Little elves have moved in…

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I first found this idea on one of my favourite blogs, Kate’s Creative Space, and have since been waiting for Leo to become the right age to understand the magic.

So this week, with just a paintbrush, a tester pot and  superglue I set to work on a little dolls house exterior door I  purchased online and turned into the entrance of our very own elves’ house and the start of some wonderful, make-belive play for both Leo and I.

What you need:  (Not a lot…)

I bought an inexpensive wooden door, teeny tiny letter-box and door knocker from Dolls House Parade on Amazon.co.uk.

A tester pot of wood paint, or any leftovers you might have

Superglue for the fixtures, as small fingers can be cumbersome when they are knocking on the elf door

Paint-brush/s

And a little imagination…

what-you-need-onepaint

I gave the door a few light coats of paint, and used a small artists brush for the fiddly bits. I then glued on the door furniture and that’s it!

I blue-tacked the door in place (although you may need superglue for this too) onto a wall by the skirting and told Leo some little friends had moved into his bedroom and that he’d better go and see if they were all settled in.

To my delight, Leo has totally embraced the imaginative play and is so happy to share his room with his elf and fairy family. He has since told me he can hear them having spaghetti for dinner, and brushing their teeth before bed and even saw one fly out of the window.

He has never woken up from a nap so easily when I told him they must have bought themselves a bike and that there were little presents left for him in the basket.

I’m hoping to play on this further and will invest in some extra props. The old fashioned bike came from a lovely dolls house enthusiast on ebay and I am looking into ideas for Halloween, maybe some cotton wool cobwebs and a plasticine pumpkin. I’ve also found a teeny tiny wreath for the festive season. I’m not sure who is enjoying this new world more Leo or me!

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It’s crumble time…

My mum gave me a huge bag of damsons (tiny plums) from her WI friend’s garden, so we decided to make a yummy crumble. I’ve never made one before and it was so easy it won’t be my last. My step-daugher took charge and needed bearly any help. She chose the old fashion way to blend the crumble and enjoyed getting her hands dirty.

damsons

Plum Crumble

or in our case…

Delicious Damson Crumble

For the filling

  • 800g ripe cooking plums, such as Victoria, dessert or damson plums, halved and stoned
  • 50g light brown sugar
  • finely grated zest 1 orange*
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp plain flour

For the crumble

  • 250g plain flour
  • 150g butter
  • 80g caster sugar
  • 80g demerara sugar
  • 50g ground almonds

Method:

  1. Heat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Put the plums into the base of a shallow gratin dish about 28cm long. Mix together the sugar, orange zest, cinnamon and flour and sprinkle over the plums. Trickle over 2 tbsp water.
  2. Put all the crumble ingredients into a food processor, and using the pulse button, whizz until the mixture just starts to clump together. Take care not to over process at this stage. Alternatively, rub the butter into the flour using your hands and then stir in the other ingredients.
  3. Scatter the crumble over the plums and bake in the oven for 30–40 mins until golden brown. Leave for about 15 mins before serving with custard or cream.
We served it for pudding with warm custurd or ice cream and it tasted like Christmas in a bowl.
Washing up was fun as we spent the whole chore thinking of yummy fruit alternitves for our next crumble bake. I’m going for peach and raspberry but charlotte wants strawberry and chocolate…. why not?!
* We think the recipe only needs the zest of half an orange as the flavour was quite strong.
Recipe from bbcgoodfood.com