So much you can do in a garden. I adore my kids, and I’m thankful for their creative abilities, but sometimes it takes s little effort to truly appreciate the ideas they come up with.
Watching the garden change from winter to early summer, as everything turns green and sprouting is awesome. Especially when you found time and energy to start your vegetable garden. Waiting and watching for the seeds to turn into plants and hopefully turn into something eatable for the family and not just the snails is excitingâ€¦or at least I think so. It looks like all my seeds turned into seedlings, and I still have a lot of seedlings in the sun-room waiting to grow into a size fit for being planted outside.
I’m still here, even tho it might not seem that way. I have been busy since late December with various projects and other stuff. One of the projects is a brand new website, for my illustration business – It’s still not completely done, but it will be very soon. For the moment I’m working on some stock illustrations, here is a small preview of those:
I’m also working on a children’s picture book; It’s about a cat and a mouse, living together in a old lighthouse. The story inspired me to try out some new texturing techniques while working on cat sketches.
And other than that, It’s spring and therefore time for gardening. I had my best friend staying with me during March and most of April, and besides cooking me the most wonderful meals, he also gave me back my veggie garden, which was in a hopeless state of decay before he came. Today the veggie garden is filled with seeds, and sprouts, and no weeds. I already planted three types of lettuce, turnips, cilantro, dill, basil, chives, parsley, eggplant, tomatillos, 3 types of chili, 4 types of bell peppers, yellow and green summer squash, and a lot of summer flowers. Most of it is still inside in the sun room waiting for the sun and warmth to take over – but the rhubarbs are huge already, and there is flowers in some of the strawberries.
Well time to go and spend time with the kiddies
This year the Christmas spirit came sneaking in on me much earlier than usual – I think i’ts due to all the snow we got outside. Whatever the reason, I felt inspired to do someÂ Holiday inspired artwork this weekend.
Ho ho ho
November has been a busy month. It seems thatÂ everyoneÂ I know were born in November. My two boys turned 3 and 5, with 4 days apart, so we have beenÂ drowningÂ in birthday parties, and homemade birthdays cakes, buns, and other goodies. And on top of that this is the season for coughing, sneezing and staying home from School andÂ kindergarten, so we have been watching a lot of cartoons. The boys have been on a Toy Story spree, and their biggest wish for their birthday was to get Â Buzzlightyear and Woody Â dolls. They did get them, and they have been playing with them ever since.
I did get to do some work this months, a lot of which I can’t show just yet, but one Â illustration that I can show, is a Blog design I did for June for her new blog: VanFlittig. November was also a lot about getting my sourdough right, and I think I finally got it this time. 2 weeks ago, IÂ succeeded getting the right crust, butÂ unfortunatelyÂ the dough collapsed when moved to the baking tray, so the crumb wasn’t perfect, but the taste was good. I ended up buying some Proving baskets, but haven’t had the time before yesterday to try them. So yesterday while making dinner, I also started a Sour Rye onion bread, and it turned out perfect when baked this morning. I’ve already made a new dough, for tomorrows bread, hoping it will turn out as nicely as todays bread.
And then winter hit us, we are covered in snow, everything is white and just magical. The boys stayed home yesterday, and after lunch we went outside to make a snowman.
And since it’s impossible not to stumble on San Francisco and Boudin, when googling for sourdough, I ended up on a page with the most mouth watering images of sourdough bread bowls with Clam Chowder. I did a search for recipes for Clam Chowder, and found a lot of different ones. However I didn’t find exactly what I wanted, so in the end I made up my own variant, inspired by the recipes I read, and based on what was available in my kitchen.
Next time I think I will substitute half of the cream with fish soup stock, just to make it a little more low-fat. I’m sure you could leave the heavy cream out all together, and just replace it with fish soup stock. You might also want to add some cumin, and maybe some chilli flakes to spice it up or you could use fresh fennel instread or fennel seeds ….plenty of room for experimenting …Happy cookingâ€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹.
Â½ yellow onionâ€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹, chopped
2 shallot, minced
4 garlic, minced
3 stalks celery, chopped
6 bay leaves
1 tbsp oregano
2 tbsp of fresh thyme
1 tbsp â€‹fennel seeds, crushed
2 diced sweet potatoes
1 diced parsnipâ€‹
500 ml heavy cream
1000 â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹ml fish soup stockâ€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹
slug of â€‹Olive oilâ€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹
1 tbs butter
salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Add the butter and oil in a large â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹pot, add onion, garlic, shallot, and celery. SautÃ© for a bit, until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes.
Finished a new Blog design for a danish blogger. This time for the creative and very sweet Trine at Groovybaby…and mama She has a shop so if you’re into the groovy 70es you should stop by her space.
I’ve been working on some other illustrations as well, but showcasing them will have to wait until approved by the client.
Haven’t had much time this week for anything else besides drawing. I did try a couple of new bread recipes or actually it was more about trying out new kneading methods.
This morning I decided to reorganize my kitchen.
I have this huge old dining table in the middle of the room, which serves as the main work area. And since it is really huge, I decided that I could use some of that space for the tools I use on a regular basis. It may sound as a poor decision, but in reality I don’t use that many different tools, so it really wasn’t that much space I needed. I thought about it and ended up with a couple of wooden spoons, my favorite knifes, a bundle of measuring spoonsâ€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹, a scissor, a small strainer, a mortar and pestle, 2 different peelers, a can opener and a few more items.
No more running around opening cabinets with fingers smudged in tomato sauce, trying to get that one bowl out without getting tomato sauce on everything.
In order to try my new setup, I made a sourdough bread from rye and wholegrain spelt, tried my hands on some Almond milk, which is going to be in my morning smoothie tomorrow, and finally for dinner, spiced mashed potatoes with celeriac and pickled beetroot.
And I’m happy to report that my new cluttered kitchen works perfectly.