Friday, 24 April 2020

It's the Little Things.

Hello, Lovelies!

Thank you to all of you Lovelies who commented on the last blog post. I loved reading through all your comments. It really was like visiting with old and new Friends!

It's a beautiful sunny, cool breezy Friday morning here in Cape Town, South Africa! 4am sharp, I'm woken by the adorable Cape Robin-Chat... a very chatty fellow mimicking over 40 other birdsong. Which it does at the top of its voice. No need for alarm clocks here. Mary Walker and her husband, William are super talented local photographers and Mary shares a daily post of the local birds in her Cape garden. Cape Robin-Chats are back in town!



I've completed all the usual household chores in record time ( before 9am ), had a lovely hot shower and made a fresh pot of coffee. One of our local supermarkets has a brilliantly user-friendly APP called Sixty60, where you get your groceries delivered to your door in an hour, so I don't need to leave the house at all. A route through the house and around the garden has been plotted and this is where Roxy and I take our daily 40minute walk. Surprisingly, I'm not bored yet with this!

For ages, I mean literally years, I've been off cooking. If meal prep is over 20minutes I don't do it. Guess what, my cooking mojo is back! I'm baking a loaf of quick soda bread every day too. Crikey, I hope this doesn't stick or I might very well open a restaurant again and abandon crochet ( hahaha...not going to happen! ). But I have enjoyed being in that headspace for a change. Chopping and sauteing things is very, very meditative which of course is relaxing. I'm grateful for these little moments and counting my blessings every day.

🌼RECIPE for my version:

Heat oven to 180c or 360f
Prepare a loaf tin.

🌼INGREDIENTS:

3     cups wholewheat all-purpose flour.
1/2  cup chickpea flour ( or any other flour of your choice ).
1t    salt
1.5t baking soda ( bicarbonate of soda ).
2     cups buttermilk ( I made vegan buttermilk using 2 cups cashew nut milk, add juice of 1 lemon, allow to stand for 15minutes).
Nuts, seeds or raisins optional.

🌼METHOD:

Mix all dry ingredients together using a whisk.
Add "buttermilk".
Mix lightly into a soft dough ( no kneading required ).

Place your dough into the loaf tin.
Bake for 20-25 minutes or until your crust is golden and sounds hollow when tapped with a spoon.





Aaaaand it's Day 29 of our national lockdown... but there is light at the end of the tunnel in that next Friday we can resume some activities ( under strict guidelines ). Most importantly, we can go for walks again! I can't wait!! Masks are compulsory wearing though, especially in public spaces. I don't mind at all seeing as I've been wearing them since the first cases appeared in Cape Town. Initially, I ordered 100 masks from a local Maker and after handing out to Fam I've been handing them out to anyone I see who isn't wearing one. They are plain 2-layer in basic navy blue so I thought of making some snazzy ones for myself. Unfortunately for me, I was decluttering a while back and gave away bags of fabric I've not used in years...Murphy's Law, in my face! Luckily, Mox and Louise ( who usually make gorgeous little dolls and other lovely things )  started making them, using beautiful washable cotton floral prints, three- layered with a filter fabric insert and darted in various spots to fit perfectly. Of course, I bought six ...I mean who doesn't want flowers on their face? Not me! 😀




































Some little things that made me happy this week:

A new visitor to our garden who is trying to court Augusta ( she's not interested ). We've called him Mr Big. He's not a stray but belongs to a new noisy Fam who moved in two houses down from us.



Little Things 2:

My little roses bloomed! I was stupidly happy!




In between all the usual Life-In-Lockdown...hahaha... joking, it's freaking surreal most times, nothing normal about it, I have been in Crochetland. Part 4 of Green Tea will be ready next Friday. There will definitely be a Part 5. I'm itching to get this Throw completed because my mind has a backlog piling up of ideas in lockdown, nagging to see the light of day. Also, my new yarn which arrived just before lockdown has teased me mercilessly. I feel another Throw coming on!



So saying, I better get on with it, right?

I would love to hear about the little things you are grateful for during these VERY challenging times? Let me know? I've picked five random winners from last week's GIVEAWAY so you should find your FREE pattern in your Ravelry library by now. Enjoy! 💗

Today our GIVEAWAY is: the Sarin Lace Shawl by Sylwia Kawczynska ( there is a free version available on her blog but I'm sure you'd prefer an ad-free printable pattern? ).
If you comment DO NOT FORGET TO ADD YOUR RAVELRY NAME! 😊

Lovelies, I hope you have a super enjoyable weekend!
Stay safe 🌼 Stay calm 🌼 and Crochet on!

💗 Jen












27 comments:

  1. I just love reading your blog and musings. You certainly are keeping busy during lockdown.
    I can completely identify with your cooking philosophy, exactly the same a mine, the only time I spend more time, is when I cook a hearty soup or stew which I then freeze, so that later I'll have several ready-made meals.

    I love the picture of your cotton yarns, such yummy colours (I use Raesaah often). I can't wait to see what youb have in stall for them.

    We eagerly await the next installment of Green Tea. Your designs are always such a delight to make.

    Stay safe
    Regards
    René

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    1. Hi, Rene...I've been making lots of soups too seeing as it's been cold, rainy and windy here in CT. I really love the colour range for Raesaah...I think that's why I got them ( I might actually just marvel at the colours and never make a thing with them! ). I hope your weekend is enjoyable at home! xox

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  2. Your short video is darling ... there is something very soothing and peaceful in watching kitties play! Your little roses are beautiful and has inspired me to search the shops for some and place on my small patio ... this lockdown has been a challenge ... your crochet patterns have saved me!! Currently working on a second Karoo and then will begin the Green Tea ... I am using your tutorials for the Karoo ... it’s like crocheting with a friend ... Cape Town sounds glorious ... we are having beautiful Spring days here in Valley Center, Kansas!

    Your bread recipe sounds yummy ... I may try it this afternoon. I have been baking for the grandkids ... cookies seem to be their passion!

    Stay safe and well ... crochet on and keep your beautiful creations coming!

    Sheri. 💐🧶

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    Replies
    1. Hello, Sheri! Thanks for stopping by! You must get those roses. For years I tried growing them in our sandy coastal soil but failed miserably! Then decided to try them in pots with rose mix soil...why didn't I think of that before! Now I have 5 different Roses growing in pots and what a joy! I'm so glad you're enjoying the tutorials! Happy weekend and stay safely home. xox

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  3. Lovely post... Our autumn days in Maroeladal (in Randburg) are amazing too! Lockdown days have provided some surprises.... Many more birds, their singing is so joyful.... And the day and night skies are gloriously clear! Stay safe and well, Pat xx

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  4. Oh Pat what can be more lovely than a highveld autumn or winter? I miss them so much. I'm not complaining, CT has it's lovely bits too but I'm highveldt born and bred and it's in ones bones! Your words bring back smells, sounds and sights. I used to live in Muldersdrift before Randburg even existed! I was a teen then and used to hitch-hike from our small holding to Northcliff almost every day! Good times. :D I hope you have a lovely weekend! xox

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  5. Oh Jen, there's so many to be thankful for, my garden, kitties and chicken, my kids and their friends, my friends who reach out, my neighbours. The absolute stunning weather what ofcourse leads to a burned nose which even after factor 50 still will burn. As a redhead with a pointy nose unavoidable. I love to cook and bake my own bread and cakes, coeliakie, animal protein and lactose intolerant makes the choice easy. My curries are famous as my Himalayan pepper hotpot. XD Sons take the train if they heard I baked a torte. So I bribe them a lot ;>P Love your little roses in pot. I fight the Japanese rose beetle who eat my rose buds, together with my cats who catch them and the tits who eat them and feed them to their babies. Darn public grass that is used as nursery for their larvea. Grass is awful, costs to much water, uses to much pesticides to grow and gives so much pests.Make gardens people, lots and lots of flowers <3 <3 <3

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    1. Oh, Tineke I laughed how you "bribe" your boys with yummy food! Mothers, we are all the same! :D I'm battling beetles too that hide in the roses and stop them from blooming.It sounds like all is as well as can be on your side, and the lovely weather helps so much to keep everyones spirits up, right? Hugs to you! xox

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  6. Hi Jen, dare I blaspheme....the join I have found during our Australian lockdown is lying in the grass in the backyard with my dogs (not a cat in sight I am afraid - my dogs would not allow them). It is fun to rediscover the joys of youth when lying on the grass looking at the clouds or trees filled one with wonderment. Unfortunately, my time of wonderment is usually disrupted by my dogs playing on top of me, even though they have a nearly an acre to romp in! They do make me laugh and remind me to enjoy the moment. Relish the small things everyone and remember if times get tough grab a ball of brightly coloured wool and crochet your way out of it. 🥰😜

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    1. That sounds like just the loveliest thing to do, cloud watching under a blanket of dogs! :D Add yarn and you have a perfect prescription for getting through lockdown ( and life! ). Thanks for that lovely image, Anya! xox

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  7. I have a Cape Robin that lives in the tree outside my bedroom window (and I live three traffic lights away from Muldersdrift!) I have to be honest, I'm enjoying the slower pace of life enforced by the lock-down. I enjoy hanging up the washing in the chilly morning air (endless pairs of pyjamas... ha ha)and then taking it down in the warmth of the later morning. I love the smell of baking bread or cake or biscuits - I suspect the family may demand I carry on with this even after we are let back into the wild!I have fun walking my five (yes!) doggies round and round the garden, getting lost in the grass that badly needs a cut. I enjoy not having to drive to school in the early morning with that low sun blinding me in the eyes, though online classes still start at the same ridiculous time. I enjoy doing the ironing - no school or work shirts. Mostly I am thankful for all the crochet time I'm getting though my stash is somewhat diminishing.

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    1. I used to live in Mulderdrift, on a smallholding. My folks had a 40hectare spot out there. That was waaaaaaaaay back though, even before Randpark Ridge. Honeydew shops was more like a padstal and I used to hitch hike from Mulderdrift through to Northcliff most days. Different times then. I'm fascinated how your Robin van die Kaap finds it way there? Hahahaha...endless pairs of PJ's ( samesies! ).I think we need to dial back the baking before everyone starts taking it for granted! I baked "proper" bread yesterday ( yeast and kneading involved ) and the Mr demolished half the loaf as soon as it was cool enough to slice...he better not get any ideas! :D I hope you have a fabulous weekend! Hugs from Cape Town. xox

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  8. I feel like I'm visiting a friend as I sit quietly by my computer with a cup of coffee watching and crocheting. You have challenged me and it is quite thrilling. I love your cookies, as a cake decorator I'm very impressed with your creations. I've made two masking, mine has sequins and my husbands is plain. Went to the food store at 7 am , it only had 10 people, I had my mask , gloves and a jacket with a hood, it is so surreal this experience. I'm writing about my adventures to the food and craft store, especially my conversation with the robot that was wandering around the market. I also find myself counting everything especially when I was cutting the grass. Thank you again for all the free patterns to have released, it is greatly appreciated. Stay well and keep on hooking.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for visiting, Mary Anne and I'm very happy to hear that you are enjoying the patterns. It is a very surreal experience going to the shops isn't it and what is even more strange is that we are expereincing this as a collective. I try not to overthink this. These days I prefer to get a food delivery rather than go out.It made me laugh when you mentioned talking to the store robot! That sounds like fun! And counting the grass as you cut...I do exactly the same! :D Take care, stay well, happy weekend! xx

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  9. Hi Jen, Its hard times for everyones. We are at home of course, days are running after us. My little boys homeworks, online lessons and the same time we works at home. Want to do lots of things so try to do them one by one. I sewed some masks for myself but its not enjoying things to do. I hope the worst is behind us and the light is near.

    Stay safe
    Hatice, from Turkey 🥰

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    Replies
    1. It sure is hard and strange times, Hatice! When I read through the comments I realise how we are coping with this situation in very similar ways. Mostly we all just do what we can and make the best of it. I hope with all my heart as we all do, that in a few more weeks things can begin to return to some sort of normal but I'm realistic and know that it will be many months before we can all breathe a huge sigh of relief that this is behind us. Sending you a big hug from Cape Town, South Africa! xox

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  10. What timing! I was going to make some Irish Soda bread this morning but didn't want to use 4 cups of wheat flour, and need non dairy milk. You saved me from looking for it! Thank you :)
    Grateful here for supplies to make food. We tried a delivery service. Paid $26 USD for the service but it was worth it.
    The teeth on Mr Big look really large in the video. Nice to have visitors though. We have birds at our feeders. Had a nest in the wreath on our front door, but it didn't stay and another larger bird knocked it out. :(
    Spring is springing out around us here on the NY/PA border in USA. Surrounded by forsythia blossoms and it's beautiful.
    Thanks for brightening my day!
    https://www.ravelry.com/people/RobWillson

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    1. Wow, Robin that was an expensive delivery. Luckily here, the delivery is free for most, and if they do charge it's a very low fee especially if it's a grocery delivery. I will count that as a small blessing! Oh my gosh, forsythia blooms, how lovely!!! I'm glad the recipe was useful! Mr Big is twice the size of my girls...you should see the size of his paws! :D Keep safe and well, and wishing you a very happy weekend! xox

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  11. Hi Jen, I am working hard to sterilize and disinfect to protect our staff and clients from this awful virus. I get so much enjoyment reading your posts and joining in when I can. I fell asleep on the couch last night but that might just be old age. I am so grateful for everything right now as you just don't know what tomorrow will bring. Take care, stay safe,.

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    1. Kathy, that does sound like very hard but very important work and on top of everything else you are doing... you are a superstar! I'm not at all surprised you fell asleep on the couch! PLEASE remember to also take very good care of yourself! Huge hugs to you and thank you for everything you are doing to keep others safe. xox

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  12. Oh Jen. Spring is the best. Fall for you I suppose. Lol. I have daffodils just about to bloom. And my strawberries are growing. And I noticed today that a shrub that I thought didnt make it through winter has little teeny tiny leaves starting!!! Very exciting for me. My favorite time of year. It's as if mother nature flipped a switch. We had snow in March. ��. Loving your blogs and your excitement. Happy crocheting AmyTheGR8 on rav....

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    1. I love Spring and Autumn ...but Winter especially. Feel free to send us your March snow as it's still pretty hot here! :D I also get SO excited when I see bits of growth appearing from something I thought had died back. Thank you for visiting...I always enjoy your comments! Hugs!

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  13. Hey Jen, love your weekly blog posts! Sounds like Cape Town is having fabulous weather at the moment. I am finding joy in watching my littles "get it" during our school sessions, its been really special. Also in the quiet mornings before the humans and furkids wake up I listen to all the birds (roosters and hadedahs mostly)... and spending time in the garden weeding, that is special! Oh! Yes I have also discovered the joys of baking bread :) life in the slow lane really appeals to me :) take care out there - your floral masks look awesome! Lots of love from me xxx
    Azelee on ravelry

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  14. Thank you so much for visiting, Charmaine! It's always lovely to see you here. Oh you days sound lovely...the slow life suits me too and I'm thinking many people everywhere will miss this "down time" when it's finally behind us. In many ways it's so much closer to how we should naturally live if we didn't have to work so hard to make a living. Although I do miss the freedom of making my own choices in this regard. Ah yes, those golden moments before the house wakes up...we are old friends too. Wishing you many happy moments. Lots of love back, take care, stay well! xox

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  15. Hi Jen! I am so enjoying your blog these days....a ray of brightness through the "stay at home" gloominess. And I really,really,really must thank you for the wonderful recipe. For the first time I have made a soda bread that is edible.... and so "more-ish"! We are enjoying the 4th loaf today, with some homemade orange marmalade.

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