My blog productivity has been very low lately. Usually when that happens it is a sign that life is getting on top of me and I simply haven’t the time to sit down and type. Or I’ve been writing articles for other sites and not had time to blog. This month, luckily, that hasn’t really been the case. Life is good, work has been quiet-ish what with people being off on holidays and the children are back at school since mid-August. What’s kept me from blogging have been my other hobbies – cooking and crafting.
It feels as if my life is a patchwork of motherhood, work, my various hobbies, duties and roles. Maybe that’s why I enjoy patchwork sewing so much. Years ago when Number Two was just about old enough to move from the cot to a bed, I began making him a patchwork quilt. But I made a silly mistake while putting the back, front and wadding together. Frustrated, I put it all away for another day. I made a couple of attempts at it over the years but not until this month did I finally sit down and finish it. I was so pleased with myself and enjoyed the immersion in one all-consuming task that I made another quilt from scratch too. That done, I set about making a memory quilt from old clothes and leftover fabric. I’m delighted with the outcome of my sewing and am glad that I have so much to show for all those nights I didn’t spend writing on the blog.
In order to free up time to sew, I had to reduce not just my blogging but also the amount of housework being done. A couple of weeks ago I bought a slow cooker on a whim and am now a total convert. The freezer is filling up with hearty, homemade dinners and having to adapt my cooking slightly so that recipes work in the slow cooker has given me fresh motivation to try out some new recipes too. One of the first meals I made in the slow cooker was a spicy root vegetable hotpot with herb and parmesan dumplings. I’ll try to remember to post the recipe. It was so hearty, filling and warming that we didn’t miss the meat at all. Beef stew and Hungarian chicken are two of our long time favourite casserole-style dishes and were both a big hit with the family when I made them in the slow cooker last weekend. As I write, I have vegetable soup cooking in the slow cooker for later on. I love having handy soup/stew/bake type meals on hand at the weekend so that we can eat whenever we feel like it and I have a feeling the slow cooker is going to be a great addition to our home.
The apples and figs are ripe now in the garden and the walnuts are beginning to fall so I have been trying out some healthy baking recipes to a) use up the fruit and b) have something to give the kids for their school snack. They are not big sandwich eaters but love fruit and always bring fruit to school with them. Number One in particular would live on fruit – fresh or dried – and to fill him up up a bit I have been experimenting with low sugar muffins. Stewed apple and raisin muffins sweetened with a litte maple syrup and with buttermilk and bread soda to make them fluffy have been a great hit. They even beat the banana, honey and dark chocolate ones in popularity. I’ve a couple of batches in the freezer now too for handy afterschool snacks or for adding to lunchboxes. Once the walnuts are dried and ready for using, they’ll be going into the granola as well as being added to the lunchboxes in their natural form.
With school back, the first leaves falling and the fruit ripening, there is a definite autumnal feel to life lately. It is still hot, way too hot in fact, but autumnal all the same. For me, that means my crochet comes out. Crochet is one of my favourite hobbies despite my not being particularly good at it. I can do it watching tv or while having a cuppa and a break. I can even do it in the car on road trips to the in-laws when The Bavarian is driving. And I have something to show for my time. My current crochet project, like the quilt I mentioned above, has been on the go for several years. Its a granny square blanket in shades of grey, brown and cream and I don’t know if I’ll ever finish it. To be honest it is like a security blanket for me. It is always there on the coffee table or the kitchen windowsill or beside the bed, ready to be picked up and added to whenever I feel the need of a little craft injection into my day.
So there you have it, the reasons for my absence from here. I’ll be back. Soon. I promise . I’m just going to have a little crochet time now, ok?