Creature Comforts

Kind of at a loss now that school is finished. I have somehow downshifted from 100 miles an hour to a slow crawl. It’s a strange feeling  and I’m finding all things comforting, really comforting. Reading, knitting, sleeping–a lot, making pots of soup. And to top it off, I’ve been watching All Creatures Great and Small and have been totally swept up in the charms of the English country side. The little Yorkshire Village reminds of Kew Gardens in a weird way. (Kew Gardens in Queens I mean, not England). Yes, Kew Gardens looks sort of Britishy with all the tudor, but it’s the people. I can’t quite put my finger on it but it’s there. Here is a great clip of an interview with Christopher Timothy who plays vet James Herriot talking about the genuine, straight forward nature and coolness of the locals. Maybe that’s it. I’ve only moved a few miles, but it feels so far away. I miss living in “The Kew”. The charms of a small town in middle of the city. The Kew is full of characters and I was welcomed as one of them. “Oh, the one who’s always knitting?” My neighbors in Kew Gardens are among my favorite people I’ve ever met. Smart, funny, opinionated and kind. Never expected to find that in NYC.  “Aye, quite nice.”

Available to watch instantly on Netflix

It’s getting a bit ridiculous all this leisure. I know it’s about time to snap out of this silly self indulgence and get to work, but forgive me for just a little bit longer. For the moment I can’t help but linger.

In love with these grainsack pillows with french blue stripes from 36 Shea. Such a great blue. Inky like a good ball point pen. They look doughy and comfy on a couch. Perfect to knead into shape for a nap. 

Elegant Granny Style:The Granny Stripe Blanket from the Purl Bee.
I don’t crochet, but I might learn just so I can make this. I keep going back to it.  I suppose I could knit something similar, but there is something about this riff on a granny square that is, yes, elegant. Tutorial and project details here.

Emily (and probably a million other people’s) Split Pea Soup Recipe

To dutch oven or heavy bottom pot add :
1 bag of dried split peas (rinsed)
1 large (or 2 small) smoked ham hocks
(try and score them a bit with a knife before adding)
1 yellow onion chopped (keep skin and set aside)
2 carrots chopped
2 ribs of celery chopped + one whole rib thrown in with leaves on 
(to be fished out later)
A few cloves of chopped garlic
1/2 tablespoon-ish of oregano
1 bay leaf 

 Layer the ingredients in the pot beginning with the peas and cover with hot water. Float the onion skin (I don’t know why, it’s just what my dad always does so I do it too) on top and cover. Bring almost to a boil and lower the heat to a simmer and leave it be for about and hour or so (no stirring!)  It should start to smell really good about now.

Remove the lid and onion skin if you can find it and give a quick stir mostly just to check the consistency of the peas. Are they getting mushy yet? If so, mash them up a little with the back of the spoon and give a taste.

Sometimes ham hocks are really salty so I don’t add salt until this point.
You need to wait for them to cook a bit before you can tell and adjust accordingly.

I also season with adobo (or garlic salt) and pepper to taste. Re-cover but not all the way and keep an eye on it stirring occasionally for another half hour to an hour. Just be aware that it will begin to thicken up and can stick to the bottom and burn if you leave too long without a stir.

Remove ham hocks and set aside to cool. When cooled enough to handle, pull off any meat and add it back to the pot.

If it gets too thick you can always add more water. I don’t puree that peas, just sort of mash them up as I stir. I always add more water before reheating leftovers too. Just pour a little over the top before reheating.

Get comfortable and enjoy!



Filed under design, handmade, NYC

2 responses to “Creature Comforts

  1. thank you, emily for including my work in this nice post! makes me want to watch all creatures great and small. i love a good british countryside series too!

  2. Jill, so happy to have stumbled upon your work. Just beautiful. And do watch all creatures. I think you’ll adore it.

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