Thursday, 24 January 2013

things and stuff

So where have my snow pics been then? Well, truth be told, we've only had a little snow here. It has however been quite chilly. I was going to say bitterly cold, but that's an exaggeration. It has been freezing for several days (lost count), and at times (e.g. when standing in the windswept school playground) it has felt bitterly cold, but bitterly cold is what it is in the Arctic tundra. Not the Central Belt of Scotland.  However the cold weather has meant clearer skies and that has meant sunshine - yay!

I actually quite like a very sparse covering of snow because it lightens up the landscape without making it monochrome. Deep snow can be lovely but a few years ago when we had heavy snow that stayed for a month it got very tedious and I was longing for colour. This January has had loads of colour. My 99p bunch of daffs are still brightening up the kitchen window:

my gorgeously bright stripey thing is progressing nicely:

and my ice-art in the garden is looking a little anaemic:

Still any colour in the garden  is better than none at the moment.   This was inspired by a picture that was doing the rounds on Facebook (and probably Pinterest) last week. The idea is you fill a balloon with water coloured with food colouring. Let it freeze, then cut the balloon off and you have colourful ice-globes in the garden. It turns out that making water-balloons is a messy process. I'd never done it before and had to refer to my mental back-catalogue of Calvin & Hobbes to figure it out. Similarly, adding the food colouring is.. entertaining. Well, my kids were entertained anyway.

It probably all works better in a properly cold country, but here it took days for two of the balloons to freeze to a pleasing egg shape, and the third one hasn't managed yet (a blue balloon, perhaps the colour made a difference). The two frozen balloons turned out not to have frozen quite the way through, so I got a broken eggshell effect which is quite pretty. I'd given up on mixing colours fairly early on so I have one clear ice-egg and one pale yellow one. Yes, the yellow one does make me think of the jokes about yellow snow. But it's still pretty, especially as I can guarantee there have been no huskies in the garden.

I have been cooking with colour too. I tried a new recipe yesterday. By 'tried a new recipe' I mean I found a recipe that looked interesting and actually followed it instead of making something up which is my usual method. It was Fruity Lamb Tagine and it was delish, and will be added to my repertoire. The only thing I omitted was the coriander leaves because they just taste of soap to me. But I did sprinkle the pomegranate seeds on top and very pretty and jewel-like they looked too. This was my first encounter with pomegranate seeds. Some week eh? First water balloon and first pomegranate! Well, I find excitement where I can..

There's no way to photograph food in a domestic setting and make it look truly appetising, but trust me it really did taste nice.


Anonymous said...

That looks lovely! I actually got some ras-el-hanout at Christmas and was wondering what to do with it! It's a sign...

Peeriemoot said...

I really wasn't sure about the ras-el-hanout as it contains so many things I don't like but it worked really well. Colin even said he could happily have had more in it but he says that about all spices! I did a half-sized recipe as it was just for the two of us and also because lamb's not the cheapest meat. Even so there were leftovers, it's a very substantial meal :-).