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Journal

Spring celebration lunch

spring celebration lunch

This is a lunch to celebrate the first days of Spring - the days are brightening, leaves are unfurling, birds are singing their hearts out. We should celebrate it all, preferably sitting with eyes screwed up against the low sun, catching up with friends.

I chose these recipes for a Spring celebration because they let the flavours of Spring sing out, but also because every dish is simple to make in advance, and easy to transport to take advantage of the weather.

Hopefully the sun is shining and they can be eaten as a picnic, or a lunch in the garden - blankets on the garden chairs maybe. But if the weather is too chilly for that, they can just as easily be eaten at the kitchen table with the fire on full.

The centre of the meal is a frittata. April and May are the months of increasing light, when hens naturally get back to full egg production and everyone who keeps hens suddenly has too many eggs for their own use. They are also the months when free range hens eat those fresh spring leaves which make their eggs particularly delicious.

Eggs aside, you can vary the ingredients of the frittata according to what you have, it is a great leftover recipe and you can add in beans, broccoli, cheese etc. etc. whatever you have in the fridge.

In the recipe here I used stored potatoes which were just beginning to sprout and soften - perfect for boiling and then cubing - the last of the leeks and vibrant kale leaves, which are beginning to regrow after winter.

With the frittata I’ve suggested serving a carrot and cabbage coleslaw with orange dressing and sunflower seeds - I always have a tub of this in the fridge at this time of year and left overs are brilliant stuffed into sandwiches or even eaten as a mid afternoon snack that feels healthy.

Add in some bread and a fresh green salad and you have a simple feast.

spring celebration menu

Kale, leek and potato Fritatta

Ingredients

  • 6 eggs
  • 2 medium potatoes
  • 2 rashers of bacon (optional - can be substituted with 50 g feta or completely omitted)
  • 1 large leek, sliced
  • 20 g butter or oil
  • 2 - 3 handfuls of kale, sliced
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • pinch salt

You will need a 20 cm frying pan or skillet which will go in an oven.

Feeds 4 with salad and bread as part of a lunch

ingredients for kale frittata

Method

First prepare all the ingredients.

  • Cook potatoes until just tender, leave to cool and chop into 1 cm dice.
  • Fry rashers of bacon in frying pan, cool and cut into small pieces.
  • Gently cook sliced leek in butter until it is meltingly soft. leave to cool.
  • Add kale and 1 tbsp water to a pan and cook until all the water has evaporated. Leave to cool.

Heat the oven to 200 degrees (gas mark 6)

  • Crack the eggs and put them in a large bowl, stir in all the other ingredients apart from the oil.
  • Heat 3 tbsps oil in the frying pan and add the egg mixture - make sure it covers the base evenly but do not stir.
  • After 3-4 minutes the base should be cooked, transfer to the oven for 15 minutes until cooked right through.
  • Leave the frittata for half an hour to firm up, and then turn it out onto a plate.

kale frittata with spring coleslaw

Spring coleslaw

Ingredients

  • 2 carrots peeled and grated
  • half a small cabbage sliced and chopped into small bits
  • 1 tablespoon sunflower seeds
  • juice of 1 orange
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • pinch of salt

Method

  • Mix the carrot and cabbage in a bowl.
  • Mix salt and orange juice and leave to dissolve for a few minutes
  • Whisk the oil into the orange juice until you get a balanced dressing.
  • Stir dressing into the vegetables and then stir in the sunflower seeds just before serving.

 

Now that my daughters have flown the nest I tend not to bake much - so having friends round is a great opportunity to get the cake tin out. This rhubarb and almond cake is a spring adaptation of a wonderful apple cake in Anja Dunk’s book Strudels, Noodles and Dumplings - I have swapped some of the flour for ground almonds and changed the topping to rhubarb.

 

Speedy Rhubarb and Almond Cake

rhubarb and almond cake

 

Ingredients

  • 160 g butter plus 10 g for greasing tin
  • 160 g sugar
  • 160 g plain flour
  • 30 g ground almonds
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 sticks of rhubarb

You will need a tin with removable base - 20 - 22 cm

Method

  • Preheat oven to 160
  • Butter the inside of the tin to stop the cake from sticking
  • Melt the butter, stir in the sugar and mix until the sugar is well combined.
  • In a bowl combine the flour, baking powder, salt and almonds.
  • Stir the flour mix into the butter a spoonful at a time, mixing well.
  • Beat eggs and then add a little at a time to batter, mix well.
  • Pour into tin
  • Slice rhubarb into small pieces and scatter over the top of the cake.
  • Bake for 35-40 minutes until cooked in the middle.
  • Cool and then take out of the tin.

I like this served with greek style yoghurt - the slight sharpness goes well with the rhubarb.

The cake is at its best eaten on the same day but will keep a couple of days if wrapped well in foil.

Download the recipe cards

download the recipe card for rhubarb cake

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It is my birthday today and I intend to spend most of the day in the garden. 
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There are a couple of orders to send out and some seedlings to drop off, but then it will just be me and this little menace pottering around the vegetable patch and putting seedlings in the ground (and hopefully not digging them up).
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Then I will be away from the main Instagram feed for a couple of weeks. 
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I will still pop up from time to time in the Studio Club stories feed, but otherwise I'll be on a social media break.

📷 @katgoldin 

#momentslikethese
#the_gentle_manifesto
#daysofsmallthings
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#aseasonalway
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#aquietmoment
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My elder daughter Zoë asked for a stripy jumper knitted with wool dyed from the garden.
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These are the finished skeins - currently curing in the studio - dyed with sweet cicely, dock, bay, birch and nettle.
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In a month they will be ready to knit with.
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The slowest of slow fashion.

#slowstitching #slowfashion #naturaldyeing #foragedcolour #foragedcolor #naturaldyersofinstagram #sustainablemaking #sustainablecraft #plantdyedyarn #plantdyes
I find that, unless I have a particular time set aside for doing something I often simply don’t get around to it.

Even when that thing takes half an hour, even when I really want to do it. 

So this weekend, in the Studio Club, we set aside some time to start making a balm from daisies. 
I videoed myself as I went along and was there to answer questions. 

It made me realise that it’s actually quite difficult to see from the outside all the things that go on in the Club week to week. 

So I’ve decided to send an extra email every month , just to the people on the waiting list, giving a access to something that is usually members only. 

If you’ve been wondering whether the Studio Club is for you, you can join the waiting list via my profile. 

The next opening is in August. 

#sustainablemaking #slowliving #seasonalhome #daisybalm #herbalife #startwhereyouare #
Kat Goldin came round for a cup of tea and a natter last week - and took this photo of me for the next edition of A Seasonal Way.
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I'm posting it today because it shows off the dress that I am inordinately proud of having knitted! 

The bodice is the Deren cardigan by @jacquelinecieslak and the skirt just flares out from that into a mid calf twirl. 
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My pride is in the keeping going with the knitting . . . and in eventually using up some of the cones of wool silk yarn that I bought from a mill closure in 1984.

📷 @katgoldin 

#derensweater #derenpullover #jacquelineceislak #embodycapsulecollection #memademay2022 #memademay #memademayplus #memade2022 #sustainablefashion #seasonalhome
A week in dyes - recycled cotton threads from the dye pots, sorted, labelled and curing in the Studio.
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From left to right
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Sweet Cicely and iron
Bloody dock
Bay and bloody dock
Bay and iron
Sweet Cicely and bloody dock,
Sweet Cicely

This year I’m exploring layering up colours and creating depth and also trying to work out how the base effects colour. 

#botanicaldye #alchemy #growyourowncolour #gameoftones #plantdyed #naturallydyedwool #plantdyersofinstagram #craftwithconscience
#shadesofnature #extractedfromnature #inspiredbynaturesbeauty
#slowstitching #sustainablemaking #foragedcolour
I picked this Black hero tulip when it fell down in the wind and put it so the evening light could shine through the petals - for unlit it looks a little undefined, a little absent, as many dark flowers do.
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Then as I took this photo it reminded me of the art nouveau drawings of Margaret Macdonald Mackintosh - the willowy bend, the swoop of the curved base, the full head.
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Now I find myself speaking to it as I pass.

#howihueit #simpleandstill #capturequiet #beautyyouseek #calm_collected #aseasonalway #aseasonalshift #cornersofmyworld #slowlived #slowandsimpledays #quietchaotics #tulipblackhero #windowsillwednesday #ihaveathingwithwindows #ofsimplethings #beautyinsimplicity #floralstories #allthingsbotanical #underthefloralspell #slowfloralstyle #petalsandprops #nestandflourish #livethelittlethings #thehappynow #ihavethisthingwithflowers #moodforfloral #cornersofmyhome #aseasonalway #slowlivingforlife #aflowerfilledlife
It is warm enough to have the doors to the dye deck open again - this week there are dock, sweet cicely, bay and nettle in the dye pots, a shuffling around as they steep and simmer.
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Today I shall be writing up my initial results for dyeing with bloody dock (rumex sanguineus) for a Studio Club blog. 

I love having that space to put up progress reports - and the report is  very much in progress as the colours on wool and cotton were radically different - so members can follow along with my experiments.
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Doors close to the Studio Club tomorrow - and the next intake of new members will be in August. If you fancy a summer of seasonal inspiration and slow living then you can find out more and join at www.snapdragonlife.com

📷 @katgoldin 

#mystudio #simpleandstill #capturequiet #beautyyouseek #calm_collected #aseasonalway #aseasonalshift #cornersofmyworld #slowlived #slowandsimpledays #quietchaotics #ofsimplethings #beautyinsimplicity #allthingsbotanical #mindfulsewing #foragedcolour #nestandflourish #livethelittlethings #thehappynow  #plantdyersofinstagram #aseasonalway #slowlivingforlife
I wrote a letter to the new Studio Club members yesterday. 

It was all about Euan’s Granny, and what she said to me when I was a stressed thirty year old. 

It was about what I thought she meant at the time and what I realise she meant now. (The letter actually goes out tomorrow morning so don’t worry if you haven’t got it 😂)

Then I took this photo of tulips at the ends of the vegetable beds and I remembered that at the time I was receiving the grandmotherly advice was also the year that I grew striped tulips for the first time. It was in my back garden in Old Kilpatrick and I took a bunch through for her. 

When we look back there is often such rhythm to our lives. 

#growyourownflowers #slowliving #cornersofmygarden #slowflowers #aseasonalway
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In the Studio Club I gently guide you through bringing the changing seasons into your daily life, helping you slow down, so that you can experience increased well being, calm and creativity.

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