I’m still on my travels and am in Bournemouth. I love to cook for my friends it’s a great way to say ‘thank you for having me’. So my last night with friends who have put me up for several nights over the last couple…
Month: August 2017
My friend Anne in Blandford is a very productive sewer. She makes beautiful clothes. Her website is sewmadeup.co.uk if you would like to see her work, she is also a photographer so the images are also stunning! So she showed me a fab book she had full of projects and we set about making some slippers from off cuts she had in the house, mine match her bathroom blind. I am completely committed to frugal making with little waste. Using up what is around or what is not wanted anymore really excites me.
It was a beautiful day so we decided to hand sew everything enabling us to sit in the sunny garden. It’s been a long time since I did a completely hand sewn project so that was another challenge for me to see how long it would take. We chose fabric, cut out four pieces of each shape and decided to use some curtain wading Anne had spare for extra padding under foot. We used three pieces for a good amount of cushioning and I tacked them together so they wouldn’t slip around inside the base. The structure seemed quite floppy to us so we did succumb to buying a small piece of heavy duty iron on stuff to strengthen the base.
At this stage I decided to embellish the top piece with some contrasting coloured running stitch to jazz it up a bit and added some text from the edge of the original fabric as an interesting detail. This obviously adds quite a bit of time to the project but I think was worth it! This way you end up with an entirely individual product.
Then it was just a case of folding neatly and sewing. The top pieces could be sewn right sides together and then turned out and pressed. The sole needed to be very carefully folded and pinned to make sure there weren’t any lumps to make them uncomfortable to wear. Once the top and bottom were stitched then each one could be stitched together. As they say in Yorkshire ‘I wu reet chuffed’ with the outcome. I think everyone may be getting slippers for christmas…
La Maison de la Photographie is about a 5/10 minute walk north from Jemaa el-Fnaa square. It is a rambling old riad hidden away down a back street that is full of wonderful old photographs of the daily life and people of Morocco from 1870 to 1950. It is a calm and serene space which can be a welcome haven from the cacophony of activity, heat and smells outside.
Up on the roof it has a delightful terrace cafe that serves lunch. It is a simple no frills affair that usually serves about three classic options at great prices. It is small so often you will have to wait for a space but in my mind that means its good! I have eaten lamb and prune tagine as well as preserved lemon and olive tagine which came still sizzling to my table. They do really good mint tea and a fruit and yogurt dessert as well.
There is a panoramic view of the old medina from the terrace a lovely place to while away an afternoon.
For the last few days I’ve been sorting through my photos, sketchbook and drawings from India. It has made me need a good curry. I was on cooking duty a couple of days ago and was also skint so needed to make something from what was in the house, and this curry recipe was born. I always have a good store of spices in and the rest was what was in the cupboard and fridge. The only problem was that it was really good and we were all really hungry so ate it before I remembered to take any photos!
So this week I am staying with some friends and thought I would try it out on them and remember to take some pictures this time.
First things first I recommend a large gin & tonic at any point you are cooking, or to be honest just at any point.
Left overs quick curry
- Chop a large onion in half and then in long pieces, fry in oil or ghee slowly until it turns brown.
- Half way through cooking the onion add a couple of teaspoons of grated/chopped ginger root (I keep a jar in the fridge for emergencies but the real thing is really good)
- Add the spices, a large cinnamon stick, 7 cloves, 7 cardamom pods, a teaspoon of turmeric, teaspoon of cumin seeds, teaspoon of coriander seeds, a fresh chili chopped or chili flakes or powder to taste. Fry for two or three minutes to release the flavours.
- Add a can of coconut milk and a stock cube diluted in about half a pint of boiling water. Salt and pepper to taste.
- Add about 8oz of red lentils to this sauce and simmer until the lentils start to absorb the liquid.
- Add some chopped veg. I used mushrooms, peppers and chard the first time, spinach the second time both worked well. Be aware of how long your chosen veg takes to cook it might need longer than my veg and the spinach or chard can be added at the end just so it wilts in the hot sauce. Also it would work really well with diced chicken or diced white fish.
- Continue to simmer until everything is cooked and the lentils are soft. More water may be needed if it starts to dry out.
Chitra Shala is part of the palace in Bundi and is full of turquoise, blue and gold gently disintegrating wall paintings. It is magical. There are no words really it literally took my breath away. These paintings belong to The Bundi School of painting which…