drop Scones you need :

About 9 oz plain flour

Half a teaspoon of baking soda/bicarbonate of soda (not powder)

Half a teaspoon of Cream of Tartar

Sieve all of the above

Add 1 large beaten egg and 275ml/half a pint of buttermilk

Mix well 

Grease pan with vegetable oil and heat.

Drop spoonfuls of the batter on to the hot pan- batches of about 3 or 4 work well at a time.Otherwise the crumpets will run into each other and you need room to negotiate flipping over the pancakes when you see bubbles appearing on top of them.

Fry until golden brown on both sides.

Smother with butter, honey and lemon or whatever takes your fancy...

Eat while still warm.

Bon Apetit!

Tomorrow--what to do with the left over buttermilk---

Miss Molly likes them too!

Thursday 24 February 2022


At night

                                               It’s always there….

 Crevicing into your head

                                         corners morphing into rooms

                                                                                        voices sounding into shapes


                                 once familiar….                                                         

                                                                                        now dead.

Rooms as they once were

                                              broken lock    

                                                                              sleeping dog               

                                                                                                             creaking stair.

 And though you’ve


                                                                                        fifty odd years or so….


And it may not even be left  



At night in your dream

                                                 It’s always Home


The house you were born in.

Copyright 2022 Cathy Leonard All rights reserved


Wednesday 23 February 2022

Left -over wool

When you have completed a lovely pair of West Yorkshire Spinners (WYS) you'll probably have left over wool. So get creative and mix and match yourself a pair of left-overs. 

Drops Fabel Uni Colour Superwash treated sock wool costs less than 3 euro.

This one has Owl from the WYS range and grey from the Drops range.

This pair have Robin on the foot and Brightside on the shins added to Fabel Drops in red. A bit over enthusiastic maybe but it was Christmas!


Tuesday 22 February 2022

Following the Pattern- Bird Socks


Back to those socks for the moment.

Regia supply free patterns. If you can knit and purl you're away.....

My knitting is loose so I cast on 52 stitches instead of 60 for a pair of adult medium sized socks.

The cuff is 4cm of rib, one plain,one purl- on repeat.

The problem here at first is keeping those stitches on the 4 double pointed needles.Slip slide they go...oops...f**k

The Addi brand on the left 15cm/2.5cm worked better for me as they are less smooth than the Milward brand on the right...hence stitches seemed to cling on a bit better and my fingers are a bit arthritic so I need "sticky" needles.

Once you are on garter stitch it's all plain sailing until the heel flap.

People all sigh and say, "OMG turning those heels. I did that in school...what a nightmare..."

I never got beyond scarves at school so I went for the turn without bias and honestly it was fun, maybe not for kids....

Then you just follow the pattern, increasing/decreasing as instructed. 

When it came to the casting off I was phased by something called the Kitchener stitch and avoided it for at least five pairs of socks.

But eventually a chat with a lady in a craft shop in Waterville and I gave it a go and it definitely gives a more elegant toe than my cast off ones.

There are umpteen videos on you tube to help out at any stage in the making.

The wool I use is West Yorkshire Spinners Signature 4 ply that comes in a rainbow range of colours with evocative names such as Kingfisher, Pheasant, Owl... I think of my friends now in terms of their bird socks...

Covid Socks

 Have gone back to that yarn...knitting socks. An octogenarian in Kerry kindly shared her secret sock making skills with a group of women during Covid. The result is 10 pairs of gorgeous colourful socks. Some ask me if people "really do wear them out!!!"

" Well keep them for bed socks if you must" but I'd have no problem wearing them out.

The task was very tricky..using 5 needles. Stitches slipping off at various critical junctures. My stray hair embedded in turning heels, toes smelling of wood smoke hands.....There's a poem in the making of them.

My first pair took two months, what with all the ripping back AND I haven't yet made myself a pair so that's my next task.

Anyway with covid beginning to recede...hopefully...

I feel again inspired to take up the pen.

Will post a poem soon....