Yoga Bolster

Honey has gotten into crocheting amigurumi gifts and ordered a very large amount of poly-fill stuffing. We received a delivery of a 5 kilo box, in fact! I was getting tired of moving it out of the way to do yoga and wanted the spare room to go back together in a peaceful way after we painted it, so I used that as motivation to use some of the stuffing.

I made a yoga bolster. Most bolsters I saw for sale were around 28 inches long but I wanted to have all of my neck and the bottom of my spine on at the same time, so I made ours 32 inches long. I cut fabric 32 by 28 inches, sewed it into a tube, found a pot lid to trace that would fit the ends, and traced that for the end fabric. Stuffing the bolster definitely took the longest. I used just under 2 large bags of filling and stuffed it while watching a movie one night and about an hour (at least?) on the next day. It’s dense, it’s solid, it’s heavy, and it’s perfect. I have enjoyed just laying on the bolster on my back and opening up my shoulders and chest gently with gravity. I am going to use the same fabric I used for my yoga mat bag to make a matching removable bolster cover.

 

Spare Room Redecoration Phase 1

My black cat sits in the windowsill and looks out.

In the middle of October, Honey and I headed to the DIY store to pick up some paint, a curtain rod and blinds. The curtain rod is for our bedroom but the rest was for the spare room. Honey had off for a few days soon after that and painted the room over a long weekend. We let the paint dry for two days and when we went to peel off the tape, we pretty much trashed the edges of the painting. This is the third room in our house we’ve painted and we only experienced this around the mirror and sink in the bathroom. We mistakenly thought that it was the way the tape was applied around the mirror or perhaps the type was too sticky. The internet says that you should remove painting tape after an hour or so of letting the paint dry. Clearly, we’re still trying to figure out this adulting thing.

Anyway, the sea foam green colour reminded me of an old stucco wall and now we have the worn edge look to go with it. If you’re wondering, the battered guitar on the table was a dumpster save to refurbish. My pinterest vision board for the room is hereNew green walls in spare room update.

Spare room walls painted sea foam green

We’ve moved the room back into place (and my Mother in Law stayed the weekend a week later), but still to be done:

  1. sorting the bookshelf
  2. returning the wind chimes and adding art
  3. finding the right plants for the space (the small and light pots on the window sill get knocked off far too easily by the cat)
  4. putting up the blinds and adding the right curtains

Ghanaian market basket, stick stars and mirror on dresser in room with new green walls. | Riotflower's Realm

Pumpkin Pie for All

Pumpkin pie has always been my absolute favourite holiday dessert, the highlight of my Thanksgiving and Christmas plates waiting to be gobbled up.

Over the years, I’ve made a range of pumpkin pies: from the the traditional pie loaded with gluten, eggs, cream, and sugar, to the  sugar free pie still loaded with gluten and dairy. Last year I was determined to not give up eating my star dessert, so I researched raw desserts and made a few.

After that, I experimented with ingredients and came up with this winning pumpkin pie recipe. Not only is this pumpkin pie edible by the widest range of dinner guests, it is much easier and quicker to prepare. The Absolute Best Pumpkin Pie: gluten, dairy, and sugar free, vegan, and raw.

Ingredients for filling: 

  • 1 1/4 C soaked (overnight) cashews. Measurement is post soaking.
  • 1/2 C maple syrup (or honey, if not vegan)
  • 1 C cooked (cooled) pumpkin puree
  • 1/3 C  coconut oil
  • 2 tsp of your favourite pumpkin pie spices

To prepare:

  • Prepare your choice of raw pie crust (generally blended dates and nuts, pressed into the tin). My go-to recipe is from My Wholefood Life.
  • Puree filling ingredients and add to your raw pie crust and refrigerate for up to several hours. If you are preparing this the night before or more than 4 hours before, keep the filling separate until about 2 hours before the meal and refrigerate. This keeps the crust from going soggy the next day when you’re eating ‘leftovers’.
  • Serve proudly and enjoy the creamy, fresh, pumpkin-ey deliciousness you’ve created!

 

Fermented Lime Pickle

I love sour, spicy, salty, and tangy things. If it tastes salty or vinegary, I’ll probably like it. Mustard, hot sauce, vinegar, pickles (and their juice!), pickled onions, kimchi, sauerkraut, you name it and I can’t get enough. An Indian restaurant in town makes very good lime pickle with limes and some other veggies and I devour it in two days following an order so I thought I’d try my own.

I used the fermented lime pickle recipe from India Cookbook by Pushpesh Pant, which we received as a wedding present. The first step in the process is to steam the limes and garlic and let it ferment for two days in the sun. I was a bit worried when I finished steaming the mixture because it reminded me of a faint basement scent…but I trusted in the process. I fermented mine for two days on the counter and then moved it to a windowsill near a radiator for a third as it didn’t seem changed enough. I stirred it each night.

Changes I’d make to stage one next time: add more lime juice and ensure that everything is covered in liquid; chop the limes up instead of the slicing called for in the recipe.

The second stage involves cooking more seasonings and fermenting in the sun again for two days. I used the windowsill for three and think that was the winner. Two days would probably work in the summer. The first photo is of the completed lime pickle before I decided to chop it further in a food processor, and the second photo is post-processing. It turned out spicy, tangy, strong, and addictive. I think it’s great on its own on a rice cake but also find it nice with some blackberry jam. Here’s the honey sweetened blackberry jam, or the sugar version. It’s also delicious mixed in with hummus.

Fermented Indian Lime Pickle condiment in a glass jar.

Homemade fermented Indian lime pickle on rice cakes with homemade garden blackberry jam.

Forgotten Photo Friday: Motorway Services Courting

This motorway stop in Lacashire is where our family tells a story.

When our Granny and Grandad were young and courting, the Preston bypass segment of the motorway was complete and construction continued on other parts (the Preston bypass was the first motorway in the country). They would meet up for some food (burgers?) and then go driving to have time together.