Dizzy Swallows

On Fresh Fava Beans and Summer Pasta

July 22nd, 2011 4 Comments

Glorious weather not withstanding, summer is a feeling. It is that sense of freedom engrained from our schooldays, of long hours wiled away in hedonistic pursuits. Blue skies and golden sunshine certainly help, loosening limbs and warming faces. Sadly, as myself and others have noted, Seattle is having rather a dismal showing in the seasonal department this year. But summer be damned, at least the family farm is in full force.

On a recent visit we were presented with several beds of fava beans, ready for harvest. They are the strangest bean, growing resolutely towards the sky like so many impudent, fat, green fingers. The leaves are pliable and tender and, according to my mother, can be used to make a very pleasant pesto!

We harvested about a third of the crop, easily filling a large storage bin. I must admit, hitherto my only reference for fava beans came from … Continue reading

Pink Kitty Paws

July 15th, 2011 3 Comments

I call her The Destroyer of Worlds. She is six pounds of pure, quivering, destructive energy. The only comparison that conveys my full meaning is this scene from Lilo and Stitch. Despite all that, our little Sita also happens to be one of the sweetest, most social, playful and loving cats I’ve had the pleasure of knowing. In our recent move, Jacob and I acquired our first brand new couch. Infinitely crisp and comfortable, we choked back what was for us a princely sum to make it our own. Since its delivery to the apartment we have waged a constant war with The Destroyer. We tried every trick in the book, but to little avail when we weren’t around to patrol. Frustrated but dead set against declawing, we decided to try the funny little nail covers called Soft Paws or Soft Claws (note: I am in no way sponsored … Continue reading

In Our Home

April 13th, 2011 2 Comments

My sweets, this morning I thought I’d share a few of the sights, tastes and smells that have been filling our home of late.

Press play and enjoy!

There are few things more pleasing to my eye than a bookcase stuffed to bursting. Especially if said books have been organized by color rather than any logical content. Ah.

A serendipitous little rainbow came to say hello to my sad, dying flowers.

After sorting through all of our worldly posessions, I realized we had rather a lot of useful fabric – old duvets, scarves, ya know. Without so much as blinking, I chopped it all up to hand sew this funny door topper. What do we think? If anyone would like my makeshift pattern I’d be happy to share.

A few weekends ago we spent a day working on the farm and were rewarded with bags of produce and this delicious … Continue reading

On Chaos and Order

March 9th, 2011

Hello my dearests! Apologies for the absence, but I can now report that we are officially moved in to our Seattle home! It has been quite a marathon this time around, as we are both equally determined to do it all right the first time.

Our new apartment is on the third floor of one of Queen Anne’s older buildings, in which each stairwell has its own door. There are forty-five stairs and three doors per trip (or ninety stairs and six doors if you count the way down), and we figured we made at least thirty each to unload a fourteen-foot truck. Needless to say, it took awhile.

After five days of moving, unpacking, supply runs, cleaning, putting together furniture, and subsisting almost entirely on Thai take-out and PB&J sandwiches, I am proud to say I can now look around and no longer have the impulse to tear out … Continue reading

Tarte aux Pêches

July 26th, 2010 2 Comments

Another weekend has evaporated into golden nothing whilst I was busy rummaging in my spice cupboard. Lurking behind the cardamom and tarragon, I rediscovered a charming little blue bottle of rosewater that I’d carted all the way from Seattle. In my humble kitchen, this is often the kind of seemingly random inspiration that sparks serendipitous culinary invention.

For several days I’d been staring a bowl of peaches in the face as they wrinkled into what increasingly resembled a certain male body part. As my mother always said, however, just because it’s a bit ugly doesn’t mean it won’t taste good (this is the peaches we’re discussing here people, get your minds out to of the gutter).

Though slightly past their prime, the peaches held their shape nicely and proved absolute perfection for a simple tart. I whipped it together Saturday morning in under an hour and we whittled thin slices … Continue reading