Saturday, 20 May 2017

Busy as a Sewing bee...lotta Jandsdotter's, Every Day Style...

A day home alone...Ahmad poor thing, was away again. This time Birmingham. (England, not Alabama.) He left Friday night, bag weighed down with books and rolled up flip chart pages, scribed with foreign looking mathematical symbols that could have been hieroglyphics.   

My Saturday all planned out. New-to-me vintage 1980's sewing machine ready for it's trial run. Pattern book: 'Lotta Jansdotters Everyday Style', tracing paper, tailors chalk, pins, and scissors. 

A length of vintage navy woollen fabric with subtle, almost invisible pinstripes reminiscent of granddad's three piece suit. The end of a roll stamped with golden letters, woven in Scotland, probably fifty years ago. Still with the little brown card label and cursive script. Just enough to make the Esme tunic...but without the sleeves... That would work...A cool masculine pinafore dress. Workware.

I picked up the fabric and saw that it was peppered with holes...As big as speckles of coarse sea salt when the light shone through. Maybe chewed by ancient moths or accidentally pierced by the wayward slip of a hand.  It didn't matter. All part of the wrinkles of a long life. The sheep that was shorn, the fleece that was combed, the wool, washed and spun. Yarn dyed, then woven.  Wrapped onto rolls and cut into lengths. The old gnarled or fresh young hands that had each taken part in the narrative. Pondered how long that piece had been waiting until I found it...and so, it's life begins again...

Easy cauliflower curry

  • a medium sized cauliflower
  • tomato passata or fresh skinned tomatoes, chopped finely
  • a little tomato puree
  • can of organic coconut milk
  • a medium sized white onion or three or four shallots
  • sea salt and black pepper and garlic cloves
  • coconut oil or alternative to cook
  • spice mix, garam masala or your own choice, I like ground turmeric, coriander seed and cumin, with chilli flakes
  • a little hot stock or water
  • fresh coriander or other herbs to serve 
  1. peel and slice the onion. Place a little coconut oil into a heavy bottomed pan and heat up. Place the onion into the pan and begin to sauté
  2. meanwhile wash the cauliflower and divide into florets and chop the tomatoes finely, if using. The smaller you cut the florets the quicker this will cook
  3. cook the onion until it is almost caramelised, add the garlic cloves and cook. Add the spices, stir well and cook for a minutes or so
  4. add the passata or fresh tomatoes and bring to a simmer then reduce the heat 
  5. season with salt and pepper and add the cauliflower floret. Cover and cook until tender, adding the coconut milk after about fifteen minutes.
  6. cook until the cauliflower is tender adding stock or water if necessary. Ensuring that it doesn't dry out.
  7. add a little chopped fresh coriander or other herb
This is lovely served with cooked brown basmati rice, (especially if cooked in half water, half coconut milk mix),  or creamy whipped mashed potatoes/parsnips or butter beans...Yummy...  

Thursday, 6 October 2016

pink and gold

Summer has just scuttled away from me like a naughty little rabbit and autumn is here, all pink and gold. We spent the equinox in London meeting Hannah and a friend, listening to lovely Icelandic Bjork lament in her gentle way, like some kind of delicate, transparent insect. As she left the stage, the audience stamped their feet and called for more. She came back to serenade us, then again to thank us all. An awesome way to put the season to bed on a balmy London evening. 

As we left the city and headed for the countryside the thermometer on the dashboard crept down. I woke next day to pink skies and golden bales of hay turning the corner, and reminded myself that holidays are over, and that I must knuckle down and do some work.

...but first just an itsy-witsy little bit of making and baking....

In the kitchen:

  • The easiest non-dairy, vegan substitute for cream Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall's recipe for cashew cream, the sweet version with a little vanilla extract and maple syrup. I could eat mountains of it. 
  • Rustic spelt, date and walnut individual pies to serve trickled with a smidgen of maple syrup and cashew cream. 
  • Baby carrots with carrot top pesto
  • Fresh fruit. An excuse for more cashew cream. 
  • Making a batch of golden turmeric paste.
  • Lovely French onion soup, also golden.
  • Puy lentil and vegetable, farmer's pie with a grainy mustard mash topping
  • Tomato and aubergine risotto with broccoli and cauliflower 
  • Working on the pattern for my fair isle hot water bottle covers made with vintage yarn...

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Autumn Equinox

"Happy Winter Solstice..." (whoops that should be "Happy Autumn Equinox" and last day of summer...I'm wishing my life away here...)

 I have missed this place so much. I got locked out somehow and then couldn't get back however I tried. I couldn't write in the spring, or in the summer but I still took a million photographs and posted some on instagram and still have a trillion in my phone. Busy days took me away and then I came back today on the first day of Autumn determined that I would continue and hey presto no problem. Just like the old times I signed in and started writing. The gremlin that wouldn't let me in must be hibernating... It's like some kind of magical Solstice alchemy is working for me... I'm back with a myriad things to catch up... I'm off to London in an hour but just want to stay and write...

I'll be back soon...

...unless that pesky little gremlin returns...

Happy day

Monday, 21 December 2015

weekend :: Merry, merry

Saturday morning I woke extra early and crept downstairs. I lighted lamps, lit tealights and made tea.  I could smell the Christmas tree's piney smell.  I nibbled  ginger hearts from an old french tin,  got out the rolls of paper and wrapped  gifts (including the Jack Daniels...No it wasn't a breakfast tipple). And I noticed for the first time the decoration of holly leaves and berries, cut out of the little tea light holder. I must have bought those six little candle holders in Denmark, ten or fifteen years ago, but Saturday morning was the first time I realised the pattern wasn't just a random cut-out. Isn't it weird how you suddenly notice something after all that time. 

...Must go help finish decorating before everyone comes for the holidays...We're camped out in Hannah's bedroom...our furniture on top of hers. Even our mattress is balanced on top of her bed. I feel a bit like The Princess and the Pea...

But before I go I just wanted to thank you for all the lovely comments on my last post and let you know how much I value all your friendship. And to wish you a very happy Christmas, the best one yet. The new year too, and that you find everything that you're heart desires. That it's fun and you sing and dance and laugh to your hearts content...all year long...

Merry, Merry,
Love and mistletoe

...see you in the new year...x


joining karen for weekend...