Wednesday, 7 October 2015
Still Cooking up a Storm
Life is fairly tranquil at the moment; busy, but tranquil. Mum hovers between really lucid days, and days like yesterday, when she seemed quite confused, and we spent a long time talking about family members and events, to try and anchor her down in reality. I know her condition is progressive, she won't be getting better, but it is so sad at times, being with her. Then she'll say something so funny we both have a good laugh and a cuddle, and it seems we may manage after all, for a while.
I did a craft fair at Fakenham Makers Market last week and sold a quilt to a lovely couple. They were expectant grandparents and I even got to see the ultra-sound scan print-out! My stand was near the entrance to the church which was a great spot as I was able to spread myself out.
The quilt I sold was the very end one on the left, a folk sampler I made some years ago; it has lots of small images for a little one to point to and learn from. The couple were so pleased with it, I hope the new parents are as well!
I also sold a Japanese pouch, some post cards, several pincushions, and a needle case. Not huge sales, but the quilt made a heck of a difference. I have just one more craft fair this year, at Shipden Church later this month.
Meanwhile I'm still enjoying being busy in the kitchen, more jelly making, using a generous bagful of apples from next door -
Note the somewhat improved Heath Robinson jelly-straining apparatus! Though because of the long drop I did get a few splashes on the wall, which was easily cleaned this morning.
I've really got into the middle-eastern / Mediterranean cooking lately. Jim loves it and it's such a joy to prepare. Mind you, I have the luxury of not being at work any more, I can spend hours in the kitchen. It is so much harder to be creative with your cookery if you have a young family to consider, or work outside the home - or both! We were discussing at lunch time what a double edged sword the whole supermarket thing has been for British women in particular. Liberating in many ways, I feel we really threw the baby out with the bath water, in so many others.
This was part of a mezze table I laid on last week. On the left, a dish of gigantes - butter beans slowly cooked in a sauce of onions, garlic, tomatoes and olive oil. I cannot begin to tell you how delicious these were, I shall be making them again soon. Very easy, and very quick - I used tinned butter beans - and cheap. With flat bread and a salad they are a complete meal, and you can eat them hot, warm or cool. Next to them is a dish of chick-pea hummus, which we ate with flat bread and raw vegetables. On the end some slow roasted peppers and tomatoes.
Another day I made some lamb meatballs in onion, garlic and tomato sauce, served with giant cous-cous, a nice change from rice or ordinary cous-cous. In the small bowl there's some baba ghanoush, Jim's all-time favourite, topped with a sprinkling of sumach.
And here is the Spanokopita I made this morning, only the second time I've made it, but to be honest it isn't terribly difficult or time consuming. A box of filo pastry, some ricotta, some grated Lancashire cheese because that is what I had in the fridge, a bag of spinach, half a medium onion, an egg, grated nutmeg, salt and pepper, some olive oil and some melted butter to brown the top. I made it in a medium deep cake pan, well oiled (the pan not me!) and it turned out beautifully. I can claim no real credit, because the filo pastry just ends up this way, when you fold over the overhanging ends, and use the final two pieces of pastry torn in half and scrunched to give this lovely effect. We'll have it for lunch tomorrow with some left over roasted pepper and tomatoes, and perhaps some flatbread if I can get it right this time!
So there you have it. Still can't get back into the music, sadly but I am listening to it in the car now. We are well into autumn now, having seen the last of those lovely warm sunny days we were unexpectedly gifted with. The clocks will soon be going back, and once more my car clock will read the correct time! For another six months, anyway!