Hello Folks,My unusual Holly bush with trumpet flowers in full bloom, pretty but prickly.
I haven’t been here for quite a few weeks and was eager to get something posted. I’ve been busy with children, more children, relatives coming to stay. Children’s birthdays, decorating and getting ready to go back to school. As well as the usual gardening, entertaining and general domesticity.
In the middle of all this mayhem I had a calling to make a prayer, comfort and healing shawl. This was a pleasure to crochet but in my haste to send it to the intended recipient, I forgot to photograph it which I regret. I don’t know who said it, probably John Lennon but ‘Life is what happens when you’re busy making plans.’Prayer shawl
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For the jewish prayer shawl see Tallit
A prayer shawl, in Christianity, is a piece of cloth blessed in honor of a saint, angel, or deceased person. They are blessed by the clergy and can be informally blessed through prayer by the laity. They are to be given to a person who is ill, injured, or in bad fortune. They may also be given to people for celebrating events such as childbirth, baptism, or confirmation.  Prayer shawls are common in Roman Catholic, Eastern Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Anglican, and Methodist churches.
Further information about prayer shawls can be found at http://www.shawlministry.com/
Regardless of your religion or non religious beliefs creating a payer, healing or comfort shawl is a spiritual process that is unique to each individual.
I continue to be busy crocheting various other projects, cutting up fabrics for my rag rug – the end is finally in sight.
The other day I got a real urge for a MacSween’s vegetarian haggis which I thought could be lurking somewhere in the chest freezer, I was wrong. I’m not a vegetarian but some dishes are too good to resist. I then got my thinking hat on and decide to try a create something that came near to the delicious, crunchy, spicy and beanie texture of a quality vegetarian haggis. I did some research on the internet of various recipes, I looked at what was available in the kitchen cupboards and came up with the following recipe.
1 Medium Carrot – Finely Chopped
125g Mushrooms Finely Chopped
1 Red Onion Finely Chopped
1 Shallot Finely Chopped
750ml Vegetable Bouillon
5 Tablespoons of Red Lentils
2 Tablespoons Red Kidney Bean
1 Tablespoon Butter Beans
5 Tablespoons Nuts of your choice
1 Tablespoon of Soy Sauce
1 Tablespoon of Lemon Juice
1 tsp of Thyme
1 ½ tsp Parsley
1 tsp Paprika
250g oatmeal or finely processed oats
1 egg beaten
1 tbsp Olive Oil.
All ingredients can be finely chopped in any normal food processor giving a finer texture and ultimately a more satisfying haggis. Choose any nuts that you like – In my haggis I used peanuts, pine nuts and cashew nuts. Feel free to substitute any beans of your choice rather than kidney beans. I wouldn’t recommend baked beans I think this would affect the overall taste. I decided to add butterbeans as they are one of my favourites but many people don’t like them.
1. Sauté the onion and carrot for 5 mins in the olive oil.
2. Add the mushroom and sauté for a further 5 mins.3. Add all other ingredients, and 400ml of the stock, apart from egg & oats and cook on a low heat for a further 10 mins.
4. Next add all the oatmeal and add the remaining stock until desired texture is reached. Continue on a low heat for a further 20 mins.
5. Using olive oil grease a loaf tin or any other suitable ovenproof container. Add the mixture after 20 mins and place in a pre-heated oven at 200 degrees for a further 30 mins. Leave uncovered if you want a crusty top or cover with foil if you wish to retain a moist texture.
We served this with the traditional accompaniments of mashed potatoes and mashed neeps and it was truly yummy.
For further information on MacSween’s haggis go to http://www.macsween.co.uk/