Thursday, 24 March 2011

What Are You Eating This Weekend ?


In the time that it's taken me to go from this

to this

we've all changed the way we eat , dramatically .

Does anyone make Stuffed Marrow or Jam Roly-Poly anymore ? Though there has been a bit of a foodie return to Lamb Shanks and Braised Pheasant , I doubt whether there would be queues forming these days for 1950s delicacies like Tripe And Sausages .
( But , just in case you feel tempted , I found the recipe the other day in an old copy of Sheila Hutchin's "Grannie's Kitchen " and here's how :
Stew 1 lb. of cleaned tripe with 2 large chopped onions in salted water till tender . Drain off the water and add 1/2 lb. of good sausages to the pan , cover with milk and stew it all together another half hour . Serve with mashed potatoes . Or not . I have to say I like tripe but I draw the line at the addition of sausages and have visions of fatty globules floating on the surface of the milk ..... )

And while Yorkshire housewives were keeping body and soul together with this sort of stuff , Marseilles housewives were making Pieds Et Paquets , a lamb's trotter and rissole stew which took 12-15 hours to simmer to perfection.

These days what with work pressures and health warnings , we're more likely to nibble daintily on an hors d'oeuvre sized snack .

But apparently we're steadily getting larger . The general public is getting heavier . On what? We can't all be mainlining Happy Meals .

Anyway , tomorrow , I'm off to the market for mackerel and sole , celeriac and black tomatoes , Turkish bread and meusli bread (like raisin bread for champions ) , a slab of pork to roast and olives , carrots to make 64 sq ft kitchen's carrot and caraway salad ( see the side-bar) , Tuscan sausage and smoked beef , more chick peas for my new love Chana Masala , that I had first at Smitonius's last month , curly kale and string beans .......

But what will you be cooking this weekend ?

P.S. A tutorial -ish mini-quilt post will follow in the next couple of weeks , once I've worked out how to sew and take photographs of my hands at the same time .Watch this space .

P.P.S Do make the carrots .... then eat them with grilled chicken and new potatoes !!

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Tidying Up .... ?


Given that my quilts , when finished , measure seven inches by eight and the fact that I don't really make anything else , I seem to have a remarkable amount of storage for sewing paraphernalia . This cutlery box , for instance , is perfect for holding my current work and stray little tins of buttons , pins and bobbins.

I've got a particular weakness for vintage "storage solutions". I love this 1950s sewing box , despite the bottom drawers on each side being difficult to get into .

And a couple of weeks ago I found two of these boxes in a recycling shop and just had to lug them home

I particularly loved the "sewing notions"detail on the lid .They're very handy , actually , since they don't have lots of tiny compartments inside but can just be crammed with fat quarters and scraps .That orange plastic is pure 1970s and I can remember having lots of gadgets just that colour then .... even a hairdryer .

Anyway , I'm now working on a much bigger project now , all of ten inches by fourteen (!) , so may need to find another box or two ....

Meanwhile new things arrive , like this little tin of Rose Balm

from Smitonius , which I know is here to stay . How handy that it's already been labelled for re-use !

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

May cottage


Recently, as we sat on the bus, my mother sounded surprised at the name of a house in the middle of Hackney (london) called 'Seaview Cottage'. In their dreams! But then again, sometimes houses have names that do not reflect their character. Take my house, which is called 'May Cottage'. It should look like this:

(a snapshot of the fabric for a 1920s dressing gown at the vintage fair). Or, failing that, like this:

(a box at the same vintage clothing fair). But our house was called 'a brutalist 1960s bungalow' by the estate agent who came to value it a few years ago: a rectangular brick clad breeze blocked beauty in my eyes.

Does your dwelling have a name? And, if so, does it suit it?