day 1: mezze

Welcome to 31 Days of Chickpeas! I love them. They are cheap, nutritious and versatile. When I mentioned this series to Mr. Craftybites, he said “so you’re going to make me eat chickpeas for 31 days?!” Although that would bring me joy, no. Stay tuned for fun ways to play with and also eat the noble garbanzo.

MezzeToday we start off with our New Year’s Day Feast. This is our version of a mezze. The star of this meal is the marinated fish, but the hummus and ful are the glue that holds it together. We also have (slightly over) grilled halloumi, dolmades, baba ghanoush, olives, crudites, and baguette.

Chickpeas1On New Year’s Eve, I was at home soaking chickpeas and fava beans. You?

Marinated Fish

Today I made the fish from Claudia Roden’s The New Book of Middle Eastern Food. It’s pretty similar if not the same to this recipe. I’d go look for you, but I’ve got a baby attached to me. Make this fish and make sure to have extra bread for sopping up the juices.

There was also wine.

Mezze PlateAnd this is a what it looked like when it all came together.

Stick with me for 30 more days of chickpea chicanery. I can’t promise they will be consecutive, but there will be 31 at some point…

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the wrongest side of thirty

I seem to have had a week long birthday!

On Friday, I got a package from Earthly Goods. I had signed up for their four fat quarters a month club the week before and I hoped it would arrive for my birthday. I tried to wait until Monday, but I had to rip it open that night. For $21, tax included, and free shipping in Canada, it’s a great deal. You can choose from Beautiful Balis, Collections, or Kids Stuff. I chose Collections and got four pieces from Amy Butler’s Belle. This is not something I would buy, but it’s lovely and I already have a plan for it. They don’t really do online sales, so I encourage you to phone them and join up! Support this lovely shop that has just moved to their third location.

Sew Sisters has a very tempting Kona Solids club as well. Maybe Christmas…

On Sunday, I had a mini lie-in and a “pre-work” coffee break. I used this time to look up tote patterns on Pinterest, finalise my decision and print the instructions. I may have printed more than one, but since my sewing machine has a broken gear, I can only plan.

On Monday, my actual birthday, I was greeted by a pile of presents on the breakfast table. Man gave me the gift of cheese. One fancy cheese knife, two types of fancy crackers, fancy red pepper jelly, and a gift certificate to Les Amis du Fromage!

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Then two of my magazine subscriptions showed up.

As if that wasn’t awesome enough, he then offered to drive me to the fabric store! I spent at least 45 minutes at Spool of Thread unchecked, but spent less than $100.

$20 on quilt backing and borders in Kona Peapod

$20 on fat quarter frivolity

$8 on Kona Solids for the stash

$12 on a Clover Chalk pen thingy

The woman in the store was super helpful. She gave me advice and opinions. I hate it when you ask salesclerks what they think and they say “Oh it’s up to you”. Like I’m going to come back to the shop in a rage because the colours didn’t match.

Tacos were proffered but I spent too much time gambolling to make it to the restaurant.

I also got a card from my parents with proceeds for an electric blanket. I plan to get a twin. Man has no need for any heat giving device. I see now how people spontaneously combust.

I received a phone call from my brother.

On Tuesday, I got a lovely card from some dear friends and a phone call from my BFF.

There was also wine. Nothing unusual there, just thought I’d mention it.

On Wednesday, I got two packages in the mail. Two! One from the aforementioned BFF containing a card about boobs and a director’s clanging board thingy. Now when I make my amateur {ahem} art films, they’ll look a little more professional. The second was from my in-laws, deep in the Welsh countryside. Kaffe Fassett’s Quilt Romance! Brilliant! Not only did I have one of his books on hold at the library, I had thought to myself how lucky Hayley was to get a Kaffe from Roy for hospital reading. Although she’s not at all lucky. Who’s going to wash Roy’s anorak and make sure he has that ratty bag?

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And then my brother and sister-in-law came over with more treats. Dog treats! Somersaults! These are so good, despite the fact they look like kibble. I recommend salty pepper. There was some cookies, nuts, and fancy gummy fruits. The cookies were mostly gone before they left.

On Friday, I ordered my electric blanket.

And on Saturday, we cheesed.

Cheese and Cracker Snacker

crusty bread

I was probably a teenager the last time I made my own bread. Today, I made this crusty loaf to go with hubbo’s borscht. Looks nice, doesn’t it?crusty breadLittle Miss thought it was great. At least, she thought it was much better than the harira I tried to feed her. I thought it tasted like what it is: flour and water. It needed something more. Sugar, rising time, baking time. We ate it, but it wasn’t quite right. The quest for a good one loaf bread continues.

bachelor days one

bachelordays1Oh, I didn’t want to cook today. I wanted Pad Thai. Partly because I’m sick and tired and the last thing I want to do after wrassling a Beast into bed is sauté an onion. Partly because I don’t know how to cook any more. Man has been donning the apron since Beast arrived. I can’t even warm up soup properly. Anyway, I prepped some veg while I fed the Beast, all the while hoping that the ’13’ on this can of coconut milk means that it expires this year. Is there a reason that expiry dates have to be so baffling? There should be an international standard, adhered to under penalty of botulism.  Or a small fine.

There is also some bourgeois hand peeled shrimp and an old rejected piece of baked potato.

I was going to just eat it plain, but after 10 minutes in the pan, it was just screaming for some rice. So 25 minutes later, here I am with a bowl of Shrimp Thai Green Curry! bachelordays1.1

And it tastes absolutely nothing like Papaya Hut.