Friday, 31 January 2014

The Foodie Blog

Looking forward to Spring!

Dearie me! I've had a couple of those weeks. You know the kind.  The kind which last year I was determined not to have any more of. The kind of week where I focused on ONE thing to the exclusion -almost - of all the other things which make me happy.  I have been ensconced in the kitchen.

One of last week's favourites: mixed vegetable fritatta. I made it with coconut milk as I am laying off the dairy for a while. Packing in the veggies, though!

I was searching for some anti-inflammatory recipes to pin onto my "Recipes for Health" Pinterest board, and I got completely carried away. Pinning late into the night, and making shopping lists ..... followed by four days of solid cooking . Apart from a lovely day in the studio at Jane-Ann's last Saturday, not a stitch has been stitched, I haven't been into my sewing room ALL WEEK. But we have eaten some fabulous - and very healthy - food, which I am pleased to say have met with approval from Himself as well as me.

We had this yesterday. It is a vegetable loaf, made with eggs and coconut flour and coconut milk.
It was delicious, both hot, with a homemade tomato and leek sauce, or cold with a little sauce smeared on it. It was a little like quiche and fritatta and .....strangely enough -  a little like a savoury drop scone!

Below is a little something we had as a side dish with some cold left over chicken on Tuesday. Sweet potato, mushrooms, red and yellow peppers, (garlic of course!) red onion and spinach just wilting down gently.

This little lot became a deeply nourishing and quite ridiculously delicious Smokey Butternut Squash, lentil and coconut soup. We had it two days running and scraped our bowls each time. Yum!

Below you can see the dish of homemade hummus/humus/houmus/humous however you care to spell it. I added some very finely grated fresh turmeric for its extra anti-inflammatory properties. Jim had his on sourdough bread and I dug in with slices of carrot and celery. MMMMmmmmmmm!

And this mixture below became meatballs the following day, after a night in the fridge for the flavours to mingle.

This is celeriac and cauliflower mash - into which I chopped fresh coriander leaves to give it that lovely green colour and a subtle addition to the flavours. They really do go together very well.

Here it is in my favourite kitchen bowl. I'm topping today's fish pie with the remains. So we have eaten some very tasty and interesting new dishes these last ten days or so - I didn't photograph each one!

I have of course been playing music, that doesn't get forgotten. However I am beginning to feel the need to get my hands on some fabric again, so this weekend I will be back in the sewing room and revelling in cloth, wool, thread and yarn. Speaking of which - see what I have modified to help me sort my threads out!

The spot lamps which Jim bought me a couple of Christmasses ago were twisted around and put to good use:

  Acting as a pair of hands to help me turn a skein of thread into this:

All neatly packaged and ready to be threaded without a fight! I just looked at the lamp last week and suddenly the light bulb went on!!! So, finally, I can end this post with a photo which bears some relation to Textile Treasury! One of these days I will have my life arranged so that I do a little of everything in proportion, every week. How nice that would be! Hopefully I shall be heading for the sewing room tomorrow and into the weekend. to make up for all the time I haven't spent there. Have a good weekend, and I promise to find the time to read the huge backlog of your blog-posts which I have neglected.

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Green Shoots.

There was a discussion this morning on the radio about 'the green shoots of recovery' , all about the supposed economic recovery which we ought to be celebrating, according to some politicians. I'm not going into a political rant, don't worry, although I would say that there are very many UK families who are a long way off feeling the fiscal benefits of the period of austerity we have been experiencing.

No the green shoots I am pondering on are the literal and the symbolic in my own life.

Our garden is bustling with green shoots at the moment, the grape hyacinths, crocus, and chives are well on their way. Much as I am thrilled to see them, I worry that we will be getting some hard frosts and possibly snow and ice which will at best, stunt the growth of this brave young greenery.





More symbolic green shoots are the direction my stitching is taking me. The last six months of 2013 saw me abandoning fabric for wool and wool felt in the sewing room, and moving away from quilts towards smaller items such as the pin cushions and bangles. I am having so much fun making these items, and they seem to be finding favour with quite a few people.

Staying with the wool, I'm working on this throw which may end up having some kind of quilting stitchery on it, but it isn't really a quilt, and won't have wadding ....probably.

Another new direction is Open Studios which I am dipping a tentative toe into with Yvonne when she opens her home in May when Open Studios begins. I've no idea how successful  will all depends who walks through the door, doesn't it? But I know it will be enjoyable and I'm thrilled to bits to have the opportunity to join in . Big thanks, Yvonne!

Musical green shoots is the development of the Red Cat Sessions, the traditional music session which began round my kitchen table last year and has now moved to our local pub. It is a very tender young shoot at the moment, we have a small number of us, and if two or three folks don't turn up we feel the loss quite acutely, but we make a decent noise and the paying punters seems to enjoy our being there. We are learning new tunes each time, sharing our own favourites and discovering new ones. I hope we encourage other players to come and that we grow and evolve over time.

Sometimes green shoots develop at the expense of other things dying off. Sadly, for a multitude of reasons, I have resigned from Ouse Washes Molly Dancers; I shall no longer be playing fiddle for them. I will of course be following their progress through the year, but won't be there with them. It's been a lovely two years and last year in particular was filled with fun and festivals and I will miss all that. Happily, my lovely fellow Mollies have said that I must never say never, and consider it as having a sabbatical, which other people have done on occasion.

So there we have it, are there green shoots appearing on your own horizon?

Thursday, 16 January 2014

My 2nd Blogaversary

Yes, two years ago today I started this blog. It began as a record of textile makes a friend and I were preparing for craft fairs. As it happens, that particular venture didn't come to fruition, but I found I was enjoying taking photographs and writing a bit about this and that. So although the blog changed in content over time, I'm still enjoying putting my posts together and keeping in touch with other bloggers, and those of you who so kindly and regularly leave a comment.

With better techno skills I might have made a better job of organising this post into a nice chronological story, but I'm afraid despite spending hours trying upload from various sources the photographs are all higgledy-piggledy. But I hope you get the drift. Here then are some high-spots in the last two years of Textile Treasury. First up, some photos, including the one above, taken in June 2012 when our son Kit and his family came home from New Zealand for a long holiday. We all squeezed into our cottage, and the weather was dreadful most of the time, but we had some fun. You can find the relevant posts in the archive.

Krissie's 40th birthday party held at our local because there were so many of us! Dylan and Fraser.

                                               Beccie, Krissie and Kit THe Birthday.

January February 2013 - Jim and I flew out of a snow-bound Britain to sun-soaked New Zealand. This was our trip to Hobbiton, a scorcher of a day with some wonderful photographs to remember it by.

JIm and I on a day out with Kit and Krissie to a wonderful winery. Great scenery and lovely meal.

The day we all went ot the Sky Tower in Auckland. Standing on the glass floor was a challenge!

While we were there I made some small repairs to the Bible Quilt I had made for Dylan about five years earlier. Well loved and well worn!

Back home again, finishing off the quilt I made for Krissie.

One of the cushions I made with the vintage Sufolk Puffs purchased from A Mermaid's Tale.

A seaside cushion made, and sold. The craft fairs didn't work out but somehow things manage to get themselves sold!

Another cushion, made with vintage and re-purposed fabrics. I'm rather pleased with this one.

And who can forget the ongoing story of the Wild Garlic! I picked it, I wrote about it, I cooked with it, I froze it, and by gum we certainly ate a lot of it! Again, stories in the archive if you like.

 The Ouse Washes Molly Dancers - Musical Branch! This was taken up at Ely Cathedral just before the massed sides Processional through the City .

Stopping to dance in Ely. It was a very hot day and there was much more to come!

Very late one night at the Burwell Bash, just managing to keep up with the session. This is my annual music fix. More stories and incriminating pictures archived!

 On our way out to dinner for Jane's birthday, during the Burwell Bash 2013

Oh! Back to Ely, this is the Ouse Washes up at the Ely Festival site. In the middle of a field in temperatures of around 34 centigrade!

 A well deserved breather at Ely.

Ouse Washes at Welbourne Festival. Much cooler and wetter than Ely!

This was Folk at The Forge, hosted by the Harmonious Blacksmith Nigel - a great time was had by all!

My first forays into lino- printing, following a workshop by Amanda Colville. You can read about it - yes, you guessed it, in the ARCHIVE!

OH! Slipped back twelve months to a collection of items I made for the craft fair.

Here is the original "One Bird upon a Hill beneath a Star. I've now made and sold three of these, but this is my favourite still.

A spate of furniture painting! I painted them OUTSIDE, by the way, just photographed them here as it began to rain. Eventually I will finish the other chairs!

There was much bread making over the past two years, plain strong bread flour, spelt and rye, sour-dough, wholemeal, you name it, I baked it!

This spice corner of my kitchen references the Great Clear Out and Re-Organisation which took place in 2012. This extended to freezer sorting and recording, and menu planning posts and frugal food posts ....... habits which astoundingly have lasted into 2014!

Wild Garlic Pesto!

Wild Garlic Oil. I still have wild garlic butter in the freezer! It won't be too long before I start picking fresh supplies!

Lots of music making, dancing, festival going, family gathering, garden-photographing, textile viewing, caravanning, quilt making, bangle making, felt loving, friends gathering, food enjoying, and of course - BLOGGING! Sorry the photos aren't in order, and are woefully short of the whole story, but I hope you've enjoyed the memories. Two years isn't all that long in blogging circles, but it's been long enough to find some really good blogs which I enjoy regularly keeping in touch with, and some super bloggers, some of whom I have made friends with. Sorry, blogging does not confer upon you the inability to end a sentence with a preposition!

So however this blog evolves, I do hope those of you who have stuck it out so far will stick around for what's to come - I couldn't do it without you!