Monday, 30 March 2009

food for free

I've been out and about foraging these last few weeks - although we're only just coming into spring, our hedgerows are abundant with fresh foliage. Salads of sorrel, pennywort and the garlicky tips of three-cornered leeks are regularly on the menu, along with alexanders risotto, (first sampled on the Fat Hen foraging weekend) which is fast becoming a staple around here.

There are also new nettle shoots everywhere - the fresh growth makes a wonderful vibrant and earthy soup.


I use the bulbs of three-cornered leek (chopped) as a base, instead of onions, sauteeing them gently in olive oil with a knob of butter. Add diced potato and light stock, bring to the boil and simmer for about fifteen minutes, until the potato is soft. Take off the heat, leave for a couple of minutes, then add the roughly-chopped nettles. Leave to wilt for five minutes, then blend. Season to taste, finishing with some fresh grated nutmeg.


I like mine served with a drizzle of oil. You could add cream instead to make it a bit richer.

I love it - it feels quite virtuous, is velvety smooth and quite delicious!

If you're interested in foraging, check out Fat Hen for foraging and feasting weekends. There's a great newsletter you can sign up for too.

Saturday, 28 March 2009

candlelight

An evening by candlelight


peaceful :: still :: thoughtful :: quiet :: calm :: happy :: grateful

switching off

It's Earth Hour tonight - time to switch off and get out the candles.


Please join in.

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

spring cleaning

There's a serious spring clean going on around here, inspired by the bright sunny weather and increased light levels. And spring cleaning goes hand in hand with decluttering. I used to be very tidy, but somehow that's not been the case lately. I've realized that probably half the utensils in my kitchen never get used. In fact, these are my three most used items. I love these wooden spoons, the round shape, and the patina of the wood gently aged from all that stirring. Memories of delicious meals embedded in their smoothness. It's such a beautiful simple thing, a worn wooden spoon. And this is my favoured knife for more or less everything.


So time for the excess to head to the charity shop. However, although I don't use the remaining wooden spoons, I do still like them. So I chopped off the handles of these three, and sanded them smooth.


My new mini bowls. Perfect for a felted pebble. Or my endless bits of string. I love string - cotton, linen, hemp, garden string, all of it....and I always save the little offcuts, knowing they'll get used for something.





And perfect for playing around making little still lifes. On the other hand...perhaps I've lost the plot. Does anyone else chop the handles off wooden spoons?

I do know another string-lover.....

Sunday, 22 March 2009

beach

This morning, in pictures. Beach perfect.








Tuesday, 17 March 2009

blogger and comments...

Does anyone else have trouble leaving comments when the comment bit is embedded at the end of the post? It never ever works for me....so apologies to you lovely people who don't leave email addresses, and who have comments set up like that...I try to respond, but it just fails every time. Diane - thanks for your uplifting comments...do email me and I will respond.

I really do appreciate every comment I receive - thanks so much!

And a gratuitous photo (just because) - introducing Pipsqueak, a baby quail, hatched and raised by Ben.


Ben also has new chicken coop designs - do take a peek.

Monday, 16 March 2009

life is sweet

a cloudless blue sky all weekend
wall to wall sunshine
discarding socks, walking round barefoot at home
warm enough to have the first cup of tea of the day sitting on the bench, catching the morning sun and feeling some heat on my skin
sunshine and shadows


enjoying my favourite woods



stopping mid-walk to sprawl on the grass and read a book, dogs pottering nearby
making ginger biscuits


eating ginger biscuits
foraging for food (more on that soon)
knitting and reading (enjoyable tripe!)
and a forecast of sun for the rest of the week

what more could you want?

Friday, 13 March 2009

when blue turns to grey...

...some colour is needed. Tuesday's blue skies have turned to a flat grey-white. Time to bring in the daffodils.


The daffodil fields are brightening up the landscape all around me. It's easy to pick up a bunch for a few pence, and brighten up home as well.


There's some colour too on the knitting front - a simple long and skinny scarf for my sister in a 2x2 rib, using Dream in Colour's Classy from Stash (purchased last autumn on a day out with Kristina. And sister was meant to be doing the knitting, not me).


I'm a bit bored with this, backward and forwards, same old thing. At least the yarn is inspiring - a beautiful blend of sea greens.

I really want to get back to the socks.

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

blue, again

Blue skies
Bare branches
Beautiful sunshine



Bliss

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

merging blues

Sea and sky, merging together...


... combining to give a beautiful blue-grey colour palette (the black blob is a bird - click on the photo to enlarge).

Monday, 2 March 2009

slouching

Finally, a pic or two of my neck warmer, finished a few weeks ago.


I'm in love with this yarn from The Fibre Company (sadly no longer available at Loop) - it's savannah dk, a gorgeous soft blend of hand-dyed organic fibres - merino, linen, cotton and soya.


The end result is a slouchy, drapey, comforting neck warmer - so snuggly, yet light enough that you forget it's there. And barely a day goes by when I'm not wearing it.

A successful knit then.