Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Late Autumn Activities



Well, you've seen one activity in my previous post; the Craft Fair. About two or three weeks before the fair my textile mojo went for a vacation. Yes, it just up and went. Never giving a thought for bad timing or inconvenience. So it was a hard slog to get things finished and everything else done that is required before you set off to sell your wares. I know from past experience that this situation won't last, but until my mojo returns I can safely say there won't be much of a textile vibe going on round here!

However, other events and interests have filled my existence and I'll fill you in on some of them.

First of all there has been the seeing off of our eldest grandson Chris on his way to a holiday of a lifetime in New Zealand which we promised him when he had finished uni. So he is there now, spending time with his Uncle Kit and Auntie Krissie and taking off on his own, backpacking his way round North Island, and fruit picking to pay his way.

I'm playing lots of music -I  even have a video on you tube - look for Attingham Waltz - Lynne Gill - and there it is. Though you can't see me. Which is a good thing. A couple of music-playing friends came for the day a couple of weeks ago which was lovely. I don't know whether we played as much music as we'd intended, there was some chatting and some eating (see below) but all in all we had a good day.

On the subject of food, I've been cooking up a storm, having great fun trying out new recipes and using different  ingredients.

 I've been glued to Youtube videos of Rick Stein and Ottolenghi, because I love Mediterranean dishes, and I'm  developing a bit of a passion for middle eastern dishes. I've been experimenting with various dhals  and versions of humus which Jim enjoys as well - fortunately!

This is coconut lentil dhal. After we had it hot over rice, we ate it cold as a spread for the rest of the week - I did make rather a lot! It is delicious cold as well as hot.


This is the humus I made when I had friends round for music - we also had the kale crisps, below, which were a hit! I prefer kale this way I must admit, to a cooked vegetable. I know it's very very good for you but......




Goulash and spelt soda bread for a suddenly very cold day! Paprika and smoked Polish sausage. Yum!




 I went to town clearing out my spice shelves and re-stocking. I made a large batch of natural vegetable stock : NO MSG and very little salt. It's quite good.


Dried thinly sliced vegetables in a very low oven. Both root and leaf veggies are fine but they do dry at different rates.


Whizzed the result in a small chopper, until it was a medium fine powder with a few chunkier bits in it.


I added dried herbs, garlic powder, celery salt, pepper ...... I think that's the lot. Looks much like the stuff you get in the cartons. And you don't have to do a whole amount at once, you can just shove some veg in the oven when it is cooling down, and process it in small amounts.

So, here's the neat spice shelves:




And here's something else  that I was experimenting with the other week: Garlic cloves in honey! Apparently after a couple of weeks the garlic tastes like candy, and of course the honey is great for colds and sore throats. I grated lemon zest into it as well, and I could have added some sage leaves too, both good medicinally.


For some reason I've lost the photo of the whole loaf of date and sultana tea bread - but here it is sliced and buttered.





I thought I'd have a go with Filo pastry, and made my first Spanokopita - Greek spinach and feta pie. Filo is fiddly to use, as it dries out very quickly and you have to keep it damp while you work, but the results are well beyond the skill it actually takes to make this pie. We really enjoyed it, I made it with half spinach and half chard.




We collected a fine autumn lamb from friends who run a small flock, so this is in the freezer -  apart from this lovely shoulder which I first marinaded in olive oil, garlic and lemon juice and thyme.


It was delicious, we had two days roast dinner from it and two curries, and six samosas. Beautiful rare breed lamb- tasted like nothing we'd had before. In a good way!



So, I'm afraid there are no textile photos for those of you who came here expecting to see some! I'm hoping that very soon I will be feeling like getting in to the sewing room and picking up a needle and thread. However, I've really enjoyed my time in the kitchen, there's nothing nicer on a cold or wet afternoon than chopping and peeling and mixing and stirring over a hot Rayburn.

Does anyone else find their muse disappears at inconvenient moments? Until next time .......


31 comments:

  1. Much as I love seeing your sewing the food has made my mouth water. I do enjoy playing with spices and I am going to make a batch of the stock powder, great idea. I find commercial stock far too salty and it does take up freezer space even when concentrated. I also have a pash for Rick but if I had to choose it would be Nigel Slater, even if my fingers do itch to comb his hair.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The stock powder was a revelation, Pam, and though someone on face book said it was really really too much faff, it really really isn't! You just slide a tray of peeled and thinly sliced veg - or leaves - into the oven and leave, but keep an eye on it. Te make up is up to personal preference. Now I would agree with you re Nigel I have all his books and we both enjoy his TV shows,I adore his approach, but I was watching Rick because I wanted to see some Mediterranean cooking. I've just started off a slow-rise, no knead loaf which won't be ready until tomorrow. Lxx

      Delete
  2. I'll happily take a food post as a fill in until your mojo returns! All looks great!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Dc, I'm enjoying myself and Jim is certainly enjoying the results. I may need to pick your brains about square foot gardening at some point...don't know whether you have heard of it at all. Lxx

      Delete
    2. Yes I have and have done it in the past, still practice something similar every now and then.

      Delete
  3. I feel a bit hungery now!
    I think you have swapped your sewing mojo for a cooking one. Just in time for Christmas.
    x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Jane, yes, that is what's happened. At the moment that's fine, quite convenient in fact, but at some point I shall need to get intothe sewing room and get creative in there!! Lx.

      Delete
  4. Mmmmmmm Lynne, what a delicious post !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    (Can I come over for dinner ? )
    LOVE your spice shelves ;-)

    (I know all about this textile mojo on vacation ..... happened to me too !)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Els you would be welcome any time!! I guess it isn't unusual to go completely off the boil about things but it was just jolly inconvenient just before the craft fair!! Lxx

      Delete
  5. a lovely newsy post!!! i've been laid low this week with some kind of bug - i actually thought i was dying yesterday BUT i have lived to tell the tale and i can feel my strength returning - your photos of the food you have cooked are mouth watering i wish i enjoyed being in the kitchen like you obviously do - as you say your love for sewing will return - i suspect that the pressure of a deadline (for the fair) put you off because i feel similarly - i still haven't finished making our christmas cards but when i do i will put everything away until after we come back from NZ in march!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lynne, you almost got a name-check and an apology in this post! I know cooking isn't your "thing" and hope textile people don't get totally put off by the non-textile posts! but I guess even if you don't love cooking, you enjoy eating! All my friends seem to be in or going to NZ at the same time as we usually go, but next year we will be going inDecember instead of our usual Jan/Feb. I gave up MAKING Christmas cards years ago I'm afraid! Hope you finish yours in time! Lxx

      Delete
    2. You daft thing - it's your blog you can write about anything you want!!! And sadly yes I do enjoy eating just not the cooking!!!!

      Delete
    3. Ha ! I know, I know, but I hate it myself when I go to a blog I usually enjoy reading, only to find she's off on some tack that doesn't interest me. I fear it may a little time before the textile bug returns! xx

      Delete
  6. Textiles photos are good but food photos are good too. I'm loving the veg stock idea and all your middle eastern inspired dishes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think it might be foodie photos for the foreseeable future, Sue! I was starting some bread earlier when I recognised a voice on the radio (4) it was Ottolenghi himself. I am really wanting to visit some islands in the med and some of the places in the further eastern med ... those markets! Lx

      Delete
  7. I used to find occasionally my writing muse would go when I had a deadline! And the crafting muse goes sometimes too, but more often than not it's that itching to do something, but not knowing what, which is perhaps more annoying than not wanting to do anything!
    Have a lovely Christmas both of you, and all the best for the New Year.
    Nina x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Edwina you are spot on there - I have at times experienced a kind of mild panic when I suddenly find myself with nothing creative on the go, and nothing appeals.

      I hope you and yours have a lovely Christmas, and a happy and HEALTHY New Year! Lxx

      Delete
  8. Hey Lynne, all the food looks yummy. I wonder if you could make the dhal into a pate substance? Hummus is one of my favourites. we eat lots of it. but we eat it slightly warm.

    You dont want to see in my spice cupboard! lol you might go in and never come back...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Sol, this particular dhal was made with green lentils, which largely keep their shape as you can see (and probably know very well!) but more often I make it with red lentils and the resulting sludge when it cools s indeed more pate-like. Jim grew up on pease-pudding in his Northumbrian home, not a million miles away from hummus or thick dhal. Just very tasty and so satisfying, I think, don't you? BTW thanks for the garlic advice - damn, I'd already planted my cloves before I had chance to read about chilling them first. Ah well, time will tell. Next year I shall try again with PROPER planting garlic! PS I think you should put up a photo of your spice cupboard!

      Delete
  9. Hi Lynne. I really enjoyed this post too. Love baking and sometimes divert to other topics on my blog too; so know what you mean. That soda bread looks delicious. Have tried out all types of wheat free and gluten free but can never get the right one. Have tried spelt bread yesterday and it is nice and light. All the whole-food is so good for you - love dahl, find it a comforting food too. Hope you keep warm and well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Ali, yes, you know so many wheat-intolerant folks find they can cope very well with spelt bread. It's been less mucked about with, hasn't it, and of course, if you make your own bread, and give it a long slow rise you are improving things even more, it is the Chorleywood Process of bread making that was the beginning of all the bread woe, I think, raising bread much too fast to improve marketing turnover. Very bad for your digestion ultimately. Am doing OK, now on steroids so should kick in sometime tomorrow I hope! Lxx

      Delete
  10. Your food creations all look amazing and they are also very creative. We found a super cafe in Canterbury, near the cathedral gate, selling whole food wraps and salads and had an amazing lunch. Your post brought it back to mind so I will be having a cook up tomorrow. Hope life is going well there....
    Jo x
    Jo x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Jo! I'd love to do food wraps as a lunch thing, but somehow my wraps always turn out brittle if I warm them, or cardboardy if I don't! Must be using the wrong tortillas- don't have the problem when I buy a wrap ready to eat. It is such an easy way to eat and probably healthier than bread and butter! Enjoy your cook-up! Lxxx

      Delete
  11. As you know my textile mojo has been popping in and out all year, as fast as I think she's back to stay off she trundles again. So I too have been doing more experimenting with other things, including food, something I suspect might start creeping into my blog conetent in the New Year.

    Some of those meals look yummy Lynne, I think you should be sharing recipes!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Annie, yes, it cometh and it goeth, doesn't it? Well fortunately it's now I need to be thinking FOOD! So it is convenient. So many of my 'recipes' are 'on the hoof' as it were, I would be a little wary of putting them 'out there' because people do like things to be the way they recognise them, dont they? I have so many cookery books - mainly ones which I enjoy simply for the 'read', and I tend to improvise quite a lot - as many of us long-time family cooks do. But I enjoy a good foodie photo I must say! You never know! xxx

      Delete
  12. Wow! Lynne, not only are you the queen of textile,
    now I see that you are an amazing cook.
    Is there anything you can't do ?
    Your Greek spinach and feta pie made my mouth water.
    ……...…..….. ⋱ ⋮ ⋰
    …….…..….. ⋯ ✰ ⋯
    ………….….. ⋰ ⋮ ⋱
    ……… …….*•♥•*
    …… ……. *♥♫♫♥*’.
    … …….. *♥•♦♫••♥*
    ……… *♥☺♥☺♥☺♥*
    ………*♥•♥#♠*♥#♥•♥* ‘
    ……..*♥♫♥♥♫♥♥♫♥♫* ‘
    …….*♥♥☺♥♫♥♫♥☺♥♥*’
    ……*♥♥♣♫♥♣♥♥♣♥♫ ♣♥♥*’
    ….’*♥♥♣♥♫♥♥♫♥♥♫ ♥♣♥♥*’
    ….*~~**~~**~***~~**~~*
    ….(▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓)
    _____███████████
    ♥:♥: ♥: ♥: ♥: ♥: ♥: ♥: ♥: ♥: ♥:
    From our home to yours,
    Merry Christmas,
    Your blogging sister,
    Connie :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah Connie, thank you so much! I wish! Hope you had a lovely Christmas, and that 2015 will be a fab year for you. A new post is imminent! Lxxx

      Delete
  13. Hope all is well. Just to wish you and Jim all the best for 2015.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Edwina, thanks for your kind thoughts, have been really under the weather with asthma and bronchitis- even Jim has had a head cold! But we have turned the corner now and hope to be out and about soon. Lxxx

      Delete
  14. Replies
    1. Thanks Sol! And the same back to you. I will be posting VERY SOON! (Been promising myself to do that for 3 weeks!) Lxx

      Delete

I'd love you to comment, maybe join in the conversation - I always try and reply if I can.Anonymous spammers take note: you will not be published. Genuine posters having difficulty will be accepted. Thanks so much for visiting!