Vibrant orange colours pop up near Halloween and so do these charming, tasty, ever so popular here in France as top selling fall crop, miniature pumpkins. With its vigorous vines they are an arts-and-crafter’s dream, just visualise them as the cutest but smallest Jack O’Lanterns.
Our surroundings are getting covered in golden rusts, explosions of autumnal glow. The autumn foliage of our potted acer trees on our terrace, are a constant reminder too, the time of “reaping” has arrived. Golden, crispy leaves, chilly days, the sun bursting through the mist… it is quite clear that gone are the long summer days, and coming are the dark nights of winter. Now is the seasonal signpost in Earth’s orbit around the sun, the Earth is bathed evenly in sunlight only twice a year, on the equinoxes. Ethnic people celebrate this golden season by eating moon cakes and gazing at the moon.
There isn’t a country in the world that hasn’t got its own beef stew. From the farmers to the soldiers, it was the dish. Simple and easy to prepare, not at all time consuming as the stew simmers away on its own. In this time of Halloween we can see the witch standing beside her cauldron on top of the wood fire or stove… so why not go for this old fashioned but very tasty recipe this time of year. You’ll have a grand dish, just that bit different of what you’re used to!
Wise women, healers for women and the poor, counsellors, midwives, pharmacists, herbalists … all of them called “hag”, “sorceress”, “witch”, “sibyl” or “Druidesses”. When hysteria took over, at a certain point in history, no compassion was shown! The ancient pagan tradition, revering the feminine, with its women cultivating and using healing herbs, gathering plants for different ailments, helping local sick villagers, underwent a reign of terror! Knowledge of local flora and fauna became a threat, as those women could possibly be too powerful and literally had to go. (more…)
The name of each of my handmade dolls (like Sunbeam, Flutterby, Dalibor Dudley Doodle), often pops up during the process of creating, sewing. It is, to me, a very important thing: naming my doll! It’s like a gift, given to me by my creation and it defines the character, personality of the doll, not to mention the fun process of the search. (more…)
Who doesn’t have a sweet tooth for a cream and vanilla flavored custard. Traditionally the entire surface is sprinkled with granulated sugar just before serving. The custard is then placed under heat so that the sugar quickly caramelizes and becomes brittle. Although this step can be omitted, the brittle sugar creates a delicious flavor and texture contrast to the smooth, creamy custard beneath. (more…)
Do you live in Antarctica? No, well if you don’t like spiders, that’s the only place to go to have none, everywhere else, on every continent they are. If you suffer from arachnophobia, best not meet the Giant Huntsman spiders, as they have leg-spans of around 30cm! In France we only have a few dangerous ones. The one in the picture lives in the well in our garden.