Thursday, 27 May 2010

when i grow up?

i have not written here for a long time, still been here visiting though, reading what my lovely sister has been up to. sometimes i feel as if we are living in a parallel world. we have been watching the same programmes, and doing similar projects, thinking similar thoughts, and the same flowers even decorate our homes. but somehow, somewhere along the road i have lost my ability to blog, or maybe i have just lost the ability to photographically record what we have been up to.

i have to admit that i have been in a bit of a creative funk which i am trying to pull myself out of. i don't mean to wallow in my lack of lustre but sometimes i find things in the creative community a little fluffy lacking the reality of life, or maybe just the reality of my life. the times when i just want to pull my hair out and scream because my child has pushed me just that little bit too far, or times when you have to stop yourself being mad because you know, its really you not them.

it is difficult not to compare yourself to all these people who seem so sorted and together. i am still not sure what i want to be when i grow up, and with my baby boy starting school soon, i really should be thinking harder about it all. so what do i enjoy doing? i love making fancy dress costumes, but i'm not sure that raspberries make much money, maybe if they teamed up with some cream.

i love my garden, these are my chilli's in there own little green houses.

and my broad beans finally in flower after so long in the ground.

i love going to the bike park with franc who has now started riding a skateboard, all his trousers have holes in the knees, he does look cool though!

i love this doodling robot too.

i love looking back at old pictures. it makes me realise how quickly time flies (an old cliche i know) but suddenly i get it. i am very grateful for every day and now i just need to find a good project to get my teeth into, and then decide what to be when i grow up.

ambika x

Sunday, 23 May 2010

focaccia and more bread making adventures

i made some focaccia bread the other day and was so impressed at how easy it was and how well it turned out. my photo does it no justice. i got the recipe from jamie's first book. i really like him. i know he gets a lot of stick but i think he does some real good out there regarding food awareness and really cares passionately about what he does. and his recipes have always been inspiring and easy to follow. he suggests various toppings for his focaccia bread, but i made up my own based on what i had in the cupboard. a handful of olives, re-hydrated sun dried tomatoes a clove of garlic and some fresh oregano from the balcony. all chopped up with a good dose of olive oil and salt and pepper. mmm it was so good and i'd love to try it with some other toppings, he mentions one with potato which sounds intriguing.

i've also been making my own flat bread lately, based on the idea from one of my favourite cookbooks casa moro that it is quicker to make your own than it is to go out to the shops to buy some at that moment. i was keen to see if this was true and it does seem to be, when you are making enough for 2 people or 2 and a half in our case. they say you need 130g flour to make 4 flat breads, then you add your yeast salt and water and knead it as much as you want. let it rest a bit or not. then roll into circles. i actually enjoy this bit and find it quite therapeutic to just focus on getting them as round as i can. we usually team up with j at the skillet cooking them as i roll out the next one. very satisfy work. we had them with lamb koftas the other day and they are good with Dal or tuna bean salad too.


Wednesday, 12 May 2010

hapazome or bashing as he likes to call it

i got this idea from my new favourite programme the edible garden where the presenter alys tries to not buy any fruit or veg for a year and just lives on what she produces in her garden. oh one day when i get a garden of my very own, but for now i can dream!!

it's a japanese technique called hapazome. so off we went and gathered lots of leaves and flowers then came home and got out the chopping board, hammer and an old cotton sheet. you just lay the flowers and leaves in between two bits of fabric and start hitting with the hammer. it's really fun and easy and you get instant results which i like and definitely appeals to a toddler. needless to say he thoroughly enjoyed the noisy bashing part and it was exciting to see what imprint each flower or leaf left behind. the bottom print is of a hawthorn leaf which turned out particularly well. i have plans to sneak off and have a go by myself some time.


Monday, 10 May 2010

by the roadside

a bunch of flowers picked from the side of the road. i love that at this time of year even the verges looks so pretty.


Friday, 7 May 2010


we made these puzzles out of pictures from magazines and card from pizza boxes, as we had to wait in all morning for a gas check. we were discussing who might turn up so i said it might be a lady and stan was sure it would be a man and it turned out to be a woman, much to stan's dismay as he kept saying 'i thought it was going to be a man', so i was pleased when it wasn't!


Wednesday, 5 May 2010

a week in the woods

we just spent a wonderful week visiting my parents. they're the ones that live in the woods. we went fishing, foraging, made boats, birds and a tent. just right for relaxing on those delicious hot days that we were lucky enough to have. the spring flowers were out and the nightingales were singing. it was just so lovely to be surrounded by all the wonderful signs of this season. and i've returned home feeling really refreshed and inspired.