Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Martinmas soup

As we are following the Waldorf system of education we do pay some attention to the Waldorf festival. We like them as they have a basis in paganism as well, so we can make them quite earth friendly.
When we lived in The Netherlands it was celebrated quite widely. On the evening of 11 November all the children would go out with their lanterns and ring at peoples door, sing a Martinmas song and get sweets from the people.

Every year we make a Martinmas soup, as we hollow out a swede or 2 to make a lantern with it. ON the picture above you see the soup.
We always have roasted chestnuts with it as well and some sourdough buns to dip in the soup. In the time that we lived in The Netherlands it was quite a busy day because as soon as it got dark the children we coming round the houses, so there wasn't a lot of time to cook and eat.

Traditionally the soup with burn and chestnuts would be eaten before going out for the singing and bonfires. People would take scrap wood out and make bonfires. While watching the bonfires there would be waffles eaten as well. Just plain waffles, nothing serious. At some point in the future I will post a sourdough waffle recipe and link it here.
We make a little fire in our garden for these days. Where we live now nobody celebrates Martinmas, so we keep it very simple. As the children have already had their sweets at Halloween a few days before we don't give them any either.

Enjoy the soup.

Origin: Western Europe

Difficulty: easy
Time: 15 minutes preparation time & 30 minutes cooking time
Serves: 6
Traditional/GAPS/SCD legal, Primal, Paleo

  • pan
  • knives

  • 2 small swedes or 1 big swede
  • 600 ml broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 2 juniper berries
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1 leek
  • 1 carrot
  • cream (optional)

  • Put the broth with the swede, carrot, bay leaf, coriander and juniper berries in a pan and cook for about 20 minutes, until the swede is soft
  • Remove the bay leaf and juniper berries.
  • Add the leek and let it cook for another 10 minutes.
  • Blend with a stick mixer.
  • Taste and add salt and pepper to taste

In case you want to prepare the soup partially a day or 2 ahead you can do this by cooking the swede with the carrot and spices. Once the swede is cooked it won't get bitter anymore. Once you have cut it it tends to get a bit bitter when it is laying around for a bit. I try to cook swede as quickly as possible after cutting.

Thursday, 19 November 2015

Crochet: Update 2 Dutch blanket

And the blanket is finished. It was a lot of work, but I really loved doing it.
Here are some pictures of the finished blanket.

This last picture is an attempt at a full view of the blanket. I nearly succeeded.

Saturday, 14 November 2015

Food Standards Agency Saturated Fat TV ad 2009 40 sec advert

This is really one of the dumbest video's I have ever seen on the topic. It shows "saturated" fat. But my saturated fat is solid in the fridge, my mono unsaturated as well.

Saturated fat i even solid at room temperature.

The stuff used here is clearly the polyunsaturated fat that they tell you is so healthy, unfortunately that stuff is causing inflammation and lots of other problems in the body. I'll elaborate on that in another post at some point in the future.

Friday, 13 November 2015


Last Wednesday, 11 November 2015, it was Martinmas. 
This is the day St. Martin is remembered. St. Martin was a Roman soldier who was station near Gaul. As legend goes St. Martin rode into a town and on the outskirts of the town he ran into a beggar who was only wear rags. He felt pity for the man and cut het cloak in 2 and gave 1 half to the beggar. The next morning when he woke up he found his cloak restored to a full cloak. 
As we are using a Waldorf curriculum for home education, we pay attention to this day.
So we made swede lantarns. We hollowed out the swedes, carved some shapes into the swedes and put a tea light into it, as you can see below. From the insides of the swedes I made swede soup.  I served the swede soup with roasted chestnuts for dinner. This is a traditional dinner for Martinmas.

In some European areas, such as parts of The Netherlands and Germany children go past the houses to sing Martinmas songs and will get sweets. It is very similar to trick or treating at Halloween.
Now that we live in England Halloween is what is happening, so we only do some stuff at home for Martinmas.

Thursday, 12 November 2015

Crochet: Circles of the Sun pillow

On 22 September 2015 my yarn for this pillow arrived. I have decided to make both sides with the patterns, so I bought double the amount of yarn than I expect to need for the one side only. It is great looking yarn. It is drops cotton light. It feels very nice, it is 50% cotton and 50% polyester.

On Friday 6 November 2015 I went on a 4 day trip. I wanted to take a project along, but as I only had large projects on the go I couldn't take any of those along. I had already purchased the yarn for this project so I decided to take this one along. I also had to check it in as I couldn't take it along as hand luggage. I didn't want to risk loosing my needles or crochet hook. So in the plane I read. It was only a short flight, less than 1 hour.

On Saturday 7 November 2015  I started making the pillow.

This is the first square that is finished.

And this is the second square.

Plenty more squares the go. There are 9 squares on each side of the pillow. So 16 more to go.
I am working on the third square, but I will do that later, as I want to finish some projects first. I will update when more gets done on this project.

Feel free to leave comments, I welcome them.

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Squash from the oven

Last Thursday I made Squash from the oven. In our vegetable and fruit box there was a carnival squash. I had never heard of it, so I looked it up online and read a bit about how it can be cooked. In the oven it goes for 25-30 minutes in an oven preheated to 190C/375F/Gas 5.

This is what my Carnival squash looked like. Quite a nice one.

Here it is cut in half.

Getting it ready for the oven.


Difficulty: easy
Time: 45 minutes
Yield: 8 pieces
Traditional/GAPS/SCD legal, Primal

  • oven
  • oven bowl

  • 1 Carnival squash
  • smoked lardons
  • Provencal herb mix
  • maple syrup
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • ghee or lard (1)

  • .Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/Gas 5.
  • Cut the squash in half and take out the seeds and threads.
  • Cut up the squash further, until you have 8 pieces.
  • Put the pieces with the inside up in an oven safe bowl.
  • Top with some salt and pepper, provencal herbs, smoked lards, ghee and maple syrup
  • Put in the oven for 25-30 minutes
  • Enjoy

Possible substitutions:
  1. dairy - coconut

Friday, 30 October 2015

My parents do not agree with the way I parent. What now?

When parents choose a different way of parenting than their parents did, this can cause some friction in some families.
This happens somewhat more frequently when parents choose to use Attachment Parenting (AP) or The Continuum Concept (TCC) styles of parenting, while they had been raised in a more mainstream style.
The choice to parenting AP/TCC is always made very consciously. Parents want the best for their children.

In the time that our parents were parenting us, there was a whole lot less information available than there is now. Not a lot more than the books of Dr. Spock and such. So our parents were usually counselled by Health Visitors, GP's and their own parents. Those people usually only knew the mainstream way of parenting and not really any other way. It's what everyone did.
Some parents didn't feel right about it and did some things differently. This could lead to being judged by their peers. Those are usually the most understanding parents to your parenting choices, simply as they have been through it as well.

These days there are more people making different choices than there were back then, as there is so much more information at our fingertips. There are websites and many more books by a variety of experts. Many of them give very good information. Some have done research and have written about that. It is quite doable to find studies about all kinds of psychological issues, parenting, education and such.

Depending on the relationship you have with your parents, it could be possible that you could explain to them why you choose the path of AP/TCC. You could explain to them that the newest research has shown that these practises are much better for growing children and will let them grow up to be the stable and caring adults you want them to be.
Some people can say something like the following to their parents and things go smoothly from there:
I've become the person I am because you were my parents and raised me to be a caring and thinking person, because of this I can make these choices, I am grateful to you to have made this possible to me, so that I can raise my child this way.

I myself have not had to explain much. My mum wasn't really bothered. However, my in-laws have asked quite a few questions. I have been lucky that they have always been interested in my reasons. They weren't judging.

When it fails to explain it or have at least a civilised dialogue about it, than there is no need to keep trying. Respect has to come from both sides.
Do remember this is your child and you are raising it to the best of your ability. There is no need to justify it to anyone really. Of course you can always explain your reasons, but when those are simply wiped off the table as irrelevant then there is no need to continue to try. In time these things tend to settle and people get more curious. Once that time has arrived you can give it another try. Until then agree to disagree. Maybe that is the only way it will ever be.

Often the reason for being judgmental is that some people feel it is an attack on their own parenting style, because you choose to go a different path. Unfortunately some people cannot see that the way they raised their children resulted in the caring thinking people who want to do the best for their own child, therefore it could also be seen as a compliment in stead of an attack. In some cases it is possible to explain it as such.

Of course there is also the possibility that you came to the conclusion of wanting to parent in the AP/TCC style because you had such a difficult childhood. In that case it may simply be best to let things be. Maybe it is even best to keep a distance for a while or in some cases even permanently.

In the end it's your child, therefore your rules go.

Thursday, 22 October 2015

Knitting: Henrietta Hedgehog test knit

On 9 October 2015 Linda Dawkins started a new test knit. I decided I wanted to participate. So after I received the pattern I started knitting the small project. I love her designs. They are usually fairly easily knit and the patterns are always very clear. This design used the loop stitch, which I never done before.
I had decided to use my handspun yarn as that would suit perfectly for the project.
Below you can find a few pictures of the progress of the project.

My choosen yarns

Right after the first few loops

And some more loops.
Finished knitting
The belly
Only the eyes and nose left

And finished :-)

Friday, 16 October 2015

Nature walk, Friday 16 October 2015

Today when we went on our Nature Walk, which is part of how we educate our children. We use a Waldorf type of approach. We were looking for mushrooms this morning. We also always take our dog with us, two things at the same time. The dog gets a walk and we get to discover what nature has to offer. We found quite an amount of mushrooms. Unfortunately we know nothing about mushrooms yet, but we would really like to learn some day. We will probably go do a workshop on it next year.
Anyone who can tell me which ones we saw, based on the pictures, please feel free to leave a comment. We love learning about them.

1. This mushroom was growing on a place where a branch of a birch tree had broken off. The birch tree was dead.

 2. Same mushroom on the birch tree

3. Same tree, but this mushroom was much higher up on the tree. Gorgeous.
 4. Another picture of the same one. I think this one may be the same type of mushroom as the one in picture 1 and 2.
5. This one we found somewhere on the soil where there were lots of pine trees.

Thursday, 15 October 2015

Crochet: Update 1 on the Dutch blanket

On the weekend of 10 October 2015 I finished crocheting the last few squares of the blanket. Here are the sets from week 15 up to and including 24. 
After this the work of putting them altogether is going to start. I am looking forward to it and also really looking forward to making a very nice rim around the blanket to finish it off very nicely.
So far I am having a great time with making this blanket, despite it being a lot of work. I have seen picture of finished blankets and they are looking really good. So, slowly we move on.
I will update again in some weeks.

Thursday, 8 October 2015

Spinning: Jacob fibre

A few years ago I decided to enroll in a Craftsy course as I really wanted to learn how to properly spin with a spindle. With that course there was a kit available as well and I got that as well. There was a Lucet spindle and there was Coopworth, Jacob and Bluefaced Leister fibre.

In the meantime I have spun the Coopworth and Jacob. The Coopworth I blogged about in an earlier post. I still have to ply that.

The Jacob fibre was really easy to spin with, it didn't take me much time at all. Last Sunday I decided to ply it. It turned out really good. I am very pleased with the outcome. Now all I have to do is decide what to make with it. One of my children has requested a pair of socks, but I have no idea whether I have enough of it yet. I will have to do some weighing and measuring first. So that part is to be continued :-)

This is where I had just started spinning the yarn.

Here I have just put the spun single around my wrist in such a way that I could ply it and had just started plying it onto my spindle.

Here you see where it is all finished plying and it is all on the spindle again.

And now it is made into a ball of yarn.