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

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Free lunch - 2 weeks to 23rd november

 Another fortnight with lots of lunches out - and everything at home seems to have been salads or sandwiches.

Not really a lot of variety among the ingredients either - same old cabbage/apple/carrot/beetroot coleslaw or spinach/tomato/radish/cucumber pickles salad. Still at least none of it costs anything :)

Monday, 24 November 2014

Decorating with chillies

It's the time of year for putting up the decorations but for a while the Christmas ones must wait. I have a string of chillies drying over the dining room radiator - and they cannot be disturbed!
It's one of the easiest ways to preserve them. When they're dried, I'll pack them in jars and they keep for years!

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Free Lunch - 2 weeks to 9th November

 The weather may be dropping colder but I'm still sticking with salads most of the time for lunch - the ingredients have changed a bit though. There's a lot of crisp cabbage ready now and still the occasional picking of spinach or indoor-grown baby lettuce; plenty of indoor-ripening tomatoes, even the sweet yellow plum ones; no more fresh cucumbers so on to the bright yellow bread and butter pickles I made from the earlier glut; probably the last of the 'normal' radish and I've also started the blue 'Herbst und Winter' variety which look like a purple parsnip, though have to be peeled most of the time; our allotment neighbour's gift of carrots is proving useful for coleslaw and I also add chopped up apples from one of our garden trees; corn cobs from the freezer which handily cook in the same time as sausage rolls; and there's beetroot for a splash of colour. With chutney and pickled onions these have made up the bulk of my lunches whether as salads, or sandwich/wrap/pitta fillings, but one day (while making passata) I couldn't resist minestrone soup.

I haven't managed to keep to the 'free lunch' every day because I've been out and about a lot, but I'll console myself with the thought that I could have found something free for lunch if I'd been in!

Friday, 7 November 2014

Passata, Minestrone and Buttons

 On a damp dreary day it's nice to have something bubbling away in the kitchen so today seemed like a good day to clear out all the tiny cherry tomatoes and pop them in a pan. We've been picking ripe ones from the allotment greenhouse until this week, and as it's not really salad weather supply has outstripped demand. There's really too high a percentage of skins and seeds for my normal 'lazy' passata, so today's version had to be sieved.
Part way through cooking, and loving the tomatoey aromas, I decided to turn half into minestrone for lunch.An excellent plan for a miserable day.

 After lunch I settled to a quiet afternoon of sorting out buttons. I'm at the point in my knitting where I need to decide how many buttonholes to make  - and as I have lots of buttons, I wanted to find some out of the stash rather than buy more. The orangey-brown ones, centre front, would have been fine but there wasn't enough of them. In fact I couldn't find 7 or 8 matching, or even suitable to mix, buttons anywhere. So.... after all the playing and sorting, I've decided to move some from a denim shirt and replace those with blue buttons. Not the simplest solution but at least I won't be acquiring more!

Saturday, 1 November 2014

Trousers turning into skirt...continued....

 This project had run up against one of those things which always slow me down - the need to hunt for a bit of fabric in the huge stash hidden upstairs.
All I needed was enough to make a waistband lining but the thought of getting everything out of the cupboard...and then it not going back in again, stopped me from making the effort.

Anyway, eventually I plucked up the courage and sorted something out - a bit a leftover from another skirt-making project. So the waist is lined, but not totally finished. I've added some rather shaky buttonholes for the draw-string (long while since I've done any and forgot how the gadget worked) ...now need to turn everything under and sew it down.
Next step.....hemming...if I can get it level!