Life is an adventure of the heart, an adventure into love

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Autumn Recipe- My Favourite Butternut Squash Soup



I have a quick Autumn recipe for you tonight, my all time favourite soup that I make again and again at home, all year round. Except that I like it even more now that it's Autumn, it's golden orange hue is the perfect seasonal shade. One of the reasons I make it so often is because it's so quick and easy to make, here's my how-to:

Ingredients:
1 large butternut squash, de-seeded and cut into wedges
1 red onion
2 sticks of celery
1 teaspoon of cumin seeds
a bay leaf
turmeric/ garam masala/ ground corriander or all three
chicken or veg stock
Parmesan or sage leaves to serve

Method:
Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees C

Put a liberal drizzle of olive oil into a roasting tray and throw in your butternut squash wedges, cumin seeds and a scattering of spices of your choice. Place this into the oven for 40 minutes or until tender and crisp at the edges.



Meanwhile chop your onion and celery sticks into small pieces and add to a pan of medium- hot olive oil with a bay leaf, turn the heat down, place on your lid and sweat until nice and soft.



Once your squash is cooked and your vegetables are soft put them all into the same pan and crumble over your stock cube and pour over about a liter of water or more if you like a thinner soup. Bubble away for about 10 minutes and then remove the bay leaf and blend until completely smooth.

Serve with a scattering of Parmesan cheese or a few sage leaves that you have fried in oil until crispy.

Enjoy! (the pink bib was his sister's!)




Friday, 14 October 2011

Christmas Cards now available!

Hello everyone, this is just a quick post tonight to say that my Christmas cards are now available to order. I can offer a price of £2 per card or 5 for £7.50. Please contact me on sophiefoxwell@gmail.com to place an order (if you do place an order I will be so excited!). I can ship internationally as well, I'll quote for postage per order. Please look at the different photos available below. You can also order through my Facebook page. By the way, the cards are the photos with a white border, but I added colour behind to show this. Many thanks all!

A crisp blue morning, Rye Harbour

A winter sky on the Appledore road

A winter's morning at the beach, Rye Harbour

The red hut turned white, Rye Harbour

Soft snow falling, Camber

A festive shower, the High Street, Rye

Keeping warm and merry, Rye

Snow-one at the park, Rye
Together in the snow, Rye

Snow on the dunes, Camber Sands

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Cosy

I'm really getting into the mood of the season this year. I've just realised that the past two Autumns I have been moving house, so I think that I am able to enjoy immersing myself in Autumn festivities because I am more settled than I have been for a while.

I have made yet another decoration for our home. I have been so inspired by my fabric leaf shapes (remember I made bunting and falling leaves too). This time I made an autumn 'chandelier', inspired by this book. I threaded rose hips onto some wool using a large needle and then tied the bottoms onto a wreath made from hazel, silver birch and ivy- simply bent into shape and wired. I then sewed on more of my fabulous leaf shapes and some real foliage is poked in too. I love it!



This is my little corner of the world and I love it!


You can't beat a blue skied October evening, it is so cosy- making.




One of the highlights of my week so far... the coffee my husband made for me... sigh!


This was really all about the photos and to gush about Autumn. More to come soon.

Friday, 7 October 2011

Ode To Autumn


"Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness!
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
To bend with apples the moss'd cottage- trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For Summer has o'er brimm'd their clammy cells..."

An extract from 'To Autumn" by John Keats

In the front of my very old poetry book, it says that Keats wrote in 1817 "I find I cannot exist without poetry- without eternal poetry- half the day will not do..." His artistic career only lasted some five or six years, but he is described as one of the most wholly and completely obsessed English poets, which is why he wrote so much in such a short space of time. Here is another man (see yesterday's post) who found what he loved to do.

I love reading his ode to Autumn, because I can relate so much to his love of this season, and it fascinates me that nearly 200 years ago, Autumns came and went with the same fruits and smells as they do now. There is something hauntingly beautiful about the way that I can relate to someone who lived such a long time before I did.


I have been crafting away this week, purely for pleasure. It's been quite a restful week, letting go of the pressure to perform and putting my heart right back in the centre of things where it belongs, following inspiration, allowing for disruption, and not worrying if things seem very unproductive!

I took some inspiration from Kelle Hampton's blog and I made some Autumnal decorations for the house. First I picked some leaves, then I drew around them onto cardboard and then used these cardboard shapes as stencils. I drew around them onto felt and fabrics, I was digging the purples and yellows. It was then a quick needle and thread job through the fabric leaves to join them together. I made one leaf bunting swag for the fireplace and some falling leaves decorations for the window. They look great and the children love them. I love the leaf shapes so much that I now feel inspired to make other things decorated with leaves... we'll see if I have time!



I'm enjoying our first fire tonight, it's very cosy :)



I've just remembered I wrote down some of my own thoughts about Autumn a few weeks ago, so I'll leave you with that:

Acorns litter the floor like confetti
the Orchard is shrouded in mist
apples scattered on the floor
like the ones who didn't make it
on a battlefield, a faint wiff of cider
The trees black and delicate against the white sky
yellow leaves lie softly on the ground
they'll soon be brown.
The song of blackbirds
and other birds I can't identify
light up the morning with their song
Spider webs brush against my cheeks,
some speckled with dewdrops
The light, broken by tree trunks
reaching for the sky
the light through the trees is always magical
Mushrooms push their plump heads up through the leaf litter
like proud marshmallows
the water droplets drip through the leaves of the canopy above my head
Rabbits scurry in the path ahead
I try and stay quiet
but the heavy clonk and squeak of my khaki wellies gives me away
Oak trees reach to the sky like pillars in a temple
in a copiced clearing
their beauty gives me strength inside


My baby boy is getting big!

Night all.

Inspiration from the amazing Steve Jobs

I just wanted to write a quick post today, linking to a video of Steve Jobs, founder of Apple and Pixar who died of cancer yesterday aged 56. This is possibly the most inspiring video I have ever seen. This man loved what he did, and his creativity will live on forever. I know that this quote has been posted around a lot, but just in case you haven't seen it,

"Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle. As with all matters of the heart, you'll know when you find it. And like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don't settle. -Steve Jobs