Saturday, 19 November 2011

Making & Hiding Out (d'you see what I did there?)

tea cosy for my sister for Christmas
Frank making golden bicycle wheels at our little class "Art Makers" at the new gallery in town : firstsite.
my tiny stash of very special material made into a little clutch bag, which I am using for small knitting projects. Note the reality of my crafting and do not for a moment imagine I have a "studio" or anything! Nope I craft right alongside the Lego and the puzzles.
updating the nature table with gnomes and gingham hearts from the Christmas decoration stash
Budd making a fabulous shed in the garden, he has worked really hard all week on this, whilst I have worked hard to keep Frank out of his way

Me, making a golden bicycle wheel, taken by Frank

It has been busy around here with us making, building, creating ...
I finished the tea cosy for my sister for Christmas and am now making very few things for gifts. I made loads last year and it stressed me too much. Crafting and creating is something I do a fair amount of but I want it to kind of unfold naturally. I don't want to be handing over a gift that is only going to receive a lukewarm reception (it happens A LOT!) after I have sat up late trying to complete it. So this winter it's just a tie for Budd, a cowl for Frank and a couple of other gifts before I just knit for pleasure alone.
And next year I have already declared the year of knitting for ME!
That is going to be fun.
This week Frank and I enjoyed our second art class at the fantastic new gallery in Colchester: firstsite.
And Andrew has been spending the week building a shed in the garden; leaping out of bed once it is light and beavering away until it's dark.
He has done an amazing job.
And onto the hiding out.
I have kind of been ignoring Diabetes Awareness month and not blogging about diabetes.
I think I have reached one of those phases of burnout and am just going with the flow.
In planing what to say here today I wondered if I should admit this.
A great deal of awe is felt here by me when I read other blogs, especially this month.
My stamina seems to have gone AWOL for November!
And, guess what, I wish it hadn't but I feel absolutely no guilt about it.
If I have learnt anything from this carousel of parenting a child with Type 1 Diabetes it is to trust my feelings and emotions and gut reactions to life and my moods.
I appear to have needed a quiet blogging month.
It certainly isn't all tea cosies and soup over here.
We have too many hypos and some ratios that have needed tweaking.
But the nights have been comfortingly predictable (for the first time in about nine months, I realised the other day! Jinkies! No wonder I look 93!).
And this much I know:
Even when I lapse in regularity in my blogging.
Even when I am a bit lightweight with my post contents.
Even when I can barely function of an evening.
I feel the energy of all the other D-parents and D-friends out there.
Not in a weird way, just in a supportive way.
And I know that should I need to reach out, even after an absence, everyone is still there.
Just as I am.
Still here. Still there. Still reading.
Still Frank's Mama.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

That Stonking Soup Recipe

Autumn is just wonderful here in England; a time I look forward to when I am shade-hopping in the heat of summer.
It is soup season and I am very grateful this Autumn to have discovered the recipes, both online and in books, of Heidi Swanson of 101 Cookbooks.
The cauliflower soup that follows has become one of my favourites ever. It's up there with the Cranks Armenian Soup that I love so much.
This soup is creamy and comforting and so very yummy with the mustardy croutons, and yes, I do make the croutons every time, they work so well and then I don't feel obliged to inhale lots of bread on the side (I have form on this one!).

Cauliflower Soup

170g chunk artisan wholemeal bread, torn into chunks, about 3 cups in total
2tbsp butter
2tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 tbsp Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp sea salt
2tbsp butter
2 shallots, chopped(I never have these around & so add another half a white onion)
1 white onion, chopped
sea salt
1 large potato, peeled and cubed
2 cloves garlic, chopped
3 1/2 cups veggie broth/stock
340g cauliflower, cut up into florets (I just use a whole small/medium cauli)
2/3 cup grated strong Cheddar for soup plus extra for topping
2 tsp Dijon mustard
Extra-virgin olive oil, to serve

Preheat the oven to 350F/180C.
First make the croutons by melting the butter in a small pan. Off the heat add the olive oil, salt and mustard.
Tip the chunks of break into the pan and stir to coat.
Place on a baking sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes until golden and crisp, turning them during baking as necessary.

To make the soup melt the butter in a pan and saute the onions with a big pinch of salt for 5 minutes.
Add the spuds and saute another 4 or 5 minutes.
Add the garlic and the veg stock and stir.
Cook for 2 minutes then add the cauliflower.
Cook until the cauliflower is just tender, 5 minutes more.
Off the heat blend with an immersion blender.
Stir in half the Cheddar and the Dijon mustard, taste and add more salt if necessary.

Serve with more grated Cheddar, the croutons and a drizzle of olive oil.

And eat, ideally with a small boy that refuses not to be in the picture and pouts as he says "soup, soup, soup" over and over again!
Enjoy and I hope it's stonking enough for you all.