a busy domestic blog of knitting, sewing and all kinds of needlecrafts, cooking my garden produce and preserving it

Thursday, 29 November 2012

A bit of shortening

I made this fair-isle cardigan quite a while ago and although I've worn it a lot the sleeves have always been too long - I'm not stretching the sleeve in this photo, it really comes to my fingertips! I've decided that it's now time to shorten them, pulling a thread out just above the pale pink hearts on the left of the photo.  
I'm also trying to think of uses for the chopped-off bits of sleeve - gloves maybe?

Friday, 23 November 2012

Lunch from the Lottie #8

 Went down to the lottie this week and found salad leaves and radishes so back to salads - with cabbage, tiny tomatoes, apple and pickled red cabbage.
Even managed an almost home-grown dinner - potatoes, leeks, kale and parsnips but not the pork!

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Take One Pumpkin.....#2

We're almost half way through the pumpkin and raiding the recipe books for untried ideas...

Gardener's Chicken with pumpkin from the Abel & Cole Cookbook

Chickpeas with pumpkin, lemongrass and coriander from Tender by Nigel Slater

 ..and a make-it-up-as-I-go lunch  - chopping pumpkin with onions and peppers for a tomatoey soup

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Spot the not-so-deliberate mistake

Well, I thought I'd finished my new gloves - till I laid them out to admire them.

Some unravelling called for today....

Friday, 16 November 2012

Testing - Tender by Nigel Slater #1

          Chickpeas with pumpkin, lemongrass and coriander

Part of the continuing search for interesting new pumpkin recipes.....

I started out knowing I would have to substitute a few things - tinned chickpeas instead of dried, lemon instead of lemon grass and, most interesting as I knew the theory but have never tried it out, d-i-y coconut milk from dessicated cocnut. I then realised I didn't have the stem ginger and forgot to add coriander at the end!

Despite what seems like a catalogue of errors, this worked quite well. It wasn't a complicated recipe but I should have sorted the spices - the recipe calls for ground coriander and turmeric, cardamom pods and a chilli rather than adding a 'curry powder' - before I started cooking instead of hunting round in the cupboard while the pans got hot. It was a little too 'hot' for me but our home-grown chillies are unpredictable in heat - even so, another time I might add less.

Testing - The Abel & Cole Cookbook #1

Gardener's Chicken with Pumpkin (and Walnuts)

I've being trying to find new and hopefully exciting ways to use a large pumpkin and discovered this recipe in the Abel & Cole Cookbook. I didn't have any walnuts to hand but as they were only added at the end, I thought I'd go ahead anyway.

The recipe claimed to be quick and simple - and was. Basically the chicken and veg were tossed in olive oil then simmered in stock till cooked. I expected it to taste very like my normal chicken stew but the addition of sage almost at the end made a huge difference. 

The chicken looks a bit shrunken - because it is! but it's not the recipe's fault. It's not the nicest chicken ever but one of those 'cook from frozen' pieces which accounts for its looks. There wasn't a suggestion of what to serve with this dish so I cooked some of our home grown potatoes. After photographing, I decided they'd be better mashed to help soak up the sage-flavoured 'gravy'.


Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Take One Pumpkin....

I'm a great fan of pumpkins - either for soups, pasta, curries, chutney, marmalade...  anything really. This year we only have one small homegrown one, so with shops full of them for Halloween I had to stock up. I had intended to carve at least one of them but didn't so there hasn't been the desperate rush to use up pumpkin flesh that normally takes up the first week of November.

 I have now got round to cutting the first one - and I wondered out of curiosity how far my £2 investment would go....

The first wedge I took out went in lazy pumpkin chilli - chopped up pumpkin flesh, simmered till soft then a tin of chilli beans added.

 Second up was chutney ... 3lb of pumpkin chunks with onions, orange peel and mustards....

Same day - soup. Pumpkin and potato, flavoured with chilli and ginger, cooked in chicken stock till they could be mashed.

So far I've used a little under half. I wonder how much further it will stretch....

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Lunch from the Lottie #7

 Another of my 'use up all the salad bits' lunches though this is the last home-grown cucumber.

Dinner really not lunch - parsnip and leek curry. The rice isn't homegrown - though with how waterlogged some of the allotments have been, it might have been worth trying.

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Parsnip curry


We've started to lift the parsnips in earnest now - and have some very funny shaped and some very large ones among them. The larger ones are far too big for one meal's accompanying veg so I decided to have a look round for alternative veg based ideas. I expected to find a curry recipe among my cook books but didn't so decided to adapt the leek and cauliflower curry recipe from Rose Elliot's New Complete Vegetarian swapping cauliflower for parsnips. It worked really well but best of all the veg - parsnips, leeks, potatoes, tomatoes - were home-grown!

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Lunch from the Lottie #6

A week of salads - leaves from the greenhouse, tomatoes ripened in the kitchen, pickled cabbage and 2 crystal lemon cucumbers!
Unmixed coleslaw - 2 cabbages, apple, onion and some not-fully-grown peas cleared before the frost

 Three Salad - 3 different salad leaves, 3 cabbages (green, red and pickled) and 3 tomatoes (they were very small and wrinkly!) with cucumber and apple. 

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Knitting for winter

 I've acquired for myself an old hat belonging to the Teen.
Just the jolly sort of colours needed to brighten up these dull Autumn days.

 But, although the hat fits, the matching gloves don't.
a quick, well not so quick, rummage around to find oddments of the yarn
and I'm on the way to a new pair of matching gloves.