Stocking up

Even though I am spending copious amounts of time painting rooms in various colours in my head and figuring out exactly where the herb spiral might be located in our paved wonderland out the back of our new place… there are still plenty of real world things going on right now to keep us busy and plenty of other things which will occupy the next 60-90 days before we actually get to move in.
This week is all about hurried baking, hurried rough drafts to be sent through to clients, hurried last minute market visits, hurried decisions about salads to serve on Christmas day and hurried pre-christmas get togethers. Fortunately (oh so fortunately!) I haven’t had to hurry my contribution to December’s Month of Softies – I finished it the night before last, calmly sewing the lining into place rather than frantically throwing it together which has been my habit until now. Here it is hanging in the lemon tree. You can see that I have drawn pretty heavily from the cushion I spotted in Home Companion magazine which you can see here. I tried to put my own twist on it but I am not sure how successful that was…

It’s pretty huge – more like a Christmas Ugg boot but perhaps it will last well into Amelia’s teenage years when Father Christmas might be asked for a pair of shoes or a lap top… ok it’s not quite that huge (nor is Father Christmas’s budget), but it’s certainly roomy. Large enough to put in this year’s heavily requested sand-pit toys.

The buttons all come from old family collections, apart from the gingerbread girls who have been in my own personal collection for a few months now. I think they’re sassy.

I used a scrap of my favourite Liberty print as one of the wrapped presents at the base of the tree. I love that fabric. I want to use it as little as possible on the most important projects so that it lasts and lasts (apparently it’s a seasonal fabric which will mean they may not get it again) but at the same time I want to splash it everywhere.

Big-P and I are doing lunch for the family on Christmas day. We have decided to go simple and recognise the fact that no one wants us to heat up the house by doing a roast so we are getting some take-away hot chickens from the very nice local hot chicken shop and then making a treasure trove of salads. My favourite will be the Chickpea Salad with Ginger Dressing – I have posted the recipe here because it’s so good:

Chickpea Salad with Ginger Dressing

1.5 cups of Chickpeas soaked overnight (but I use canned)
4 tablespoons of Ginger dressing
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 red pepper, cored, seeded and diced
2 tablespoons of chopped parsley

Ginger Dressing (makes a fair bit, keep for later! very tasty)
3/4 cup peanut oil
4 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons lemon juice
clove of garlic
2.5cm length of ginger, grated finely

Drain the chickpeas, place in pan and cover with cold water. Bring to boil and simmer for 1.5 – 2 hours or until softened, adding a little salt towards the end of cooking.
Drain thoroughly and place in a bowl.
Pour over 4 tablespoons of the dressing and toss well while still warm.
Leave to cool.
Add the remaining ingredients, toss thoroughly and transfer to a serving dish.