Linky Love

Hi readers!

Today’s post title is one that i’m going to use for the posts where I will be sharing links to things I found interesting, inspiring, exciting etc…. I will talk a little about the site I’ll link to, why I like it and where I found it (if from someone else’s blog/pinterest/blog facebook) So here is my first batch of Linky Love :)

  • I love history and art and creative things so I was really excited when several people on facebook posted about the MET in New York putting a whole bunch of their print catalouge online, available as downloadable PDF’s! (there are 370 titles available) History of textiles, 18th century fashion, ceramics, paintings just to name a few. Go check it out at The MET website.
  • Historical cookery as you know is something I like to explore and while reading the Two Nerdy History Girls blog recently they mentioned going to Colonial Williamsburg (as have many other costumers whose blogs I read) But these ladies mentioned food being prepared on their visit by members of Colonial Williamsburg’s Historic Foodways program who have a website called History is Served! full of original source recipes with modern versions for home cooks to try!!!
  • Staying with historical cookery for another moment I’d like to share a resource I found a long time ago when I played in The SCA as a Uni student and which I still like to go and use when I want to make something a little different. Introducing Gode Cookery a big fat rambling collection of Medieval and Renaissance recipes adapted for the modern kitchen. Have fun and be prepared to  stay there a while :)

Well that’s it for today and I hope you enjoy them. Hopefully I’ll get myself organised and put some pictures to some other posts I’m working on, so you can all see what else i’ve been up to lately.

I want to share something

Hi readers!

It’s been a bit busy in Tea & Crumpets land this last couple of weeks. So instead of me having a verbal ramble, I’m going to share a really inspiring, funny, touching website that my friend K showed me with you all instead.

May I introduce Letters of Note

“Letters of Note is a blog-based archive of fascinating correspondence, complete with scans and transcripts of the original missives.” from the letters of note about page.

There are some really incredible letters on this site, some from famous people and others from those of us living regular everday lives both now and in the past.

My Favourite so far is the letter “To My Old Master” written by a freed former slave in 1865.

Hope you all enjoy exploring the site as much as I am :)

Adventures in Cheese making

Last Saturday I went to a cheese making workshop were we learnt how to make feta, ricotta and and quarg cheeses!

Cheese making is fun but can be time consuming! it took all day to get to get the feta ready to go in the moulds so we could take it home. So in between feta making processes which took about 10-15 minutes each time followed by at least 1 hour waiting to do the next step. So to sill the waiting gaps we made what my teacher called milk products, which turned out to be the Ricotta cheese and Quarg.

Quarg (a type of cream cheese) is just milk with a certain type of bacteria added to it which is stirred together and then left in a hot water bath overnight to do it’s thing. Next morning you pour the jelly like milk into a collander lined with cloth so it can drain for 12 hours which leaves you with your Quarg curds which you whisk until they are combined and creamy. it’s very smooth and can have a slight sournes to it but it’s really nice on crackers. Obviously all that could be done at the workshop was mixing the bacteria into the milk, So I made a hot water bath in my esky when I got home.

The Finished Quarg

Ricotta is really easy and I will be making this at home for myself! it’s just milk heated to 90 degress celcius which then has vinegar added to it at a rate of 15-30 mls vinegar per litre of milk. Just gently stir in the vinegar until you stop seeing plain milk, let it rest for 5-10 minutes then pour it into a cloth lined colander and let it drain for an hour or so and presto you have cheese :)

My Ricotta

It was FANTASTIC and I thoroughly enjoyed myself, especially as learning to make cheese has been something I have wanted to do for a long time. So not only did I learn to make cheese I also made good on my promise to myself to actually go out and do the things I dream and make plans for rather than just thinking about them, which was inspired by this quote:

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”  ~  Mark Twain

So cheese making was pretty much a success,  I don’t know if all my cheeses turned out yet as the feta needs to sit in a brine solution for a couple of weeks before you start eating it so it can develop it’s best flavour, but I had fun and thtat’s what counts here.

So i’ll leave you with a picture of my feta being held hostage in its brine solution and wish you all a happy weekend!

Feta being held hostage

Cooking adventures with a Feast of Ice and Fire cookbook

 

Well as I mentioned not to long ago I bought a copy of A feast of Ice and Fire cookbook and have been trying various recipes from it and I must say that I am really enjoying the medieval recipe adaptations they have used as they have tasted great so far!

I should probably admit that I am a fan of historical cookery books and such, as I find them facinating insights into the lives of people from the past. They also present us with some intereting flavour combinations that can be a challange to our modern pallete. I particularly enjoy the medieval period (have found it fascinating since I was a young teen) and was introduced to medieval cooking when I was part of the SCA when I went to University. My historical food interest has branched out into other era’s since then and I am slowly collecting some very nice books too :)

So! Considering the title of this post I should probably post some pictures of the recipes I’ve tried from a Feast of Ice and Fire shouldn’t I?

Elizabethan fruit buns:

Which had a mix of currants, apple, pine nuts and a mix of medieval spices. These were sooooo addictive and smelled really wonderful while I made them. They are quite time consuming to make as it takes several hours to make the dough then you have to assemble the buns, but it’s worth it.

 

Breakfast in Dorne:

Which consists of “fiery” peppers and a scramble of spicy eggs which I served with toast spread with Hummus (that last one is me taking liberties with the suggestion of flat bread with chick pea paste) and it is fabulous! I loved this so much and the recipe made enough for me to have 2 meals out of it :) The really good thing about this recipe is you can adjust the “fieryness” by using chillies that suit your spicy tolerance

Elizabethan Lemon cakes:

These were more like a biscuit (cookie for my friends in North America) than a cake and were really sweet which is not suprising as the Elizabethans had massive sweet tooths! I felt while I was making them that the mix was a bit dry so I added some of the juice form the lemon that was used for it’s rind in the recipe and it seems to have worked out ok as they were really popular with some of my friends :)

 

 

I’ve also made the bean and bacon soup recipe which I really loved, but I ate it all and forgot to take a photo before I finished it. As I was all about the soup eating and not the picture taking at the time.

In the near future I want to make the blueberries with sweet cream as I have a blueberry bush in a pot in the yard that is loaded with immature fruit. So that will give me another way to eat them and hopefully convince me not to eat them all straight off the bush!

Have any of you tried a recipe from times past? what did you think of it? I’d love to hear about other peoples experiences.

Well that’s it for now! if you want more Game of Thrones food posts make sure to visit Inn at the crossroads  as it’s run by the same two lovely ladies who wrote the book.

 

 

 

It’s been a while

Well it’s been a while since i’ve posted here. I’ve been doing things and getting out and about and trying not to be on the laptop so much. Plus I was unemployed for a few months in between some short term contract work which made life a bit interesting though it seems things have setteld down. I managed to get myself a permanent part time job whose hours suit me down to the ground and it has given me the extra time to do some of the things I’ve been putting off for lack of time, though I have noticed that even with the extra day off my weekends have been extremely full and busy.

Some of that is me not saying no to things when probably should to let me have some down time, so as a result of all the busyness I’ve been a little stressed out and have fallen victim to a couple of cold virus’s which I feel is my body’s way of telling me to take a break. So this weekend I’m only going out on Sunday to help my Pa celebrate father’s day, for the rest of it I’m going to stay home and do some sewing, take the dog for some walks and watch some movies, maybe do some cooking and just relax.

I have been taking pictures of my gardening and cooking adventures (including some things I’ve made from A Feast of Ice and Fire cookbook  which I’m very much in love with) so hopefully I’ll get some of these written and posted up for everyones viewing pleasure :)

Hope you all have a great weekend

Pictures From: Vietnam and Cambodia

Hi everyone! I’ve finally managed to post the photos for the Vietnam and Cambodian legs of my South East Asia trip. I hope you enjoy them and if you have any questions feel free to ask :)

  

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These photos were taken in various parts of Vietnam and Cambodia including: Hoi An, Hanoi, Ho Chih Minh City, Halong Bay, Phnom Penh and the Angkor temple complex which covers close to 400 square kilometers

Well that’s it for my travel photos for now, hope you enjoyed them. Until next time :)

 

 

I’m still here! an Update and a motivational video

Hi everyone, sorry I haven’t posted recently I have been devoured by the beast better known as the book series “A Song of Ice and Fire”. Starting with Game of Thrones and I’m now up to book 4 “A Feast For Crows”, Each of these books is nearly 900 pages each, so they are taking a while and are very addictive so I MUST FINISH THEM :)

Otherwise not much sewing being done though I have had a few failed attempts at no kneading bread and have decided that method is not for me and will be trying a more traditional approach in the near future. I’ve also fixed up the final pictures from my SE ASIA trip and will try and post them in a few days.

Good news is that I found some contract work that will start in a couple of weeks, so YAY to employment!

I have also made it nearly to the end of week 3 for the C25K running program after getting a bit of a virus and having to stop till I felt better to try again and am really pleased with my progress. So much so that when I was at the supermarket recently and saw a poster for Heart of the Lake Fun Run organised by a local jogging group I decided to enter. I’m doing the 3km one as this will be my first fun run but I’m hoping to do another Run in Late July/August called the Bay Run and that will be 7km so fingers crossed :)

Now I saw a fabulous youtube video over at Lilacs & Lace of Rita Hayworth movie clips put to the Bee Gees Stayin alive that just makes me want to dance and have many of the dresses too! and thought I’d share it:

Well that’s it for now, hope you all enjoy the video :)