Tuesday, 21 February 2012


I am going through a rather busy time in my life and every day seems to be filled with new ideas and inspiration for reinventing my living space as well as new opportunities to improve my Arabic culinary skills. I have a great admiration for Arabic cooking as it is really quite easy to do and the results both look and taste impressive. My extended family here and I share a love of getting together to cook and enjoy a meal together regularly. One of my personal favourites is breakfasts at my mum in laws as we always have a full spread. Flat breads which are warmed on the gas stove, lebannah (a thick yogurt eaten with the flat bread and extra virgin olive oil), hummus, chopped tomatoes and cucumber and wonderful steaming black tea served in beautiful glass cups with mint or marjoram (I have posted a fantastic and easy recipe for my family in laws mint/ marjoram tea bellow). Sometimes there are free range eggs from the farm or slow cooked tomatoes with extra virgin olive oil and chili which warms the cockles on a winters day. And our mid-morning Arabic coffee which has the consistency and strength of espresso but the added bonus of an extra aromatic after taste that reminds you of its origins.

Mint / Marjoram Tea recipe

Ingredients
Lipton tea bags (the amount depends on the size of your tea pot- large pots would need 3-4 bags and small 1-2)
a stainless steel teapot
fresh mint leaves or marjoram ( with the marjoram we use dried leaves)
decorative glasses for serving ( its amazing how satisfying it can be to drink tea from a glass)
sugar to taste

Method

  1. First place the tea bags and mint or marjoram leaves in the teapot and fill with boiling water.
  2. Then place on your stove and boil for about 3-4 minutes (which is why you need a stainless steel pot)
  3. Let your pot of tea rest for about 5 minutes before serving.
  4.  If you are making mint tea put a few mint leaves into your glasses along with your preferred amount of sugar.
  5. Pour your tea, stir and enjoy.
  6. A refreshing alternative to the hot mint tea would be to make it as normal and then let it cool and add ice cubes for an iced mint tea during the summer months.

This is my front door

Here in Jordan, as a pose to England the housework is comparatively more physical as there is more dust and sand about it almost feels like I am getting an aerobic work out when I tidy up (especially as I like to get my jobs done quickly. I love the satisfaction I feel when the chores are done for the day and I can relax with a well deserved cuppa. Its really great when, after my work is done and when my son has an afternoon nap I can have a quick crafty session and make something new for my home.
Like these cutlery and utensil pots I made for my kitchen using  empty baby cereal tubs and recycled yarn from some second-hand jumpers which were given to me recently. This small project is good for two reasons -
  1. You are reducing your rubbish by recycling some packaging and yarn.
  2. You are creatively producing something unique to your home which is also useful.
Crochet Cutlery Pots (using UK crochet terms)

You need-
  • empty baby cereal tubs or any tubs which are the same width at the bottom as the top.
  • yarn (the colour  is down to your preference- in my case I was matching it with a peach, brown and beige kitchen)
  • crochet needle size 4mm
  • wool needle scissors
  1. Make s foundation chain to fit the base of your container plus 3 for turning.
  2. Make your first row in triples and join at the end with a slip stitch. Fasten off yarn.
  3. Either follow the wavy stripe pattern or the alternate which is (Tie a new colour ch2 and double crochet around end with a slip stitch and fasten off yarn
  4. For continuous irregular straight stripes rep lines 2 and 3 and rep to desired depth, for  the wavy stripe follow lines 2,5 and 6 to desired depth and finish. Weave ends into the wrong side of the material. stretch over the container add utensils and use!!!
Wavy stripe
5.    Tie in a new colour and slip stitch 2 times then (dc,dc, trc, trc, dc, dc sl, sl) to end making sure you have an even wave. Fasten off your yarn.

6.  Tie new colour ch3 and triple crochet around before sl st to finish and fasten off yarn.


You could cover the whole pot in waves or opt for lots of straight stripes. You could even mix both like I did for an unusual look!!!! So give it a try. As this is my first attempt at writing a pattern would love it if you tried it out and posted me a comment below with a pic of your finished pot . This pattern is so versatile you don't have to use your finished pot just for the kitchen you could use one as a pen pot or a vase for a dried flower display. The ideas are as limitless as your imagination !!!!!!!
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