Thursday, April 28, 2011

Zoo Pants

We've had warm weather here in the UK, which highlighted a distinct lack of suitable attire for a trip to the zoo for a friend's 2nd birthday party. However, this significant problem was soon remedied thanks to my generic (but rapidly becoming too small) pants pattern and some lovely fabric from Laurie Wisbrun Urban Circus (Giraffe's Earth and Pachyderm Dot Earth on the trim).
And yes, we saw giraffes.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


Spiral Cabbage

Spiral Cabbage fabric by Helen Klebesadel on Spoonflower. Check out her spectacular botanical paintings here.

Aiming to eat seasonally where possible is all well and good, but if you live in England it can be a bit dull for some of the year. Our veg boxes to date have very often included cabbages. Its not that I don't like cabbage...but I'm not sure I really like it. I guess I have eaten so little of it I'm not really sure of what to do with it. But I've had to try harder in recent weeks, and we now have two favourite cabbage-inclusive meals added to our repertoire.
The first is like a winter coleslaw-type salad. Just shred cabbage, carrots, celery and apple. You can include most anything you like, but those basics are good. Then top with smoked mackerel, torn into chunks. The dressing is some creme fraiche and lemon juice with a good dollop of horseradish, but you can't add it until the last minute as the salad just drinks it up. I make twice as much as I think I'll need, and we always use it up. This isn't a very kid-friendly salad (except for the mackerel, which our kid likes), but it is yummy and light and at least makes a stab at looking forward to spring.
The second is Jamie Oliver's Italian Bread and Cabbage Soup with Sage Butter. Really, the name says it all, except it is only just a soup. I have made it with too-fresh shop bread, and its ok, but it really shines with stale, crusty, ciabatta-style bread, which in this house means planning an extra loaf earlier in the week (I can't get fontina cheese at my local supermarket, so I used gouda and it was fine). But it is worth it, and the left-overs are even more delicious so make heaps. And its kid-accessible.
So for those heading into more wintery months, I would highly recommend both meals (although I can understand that the mackerel salad might be an acquired taste). And it looks like, on this side of the planet, that the cabbage experiments are giving way to asparagus I love an early spring!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Spring greens

I started this top at the start of spring in 2010. It always seemed slightly too big, and I was worried. So when I became a bit too pregnant to try it on properly, I stopped knitting. I picked it up again at the end of this winter, when it is so grey and dull outside that the only sensible thing to do is knit in the brightest, best green you can find. I finished it in a week or two. While it is a bit larger than I would like, I still really love it. The cotton is a bit heavy, and it pulls down over my shoulders a bit, but I adore the colour and the pattern is very sweet. I would definately knit this again, although maybe in something a bit lighter.

Pattern: Peasy
Yarn: RYC Luxury Cotton DK in Cabbage.

Please forgive the not-so-brilliant pictures. I'll try to get a few that give a better idea of the yarn and colour, but this is probably all you'll see of it on me.