Monday, 29 March 2010

Tastes of Summer

I was watching a programme showing the life of the food writer Elizabeth David the other evening , and it was interesting to find out about the woman behind the name .
Elizabeth Davids' cookery books and columns were probably the first truly aspirational lifestyle publications . She brought the Mediterranean sunshine quite literally back to post-war austerity British kitchens , quite a feat given that most of the ingredients would have been impossible to buy locally, if at all given that rationing of food was still in force .
In a conversation between Elizabeth and another housewife , the housewife states that good , properly cooked British dishes are far better and (more to the point in 1950's Britain) the ingredients easier to buy , and why should British folk cook and eat this "foreign" food !
The woman had a point. Good British recipes with good ingredients and cooked well are superb. However in post-war Britain the vast majority of folk did not have access to decent food , and with rationing of items like meat and bread, folk were happy to take what they could get . Also , she was missing the point. Good food is good food no matter where it comes from . Simple good food is the tastiest. Elizabeth David went on holiday and brought back the recipe's and food, the way most folk bring back holiday snaps ! I know which one I'd prefer!
The recipes of Elizabeth David re-introduced people to taking the time to cook well , choose food with care AND taste a little bit of the colourful Mediterranean with its sunshine and blue skies to grey , bombed out , rationed , poverty stricken Britain.
I love good British cooking , especially in winter, but I also love the cooking from continental Europe , mainly the warm Mediterranean countries like Italy and Spain . I also love food from further afield , like Asian and East Asian cooking with its warm spices and hot chilli's . Just now winter has gone on so long , I really need something of a pick me up .
So I decided I really needed a little bit of sunshine and blue skies in my kitchen , and bought all the necessary ingredients at the supermarket .
Something hot and spicy to cheer up my day , a lunch from the far east , Noodles with chilli prawns and soy sauce . And then a little (actually a lot) fresh pineapple with...... nothing! Fresh pineapple is so creamy and sweet , but my two wee monsters are yet to be convinced (tinned pineapple at school dinners is so NOT the same , sweeties!)
It definitely cheered up a grey day .
My other colourful "thing" to brighten up this long winter is some gorgeous Noro Silk Garden Sock yarn , in shades of bright pink , green , yellow , blue , red .... . It feels gorgeous , and will be knitted up into a lacy summer sweater, just after I finish the kidsilk haze (again , lethargy is affecting my knitting , I really need some light therapy!)
I have also started Two at a Time socks , in Opal yarns "Harry Potter : colourway Tonks" . I had fun (frustration) trying to cast on , but now I am almost finished the cuff I'm getting excited at how quickly they are knitting up .
I also finished the "monkeys' for me" , and I love them . Aurancania yarn is just fab and feels so good to wear .
But I still can't wait for bare feet and sunshine ! Sigh!

Monday, 8 March 2010

Monday Again!

Its Monday , time to get up and out and busy .
So I was pleased to see an email from my stateside pal Carrie , she has a food blog which she rarely updates being a busy Mum , but when she does, YEEHA ! its a beauty!
Here is a link to the blog - she has three new postings , which equals three new recipes and they are gorgeous. The Crab Filled Fish is first on my list.
And I am chuffed to bits with my new sweater knitted by my fair Sisters' hand for my birthday! I am taking any opportunity to wear it!
Look at that handiwork - knitted in Rowan 4ply from Once a Sheep . Sis is really the professional knitter in the family but way too modest with it .
And look here - did you see the cute wee shiny buttons I chose ? They go all different colours in the light, love 'm !
I have also knitted a wee mini-monkey sock for the upcoming sock class I'll be taking . Its in Opal yarn , one of the wee 10g balls they sell , and it is fab!
Date for the "Beginners - learn to knit socks" class is Saturday 24th April at Once Sheep, Kempock Street , Gourock , 10.30am - 3.30pm , see Once a Sheep blog for details . This class covers the basics of sock knitting , cuff down using double pointed needles. More intermediate classes to follow soon .
Look , there is still some of the ball left too!(3g Karen and I checked on the scales!)
I am trying my hardest to figure out what to get for the Mothers for Mothering Sunday next week . Toiletries , perfume , flowers ...... they have it all. What do you get the women who have everything! Socks perhaps .....