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Thirty First October Twenty Fourteen… for you MUM x

So every year, on the 31st October people from all over the world celebrate Halloween. All the little mights, ghouls and goblins gather, the witches, devils and vampires unite and everyone lights a pumpkin and eats a few treats, well to put it bluntly thats sort of what happens…

Halloween or Hallowe’en (/ˌhæləˈwn, ˈn, ˌhɑːl/; a contraction of “All Hallows‘ Evening“), also known as Allhalloween, All Hallows’ Eve, or All Saints’ Eve, is a yearly celebration.

Olivia and Pumpkins 2013

Little O at 3 months, Cleaver Sq 2013

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a happy little cat and some happy looking pumpkins 2013

For me and for my family, it is just that, a celebration… My darling mum passed away on October 31st 2003 and being everything that she was and continues to be to us all, she was unbelievably inspiring and creative too. So with every year that passes, I have so much more to celebrate and so much more of a reason why. However you think of Halloween or All Hallows Eve, it’s history and story are dedicated to remembering the dead, those that have left us and for me this ignites even more passion in making each Halloween that much more special. The true meaning of Halloween and its origins have been lost over the years and of course influenced by todays society, also various religions and faiths have formed their own and slightly different traditions. What I find most poignant is that although the idea of lighting a gourd, turnip, suede or pumpkin to so many might seem ridiculous but its origin and purpose was to create a symbol of life that had passed, to welcome the spirits back, as All Hallows Eve, the night before All Saints Day “is when our world is closer to theirs” …. It is the candle inside the pumpkin that is magical and people would display their lit pumpkins or Jack-o-Lanterns in windows and doorways to welcome back the sprits, and to me, I find that rather special…

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Pumpkins for tonights celebration!

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This year we are celebrating with all our local Kennington friends in Cleaver Square… There will be Chilli for the grown ups and sausages and buns for the kids… A gathering where the kids can eat in between their trick-or-treat rounds and haribo feasts but also a chance for us grown ups to enjoy a glass or two of wine and celebrate! Little O is dressing up as a little pumpkin and I cannot wait to see her staggering about  with her other little buddies later tonight! Being another special day on All Saints Day (my birthday!), I made cake too, I mean why not? There is always an excuse to eat cake and today an even bigger one!

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My halloween special, for you Mum (& Me!)

 

I was totally inspired by Jamie’s roasted pumpkin seeds too, so I’ve done mine with smoked paprika and chilli flakes and you will be surprised – they are damn good and very moreish! I actually carved another pumpkin just to get more seeds to roast…! See here for the recipe…

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So here’s a little Halloween wish to all of you and to everyone that has loved and lost, to all those that have left, may you enjoy the spectacular glow that tonights display of lit pumpkins, all over the world create. Happy Halloween.

 

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we are in for warm halloween this year!

 

 

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CHRISTMAS is coming…

Believe it or not, but yes Christmas is coming and as the design studio has been filling up with orders since September, Cellandia gets things started early!

Beautiful, personal Christmas cards that will mark this year with something so special are just the beginnings of what we aim to create and produce. There is nothing more important than feeling happy about your cards and getting them started early. If it’s one more thing off your list then why not?

I used to be a firm believer of not treading into Christmas, whether by tip toe or with a big heavy thud until at least Halloween and my birthday were well out of the way, but the thing is as a stationery supplier based in London you can imagine that even in the heat of the summer we are thinking Christmas. Also, to be fair, I’m now a mum and so that means we get organised early and there’s a jolly good reason why.

Cellandia has been creating corporate cards for various companies across the nation but also personal cards that are catered to each individual, using Cellandia’s trademark designs. Whether using a simple design together with a photo, your cards will reach friends and family with a message from the heart and what better time than Christmas to make them smile even more. You know that Granny will have placed your card in the front on the mantle piece too!Christmas is coming...

Our unique storytelling cards are designed, printed and finished and London, all using luxury textured card stock and no detail is left out from the start of design process to packing up your order.

Say hello, place your order or enquire at info@cellandia.com

 

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…Lamb BIRYANI…

I love Indian food, the authentic Indian food and all the spices and ways you can tenderise meat and give vegetables an exciting and vibrant twist… I especially love all the Indian breads, from roti to chapati’s to naan breads and then of course paratha’s. All of them used to bring the delicious curried meat or veg to your mouth is all part of why I love Indian food. I am no way an expert and I am no way a culinary genius. I am probably a cheat like most other Brits here in London but I will try and use as fresh as possible and from scratch as often as possible. Rick Stein’s recent journey across the sub-continent of Asia exploring all the most wonderful dishes we are so familiar with but everything else we’ve never heard of and more… The BBC Two series left you wanting to not only rediscover Indian cooking but re-stock your spice cupboard and travel India for months on a taste adventure if anything! However it did and continues to inspire me to be a little more exciting when I cook.

The latest is a Lamb Biryani recipe, a mixed rice dish using spices and meat or veg and then baked in the oven… Here I used a recipe from Jamie Oliver, made using your leftover roast shoulder of lamb… Which I posted earlier here… Stein uses chicken in his recipe here which I’ll try next, he also often suggests using mutton… However, I think that another way to use up your leftovers is great, so I went with Jamie’s…The lamb is already tender and you make the stock from boiling up the bones and then a gorgeous heavenly sauce is made from ginger, chilli, coriander, turmeric, fenugreek, cumin, ground cardamon, garam, mustard seeds (anything else in your curry powder) and mango chutney. Then you layer rice, spinach, lamb into your oven dish and cover with another layer of rice and is baked in the oven.

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For a dinner party, I served the Lamb Biryani with a minty cucumber Raita, warmed Chapati’s and to start some homemade Vegetable Samosa’s washed down with some Cobra beer… ! We loved it and our guests did too, definitely one we will do again. Thanks Jamie and thanks Rick for all the inspiration!

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nothing quite like LAMB…

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Slow roast shoulder of lamb

This is so simple and yet so mouth-wateringly tasty. All you need is a shoulder of lamb, sea salt and a hot oven which has been pre-heated to 200 degrees, you put your lamb in for 30 minutes, then after that you leave your shoulder in the oven at a lower temperature of 160 degrees for 4 hours.. In a baking tray with nothing but salt, you let the lamb do its thing… I love lamb with couscous and home made tsatziki but traditional roast veg always works well too.

 

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I love HONG KONG…

I feel deeply saddened about the current political climate going off in Hong Kong at the moment, see here, but feel unbelievably proud that I am a Hongkonger. Born there in 1981 and lived there for 18 years before I moved to London to start my Fine Arts & BA Degree… I seemed to have got hooked because I am still here in London with my own family now.

Although I am very far away, I still have such a connection as my family and friends still live there and to be fair, it is and will always be my home at heart. What an incredible, peaceful protest OccupyCentral is and I really hope that through all of this, the magnitude of people and students really help to make a difference and that Hong Kong can have the democracy that they so deserve and were promised.

Former Hong Kong Governor Chris Patten told the BBC that the current situation represented “a breach of what the Chinese government have promised Hong Kong… They said these matters were within the autonomy of the Hong Kong government and they are now reneging on that.”

A 5 year old boy quoted to his mummy…”People are angry because they don’t want China to be the boss of Hong Kong.”

Enough Said.

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