Wintertime :: cozy inside

20081031 (Small)

I love being outside during summer, but in the colder seasons I like the feel of being inside. The warmth and light in the house is a shelter from the cold and dark outside.
Peeking in through my own kitchen window, standing in the cold to take the picture I had in mind, made me appreciate it even more….

Wintertime :: dressing warm

The good thing about chilly weather is that you can dress yourself to keep warm, while it’s impossible to undress enough to keep cool during a heatwave.
I took out, washed and sorted all the hats, scarfs and gloves. I like how many stuff is knit by me in that big pile.

20081030 (2) (Small)

In summer the coat rack is usually kind of empty, and we store our bath towels on top of it (to use when we take a swim to battle that heatwave). Now it looks full and cozy.

20081030 (Small)

(Yeah, I know, all fake fur. It seems kind of hard to buy a coat without it.)

Speaking of wearing things I knit myself: I finished the pullover. Sadly it’s a bit to tight. I knew I had to pick a slightly bigger size, but I was afraid I would run out of yarn. So now I have a tight sweater and five balls left. Anyway, I do like it. It is kind of hard to see in the picture, but it is a rather simple v-neck sweater. The only special thing about it are the sleeves, they are knit sideways in k2, p2 ribbing.

20081030 (1) (Small)

(I do not like taking pictures of myself. I do not like any pictures of myself. But it will have to do…)

Wintertime :: comfortfood

Colder weather brings a different appetite. I’m slowly changing from salads and stir-frying to old-fashioned dutch dishes like this “boerenkool met worst” (kale with smoked sausage – we cook the sausage on top of the potatoes and the kale, and eat the kale mashed together with the potatoes).

20081029 (Small)

And for lunch: tosti (ham and cheese on white bread, toasted together in a special iron – no idea if this is something typical dutch, but I can’t find a translation for the word).

20081029a (Small)

The tablecloth is the one I was soaking a month ago . The stains got out, so it’s back on the table!

Wintertime :: warm feet

20081028 (Small)

(I had no idea this was going to be a series, until I started coming up with ideas for more warm and cozy pictures. I like it, it keeps me more positive about loosing the light and knowing that there will be lots of wet, cold, dark and dreary times before the days lengthen again. So now it’s a series for the rest of the week.)

Hot water bottles… We had them for the babies of course, but I gave them away when the kids grew up. We lived in warm, modern houses for years. But now we have this lovely but old and drafty house.
Temperatures are dropping and the beds are chilly at bedtime. I was looking for some extra blankets at the thriftshop, but found these. Perfect!
There was only one cozy though, so I’d better start knitting.

Wintertime :: candlelight

We switched to wintertime this weekend. Or, as the weatherman said, we switched back to time, since this is our original status,without daylight saving (GMT+1). I am going to miss the light, the long evenings of summer, but there is one good thing about these dark days around Solstice: burning candles.

20081027 (1) (Small)

There is something about that glow that makes me feel so cozy, warm and safe…

20081027 (Small)

Pumpkin try-out

20081026 (Small)

I tried some of the things in the comments of last post. I cooked half the pumpkin in a roastpan, with a bit of water. That worked great, it was soft in no time! I mashed the flesh with some butter and cinnamon. The other half I chopped, sprinkled it with olive oil, salt and pepper and than put it in the oven at 175 degr (Celsius) and for about 30 minutes.
Great recipes! But… we discovered we don’t really like the taste of pumpkin. Ahem… Yeah, I feel kind of stupid to confess that. But than again, how many not-dutch-people like the taste of liquorice (we love it, the salter the better!)? We didn’t really hate the pumpkin, but we just didn’t think it was something we wanted to try again. For us the taste was something in between the tastes of potatoes and carrot (the big ones we use for “hutspot”). Not sweet, not neutral. I don’t know. It must have something to do with regional taste. Anyway, it was nice to try it and I finally managed to cook it right.
Thanks for the help!
Oh, almost forgot! I roasted the seeds. The kids love them. They want me to buy pumpkins just for the seeds now…

I need your help

20081024 (1) (Small)

Today I’m asking for your help. Look at the pumpkin I bought today. It isn’t feeling quite right, between my oh so dutch collection of vintage kitchen stuff. And that’s just the thing I need help with.  We do get pumpkins (edible ones – the very little cute ones for decoration are much more common) here since a few years and I’d love to cook something with it like pumpkins soup, or pumpkin pie.
I tried cooking with a pumpkin before and it ended up… well…quite a disaster. I know now that you use the stuff close to the outside, and throw the seedy inside away like you would with a melon. 
But now I still don’t know what to do with it. There are so many recipes around, but I get overwhelmed by them, since these are all based on some knowledge of how-to-cook-a-pumpkin. Also, I’m not sure about the difference between squash and pumpkins.

20081024 (Small)

Anyway, I think my american blogfriends know much more about pumpkins, so I thought I’d ask you guys. What’s your favorite (easy) recipe with a little pumpkin? This one is 1,8 kilo’s/ 4 pounds. Will that be enough (there are five of us) or do I need to go and look for a bigger one?

Thanks in advance!

An even bigger mess

20081023 (Small)

The reality of “making things” in a small home…
Um yeah, I should be using my sparse sewing time to finish more of those zippered pouches, but I got distracted by my half-finished quilt.
(that and the fact that putting in zippers does not combine with handling bickering teenagers).
I had to push all the furniture aside to lay it out, it is bigger than I intended. That does happen to me, it shows that I’m not good with measurements, doesn’t it?
I’m going to tie this one, it seems right for those simple squares. Also it just doesn’t fit through my simple machine.
Someday I’m going to buy myself a quilting hoop though and try to hand quilt.

New bag and sewing for Sinterklaas

It felt like ages since I last sat down to sew. No inspiration. But I was still using the bag I made myself last spring and I really needed something else. Of course I still had this one (the very first bag I made!) and this one (first with zipper), but I really liked the elastic pocket. That pocket was everything I hoped it to be. So easy when I’m working (I’m a freelance reporter) to be able to just pull out my notebook and pen, instead of having to open zippers or dig around in a big tote.
This bag has the same big elastic frontpocket, with small pockets for pens and my cellphone in it. Inside the main bag there are two zippered pockets and it closes with a zipper. I think I finally get the hang of putting in zippers!

20081022 (Small)

That’s why I went ahead and used up some of my bigger scraps to make these zippered pouches. I think I will make more, fill them with something appropriate for each family member and use them as gifts for Sinterklaas. (Um…I hope there are no family members who read this blog instead of or next to my dutch blog!) Oh yes, only six weeks left! I really need to start making and buying. Such fun!

20081022 a (Small)

Look at the mess I make when sewing! It started out in nice little piles, but it always ends up like this…

Meanwhile outside…

our cherry tree is quickly loosing all his leaves.

20081021 (Small)

this bush (I forgot it’s name) is still going strong and it is becoming more red every day. Such beautiful deep colors!

20081021 (1) (Small)

I found this little surprise in my garden. Let’s hope there will be enough sun this week to help them turn red…

20081021a (Small)