Archive for January, 2010

A few months ago, I heard of a book called The Flavour Bible. I read a few reviews and decided it was just what I’ve been looking for - a book designed for people who can already cook, leaning more towards inspiration and suggestion rather than recipes. I have been cooking since I was wee, and I have never used any of the numerous recipe books I’ve fallen for over the years, so I banned myself from buying any more! I occasionally invest in baking books, but that’s different, being more of a science and less of a throw-it-in-the-pot-and-see-what-comes-out.

I finally got my copy of TFB last week and have been browsing and planning menus, but today I feel it really proved its worth. I got to the end of my soup, tasted, and decided it needed something. I wanted a herb, but which herb? So I looked up Pumpkin - the dominant flavour in the mix, TFB suggested bay leaves, so I added bay leaves, simmered a couple of minutes and voila!

I was so excited that the theory actually worked that I have written up the recipe for you to try if you are so inclined.


Pumpkin, Sweet Potato and Lentil Soup

1 very small pumpkin
1 large sweet potato
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
2 tbs olive oil
1 tbs butter
1 1/2 cups pre-cooked lentils
2 (ish) cups chicken or vegetable stock
2 bay leaves
Salt and pepper to taste

Cut the pumpkin and sweet potato into pieces, skin on, and coat liberally with the oil and spices, dot butter on top and roast in a baking dish at 200C for 1 hour or until squishy.

Scoop the flesh out of the skins into a pot and puree with enough stock to make it nice and soupy. Stir in the lentils and the bay leaves and simmer a few minutes to heat through.

Season, and add cream perhaps if you’re feeling decadent (I didn’t have any).


My lentils were leftovers from yesterday, I had cooked them in chicken stock following standard packet directions.

I tend to use chicken stock for everything, but no doubt it would taste just as good with vegie. You could probably leave out the butter too to make it vegan, but I like the way it behaves with roasted vegies.

Comments 10 Comments »

Take 1 Snow Day, 1 skein of super-squidgy handspun yarn, 1 pair chunky needles.

Cast on 64sts and go around and around in mistake rib until lunchtime.

Make a warm and cosy kedgeree for lunch, ease out the sofa-kinks in your neck and shoulders.

Go around and around some more, contemplate turning on the TV but decide that watching stitches form in perfect squidgy yarn is enough.

Decrease sharply, knit i-cord until it becomes dull.

Weave in ends, and wear to watch the snow melt the next day.


Yarn: Handspun Merino 3-ply, fibre from Oceanwind Knits, heavy worsted/aran weight.
Colour: Galvanized
Needles: 5.5mm
Pattern: round 1: k2, p2 around, round 2: k1, p2, k1 around

When I first spun this yarn (last summer maybe?) I had a big squidgy hat in mind already. It’s perfect for it. And this fibre is amazing. In fact, my first thought when I finished the last bobbin… “No more Oceanwind Knits in my stash!” :-( And now it’s knitted up it’s really all gone.


Must buy some more…

Comments 3 Comments »

It’s been a while, but I’m sure you’ll all understand when I explain that I was busy soaking up sun, sun and more sun at home in Australia :-D

You can stop poking me now.

Here’s a picture so you can see I’m not fibbing:


And yes, of course this is what all Australians (and South Africans) do at their weddings.

We also went camping (pictures from my sister sometime I hope), and spent time at the beach house for New Year’s. I took a break from all knitting, spinning, pilates and anything else that could be construed as work. It was fabulous.


At this time of year, it is traditional to look back in the archives of one’s blog and see what plans were laid out for the year and whether they were achieved or not. From 2009:

1) Finish a handspun colourwork vest (that will be the Deep-v Argyle) Ahem - no.
2) Finish a fullsized (i.e. long-sleeved) handspun sweater See above.
3) Finish (at least) one small and one large handspun shawl Large - tick, small no.
I’d also like to…
4) Knit more stash than I buy (I am in a sock club and a fibre club - so seriously, what else do I need???) Well, I have a lot less stash, but that was partly due to some judicious de-stashing. So kind of achieved.

I was kind of screwed on all of this by the issues I had with my back, so the list was doomed from the start really. But we could make a new list:

1) Train for a new career - tick
2) Set up a new business and begin to establish a client base - tick
3) Get myself back into shape physically (from a long way down, believe me!) - tick

I’m not making any promises this year, but I do have a goal… We’ve fallen into a bit too much of a cycle of going for the easy take-out or meal-from-a-jar options. This year’s challenge is to establish routines of cooking quality meals and reducing the rubbish to a minimum. This is partly financial, partly do you realise how much crap is in take-out and processed food?

I want to make more of my own bread (got a great sourdough book for Christmas!) and try interesting flours. I want to investigate the Slow Food movement more thoroughly. I will still have nights where I can’t be bothered cooking, but that’s what freezers are for. Chilli anyone? I want to entertain more, something we did all the time at home but seems to have fallen by the wayside here. I want to try more new things instead of just ‘Monday is pork chop night’. I want to visit the market occasionally and buy quality produce instead of tired supermarket imports from the other side of the world. I want to love what I’m fuelling my body with at every meal.

Here’s to a great 2010, may yours be full of friends, fun times and of course, great food!

Comments 2 Comments »