Friday, February 26, 2010

Keema Mutter

Yesterday I posted on Facebook that we were having Keema Mutter for dinner, and one of my friends asked me what it is. Well, it's delicious, and my leftovers, which were my lunch, looked like this:


The recipe I use is in a wonderful recipe book now sadly out of print, Indian Low Fat Cooking. This book contains the highest proportion of recipes tried, enjoyed and repeated than any other I possess, I think (with the possible exception of Delia's Complete Cookery Course, which is so used and battered that I rebound it when I took bookbinding classes and is looking sorry for itself again now). This one used minced beef but it is also good (and more traditional) with minced lamb, and minced turkey works well and very economically, too. A similar recipe can be found here but my version omits the bay leaves and peppercorns, and also the oil: you add the meat, onions, tomatoes and spices (garlic, ginger, chilli, turmeric, garam masala and cumin seeds)all at once to the pan without fat/oil or browning and cook for about half an hour, then add frozen peas, chopped green chilli or pepper and coriander leaves about ten minutes before serving, and we serve with basmati rice.
My local excellent Indian takeaway uses chick peas instead of green peas, which makes a change, but I like green peas with it very much.

So now you know what Keema Mutter is, if you were wondering; if not, no one asked you to read this anyway! But if you want a delicious home made indian style low fat supper, give this one a try some time!
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Green Day: Charity Shop Haul

Such is the economic climate that the village next to ours, where I go to use the bank, has not one, but two, charity shops. Yesterday I visited both and came back somewhat laden!

First was this sweet glass vase which may be cut lead crystal. The design is of ears of wheat, and it's a great size for a few flowers from the garden, when the time comes.

I think this pressed glass dish is so pretty, it was totally irresistable and had to come home with me. I don't know why, this pattern looks somewhat Victorian or eastern European but I'm probably wrong. If anyone knows anything about it or the vase above, please let me know.

It's on the table at the moment but I should clear the sideboard to make space for it there. It looks pretty on the table, though, as it catches the sunlight coming through the window.

Another item I couldn't resist was this owl pot. It was sitting on a shelf holding knitting needles so I wasn't sure if it was for sale, but it was so I bought it. I think it could hold my knitting needles or crochet hooks instead. I have quite a collection of owly bits and pieces andthelittle cupboard I keep most of them in is full to bursting, but I'll find a place for this because I love it.

I also fell in love with this kingfisher blue knitted lace scarf, which suffers a little from being square rather than rectangular, but is lovely and soft on the neck. I couldn't leave that behind either.

I found this vintage embroidered linen runner languishing on a rail and have ideas for it, too.

I also brought home some mending!

This stunning crochet lace tablecloth is dazzling white but some of the joins between motifs have come undone, so it needs some tlc and attention.

One day, when the chicks have all flown, I harbour ambitions to use proper table linen instead of oilcloth - which may be misguided, but maybe the dream will be realised!

I have also struck very lucky on Freecycle recently, which may help with the display of my treasures.

I was frustrated by a lack of storage in our refurbished sitting room, and was delighted to succeed in freecycling this cupboard/display cabinet. The people we obtained it from had freecycled it themselves from someone in a neighbouring village, and although it is rather battered and needs some refinishing, it is a handsome beast with proper wooden drawers and backing.

The following week a similar item was advertised on Freecycle and it sounded very like. Again my bid was successful and I went to collect it, expecting it was one of the pair that had been offered but refused by the people we'd collected from the previous weekend. In fact, not. It was identical, but the new donors had bought it from new in the place of manufacture, J. Sutcliffe and Son, when they first married. Isn't that the most amazing coincidence? So my best beloved has another project lined up for him now, when the weather warms up a bit, and then we will have somewhere to display some treasures and store games and other entertainments. It's been a good month for recycling!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Suffolk Walls

A trip this weekend to Kedington near Haverhill in Suffolk meant a number of treats, but unexpected or forgotten was the prospect of seeing pargetted walls on houses. These traditional patterns and textures on plaster walls can also be seen in North Essex, and I'd not previously associated it with Suffolk for some reason

I liked this traditional festoon of grape vines transected by a satellite television dish wire. I had noticed signposts to a vineyard not too far away on my journey.
This pattern reminded me of scallop shells, a motif sometimes adopted by pilgrims, but now I look out into my hallway I see a similar pattern on the embossed wallpaper out there.

This last photo might show up better if you click on it to enlarge, but it was hard to get a good image in the light if the late afternoon on my way home. It was really spectacular to see. Then I travelled back home as the sun dropped, sad to miss other photo opportunities of a stunning sky backlighting lines of naked trees in field-dividing hedgerows as I sped back towards the motorway and London, and the home of my childhood.
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