Friday 24 July 2015

What have you been up to lately?

I am finding my 'food  blog time' very challenging at the moment. For a number of reasons.
Firstly, one of my other passions is craft work and any spare hours seemed to have been taken up with creating in that sphere and not totally in the kitchen.
Having said that, I have been having fun working my way through Chelsea Winter's cookbook - At my Table.  Which is not great for our waistlines. I have made numerous batches of her Ginger Crunch and Triple Chocolate Brownie, both winners!!  Her chicken pie was a mission but the best recipe ever for pie loving crowds.
For Mothers Day I recieved Annabel Langbein's new book, Winter Goodness. It has an unusual layout but I just love the recipes, ideas and tips she has to offer. Making a Sofrito flavour base first (and freezing what is not needed)  is new to me but I am now a convert to this great short cut for when you are short on time.Having made her slow cooked Beef Bourguignon this way, the slow cooked Bolognaise is next.
A huge hit with the family was Annabel's Toffee Date Puddings with Butterscotch Sauce. Delicious!
Secondly, after many months of idleness, I am back on the sewing machine. New overalls for the youngest grandson (made from recycled ladies woollen pants), and a nice red skirt for me. Also, hubby and I bought a fabulous new Afghan rug, but new cushions were needed to make it a bit more 'matchy, matchy' in the sitting room. (I'm having a bit of a love for the colour Chartreuse, so four cushions later. I had hoped for enough for a skirt but sadly no left overs,  and it was the last of the roll!)  
Working and creating gives me great pleasure, but there are only so many hours in a day.  It seems I do not have time for much work anymore, and the volunteering hours just have to fit around my 'hobbies'. And as for attacking my massive book pile, sadly (lately) I am poring over knitting books at bedtime!
In the past few months I have made two knitted rugs. Yes, knitting has  become a bit of an obsession. So much so along with a bunch of great friends we have formed a K-nitting group. We take turns at hosting and (while knitting of course) we happily chatter over coffee comparing notes, showing our  latest project and getting excited about the next one.We are limiting our group to six or seven. We think any more and we might lose the closeness (and we might miss out on something ) and I agree.
It was at our first meeting Jan  (my friend who introduced me Domino knitting) showed me how to do I-Cord knitting. Now I am hooked with this new skill and another rug has been started.
Leonie introduced to the knitting blog world - and no I am not going to go there!  There are far too many talented people to compete with. And I can only follow simple patterns that don't require you to be a mathematical genius!
Shown in the photo is my last project.
Next, I am back to food and plan to share a delicious Spiced Parsnip soup!
It was going to be raffled for charity but the man of the house said 'no way - I like it so it's staying here'!