Vegan MoFo: Happy New Year!

Contrary to what you might think I have not gone mad…although 31 days of MoFo could do that.

Samhain, or Halloween, is the old new year and I feel entirely happy adopting it as my own. So much better than the usual New Year, or Hogmanay as it’s known in Scotland, where the purpose is to get hammered. The old New Year begins at dusk so I guess that technically it’s not the new year yet…but lets not get pedantic.

A Traditional part a of new year is making resolutions but more recently I prefer goals. Goals can’t be broken and are something to strive towards where, as everyone knows, resolutions are made to be broken.

So here are three food goals which are doable and achievable:

1) Work more wheat free meals into my diet.

This isn’t because I have any allergy or intolerance and I have no intention of giving up wheat at all but with toast for breakfast, couscous for lunch and pasta for dinner ,well, even I can see it’s verging on excessive. It’s far too easy an option and wheat is pervasive, sneaking into so many things. Variety is good, it is the spice of life after all, so I must expand my carbohydrate repertoire. Just not too sure how yet.

2)Eat as seasonally as possible.

You know…without being too precious about it. I am a major proponent of seasonal eating and we already do our bit but I’m all for more! I truly believe that eating produce which is appropriate to your season is healthier for you. There are many reasons why, in the northern hemisphere anyway, we should eat roots in autumn and winter and fresh leafy salads in spring and summer. I know that automatically I am drawn to warmer, earthier meals in the winter months and lighter, cooler foods in the summer. That’s  not to say that salads can’t be eaten in winter but base them on carrot, beetroot, cabbage and celeriac rather than tomatoes, peppers and lettuce. Anyway, before I get off topic, seasonal foods shall be increased…except lemons. I can’t not have lemons!

3) Get back to preserving.

I love having a cupboard full of pickles, chutneys, jams and other preserves. Others might find it pointless and time consuming but I find it calming and a necessary part of connecting me to the seasons. Also, it’s a sneaky way of eating unseasonal fruits and vegetables legitimately without them being in season!

So those are my food goals for my new year. Have you any goals for the new year?

Vegan MoFo: Waffle failure to pancake success

Every 6 months I get an overwhelming urge to try making vegan waffles. Out comes the waffle iron with its caked on debris from last times failure and I gently pick and scrape until its shiny and inviting. I read through all the troubleshooting tips , heat it up, oil it and pour in the batter only to be greeted with a mashed up mess (from opening it too soon) or a hard exterior with hollow innards (when I leave it too long). Ultimately the problem stems from the fact that here in Scotland a waffle is made from potato and should be served with tomato ketchup. I have no idea what a flour based waffle should be like.

However, while in the midst of a disastrous waffle session I made the wondrous discovery that the waffle batter makes the best pancakes (or drop scones) ever. Great straight out the pan, great cold, great toasted the next day. They’re not too sweet (I use plain unsweetened yogurt), they’re light and they’re fluffy.

vegan blueberry pancakes vegan drop scones

(The recipe I use is the Blueberry Waffle recipe from Vegan Yum Yum and I should probably clarify that there is nothing wrong with the waffle recipe just my capabilities and Hannah has infinitely more luck with battered goods than me. Have a look at her waffles with blueberry cream  and her pancakes with berry sauce.

Epic posting fail!

My computer has been commandeered for the writing of an MSc thesis. Surely blogging beats dissertations? No? Oh well. Posting will now be sporadic from me until April. In theory this should mean I can amass a backlog of posts on the iPod but alas I will probably use this time for gaming…

Technical problems

I’ve not abandoned the blog but I’m having a few technical issues, namely my computer has decided it no longer recognises my camera. Thanks computer. I have no more patience for it all tonight so I’ll look at it again in daylight.

vegan rock buns

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I made rock buns yesterday after there were complaints about the lack of baked goods in the house. Yes. Seriously. I'm bemused but, oh my, how I love rock buns so no real complaints here. I had a total flashback to childhood making and eating these. (Usual substitutions apply to the recipe…vegan 'butter', vegan milk and don't bother with the egg. It will hold together just fine.)

 And here's the conversation we had before the above photo was taken…

Me: you've eaten 4 of them already?!
Him: I'm sure I've only had 3…
Me: you had 3 before I even went upstairs! And I just saw you eat another.
Him: they're just small…like air really. It's  the same as eating celery…


Turning creativity cant’s into can dos

PICT0039

(Just to tease you!)

I have a banoffee pie recipe to share, but not until Monday. No reason  other than I am a cruel woman. I also have a cinnamon roll recipe that I may or may not wait until the following Monday to share because not only am I cruel but evil.

You see Thursday's are for wittering and waffling and Monday's are for recipes and rambunctiousness. Something like that.

You will be pleased to hear I wont be boring you with my on going organisation, other than it is miraculously continuing, and I won't detail my new home cleaning regime, as that's far too domestic and housewifey. No today it's all about creativity.

I have always felt that I'm not a 'creative' type and that my lot in life is to be a very practical person. You know, that person who is always unflappable and calm in a crisis. Practical.  I've always felt that creativity is for other people…artists, graphic designers, sewers, knitters, crafters,sculptors, makers…not for me then. When I was at school, primary and secondary, I was the quintessential average student. There was nothing I excelled at, mostly I was average but some things I failed miserably at. I couldn't draw, I couldn't sew, I couldn't knit…I couldn't create. I couldn't even grasp the basic concepts of how to do these things, they seemed so abstract! I have such strong memories about being baffled about how to even start off sewing and sure enough anything I made would somehow unravel and fall apart and I'd still be left feeling bemused. Worse still to have what you have just sewn ripped apart, literally, by a sadistic sewing teacher. Art was even worse and it got to the point when I stopped doing my homework entirely so that I wouldn't get another D scribbled across it.

Its not until the last 5 or 6 years that I have really started to get over some of my school day hangups and realise that I can do all these things. It's helped that I have realised that 'creativity' has a broader scope and definition than I previously thought. I write regularly on this blog…isnt that creative? I have taught myself to crochet…isn't that creative? I can sew reversible baby trousers when I havent sewn in years…isnt that creative? I can garden, create new recipes and develop unusual herbal recipes. All these things are creative. I'm learning in my own way, at my own pace and am now no longer afraid of making mistakes because this is how I learn

Right, enough of the baring the soul. I want this year to be the year I really unleash my creativity. Yeah, sure, everything has already been done but not by me. I'm not going to get too hung up about originality. So here is how i plan to approach my creative year.

  • I will not hoard sketch books/notebooks but use them instead I have a terrible habit of collecting notebooks and then either get quite annoyed when they get used by others or am so terrified of filling them with utter drivel that they remain blank and untainted.

 

  • I will not worry about the contents of said notebook. No one else has to see it. 

 

  • Anything I make must be either practical and therefore not clutter or so fabulously fabulous that it must stay in my house forever and become a much coveted item by all who come visit.

 

  • I will not permit further UFOs in this house as there are enough of them already! UFOs (unfinished objects) will be completed before taking up new projects. So no more crocheting more interesting items until my granny square blanket is complete! (although it's gone from a full size blanket to a cot size and now a dolls bed sized blanket…I may manage to complete that).

 

  • I will not take on unmanageable projects in terms of size (see above) or ability (therefore no launching in with a self drafted coat).

 

  • I will not let doubt or flashbacks to school days cramp my creativity. I'm a big girl now and don't have unmotivating and uninspiring teachers breathing down my neck whispering words of negativity in my ears. I am a creative person and have the ability to master anything I desire (so up yours Miss Stewart (my evil sewing teacher) and the drunk art teacher who I can't remember the name of but know she drank cheap sherry in the art store cupboard.)

 

  • I will not inflict unwanted handmade goods on everyone I know, including my child. I will not force badly made gifts onto my loved ones…but if I hate you then oh, yes, I shall gift you the worst items I can, insist you wear them and then ask about them all the time. If I particularly despise you I shall make sure your name is on it so you can't give it away either… Bwhahaahahahahaha.

I think that's everything. Anybody else got any ideas on how to be/stay creative? What do you feel your creative outlet is?