Sonntag, 28. April 2013

Weeding = Harvesting

I hate weeding, but I love harvesting.

Last Christmas break I found a book on wild plant (= weeds) cooking with great photographs and recipes. I looked at it longingly all winter and now the first greens are finally sprouting!

So I started to weed between our berry bushes. Last year they got so overgrown by nettles that some of the bushes died.

It took me about an hour to get enough nettles to make a pancake filling from my new cook book. Tedious, but then again straight forward weeding takes just as long and does not give you a meal at the end.

The most diffulicult part was frying the pancakes. I had totally forgotten that I am hopeless at pancakes. The first one ended up as "Kaiserschmarrn" (= Bavarian scrambled pancake...). Luckily my husband took over and saved the day.

So, am I going to weed and cook my harvest again? Definitely! But next time I will go for a recipe without pancake.

If you have a suitable recipe, please post it here!

(I left out the image of the end product for aesthetic reasons...)

Dienstag, 23. April 2013

Relovable chicken soup

Recently there has been a lot on the news about food wastage. We have made a big effort in our family to reduce the amount of food we throw away, but I was curious to see if I could take it one step further and apply our RELOVABLE approach "recycled with love" to food waste.

The first outcome is my "100% relovable chicken soup". All its ingredients normally go to waste.

First, I put a container in my freezer in which I collect all (organic!) vegetable "waste", which we produce:

• peels from root vegetables like carrots, parsnips and beetroot
• the dark green and slightly tough parts of leaks
• onion skins
• stalks of herbs such as parsley and coriander
• uneaten vegetables (carrots and peppers) from our kids' lunch boxes
• tomatoes which have become slightly too ripe, but have not gone off
• etc.

Once the container is full, I go to the farmers market and ask our chicken farmer for chicken carcasses, which are left over from cutting chicken breasts, wings and thighs and normally end up in the garbage as well. (Equally I use the carcass of every roast chicken or turkey we make.)

I then put everything into a large saucepan and let it simmer for 2 - 3 hours. I end up with several litres of yummy chicken broth, which I then serve with noodles, fresh vegetables and herbs.

As we are limited in freezer space, I have learned how to preserve the chicken stock in glass jars, which generally involves heating them to an elevated temperature for a certain time. Since I am neither a professional cook nor an expert on food hygiene, please look up your own recipe for preserving soup on the internet. You can find plenty of advice from more knowledgable sources.

Guten Appettit!

Dienstag, 9. April 2013

First cushions

I really wanted to finish all six cushion covers last week, but these two is all I achieved.

The reason for this delay is that I had real difficulties doing the button holes (I don't like zips) on my vintage sewing machine. Already feeling quite cross with the machine, myself and the world in general, I decided to stop and think about alternatives.

When I made the first dress out of really precious antique fabric for my daughter 4 years ago, I taught myself how to sew button holes by hand. This looked very authentic with the old material, but it took forever.

Whilst normally, when I sew dresses for sale, time is an issue, last week I was on holiday and just sewing for pleasure. So I decided to stop spoiling this pleasure by using the machine. I sat in the spring sunshine (indoors however because of the freezing weather), put an audio book on and my feet up. Then I hand-sewed 4 button-holes and wished I had some more to do.

Maybe we should stop always using the fastest technique as a default?

Mittwoch, 3. April 2013

Memory Cushion

Today I am starting to make new covers for the sofa cushions, which are now all "quaint 80ies designs".

As I looked through the cushions, I found this one, which I made for my mum a few years ago. I used fabric remnants and ironed black and white pictures of special friends and family onto little squares of white fabric. All these pictures were taken at my mum's birthday weekend in our cottage in the Bavarian forest.

The cushion works like a picture album of a very special weekend. I hope that it will be cherished at least as long as the smallest girls in the picture will be alive, or as long as the material will last.

Montag, 1. April 2013

Three old ladies

In one if my last posts I told you about the 80ies IKEA lamps in my cottage, which I wanted to replace.

I searched all over: second hand shops, ebay, design furniture shops, IKEA, etc., but everything looked exactly like my old lamps, new but just as dull or out-of-place modern.

I then thought about taking off the old fabric and glueing on new fabric, but I hate messing around with glue. It somehow feels too permanent a solution.

So I developed three "dresses" for my old ladies (younger than me however...). These dresses I gathered with rubber band at the top and the bottom and slid them tightly over the old lampshades.

The fabric I had bought some weeks ago from a vintage fabric dealer. I still have enough left to now tackle the cushions on the armchairs under the lamps.

No matter what style you prefer for your home these lamp shade dresses should work with any kind of fabric.