Saturday, 29 January 2011

Storage Jars

I seem to have quite a lot of kitchen storage jars dotted around my home so thought I would share a few of these with you. The ones below are my latest acquisitions. I have several Jean Francois Millet prints in my dining room and found a dish with this picture on it last year so I was delighted to find these jars too. It is of 'The Angelus' and I have previously blogged about it here.

These were the first set (not just odd ones) I bought which I intended to put on the website about four years ago. As you can see they never actually made it on there!
I bought this set in Cornwall about 2 years ago. Unfortunately only one still has its lid.
I like these rusty old tin ones; they make a change from the ceramic ones.
I have several of these marmalade jars. They must have eaten so much marmalade in years past as soooo many of these jars have survived.

I also have several of these white jars for sultanas, raisins, etc. but my favourite of all is the Grimwades Rice jar probably because of its shape and the characteristic writing extolling its merits.

Friday, 21 January 2011

Thai Chicken Soup

I have been asked by a couple of people for the recipe for Thai Chicken Soup so thought I would post it so that others can make it too - it is delicious!

Serves 4
1 tbsp veg oil
1 garlic clove, chopped
2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts (approx 175g each), chopped
1/2 tsp turmeric (that's half, not 1 to 2!!)
1/4 tsp hot chilli powder
75g creamed coconut (I used coconut milk)
900ml hot chicken stock
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp crunchy peanut butter
50g thread noodles
1 tbsp spring onions
1 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
salt and pepper
dessicated coconut, finely chopped & red chillies to garnish (if required).

Heat the oil in a large pan & fry the garlic. Add the chicken pieces and spices and fry for 3 - 4 minutes.
Crumble the coconut cream into the chicken stock until dissolved (not necessary if using coconut milk). Pour into pan with lemon juice, peanut butter and noodles.
Cover pan, simmer for 15 mins.
Add spring onions and coriander, season and cook for 5 mins.
Heat dessicated coconut and chilli and fry for 2 - 3 mins.
Pour soup into bowls and add garnish.
One person who asked for this recipe is Louisa at who also awarded me with this. It doesn't mean I sell scrap! It is for bloggers who 'demonstrate qualities of heart, soul and sincerity! Thankyou Louisa.

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Felted poppies

Following on from my last post......
I have been going to a felt making class for the last few months. I'm a bit disappointed as I envisaged making bags and scarves just like in this book

but having been shown the initial techniques we seem to be doing quite a lot of embroidery too. So I decided to have a go myself at home. I ordered some wools

and decided to 'copy' my Ikea picture. This is my first attempt and it is still wet so looks a bit 'glisteny'.

I think there is probably room for improvement (!) but I have so much wool (merino tops) that I can keep practising.

I love the way that vintage things can sit alongside the contemporary and modern and both look good together. Underneath this picture I have vintage enamel on a vintage Hungarian table runner. This stripy modern cushion sits well with the French monogrammed R (and Laura Ashley fabric) cushion and the cushion I made from Hungarian grain sack (more available on my website or to order.

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Kitchen Chairs

I have recently done a makeover on this old kitchen chair. I bought it ages ago at a car boot for £2 and loved it because it had been so well used. Someone has used the seat to rest rest a piece of wood on whilst they sawed it and has sawn some of the chair by mistake (all adding to its character)!
Regular readers of my blog will know that I always seem to favour Farrow & Ball's French Gray when painting furniture but this time I tried 'Green Blue'. It wasn't really what I wanted, I had chosen 'Dux Blue' but my local Homebase has a limited selection so I had to opt for this shade. I wanted it to go with this cushion and my Ikea picture so, as you can see, it isn't quite right but I shall leave it as it is.

Other chairs I use in the kitchen are a pair of chairs I painted in James White and distressed. I also reupholstered the seats. These are my favourite as I particularly like the detail on the back.

This was my first attempt at painted furniture before I really knew what I was doing. I used ordinary white gloss!

This lovely old Windsor chair will never be painted! It was given to me when I was 10 years old by someone who paid 10/6d (about 52p) for it at an auction and I just love it.

Sunday, 2 January 2011

Belated Happy New Year

A very Happy New Year to everyone who reads this. I wish you all a very happy and successful 2011.
We celebrated New Year's Eve with two other couples, visiting each other homes for a different food course which turned out to be really good fun. Our house had to provide the pudding, cheeseboard and champagne for midnight (my French friends always have the cheeses before the pudding - does anyone else do this?).

I made 'Florentine Baskets with Brandied Prune Ice Cream' and had a phone call the next day from one couple who said it was the best pud they'd ever had! I have made the ice cream before but not the brandy snap baskets. It's a great Christmassy pudding too.