bits and pieces

Spring Things

March moved into April and we have had a lot of sunshine lately. Nature is waking up and flowers and fresh green leaves are popping up. I took my camera with me on one of our walks with our dog here in the neighbourhood to catch some of the new life. I have also been spending some time in the kitchen to do a little bit of baking. Let’s update you on some Spring things happening here!

The changing of the seasons is something that I really like and I can’t really imagine myself living somewhere without these distinct times of the year. I like Autumn when the leaves turn into beautiful colours and it’s time to make things cosy again in the house. I like Winter with its frost and the short days we have here (though we didn’t have much of Winter this year, barely below zero temperatures and not a single flake of snow).

Then comes Spring and everything wakes up again. Days get longer and I wake up hearing birds sing outside! Fresh greens and blossoms appear!

We live in a fairly newly-built neighbourhood and, luckily, we live in the green part! That means that most of the trees are not very large yet, though I can see them getting bigger each year. It does make it easier for me to capture the tiny flowers with my camera!

I have to admit that I saw some of the beautiful details afterwards when I was editing the photos on my computer!

In the Kitchen

As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, I did some baking too. These are chocolate, coconut and apricot flapjacks (and don’t even require an oven, so technically no baking). They are so good! The recipe is by Deliciously Ella and the recipe is in this Instagram post.

Lockdown and quarantine (the Coronavirus, no further explanation needed) seem people to inspire and make their own sourdough bread. I am a huge fan of home-baked bread and both us really like sourdough bread. I have been making my own bread years ago, but wasn’t totally convinced about the results. Making my own sourdough starter somehow sounded very complicated… And our oven is not really a top-notch device so that didn’t really encourage me either.

Well, it turns out that it isn’t complicated at all! I started my sourdough starter on a Monday and I made my first bread with it on the next Saturday! I have been following Kat Goldin’s instructions. You’ll find some very helpful tips in her highlights on Instagram and there’s a bread recipe on their website here. Her IG account is very pretty too!

The fact that your bake your bread in a Dutch oven (basically a lidded cast-iron casserole) makes that you can use pretty much every oven because the cast-iron material ensures that there is a constant temperature inside the casserole. Basically, it works as an oven within your oven.

I am very happy with my first attempt and I will experiment with it a bit more. Change the combination of flours, play with the size of the loaf… maybe improve the scoring. That, of course, is not at all important (although the deep score allows the bread to release steam while baking), but it makes the loaf look pretty. That’s what the crafter in me likes!

And if your bread tastes good, even the simplest of things to put on it is great. I personally love a toasted slice of sourdough with just some mashed avocado on top. Bit of salt and pepper. Done. Yum!

Our usual breakfast is yoghurt with fruits, nuts and seeds. And granola, every now and then. I have been also making buckwheat granola this week. This batch came out a bit darker than wanted, but it’s very edible anyway, haha. I add cocoa powder, coconut flakes and some seeds to it as well. Lovely with a banana!

A New Shawl

Spring also calls for a new shawl! Did you see the release of my Away Day Shawl by Scheepjes? I am going to make myself a new one using a different Scheepjes yarn: Linen Soft. These are the colours that I picked. The pattern calls for their Merino Soft yarn which is lovely, but a little warm because it’s wool. So I’ll be making myself a Spring or Summer version with the linen yarn.

What are you up to?

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