Saturday, 18 March 2006

Spreading the Craft!

Oh, oh, oh! As if I was not excited enough about my May Bath trip, the lovely comments and emails I have been sent have made me even more excited about it! As if this is not enough, I am going to pick up a Bath Guide Book from the travel section of the library at lunch time. (As much as we are told Saturday is just a normal working day, it feels almost like half term to me. And often this is the day I choose my books for myself...Conscious choosing that is, not just hoarding all the lovely books that come back across the counter, or I stumble upon while shelf tidying!)

Now yesterday was my day off (as I am working today) and I went back home to see my family. The lovely thing for me is that dear Carl's new job is in the town where I lived until I left home to move in with him, so now, instead of rattling over on the bus, I ride in with him, then he meets me at my parents after he has finished work, we have dinner with them and spend the evening there, before heading home.

Mum and I had the most wonderful time in the is at the top of the town, and smells heavenly. It is not a 'fashionable' florist, but instead is crammed with every beautiful, heavenly scented flower you can imagine. And they have a glass cupboard full of dreamy handmade chocolates...I don't know how I resisted the Violet Creams! (To illustrate further how scrumptious this shop is, the boxes for the chocolates are cut out of flowery cardboard and tied with curling ribbon in a complementary colour!) We also went off for a bit of a shop, where I can only proclaim, bargains abounded! I bought some ginger coffee from Whittard (very warming!), a bottle of lavender bubble bath, an oil burner (glorious smell of violets in our bedroom last night)! and a blue dish that has a little well for dip, and then a space for crudites or crisps....for under £10!

It was so very cold out though, that we needed a warming dinner. Do give the recipe that follows a go. It sounds like it cannot possibly be as delicious as it is, or smell so heartening as this does.

Thinly slice two med-large peeled potatoes, and two med-large onions. In an ovenproof dish, make a layer of onion, a layer of potato, and so on until you have run out of vegetables- finish with a layer of potato. Pour a cup of bovril over, gently, cover lightly with foil, then bake in a long slow oven. I put it in at about 175oC for about an hour, then take off the foil, tip over a can of macaroni cheese with ham (I know, I know, but trust me!) then bake for a further fifteen minutes or so. We usually have this withsausagess and peas, and it really is bliss. It is even more wonderful the next day, so, as there is never any left, I sometimes make it to the point of taking off the foil, leave it overnight in the fridge, then put the macaroni cheese on and bake it to finish it off. Yum....

Anyway, back to the main point of all this, which is, after the last bit of dinner was eaten up, we were all warm and full, then, I got to spread the craft! Mum is so wonderful- she knits, makes her own clothes, curtains, wonderful greetings cards, does flowers...she is quite wonderful. But she has not crocheted for years, and anyone who has taught themselves to crochet for a book will surely understand how incomprehensible the instructions can be. Double crochet twice in the first five chain space?! What?! So we spent a happy hour together crocheting flowers, going through chains, single crochet, doubles, trebles, that kind of thing. And it was lovely, even though it was not teaching exactly as Mum had done it before, but it waslovelyy passing on a skill, communicating the craft as it were. Really satisfying.

And the funny thing I have noticed about crochet? The English and American terms use the same words but mean different things! What we call a double, Americans would think of as a treble. What they call a double we think of as a single! Curious, but delightful I think. I love how different countries are unique in more than just language and currency, but things like customs and dress sizing and so on too. I like the way things are familiar in concept yet different, making everything even more fairy tale like when you travel. (I remember being in France, desperate for a cup of tea, and having to ask for milk in it, which was made with powder and hot water!)

I must away to tend to the microfilm is winding back all on its own rather like it is possessed!


Kristy said...

Oh Mimi,Bath is so lovely.We stopped of there for a day last June.We spent 3 nights in a Farleigh Wood near Longleat.We only meant to stop in Bath for a refresher but ended up stayimg all day!
The smell of violets is so scrumptious isn't it!I'm off to light my burner now !

Flossy said...

Mimi, I wish you were here to teach me how to crochet! I have been trying to teach myself from a book, and as you say, it's quite incomprehensible! I'm hoping to come across one of my friends who can teach me :)

I am loving all your recipes - please keep them coming...