On New Year’s Day I had a good think about starting a project where you make something every day, (or plan something small that you can catch up on at the end of each week, when you invariably end up behind.) But I know better than that really, don’t I? So instead of committing to a plan, I started crocheting circles. I’lI make them whenever I want to do a little bit of crochet, or want something portable to take out and about, then I will turn them into circles in a hexagon, or rectangle, or square, or star, or… and join them together at some point. I REALLY like using variegated yarn, this obsession is not wearing off now and it’s been a couple of years. I plan to transform them with a single plain colour. Probably. That could change, as I wonder about maybe using other variegated shades for contrast, so the overall effect of the whatever it’s going to be would be mismatched and rather glorious. Glorious is a big word, but it’s a fresh shiny new year, so let’s be optimistic and enthusiastic.
After reading some one-word posts and resolutions in which people are already sounding rather desperate and negative, ready to concede defeat, I’m not making resolutions to be broken. I’m not planning to count anything (books, calories, steps, pounds etc etc…) or set big goals. I’ll make considered choices as I go. There’s enough happening in life as you go along, without beginning the year with a huge list of shoulds. No pressure, stress or things to fail. Hurray! Who’s with me?
This week there’s been a lot of wind and rain, but also a few good periods for walking. I’ve been here, there and rather busy, but have made time to walk. Look at yesterday’s sunset. Beautiful.
I stopped counting my mileage last spring, knowing after recording it for 3 years or so, that I average 1,000 miles walked a year. I did have a look at Strava and see that I walked 50 miles over Christmas. I knew I had tried to move most days, I didn’t realise it was quite so much. Those 2 mile jaunts around to look at the Christmas lights and catch glimpses of people’s trees add up!
Witney was looking really lovely on Wednesday afternoon.
It’s Epiphany today and the last day of Christmas. The lights and sparkle everywhere have been so welcome. I’m going to keep my three cosy red tea light holders out of my decs box this year and I’ve got star shaped fairy lights along the mantelpiece. January and February can be grey and grim, but there are ways to brighten up home and keep some sparkle.
I whizzed up some whole spices to top up my curry powder jar. I ground it all quite coarsely, those homegrown dried chilies are definitely still looking flaky, but it’s a perfect blend of flavours and will cook down well. If you’re feeling a bit low I recommend making a spice blend up to use in soups and curries, or as marinades. Buy a grinder and some whole spices to make your own blends. There are loads of blend recipes online. It’s cheaper in the long run than buying those titchy jars, especially if you buy larger packets of whole spices from an Asian Supermarket. You feel really productive and you get the flavours you want, adding more, or less of what you prefer. The kitchen smelt amazing afterwards, it’s very cheering.
These orchids stopped me in my tracks at the garden centre. How fresh and vibrant! Garden centres and nurseries are still managing to provide lots of colour and brightness. They’re usually warm too!
Meatless Monday’s (as I call it, most say meat- free) spicy bean & tomato soup. Fancy it? Diced onion, carrot & celery cooked slowly till softened, smoked paprika & chilli powder added and cooked for a minute, stir so it doesn’t burn, add a diced yellow pepper, a can of chopped tomatoes, 750 ml ish of veg stock, mixed herbs, can of drained black beans, can of drained kidney beans, a squeeze of tomato purée and a good simmer. Perfect!
Then a day or two later I browned 250g pork mince, cooked a little more smoked paprika and chilli powder, added the soup leftovers and threw some petit pois in at the end. Served it in bowls, with strong cheddar on top and called it Chilli!
Usually my leftovers get turned into soups/stoup (Hugh FW term for something halfway between a soup and a stew.) This was the reverse process and worked very well.
Too good not to share. I’ve put all the names and dates of the different moons on my calendar. So today is called Stay at Home moon. I don’t mind if I do. Sounds perfect. I’ve had a bowl of soup for lunch and my second piece of Christmas cake. (First slice of today I mean, only my second of Christmas!) I’ve started to Declutter Christmas (feels appropriate to be capitalised) as it’s time. Christmas cards are in a pile to read through and look at once more. I’ve dusted after taking away cards, Christmassy tins, a bowl of mini baubles, a wicker star and more. The Poinsettia has been watered a little, it hasn’t lost its leaves yet… Now the bauble boxes are open on the sofa, waiting to be refilled. I am feeling unusually regretful about the de-Christmassing this year; usually I’m ready to dust and put everything to rights, however this year I fancy keeping everything up until Valentine’s Day! I’ve really loved our Christmas tree. But all good things must come to an end.
What are your plans for the weekend? Have you got any new recipes to try, new books to read or a walk planned? What about crochet and knitting; have you fallen for the make-something-everyday plan and kept it up, or failed after just a few days?!