Thursday, 29 November 2012

Say hello to Betty Blue eyes

Once again  I will be spending Friday night ironing and labelling. Then I'll rise early on Saturday to go and sell some stuff. There are 55 stalls so it should be an excellent. I've finished my Christmas shopping so I can focus on selling my handmade items (and a few vintage bits and pieces) and looking for presents for me. Do drop in and say hello if you are in the area.

What's in my lunch box this week? Borrowed curry


Curry, sprouts and a book
Clockwise from top left:

  • Brussels sprouts and Alfalfa sprouts
  • Locally grown Braeburn apple
  • The Midnight Mayor by Kate Griffin - reminding me of Mike Carey in a very good way
  • Roast vegetable curry
This has proved to be a really lovely lunch. I'd initially planned to serve it with flatbreads or rice but the dish proved to be filling and satisfying on its own. The curry recipe came from Mimi at Little sips of tea who adapted from one that Cole and Abel popped in her veg box. A great way to ensure that you are getting plenty of vegetables during the winter. I don't particularly like very sweet vegetables like parsnips so this is great way to cut through their sweetness.

To make you roast roughly chopped onions, cauliflower and parsnip in a splash of oil. Then blend together a tin of tomatoes, soy sauce, sesame oil, peanut butter, fresh coriander and chilli. Pour over the vegetables and bake until it's done.


Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Seven for seven

A whistlestop tour of my last seven days in which I have been mostly: 

Wearing corsets


Reading more Barbara Kingsolver


Eating vegan sausages -from toad in the hole to hot dogs to a traditional Hogswatch supper


Listening to Bon Jovi's first album - I just can't be enough of a track called Roulette


Indulging in afternoon naps


Fretting over business banking and upcoming craft fayres


Hanging out with the lovely people who attended Hogswatch celebrations

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

What's in my lunch box this week? - seeking fresh inspiration


So lunch this week has been pasta bake with green pepper and vegan hot dogs followed by apple, walnut and dried fruit flapjack.
The story of the pasta bake begins about 10 days ago when I cooked carrots and corn. Having eaten tiny portions of these on a pizza and with a roast, I turned the not inconsiderable remains into soup. Quite a lot of soup as it turned out. But the soup didn't get finished because I was out doing Burlesque stuff, vegan stuff, and work stuff. Or I was home being ill and eating nothing. Being incapable of throwing food away I mixed in a load of chilli and some cooked macaroni, topped off with nutritional yeast and baked it. There probably aren't any nutrients left in the vegetables by now but it might be the start of a future recipe. Obviously made with much fresher ingredients and more thought.
The flapjack turned out lovely. I've had to stop myself consuming the entire lot in one sitting. I would suggest apples and walnuts were an amazing autumn combination but surely we're currently in winter?

Monday, 19 November 2012

Seven for seven

In the last seven days I have been:

Wearing: pyjamas. Since I had no plans to anything but sleep, eat and read all weekend I saw no need to get dressed properly

Eating: in a famine or feast manner - toast or huge roast dinners and plates of chips

Reading: Barbara Kingsolver, various blogs and weekend newspapers

Working on : recovery from illness

Thinking about: seasonal food and Christmas gifts

Hanging out: on the sofa or between the sheets

Watching: The Walking Dead because zombie dreams make you glad it's morning

Sunday, 18 November 2012

What I read - Animal, Vegetable, Miracle

Cover of Animal, vegetable, miracle by Barbara Kingsolver
My Sunday on the sofa has paid off. I've read Animal, Vegetable, Miracle and covered a year of meals, garden related toils and seasonal food in the course of a few hours.

Barbara Kingsolver was someone I always meant to read but somehow never got round to. However she'd come to top of my stuff to read list on Wunderlist and seemed ideal for a day on the sofa. By the by, I feel inclined to mention that it's a while since I read for so many hours without pause and I'd forgotten how your arms grow tired from holding the book up, and how you ignore the feeling because you must read on.

Seasonal eating, local food and growing your own are things that I've been interested in some time. I try to be mindful of seasons. I refuse to buy cucumber in December. I'm thrilled to discover stuff grown down the road. Hence in my head I was already buying the message generally speaking. The brief comments on vegan diets left me feeling uncomfortable and as if veganism (as opposed to say Paleo) had been singled out. I'm not certain the information on Calcium and Iron in such diets was correct. However I wasn't reading the book for these 2 paragraphs or so but to re-engage with seasonal food.

Just like someone designing their own exercise programme I've become a little lazy around the whole local seasonal thing. Admittedly it wasn't a great summer for foraging and allotment produce. However I notice that the occasional treat of imported or out of season produce has been increasing for me. So the book was a shove to get my thinking back on track.

It also made me think more broadly about the food I consume. Fruit and vegetables I'm generally mindful of but I have given far less thought to flour, dried fruits, pulses and seasonings. My current arrangement is to plan meals on Thursday and buy produce at the market on Friday. I think I need to start buying on Thursday so that when I menu plan I already know what resources are available.

And I enjoyed Kingsolver's writing enough that I'm moving straight onto The Poisonwood Bible.


Saturday, 17 November 2012

From my sick bed

Sick bed accessories
Sick bed accessories
It's been a while since I posted. I've been ill with a cold that just won't shift. My mum calls it boomerang flu. The usual cold symptoms (sore throat, cough, runny nose, temperature) come and go while the exhaustion is perpetual.Today I have spent the entire day in bed sleeping and reading. That I finally have the urge to blog suggests that I am possibly on the mend at last.

So much has happened in the last few weeks. Unfortunately my last attempt to blog (just before entering the arena of the unwell) was eaten by Blogsy, lovimgly crafted prose, photos and all. Although come to think of it the title remained like an uneaten parsley garnish. Rather than an in depth post about what I've done I'm going to fall back on a summary (at least until Blogsy has won my trust again!).

Here's a list of what the past few weeks held for me:

  • Performing burlesque at a vintage fayre, getting inspired by Lindy hoppers and buying a vintage dress (green, summery and probably M&S!).
  • Attending Mimi's annual pumpkin carving party, being crowned Apple Crown Queen (26" just for the record) and being served vegan mac and cheese (so honoured).
  • Rocking out Alice Cooper's Halloween Night of Fear with Duff McKagan's Loaded and Ugly Kid Joe.
  • Meeting my sister for afternoon tea and instead attending her surprise wedding.
  • Pre-burlesque dinners at Mimi's with beautiful homemade soup.
  • The launch of Inkdrops boxes - a stationery subscription box service I've set up with Carla from Ducking Fabulous.
  • A massive 5 hour jam session (which probably did nothing for my health but was good fun).
  • Various vegan related activities including purchasing new boots from The Third Estate, visiting Cookies and Scream, and enjoying hot ginger and lemon at London Vegan Drinks at Tibits.
It's not really surprising I'm worn down reading that lot!