a little demolition and a lot of cooking

After arriving home from a relaxing few days up north, I got up on Saturday morning to find that work was suddenly about to start on our kitchen.  This is the last big indoor project for now and involves taking down a wall and a horrible fake cork ceiling.  The sudden work, combined with being more than a little tired from too many late nights stressed me a little, so I hid upstairs and cut up 961 two inch squares for a new quilt.

Now the rubble and dust has been cleared away, the kitchen ceiling is now about 12 inches higher, and the removal of part of a wall lets in sooo much more light.  (We had hoped that the whole wall would come down but it turns out that part of it is ‘structural’ and therefore essential if we want the upstairs floor to remain upstairs.  How annoying.)

The last week has been very inspiring food-wise as my mum has re-discovered her love of cooking and tried out lots of new vegetarian recipes on me.  I pulled out my favourite ever cookbook today, Sarah Raven’s Garden Cookbook.  Tonight we’ll be having Sag Aloo…

Lemon Posset…

and I made some plum muffins because I felt bad about emptying the biscuit tin…

kitchen crafting

My fibre and fabric crafting is either uninteresting or secret at the moment, but yesterday I made some damson jelly.  I am in a real mood for finishing and have been preserving all the produce that I should have done a while ago.  These damsons were spotted by my mother-in-law who noticed them growing on a branch that was hanging into her garden.  So she started shaking it a bit…

This weekend I want to try and get to my favourite blackberry picking place to see if I can get enough for a year’s worth of jam.  I have a whole larder to fill in our new home!


I’ve had a very busy week at home, and have been spending time with friends and turning a year older.  I’m noticing really obvious themes in the things I’m making.  Right now – berries!

Homemade scones with my blackcurrant and raspberry jam.  I can’t even tell you how good these were…

I’ve also seen the return of my Spinning Obsession, fueled partly by lots of lovely new fibre which arrived on my birthday.  To clear some bobbins, I finished spinning some Fyberspates BFL fibre in a lovely raspberry colour.  There’s about 350m of fingering/sport weight yarn here, enough for a small shawl from Miriam Felton’s new book Twist and Knit.

(Notice also my favourite new mug (another awesome birthday present).  Sheep!!)

And then my future knitting too – the extremely lovely Ysolda treated me to some Wollmeise for my birthday, in a raspberry colour.  This photo really doesn’t do it justice!

This will become a sweater at some point, probably something lovely that will be in Ysolda’s new book.  Yay!  And thank you lovely friends!


I’ve only been cutting them for a couple of weeks and I have a glut already.

This is two days worth, and the plants are only just getting going.

These juicy beasts are the result of two things – building a vegetable garden on the site of the old chicken run (chickens = amazing fertilizer), and accidentally planting out 12 courgette plants.  Two are usually more than enough for a family, but I thought that half of them were cucumbers.  I was wrong.  I will have no cucumbers this year.

To deal with this I have started making one of my favourite things ever – CHUTNEY.  I used the Courgette Chutney recipe from my most useful cookbook, Sarah Raven’s Garden Cookbook.  This book is amazing if have one particular ingredient and need a recipe to base it round, or if you’re not that great at labeling your seeds and end of with masses of one vegetable.

I’m going to try and leave it alone for a couple of months and then NOM it with cheese and oatcakes…