Saturday, July 23, 2011

Big boy quilt

 Over the past few weeks, I have managed to turn this:

into this:
 A new quilt top for my big boy, who is soon to progress to a big boy bed and clearly needed a quilt for it.
Fabric is Wee Woodland by Keiki (Moda fabrics), from Fabricworm. I used this zigzag quilt tutorial as a guide. Its flannel, so its a lovely big warm thing. The plan now is to store it away until I hit the Festival of Quilts, where I can hopefully find some good backing fabric, then turn it into a useable quilt over winter. It turned out a little Christmas-ey, but otherwise I think its ok, and B likes it (for the moment), which is really the main thing.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Summer vest

 So it turns out that in England, you need a summer vest for your baby. Who would have thought? Luckily, I had planned ahead by cleverly knitting almost all of a vest in early spring. Hmmm. Why did I knit almost all of a vest? Because I ran out of yarn. It was a gallant effort to use up some of my larger scraps of yarn, but on this occasion, I juuuust underestimated. So the top sixth of the back is a slightly different shade of yellow. And then once I finished the actual vest, I couldn't face doing the bands. Because I didn't like the different shade of yellow, and it was all a bit blah. Then the warm weather stopped, and he really needed a vest. And it became very evident that if I didn't finish it now, he would be way too big for it. So I grabbed the nearest yarn - my first attempt at handdyeing yarn - and knit it on. Yep, its DK and the vest is sport weight. But you know what? It doesn't matter. It fits (for another week maybe!), it is warm, it stays on, and the yellow is so gorgeous and soft that I pat him even more than usual.
Yay for finally finishing things, even in a really mediocre way!

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Little Green Courgette...

So Mootthings asked if I had any courgette recipes (its getting to glut time here in the UK). And why yes, of course. Whilst they are called zucchini where I'm from, they still proliferate in great numbers in the garden.
Currently, I love them done Italian-style, like this: Slice your courgettes into 1cm wide circles/slices. Cook a little garlic in a decent amount of olive oil in a pan. Add the courgettes and some assorted italian-style herbs (dried or fresh, although I think dry oregano is the bees for this recipe). Let them brown just slightly then put the lid on and cook for around 10 minutes or so, until they start to look softened in the centres. Shake them around a bit while they are cooking. Then to finish them off, make a little space in the centre of a pan and fry an anchovy until it is soft and melty, stir it in and then squeeze over some lemon juice. Its yummy as a side, I serve it with Gnocchi alla Romana. I have a feeling the recipe originally came from Jamie Oliver. Its great for using up respectable amounts of courgette/zucchini.
Or you can go a little crazy and try zucchini bread. This is delicious (although it is moist and won't keep for ever if the weather is hot).
Beat 3 eggs until foamy, blend in 1 cup of oil, 1.5 cup sugar, 2 cup grated zucchini, and some vanilla essence. Sift 3 cup SR flour & a little salt into the mix and stir. Add 1 cup chopped walnuts, put into 2 prepared tins (I tend to use loaf tins) and cook in a mod oven for around an hour. You can halve this ok, either using 2 small eggs or 1 large one, and it is still ok. I expect the cake would freeze fine too, so you could make two and have one for later (if there is room in your freezer, I'm not the kind of person who has room in their freezer for a cake).
I also saw this recipe for courgette risotto (which surely should be zucchini risotto?) by Angela Hartnett in the guardian, and intend to have a go shortly - I'll let you know how it goes (or you could let me know if you get round to it sooner).
And if you want more inspiration, have a look here. Yummy ideas...

(PS, sorry about the tacky title, but it brings to my mind such wonderful images of Prince as allotmenteer that I couldn't help myself. Of course, stranger things have happened...)