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Charcoal And Baps

2 Jun

3 oystermouth

I took my Khadi sketchbook and willow charcoal to the allotment this evening and drew from inside the allotment site, which is tucked away in a corner of the Castle park. It’s on a fairly steep hill dropping away to the coast and we’re near the top. It’s surrounded by woodland, which can be a bit of a challenge for growers, but it’s an idyllic place to hang out, especially in these pandemic times – we’ve been sanctioned to travel to allotments since day 1 of lockdown. I concentrated on mark-making again as there is such a lot of different textures crowding together in the view. I suppose I took about 10 minutes.

baps

I also made some sesame seed baps. We gave our bread making machine away to a relative, so I’ve been trying out making bread from scratch and it’s surprisingly easy with fast acting yeast. Lush.

A Thing About Rumtopfs

25 May

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I had a quick scribble when I was watching Grayson Perry’s Art Club on Channel 4 this evening. I love the programme, he makes art so much fun. I scribbled a few things on the small table in the window. I have two Rumtopfs – I’ve got a bit of a thing about Rumtopfs. Husb and I made the recipe a few times in the past, but as we don’t drink alcohol, we ended up giving all the fruit and booze away, so now we tend to make our allotment fruit into jam and cordial (alcohol-free). But the pots themselves are gorgeous things and I like having them around.

Warm Buttered Plums: The Recipe

29 Apr

plums 3

You can download the recipe and print it out, it’s a jpeg. It’s delicious, even if I say so myself. I’ve given gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan alternatives.

oaty plums

Tecchie stuff

I took the photos with the camera on my phone, put them into Instagram, then reduced the size in Adobe Photoshop. I used Comic Life for the layout (I LOVE Comic Life) and exported it as a jpeg. If you right click on the image, you should be able to save it to your My Pictures folder and then you should be able to print it out.

If you don’t have an ovenproof frying pan, try a tarte tatin tin or a heavy pie dish that you can use on top of a stove.

Lino, Love Hearts And Leftovers Pie

27 Apr

six and seven a

More little grey lino blocks cut and lettered, in reverse, ready for carving and ….

fabric ink 1a

I had a delivery from Handprinted Co, a tube of Speedball fabric block printing ink. These little blocks will be printed onto home made face masks. The first one I did a couple of weeks back was printed in Caligo Safe Wash, which is great on paper but didn’t work so well on fabric. And the lovely people from Handprinted put in a little tube of Love Hearts too.

leftovers pie 2

Then I made Leftovers Pie, what was left of yesterday’s roast chicken dinner in pastry. Easy and it tasted lovely. Enough for tomorrow as well.

 

 

 

A Day And Night On #PlanetLockdown

14 Apr

scribbling

Lockdown carries on. Cooler today but still sunny so I spent some time in the garden sketching some ideas. Then I marked up a block of grey lino – I should get three small prints from it.

marking the block

I’ve been playing with words; words that keep cropping up throughout the pandemic; some good; some negative.

first stage

I’ll work on the lettering and try out different styles before I transfer them to blocks for carving. I like hand lettering and I love the book “Hand Job, A Catalogue of Type” by Michael Perry.

hand job

Then I made lasagne – there’s enough for tomorrow too.

eating

 

And now Husb and I are settling in for a night of Deadpool and Deadpool 2.

deadpool

See you tomorrow on #PlanetLockdown xx 😀

 

 

Potager, Leftovers, Castle. In That Order

10 Apr

acer

Hot hot hot today! It was too good to stay indoors and we’re lucky to have an enclosed garden so I spent most of the day working on it. It’s the silver lining in the lockdown, having time to do stuff like this. The garden was really scruffy and overgrown after the very wet and mild winter. We’ve got a mixture of fruit, vegetables and decorative plants so I suppose that technically it’s a potager. My Japanese acer is just coming into leaf and the colour is fabulous.

pizza

I had some leftovers in the fridge, a bit of pastry from when I made quiche the other day, some laverbread and a scrap of bacon, so I put them together to make a Welsh pizza, topped with Tintern cheese and a few tomato slices. Into the oven, Gas mark 5 for 30 minutes and it was delicious. Leftover meals are great. I never waste food.

 

castle

And we went to the allotment quite late to do some watering. We have a permit from our local authority to go there as long as we practice strict social distancing. It’s easy enough as the site is so large. As we left, the lights by the castle came on, it was lovely. We’re so lucky to live here.

 

 

Ideas And Fish Pie

5 Apr

masks 2

I’ve been thinking a lot since the lockdown started about doing some artwork based around the Covid19 virus and the way our lives have changed. But I’m not someone who can force it and it’s had to mull around inside for a while and now the ideas are creeping out from wherever they come from.

masks 1

I had a spare cotton sheet hanging around, I bought the wrong size and I’ve been wondering what to do with it since. It’s a fitted sheet so I cut off the elasticated bits – they’re useful – and then cut a number of rectangles, 15 x 22 cms. The next stage is to carve a small lino block …… tomorrow probably …..

fish pie

And I made a classic fish pie for tea. Proper comfort food. Suits the times we’re living in. There’s enough left over for tomorrow too. I love eating leftovers – waste not, want not as my Nana used to say xxx

 

 

 

Cheesey Baconey Comfort Food

29 Mar

bacon bread 1

More pandemic cooking today – comfort food to the max! Here’s a yeast free Cheese and Bacon Bread recipe by Gwynn Galvin on the Swirls of Flavor website  that my mate June sent me on Facebook. It’s an American recipe which gave me a chance to use my fancy schmancy set of Joseph Joseph measuring cups.

First, preheat your oven to 180C, 350F or gas mark 4 and grease 1 large or two smaller loaf tins with vegetable oil. Snip the rind off three rashers of streaky bacon and cut them into small strips. Fry them until crispy. Put 2.5 cups of plain flour into a mixing bowl and add 1 tablespoon of sugar.

Add 4 teaspoons of baking powder and a cup of grated strong cheddar. Meanwhile melt 4 tablespoons of butter.

It’s wild garlic season and although the original recipe calls for 1/2 teaspoon of garlic granules, I substituted this with half a cup of snipped wild garlic leaves and added these to the dry ingredients and mixed them in with my hands. Beat one large egg and measure out a cup of milk.

Pour all the wet ingredients into the mixing bowl – that’s the melted butter, milk and beaten egg and mix them in gently with a large metal spoon. Don’t overmix as this will make the bread denser. Put the mix into the loaf tin/s and sprinkle some more grated cheese on top. Bake for about 45 minutes for a large loaf or 35-ish for the two smaller ones. They should be golden brown and if you stick a metal skewer into the centre it should come out clean. Leave them in the tins for about 5 minutes then remove them and cool them on a metal rack – the one from your grill pan will do.

bacon bread 4

I served the bread still warm in thick slices with home-made root vegetable soup. It is LUSH!

You can find the original recipe here

 

 

 

 

 

Comfort Food

28 Mar

nutmeg

Comfort food tonight. Rice pudding, made with coconut milk and agave syrup rather than the traditional cow juice and sugar, but nutmeg is a must. I grate it fresh and stir it through the pudding before I cook it. I microwaved it for 30 minutes, which is a lot quicker than in an oven, but it doesn’t seem to get a skin this way. Lot’s of people don’t like rice pudding skin but I love it.

On the left, the ingredients mixed and ready to go into the microwave at full power for half an hour. Then served up hot and creamy with a dollop of home-made jostaberry jam.  It was lush!

 

 

 

Survival Kicking In

27 Mar

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I seem to have gone into some weird default setting, a deep seated survival instinct. I’ve been wondering why I’m finding it so hard to do any art at the moment – surely the greatest crisis within living memory would kickstart some creative ideas? But no. Instead I’m digging my allotment, planting seeds, picking crops, cooking, preserving, using up leftovers, recycling, storing.

Art is a higher function. Food is a basic need. Something deep seated has been triggered and the energy I would normally be putting into my studio is now going into my kitchen and allotment. Today I bottled some rhubarb and made rhubarb cordial. We’ve got a glut of rhubarb this year. Normally I’d be making crumble and upside down cake with it but Husb has decided to give up sweet things for a while because he thinks he’s putting on weight and I can’t take cakes around to friends and relatives because we’re on lockdown. There’s loads more in the ground ….. tomorrow I’m going to make rhubarb gin.

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