Sunday, 8 November 2015

November Things


:: Bonfire Night :: 



It's by far and away my favourite thing about this time of year. Angus's face was a picture. He was completely entranced by the display and it was lovely to watch. 



(I'm sorry about the quality of the above photos, I took them on my phone. The ones that follow aren't much better either, what with the total lack of sunlight we've had this week.)

:: Ginger Cake ::



Making and eating this is as traditional as going to a fireworks display for me, and this recipe is from the excellent Nigella Christmas. Reading this book and thinking about what I want to cook and eat over Christmas is another November ritual of mine. 

:: Eating up the pumpkins :: 



Ok, squashes, in the form of Thai Butternut Squash Soup. I made and froze litres of this a few weeks ago, and discovered that it forms a quick and easy basis for a meal. I defrosted and reheated a couple of portions of the soup and roasted two chicken breasts, shredding them with forks when they were cooked. While that was going on I cooked some wild rice. The chicken was stirred into the soup, along with a spoonful of Thai curry paste, lots of coriander, and a pak choi that was a little past it's best. I spooned the cooked rice into bowls then poured the soupy mixture on top. Not really a soup or a Thai curry either, but it needed to be eaten with a spoon. Warming, spicy and easy, just what I needed on Friday night when I was tired and it had rained all week. 

:: Reading, and planning ::



I always knew that my local library stocked magazines, but it didn't occur to me to borrow them until I saw three copies of Inside Crochet sitting there. I don't usually buy crochet magazines as I think they're expensive and there isn't often much I want to make. But I enjoyed flicking through these and did photocopy a few patterns that I may make in the future. I also found this gem:



It's called the Granny Chic Pinwheel Blanket and is from Crochet Home by Emma Lamb. The last thing I need is a new blanket to be thinking about, but I like the fresh take on the traditional granny square motif here. 

:: Nesting ::



I found a drawer full of bits and bobs I'd unpacked last spring but hadn't wanted to put up straight away. Garlands, curtain tie backs, the odd ornament. 


It doesn't surprise me that, after a week of incessant rain and gloom, I should be trying to fill our home with colour and decoration, small touches that lift my spirits. 



:: Getting cosy ::


It hasn't been cold this week, in fact it's been strangely mild which is quite disconcerting. Most days our heating doesn't even come on and there are still flowers in all the front gardens around here. I still have geraniums going strong in the pots by the front door! But this damp grey weather still makes me want to hurry home and get cosy, even if it is too mild to light the stove.


(Thank you so much for your comments lately, in particular those about the blanket. I am glad not to be the only parent dealing with a moody child!)



Joining in with Jennifer's Winter Project Link Party.



38 comments:

Caz.P. said...

Lovely picture of your boy enjoying the fireworks. Photo's taken on your phone capture the natural....rather than posing for the camera. I'm sure you are pleased with that one.

VeggieMummy said...

Your ginger cake looks delish - just the thing for Bonfire Night. I do love the painting of the skull too and Angus looks so sweet snuggled up with his badger and a blankie. Wishing you a great week. xx

the linen cloud said...

Oh yum! I'd love a slice of your ginger cake just now. I'm waiting for our roast chicken to finish cooking and I'm ravenous! ;) BEEN XX

the linen cloud said...

Bee, I officially despise autocorrect! X

Katie Bedlow said...

Bonfire night is certainly a special tradition, and tasty food like that scrum my ginger cake is a must have too, brilliant idea! Hope you've had a cosy weekend, why do I think November is just going to fly by??? Katie x

http://long-may-she-rain.blogspot.co.uk

Jo said...

My big girl enjoyed fireworks for the first time this year, it was really special. I see another fabulous blanket on the horizon. Jo x

CJ said...

Your cake looks good in any light Gillian. I made a curry yesterday with lentils and one or two things that were past their best and some coriander on top. Love coriander. How fab that your library has magazines to borrow. Do they have Zinio as well? (An free online magazine reading thing). We do, but it's not the same as actually flicking through a real magazine. Not the same at all. It has been damp hasn't it. I feel I may have shrunk a size or two over the weekend through the dampness. Nice and cosy now though, I lit some tealights in the kitchen windowsill earlier, they were so cheery. Wishing you a good week. CJ xx

Christina said...

I would have liked to shrink a size or two.... x

Christina said...

Angus expression is priceless, full of wonder and amazement. Have a lovely week. x

Susan Smith said...

A lovely post Gillian. I borrow magazines these days from the library instead of buying, though they only have limited ones that I read, but it's good anyway. l do like that bias granny square rug, but am in the middle of Spice of Life cal and definitely don't need anymore projects either. As for weather, it's been pretty mad here too. I made a ginger cake yesterday too. Have a good week and take care.

Librarian said...

Over here, the first week of November has been as warm and sunny (just not with so many hours of sunlight) as it sometimes gets in late spring or early summer - 20 Celsius wasn't so rare during the day! So there wasn't much need for colour indoors, and there still is plenty of it outdoors, with many flowers still blooming and the strangely contrasting autumnal leaves everywhere.
But I know what you mean about wanting to put up colourful garlands and ornaments in your house after a grey and rainy week; I do the same with my clothes, dressing in bright magentas or blues on particularly gloomy days to counteract the greyness.

reclaimed dining table said...

Wonderful November! You really had great time. Thanks for sharing your journey!

mags said...

Happy memories of fireworks and air writing with sparklers! Hating this damp wet and now windy weather, where are the crisp autumn days? Xxx

Ali Whale said...

My daughter couldn't bear the noise of bonfire night so for years we have stayed inside. Finally at 16 she has got over it and went to three different firework displays. I wish she had been more like Angus, truly I do.......
Ginger cake looks delicious even in flat light!

Sandra (Cherry Heart) said...

Oh G, you are a star! I'm so impressed that you still find time to post and that you still have time to make cakes and lovely dinners. And that one looks so yummy! I'm not a natural cook by any means, so if I'm under any pressure, it's usually the first thing to suffer. I'll still feed you, but I it probably won't be pretty or inspiring! ;)
Your posts always make me feel better. I suppose it would be easy to find your wonderful calm posts sickening, but actually you always cheer me up no end and make me feel like happy cozy family life is possible whatever else is going on. Thank you for that, you treasure!!

S x

Marion Ogden said...

I'm glad you enjoyed the fireworks. It was raining here all week last week and we just stayed in and watched the fireworks from the kids' bedroom window. We've been cooking a lot with squashes too- risottos and soups. The dish you made with squash, chicken and rice looks very yummy. I might try that too. Have a good week! X

Cecily Graham - At Home in the Thirties said...

November is always a nice surprise. Somehow I forget about all the fun things like bonfire night and spicy food. I love the cosying up that happens, even when it is as mild as this. Angus looks very content in that last photograph.

heather gilmour said...

It's impressive that you can knit, can't wait to see your blanket - this in the magazine looks really good.
That squash and rice and chicken meal looks very delicious, great idea to floze some soup earlier.

Kisses,
Carpet cleaning Chelsea

Saskia said...

The thai squash, chicken soupy curry looks gorgeous! Random question, do your kids eat that kind of thing too or do you cook something different for them? I'm stuck in such a rut with what to cook my kids these days!

Leanne Paxton said...

Hey Gillian,
I just love that last picture of Angus sat in the chair. I'm enjoying November too, although I still need to get out and tidy up the garden. Rain stopped play last week, and we seem set for more. Olly doesn't care for fireworks; he doesn't like the loud bangs. I really like them though. It was always a big event when I was little.
Have a good week, lovely girl.
Leanne xx

Penny said...

Lovely bright sparks of colour round your home, beautiful. I rate Nigella's Christmas book too, it's very good X

Heldasland said...

The cake looks lovely . This weekend I baked her marzipan cake from the website. I had no idea libraries would have copies of crochet magazines, I have scribbled it down in my notebook ,things to do.

Gillian Roe said...

They would never eat that, sadly! We all try to eat together two or three nights a week, depending on things like after school activities and when my husband gets home from work, but often the kids eat around five or six and we eat later when they're in bed, and that's when we cook the really spicy noodle or rice based dishes the kids would turn their noses up at.

Gillian x

Caroline said...

What lovely photos in your post - my favourite is your little boy snuggled under your blanket. Isn't that the best, seeing our hard work being used and loved and creating memories for them?

aspiritofsimplicity said...

I just love the round granny square blanket that sweet little boy is cuddled up in. we have had much the same weather....a bit to warm for this time of year and it is messing with my inner calendar. However, I will not complain about not having to pay for the heat yet....especially after last year. As for advice on moody children...mine are grown now and having children of their own. The only advice I can give you is that this too shall pass.

cassie said...

Your curry looks amazing! I love the pattern of the pinwheel blanket too. We've had a lot of rainy grey days here too, but with flowers still blooming in the garden. I should check my library for knitting magazines, although I have enough current knitting projects to last me to next spring. I probably shouldn't tempt myself...

Sarah said...

I think we could all learn a thing or two from Angus. A really lovely cosy post Gillian, I love stopping by here.

❤Coco Rose❤ said...

Such a lovely, homely post Gillian. I just received Emma Lamb's Book and it is really nice. I do like that blanket too, but I REALLY need to hold off on the blanket making for a while. She has a cushion pattern that I like a lot so I'm thinking that might be a nice make. I hadn't even thought that Library's loaned out magazines. Such a good idea. I find crochet magazines a bit hit and miss these days.

Oh and well done for Bella's blanket. I wish I had your stamina. I once tried to make Baby Bear a bed blanket in his choice of colours, but they really clashed with me, and I got half way through it, and just couldn't carry on. Luckily he had lost interest, so I didn't have to finish it. Picking it up and working on it was like nails on a blackboard!!!!

Have a super rest of a week x

driftwood said...

I think the water makes me soggy and expand not shrink........

driftwood said...

ooh we have a pumpkin ready to be turned into something, I think your curry soup is just what I need to do with it x

Gillian said...

It's so mild here too. Last night - about 10pm - it was still 15.5 C! Some of our summer days this year weren't much warmer than that. Mind you, we're having a lot of rain with the mildness!

Jacqueline said...

It's been very mild here but in the evenings I still like to feel cosy. It might not mean putting the heating on but throwing a blanket over my legs and feet does the trick.
That blanket is very unusual and could be an interesting project. I really like pumpkin soup and roasted squashes, your chicken dish sounded quite yummy.

Jennifer said...

Hi Gillian, thank you for joining in with my link party. I liked seeing what you've been up to lately. Sorry the weather hasn't been nicer, but it's good to know it's not too cold at least. I still have geraniums in bloom too, but I think it's only because they're in a sheltered place. They survive hailstorms too. Your cooking and baking all sound great. You're such an adventurous cook, I really need to work on that over here because our food is boring lately. :)

galant said...

I used to love Bonfire Night (or Guy Fawkes' Night we used to call it when I was a child) when our boys were at primary school (the 1970s) but now fireworks are being ignited for weeks before Nov 5th, and even tonight someone had a firework display locally, so I just stood at our kitchen door an watched! It seems people have money to burn (literally). Hearing fireworks exploding for weeks on end has somehow spoilt what used to be a really fun annual festival. We always went to the Bonfire Night at our boys' school, and husband even used to help set up the display and ignite the fireworks, and there was a huge bonfire and hot dogs and it was great fun. I think with the Trick or Treat nonsense and pumpkin mania, for they seem to be everywhere at the end of October, Guy Fawkes' Night has taken a back seat. I'd much rather keep to our traditional commemoration than import the American festival, but I expect I'm alone in this.
I love the blankets you have made - they are gorgeous! Or as Craig Revel Whatsit would say, "Gor-jussss!"
Margaret P

The Creative Academic said...

That cake does look good - I like the Nigella Christmas book too :) Its been so rainy and foggy here this last week or so I was so excited when the sun appeared. What a great idea to borrow magazines form the library! That blanket is a stunner. I'm not sure if they do that here in Leeds...I'm usually in the children's section trying to stop the smallest girls from ripping books! I love the extra decoration you've added around your home. I've found some things I want to put up and bought a frame for a fab self portrait the biggest girl did. Great post Gillian...hope you're having a good week. xx

Alison said...

Yes, ginger cake here too, it's such a Novembery cake isn't it? Your curry does look good, I love that kind of food. That Emma Lamb blanket looks amazing, I wonder if it's as tricky as it looks. You'll have to let us know!! xx

Jane said...

I love spicy butternut squash soup and I love the idea of using it as a base for another dish as you have with the chicken, it sounds wonderful. Emma Lamb's granny pinwheel blanket is a stunner, I don't need to start another blanket either but I have to say I'm tempted too. Enjoy the rest of the week xx

Lisa said...

Angus' face really is a picture as he watched those fireworks, what a memory to treasure.
Lovely to have such bright splashes of colour around the house, you're right even though it's been mild it has been very grey and that just makes things a bit blah.
Lisa x