Wednesday, 20 August 2014

WHAT I'M WORKING ON: PLUM AND VANILLA LIQUEUR

More plums, plums, plums! There's been a few storms here recently and as I mentioned in my previous post, and afterwards my garden looked like a plum battlefield. Even with my parents stopping by and leaving the bags full, I still have al ot of plums to get rid of, so I thought I'd give making liqueur a go! I've used this recipe from Boozed & Infused, and just added a vanilla bean to it for some extra flavor. I'm planning on leaving it for 4 to 6 weeks, so I've marked my calendar! In the meantime, I've been searching for plum liqueur cocktails to try, so if you know any good ones, let me know!


I still have tons more plums too though haha. Graeme's dad's currently visiting, so might make a cake or a crumble or something. Anyone have any suggestions for what else I can use all these plums for?

Saturday, 16 August 2014

SKETCHES OF STAVANGER

So I bought a new sketchbook, and my intentions are to fill it with sketches of my nearby town, Stavanger. I love sketching, but I rarely sketch buildings and I feel like I really haven't figured out how to draw water yet, so I'm hoping I'll improve on the next 90-something pages! Thought I'd share a couple of my sketches so far. In order of appearance: Stavanger Bybru, the cathedral, and a scene from old Stavanger in progress. I'm think I'm looking forward to drawing old Stavanger in particular, I love all those tiny white houses and cobbled streets full of flower pots.



The sketchbook I'm using is a softback moleskin I bought in Copenhagen airport last time I was travelling (I seem to have a tendency to buy notebooks while travelling?). The pages are a little thinner than what I'm used to, so I'll only be filling one side of them with sketches. I was a bit annoyed at that at first, but I guess that will basically mean I'll only need to sketch half as many pictures as I originally thought, so maybe a blessing in disguise?

I have a friend visiting for the weekend (and once she leaves my father-in-law will be visiting for a week, exciting!), and am hosting brunch this morning so should probably get back to that! Hope you have a good weekend too!

Sunday, 10 August 2014

SPICED PLUM AND BLUEBERRY JAM

So all of a sudden, I'm ready for fall. It's started raining and thundering, I'm wearing a big chunky sweater, and the idea of some homemade jam on a bit of bread really appeals to me. This might seem a bit premature, but we've had a full on summer here since the beginning of May, and it feels like we should be in October by now. Incidentally, we also have a tree in the garden half full of ripe plums. A week ago, it was full of green, unripe plums, but during the week the southern half of the tree has become dotted with deep purple plums, fleshy and delicious. Cue the plum harvesting game, where we look like idiots trying to knock the plums off their branches, while Bo runs around our feet and catches all the ones we're too slow to get to before her. She's quick and small, and definitely has the advantage in this game.

Incidentally, we had a bit of a storm here this weekend, so last night was perfect for snuggling up with a blanket, having some toast and jam and watching the weather. And as a result of the storm, the garden is now covered in plums. Guess I'll be making a bit more of this?



Ingredients (for about two jars of jam):
750 g plums
150 g blueberries
500 g sugar
juice of 1 lemon
1 ts cinnamon
1 ts ground cardamom
1 ts nutmeg

Directions:
Remove the stones from the plums and cut them into bite-sized pieces. Add all the ingredients to a pot, bring to the boil and let it simmer for about half an hour, until reduced. It'll look quite thin still, but it'll thicken nicely once it cools. Transfer to sterilized jars.

And in case you're wondering, I had these on Nigella Lawson's irish oat rolls from Kitchen, which are also super delicious. Recommended!

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

OLYMPUS TRIP & LA SARDINA // TJELTA

Yay, another roll of film developed! These were taken earlier this year around Easter, when Graeme and I took the dog for a little trip to the beach. Graeme brought his Olympus Trip and I brought the Lomography La Sardina. I love how the different cameras capture color so differently (the ones further down with the really vibrant water are taken with the Trip).


One of the things I love about living where I do, is that we have so many beautiful beaches so close. The coastline is about a 15 minute drive away from my house, and it's just one sandy beach after another. The water gets heated by the gulf stream as well, so it gets pretty warm during summer, considering how far north it is. It's pretty much one of my favorite places to hang out in the summer. Having said that, on this particular day the water was absolutely freezing, as Graeme discovered when he found a half dead fish lying in the sand and tried to save it by getting it back in the water (above). Bo didn't seem though!


Tuesday, 29 July 2014

PHOTO BOOK: THAT TIME DFA1979 TOOK US TO CALIFORNIA

So I finally organized myself enough to complete a photo book from mine and Graeme's holiday in California a few years ago. Yeah, you read that right, it's actually been 3 years since we went on this holiday, and I haven't gotten around to making the book until now. But alas, it's finally here and I thought I'd share a few pages!


It's a funny story actually, how we ended up going to California in the first place. We were living in Scotland and I was browsing festivals and looking at the Coachella line-up, and was so excited about it that I called up Graeme and suggested we go. The conversation went something along the lines of this:

"Ok, so there's this festival with the most amazing line-up. SO many awesome bands are playing," I say and list half the line-up, and finish with "...and Death From Above." There's a silence on the other end of the line. Graeme and I are both huge DFA fans, and at the time, they were split up and had been for years (he saw them in Edinburgh many years ago, and still rubs it in my face). "Ok, that's actually sounding really good," he finally says, "But I bet it's expensive. How much?" "It's not that bad actually, only 269 dollars," I answer in my most enthusiastic voice. "No, that's not actually that bad... wait, what? Dollars? What do you mean? Hilde, where is this fesival?"


And while he was very skeptical at first, he ended up agreeing to go, with Death From Above 1979 being the winning argument (hence the title of the photo book). We ended up renting a car in LA and driving up to San Fransisco, where we stayed at a friend's house and I got to meet up with some old high school friends, before driving back to LA to pick up my friend from the airport who decided to join us at Coachella as she was flying from Nepal to El Salvador and stopping in LAX anyway. We then headed to the festival and stayed at a 5 star resort in Palm Springs. It was a pretty awesome holiday (especially considering it was a bit of a spontaneous one and very little planning went into itwe bought my friend's ticket on the day of the festival from some Scottish guy we met there, and the only reason we ended up at the resort in Palm Springs was because camping got sold out so quickly and my friend's mom had a hotel time share), so I'm happy to finally have this photo book made. Now, maybe I should go look at other random festival line-ups around the world and book something again? I hear Fuji Rock is supposed to be pretty good...?



On a different note, we're now back from our holiday in Spain! We had a fantastic time, and I took loads of pictures so I'll post a couple of those soon. Have several rolls of film to develop! I also managed to get myself sick though, so I'm currently spending my evening on the couch with my duvet, watching David Attenborough and eating Graeme's homemade chicken soup. It's the best medicine!