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oh dear

I can’t find my camera anywhere.

I must have accidentally packed it in the moving boxes. Oh dear.

I couldn’t take a photo of the pink sky last night. Or the robin on friday morning that sat by me and my friend and ate a bit of my cracker. Or the rain on the river last weekend, and the swans.

I think i might have to, more or less, sign off now until we have moved house! Got a very busy week ahead, but i will be back a.s.a.p with PLANTING SEEDS, KNITTING MACHINES, and THE SEA!

Have a good week everyone, and wish us luck!

Ginkotree xxx

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the butternut squah has got to be my favourite vegetable (go on, just argue that it’s a fruit!). it’s got such versatility in the way it can be cooked, but more importantly lends itself so perfectly to my favourite meals to cook – soups. here’s my first recipe shared through this blog, which will also be located on the ideas & tutorials page at the top.

sweet butternut soup:

(for 2 hearty bowlfuls)

half a butternut squah

a large carrot

a small white onion or handful of shallots

a sqeeze of tomato puree

half a tin of your choice of beans eg. borlotti, butter beans

various condiments and cupboard supplies!

first you need to peel and chop the vegetables. chopping them smaller means the soup takes less time to cook! put them in a heavy pan with a little oil and fry them on a low heat, moving them around a bit for a few minutes.

while they’re softening, open the tin of beans and rinse them thoroughly (or use dried beans that you have soaked in water beforehand).

pour some fresh water into the pan of vegetables, about quarter of a pint, and squeeze in some tomato puree. the reason i’m not using vegetable stock is that the butternut squah flavour is brave and will carry through the others i put in. cover the pan and simmer for 20 or so minutes until the vegetables and very soft. check a couple of times to make sure there’s still liquid – add a bit more water if it’s boiled away – and then mash it roughly.

that is your basic butternut soup, and now it’s time to customise it to your taste.

i like this soup to get sweet with earthy undertones, so i add a spoonful of honey, and then a splash of balsamic vinegar. a little salt but no pepper as i don’t want to spoil the squah flavours. and some dried herbs because i don’t have any fresh sage.

for something a little hotter, add a pinch each of chilli powder and ground ginger, or some tobasco.

for the beans, my favourite for this soup are butter beans, as they compliment the flavours so nicely. today i used borlotti beans, but i wasn’t impressed with their brownish awful colour in the tin. if you don’t like beans throw in some arborio risotto rice, and simmer until the rice has swelled and is soft.

served with my soup here are some little cheddar cheese biscuits, the recipe for which i will post for you tomorrow!

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It’s that time of year when bloggers all over share the siliness and happiness of the holiday just gone. Possibly something i was more excited about than the actual day, is sharing it with this new community…and being reassured that my family isn’t the only crazy one out there!

After seeing my old friends for the first time since leaving for uni (too long ago!), i spent the holiday with my family, and C. We had just celebrated our 1st year together before Christmas, so it was lovely to spend the day with him for the first time too.

There was lots of making the table look pretty…

And drinking my homemade Sloe Gin and lemonade…

Lots of making vegan mince pies from my homemade mincemeat…

And drinking Sloe Gin and lemonade….(i call it the Pink Lady)…

And it’s always lovely to have us girls together…My sister at the front there, me in the middle and my mum at the back!

I’ll have to wait for the recipients of my handmade gifts to send me some photos, as i was so last-minute in finishing them, i didn’t have a chance to photograph before wrapping them up!

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The past few weeks that I have been planning and preparing for my first market stall, have been about me finding the balance between ‘earning money’ work and the work I really love – crafting. As many of you will know, just living takes up so much valuable time. So much so that you’re left with 2 hours in the morning here, 2 more after work and housework and the evening meal (making it 10pm), and then things happen, like they inevitably do, and you lose your crafting time for that day (or you just don’t have the will to pick up that needle).

Each woman out there will have her safe place to go to recapture what she’s misplaced. When I lose my Sanity in the endless drudge that is my day job, I bake pretty things. When it’s Inspiration that has eluded me, I wander around until I see something beautiful (there is always something out there that is).

But when I can’t remember why I’m trying to make a living doing what I love, when I have more doubt than confidence about my abilites, or when someone convinces me for a second that money is more important…That calls for more drastic measures. That calls for Women Bloggers; girls and mothers out there who are in the same boat, with the same tidal waves of life around them…and who still manage to knit up a pretty hat for a loved one.

Today i’d like to thank:

Earth Mama, for putting difficult feelings into words.

inner pickle, for always telling the truth.

SouleMama, for the wonderful way she can bring out the best of each situation.

If you’ve come across this and are wondering whether to start blogging…do it! It’s the best decision I ever made.

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