31 March 2009 18:31
At last, the Formula 1 racing season has started. A large part of number one son’s life revolves around it. So it was a very tiring weekend and we have had to put up with lots of yelps of excitement in the wee small hours. Roll on Europe. I can’t really complain because it is probably my fault that he is such a big fan as I was a fan in the 60′s and 70′s. I think mainly because Jackie Stewart lived near us and went to the same school as me although not at the same time – I’m not that old. Well, what has all that to do with soup? It builds up your strength for the gruelling season of F1 viewing. So this is the recipe for no. 1 son’s favourite soup.
1 mugful of dried haricot beans soaked overnight
3 tomatoes, quartered or about 12 tiny ones
3 sticks of celery
2 200g tins of chopped tomatoes
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tbsp tomato puree
chopped parsley and thyme (to your taste)
Roughly chop the onions carrots and celery and whizz up in a blender with water. You will have to do this a few times to deal with it all. Reserve some of the carrot and celery just roughly chopped if you like chunky bits in your soup as we do. Add all of this to a large pan with the haricot beans and tins of tomatoes. Then. add the tomato puree, dried oregano and chopped parsley and thyme. Lastly, add the quartered tomatoes and more water. I use my pressure cooker for this recipe as then you don’t have to bother about soaking the beans first, just cook at pressure for about 20 minutes. I add enough water to make about 12 bowls of soup. If you don’t have a pressure cooker then just boil it all up for about 1 hour. Season to taste. Try it, you’ll love it. If you can’t be bothered with the dried beans, try using ordinary tinned beans. Obviously you will only have to boil the soup for about 20 minutes then. I’ve never tried tinned beans but I think it will work fine.
24 March 2009 16:40
On Saturday yet another withdrawn from the library book sale was held at the Adam Smith Theatre. I know that I shouldn’t moan about it, because I have bought plenty of very cheap books there over the years, but it still amazes me. Why do they do it? I used to work in a library on the west coast in the 1970′s when I was a young thing and our book budget was really tight. Every book was precious and there were certainly never any books which were surplus to requirement. The libraries then were very well used. We had about 1,000 books going out of the library on a daily basis and I suppose roughly the same coming in. The library in Kirkcaldy is barely used in comparison to then but the book budget must be enormous. It seems that they don’t have to worry about cut-backs. Council tax money is being squandered on a huge scale. They even give you free plastic and hessian bags to put your booty in. At a time when the same council has cut the budgets for schools to the bone and cut them again, it’s a complete mystery to me. Someone should look into the running of the libraries in Fife.
18 March 2009 23:28
I was lucky enough to be given the Dad’s Army boxed set as a Christmas present. It has taken me till now to finish watching them all but I’ve had a great time doing it. Amazingly there were a few that I don’t remember ever having seen before. They were an absolute life saver during the past couple of months when I kept thinking that the news couldn’t get much worse – and then it did. I think they should be available on prescription for people with depression. I read recently that sufferers improved hugely when they watched hours of comedies. It actually changes the brain patterns. Well, it’s got to be better than popping pills.
17 March 2009 15:15
I’m a bit of a fabric freak but I promised myself that I wouldn’t buy any more until I had used up some of my stash. As I had loads of bits of velvet and corduroy left over from wayback (decades ago if I’m honest) a crazy patchwork item seemed to be calling. So, here it is, madly clashing colours and all. The applique bits were intended for a hexagonal patchwork quilt which I was never going to get around to completing as it was hand sewn and took forever. Anyway, I like it and it is very warm as apart from the velvet there is a layer of wadding, an old flannelette sheet and a backing of upholstery fabric. Unfortunately I had a bit of trouble keeping all the layers flat and immobile. I just used ordinary sewing pins as I worked and discovered too late of course that I should have used safety pins to stop the fabric from moving about. So, it’s a bit rumpled and bumpled here and there.
If you want to make a super-simple recycled quilt, go to Diane Gilleland’s article on CraftStylish.