The sun has been blazing, the garden is blooming lovely and inspired by one of my favourite summer time drinks, the Bellini, I've been creating a simple summer crochet project. Thanks to Toby and Lesley at Deli on the Quay, I've had a steady supply of 'granini' peach juice bottles - unfortunately they arrive empty, so no chance to mix them up with some perfectly chilled prosecco! This is upcycling in an instant. The faceted bottles lend themselves perfectly to their new role as bud vases and a flurry of hook, cotton and linen and they're modelling little frilly collars!
They are so quick to do and working with fine cotton and linen is perfect for hot summer afternoons - needless to say, Pipi's granny blanket is on the back burner yet again! It's just a question of which colour combination, how frilly to make them and what flowers to fill them with - as you can see, still plenty of cosmos, calendula and astrantia in my garden. Now I'm just holding my breath to see if my 'random' planting of heirloom sweetpeas has been a success?! As ever, the plan is for deep purple, antique rose and soft white, planted alternately around the pea stick wigwams. I'll post photos of the blooms in the granini vases if they ever decide to flower.
And the Sicilian has been busy in this glorious weather too. Whilst Sarah (a lovely Mollie Makes reader) and I sat crocheting apple cosies at the cookery school today, he rustled up some fresh pasta with a couple of Honey's eggs and some Sicilian semolina flour, before tossing it together with some extra virgin olive oil, thin ribbons of courgettes, the sweetest peas and fragrant mint - all from his vegetable garden, of course! I just love the Italian approach to food, simple ingredients, fresh and bursting with flavour. And, whilst on the subject of Italians and food, we met the wonderful Silvana de Soissons last week when she joined us for a Seafood course. I've been idling away my evenings reading the inspiring articles on The Foodie Bugle (Silvana's online magazine), and gasping at the truly beautiful images that drift before my eyes. If you've got a spare moment, have a peek xxx