I've fully moved into my new house now, and for a finishing touch I asked my friend Amy to set me up with some classy new cushions. She runs Amy Allwright Homeware and handmakes all things textiley, from pinnies to iPad covers. Her work is beautiful, and for ages I've been wanting to find a place for something made by her. I unearthed two stained, battered and flattened old cushions, and handed them over to her. Just look how they came back!
Amy restuffed the dying cushions, and made me two removable covers, so that I can take them off and wash them in future. The one on the left has the pink back fabric I liked from her apron, and the front patterned one picked by Amy. The one on the right (which I admit is my favourite!) was made from a woollen jumper. A subtle cable-knit pattern runs through it, and although the cover is held together with poppers she's sewn the original buttons back over them.
They are beautiful. They're sitting in my reading corner, a space made between a window seat, a wall, and my bookcase, where I can now wedge myself happily in and get lost. Long winter evenings, sorted!
I've been making things too. Mostly food.
I've been wanting to try making my own mincemeat ever since I made pies for Christmas last year for a contest. The homemade pastry was good, but I hadn't thought of mincemeat. This year, my housemate Katie and I were prepared!
In each of them is a concoction of the following: currants, raisins, sultanas, candied peel, juice and zest fron lemons and oranges, suet, grated apple, brown sugar, brandy, cinnamon, ginger stem, ginger wine, cranberries, cherries, nutmeg.
Basically it's just a case of mixing the ingredients together, packing them into jars, and sealing them tight. From mid-November they ought to be ready to eat. Of course neither of us have done this before so we've tried it a couple of different ways, but ultimately we won't know what's worked and what hasn't until we crack open the mincemeat jars in a month or so. I'm quite excited, and curious to see what we've made.
Cheese and Leek pie
I swiped this recipe for leek and cheese tart from The Guardian's website. It's pretty easy to do, introduced me to some new cheese (although cheddar would do it, I might swap the taleggio out for some camembert next time, just for a treat. The taleggio was good in the end, but whiffed a bit of feet for my taste!) Goes nicely in my lunchbox for work as well.
Puff Pastry 375g
Taleggio (or other melty) cheese 100g
1 beaten egg