Sweetcorn – super cob
I grew sweetcorn in the garden when the children were young. There is something inspiring about planting a tiny kernel and watching it grow so tall. Sweetcorn requires little care and you are rewarded with the main cobs and tiny offshoots of baby corn. Apart from the messy husks and the furious flossing after eating, I still love eating sweetcorn like a beaver, as I did back then. I smile when I pull open those husks to find the glass beads of yellow and remember.
When you cook corn antioxidant activity, which helps protect the body from cancer and heart disease, is actually increased. Don’t write off the tinned or frozen stuff either, evidence suggests this is just as good, so eat it out of season, its just as nutritious.
Because sweetcorn is so delicious on its own, I fear it is left naked on the plate, apart from a thin negligee of butter, most of the time. Give this sweet starchy vegetable another look, let the little gold nuggets shine in other ways. Oh and do not be afraid of the starch, an ear of corn has about the same number of calories as an apple and less than one-fourth the sugar, makes you think. Continue reading “The green folder”
Just Another Head Magnet Day – in my native tongue
NOGGIN – nut – conk – melon – noodle – block –loaf of bread – uncle Ned – LUMP OF LEAD
I would say I have an average sized head, so I am not sure why things keep hitting it.
East London, I went out to admire a full moon from my parents suburban garden. A bat flew into my Loaf. We were both a little stunned. I had never, ever seen a bat in the London skies before.
Walking my kids to school in Essex, I turned the corner and foam, from the top of a window cleaners soapy bucket, caught the breeze and gave me a bubble afro. The guy nearly fell off the ladder laughing. He could have hit his Noodle.
“That was Donkeys Years ago.”
Continue reading “Campfire Stories”
A Healthy, Tasty, Veggie Bowl that delivers
This bowl of colour flew out last week, my Bibimbap hybrid. The classic Korean dish is new to me, I have never really been a big fan of Korean cuisine I had a very bad experience with a bowl of broth made from Ox blood punctuated with shots of soju once, I can not talk about it! Bibimbap literally means mixed rice in Korean. When I first looked at a traditional home-style recipe I have to say I was a little overwhelmed by the list of ingredients a couple of which I vaguely knew and the various methods of cooking which spanned three pages. It just all looked like too much effort for some meat and veg on rice.
A colleague generously bought me a bowl from her local source so I had a reference. She makes it at home as a go to dinner and is the one who pointed me in the right direction. I first tasted all the components separately, the version I had contained beef so that was out for me if I am honest I was underwhelmed but mixed together with a little spice, topped with a warm fried egg everything changed and I could see the potential.
Continue reading “The Green Folder”
This Is Me Today
Have you ever put your ear to the ground and listened. I have seen it done in the movies, Native American trackers putting their ears to the ground to hear horses’ hooves, miles away. I’m listening now. I am angry with my child, the boy one, he was rude, expected too much, forgot I am a person, saw only the mother. He treated me with contempt. My love was not shield enough, he hurt me. He hurt me with a thoughtless text message.
I want him to apologise, see the wound he made with his words but he is young and does not understand the weapons he holds.
I want to be the parent, the rock, but today I crumbled into the rough sea of hormones.
Continue reading “Advice Safe”
Chair Upholstery lesson 3: Cutting
The people in the top of this long thin island were busy tying down their garden furniture earlier this week, waiting for cyclone Gita. My inbox held an email from Antonia, warning that the lesson might be cancelled because of Gita. I was kind of hoping it would be, as I had not even started my homework. Buy material, easy. I had used my spare time for other things, mainly socialising and had missed the window to actually order my material to be delivered to class.
I watched the weather reports, Gita was veering away from her plotted course and we were to expect only heavy rain and strong winds; it looked like we had avoided much worse. Another email came through that the course was on, my own veering and avoiding had left me an hour and a half to find some fabric.
Continue reading “Upcycling”
Sometimes I feel
I look through my feet to the glittery water caught in the V of the horizon. My tummy is fat with brown bread and cheese, there was not much choice for a vegetarian, so I washed it down with champagne and was grateful. I watch a pukeko stupid walk towards the long grass, squawking loudly to warn her chick to stay down, ‘there is a human out here, a human, stay hidden’ she says again. I focus on my shoes, they are black and have molded to fit my feet perfectly. They do not match my octopus print dress but it is a wedding by the beach; the tentacles on the fabric reach my ankles anyway, so I guess it’s alright, no one can see much of them. They are my comfortable shoes. Today I am relaxed and comfortable, like my shoes, but sometimes I feel
Continue reading “Advice Safe”
Chair Upholstery Lesson 2: Structure
Despite Google Maps shouting from the footwell of my car that I should have turned left 200m away, I arrived early last week and waited in my car for the upholstery queen to roll up the door to my learning. By the time she did, our little gang was complete and eager in the car park. When we heard the throaty screech of metal moving, we all jumped out, unpacked our homework from the boots of our cars and made our way like broken snails to the workshop. The girl next to me smiled weakly as her pile of old chair skin fell to the ground. She tried twice to pick it up, each time she juggled with her mid-century frame and failed. I was concentrating too hard on my own pile to be of much help, but I did stand and wait patiently until she motioned through gritted teeth that I should carry on. Continue reading “Upcycling”
Asparagus how to store, cook and eat it
Fresh asparagus should have crisp, not bendy or soft stalks, the tips should be firm and held tightly together, walk away from anything less. I would also urge, only eat asparagus when it is in season, for New Zealand, September – December. Personally, lightly steamed and dripping in butter is the way to eat this stunning shoot. It is rumored that Julius Caesar loved it this way, who knows, it was certainly cultivated by the Romans more than 2000 years ago.
Top tip, store your purchase standing up in a container of water, like a bunch of flowers, covered with damp kitchen towel, they start to die as soon as they are cut. This will keep them fresher for longer
Asparagus provides vitamins A, B2, and C. It is also a good source of potassium, iron and….calcium – surprised? Now if only I could find a way of making my children eat asparagus, all would be good in my green world. For the rest of us here’s some asparagusy stuff. Continue reading “The Green Folder”
Chair Upholstery Lesson 1: Pre-work
4 do’s and Don’ts for your first projects according to Antonia and her 23 years experience making mistakes. We were all told to write down these rules.
Bla Bla Bla, if you are not interested in chair upholstery skip to the bit where I threw the hammer down.
- Do not try to upholster a wingback chair. Why because it is kick ass and you need about 18 months of experience before you attempt this. Start with a dining room chair or foot stall. It has the elements you need to master tension, corners, measuring and cutting. Move on up through headboards, chairs with squabs, padded chairs without arms, simple armchairs with removable wooden arms then your ultimate goal, a wingback chair.
- Do not use stripes or geometric patterns until you know what you are doing. Why because you need to be able to match the pieces perfectly.
- Do not use any other fabric other than upholstery grade. Why because it is stretchy enough to manipulate around corners and provides enough tension for a smooth finish. Upholstery fabric can be cut into release cuts, without it ripping further or tearing at the staple sites. Other fabrics, even drapery will not do this. It is false economy.
- Do not start on a complete re-upholstery project, i.e taking a chair down to the frame. Why because you need to build experience with the fabric first. Choose a chair that has good bones, where you can use the existing springs and padding.
Continue reading “Upcycling”
After the rain
I stood and looked out. The air was thick and heavy and made my hair curl and frizz about my head.
It has been ridiculously hot and humid lately, a month of record temperatures was broken with a big dump of rain recently. The sudden and violent downpour caught suburbia by surprise, it’s hot, bothered and sleep deprived citizens flooded and swore.
Mother nature was not surprised, she had been watching and waiting, when the rain came her people were ready. Relieved and thirsty they embraced the rain or burst through the dusty brown earth showing themselves to drink greedily. All life here was changed temporarily by the rain. Continue reading “Campfire Stories”