Many of us have a fascination with miniature quilts but don't know where to begin, so the InStitches miniature quilt making day was an ideal opportunity to find out more; even if it came with a warning!: stitching on this small scale can be addictive...
For some 'miniature' means 1/12th scale (where an 1 inch is equivalent to 12 inches) but for others it is larger, maybe 2 to 4 inches. Using foundation piecing Hazel encouraged students to make a selection of small scale blocks, getting smaller and smaller as their confidence grew in piecing at this scale.
and there was cake...
Spicy Squash Soup
1 heaped teaspoon coriander seeds
1 heaped teaspoon cumin seeds
6 whole cardamom pods (seeds only)
1½ oz (40 g) butter
1 tablespoon groundnut oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 heaped teaspoon turmeric
1 heaped teaspoon ground ginger
1 pumpkin, weighing 3-31/2 lb (1.35-1.6 kg)
1 tablespoon groundnut oil
1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped
11/2 pints (850 ml) stock, vegetable or chicken
15 fl oz (425 ml) whole milk
salt and freshly milled black
Cut the pumpkin in half through the stalk, then cut each half into 4 again and scoop out the seeds using a large spoon. Then brush the surface of each section with the oil and place them on the baking sheet.
Season with salt and pepper, and then pop them on a high shelf of the oven, gas mark 9, 475 F (240 C) to roast for 25-30 minutes or until tender when tested with a skewer.
Meanwhile melt the butter in a large saucepan over a high heat, add the onion, stir it round and when it begins to colour round the edges, after about 5 minutes, turn the heat down. Let it cook very gently without a lid, giving it a stir from time to time, for about 20 minutes.
Then remove the pumpkin from the oven and leave it aside to cool.
Now add the stock and the milk to the onions, and leave them with the heat turned low to slowly come up to simmering point. Next scoop out the flesh of the pumpkin with a sharp knife and add it to the stock together with a seasoning of salt, pepper and nutmeg. Then let it all simmer very gently for about 15-20 minutes. Next the soup should be processed to a puree.
Because there's a large volume of soup, it's best to do this in two halves. What you need to do is whiz it until it's smoothly blended, but as an extra precaution it's best to pass it through a sieve as well in case there are any unblended fibrous bits.
Taste and season well, then when you're ready to serve the soup, re-heat it gently just up to simmering point, being careful not to let it boil. We like to serve our soup with a swirl ofcrème fraiche and cubes of creamy feta cheese.
This recipe is a combination of two from Delia's winter collection