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Creating in the Kitchen: Quick Red Onion Chutney

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Hello!

Welcome to Creating in the Kitchen, brought to you by The Project Bag; that is to say, brought to you by me, Gemma.

This week I'd like to share a speedy red onion chutney recipe with you.  It requires just 3 ingredients (and maybe some goggles if you're sensitive to crying over onions!); it's quick to make, quick to "mature", and scrummy with all sorts of treats! 

Ingredients:
7 medium sized red onions
250g caster sugar (you may need to add 50g more later)
2x 350ml bottles red wine vinegar

Equipment:
Chopping board
Sharp knife
Deep stock-pot or saucepan (preferably non-stick) with lid
Wooden spoon
Ladle *optional - the spoon will suffice but it's easier to use a ladle to fill the...
Glass jars - this recipe fills approximately 5 jam jars
Oven
Hob
Apron * again, up to you - depends if you like to live on the wild side!
Goggles * if you're a total cry-baby like me!
Oven gloves

Let's get started!



Step 1:  Pre-heat the oven to 200C.  Thoroughly wa…

Simple Sugar Biscuits: A Recipe

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Dear Readers,
I once again find myself on a Friday afternoon with some time to write.  It's funny, isn't it, that considering we are in nationwide lockdown (in the UK at least, although the restrictions are easing slightly) I have even less time than I did before?  
Time is a very strange thing: abstract.  Abstract nouns are names of things that you cannot see, hear or touch, but you can feel or see the effects of them.  Time ravages your body, your mind, or time treats it gently - at once abstract and yet personified.
For years I yearned for "more time" but, like lots of things, the more space you have, the more you find to fill it up with.  Since April 11th, I have been furloughed, but find myself busier than ever.  I thought that my days would be organised and calm, that the house would magically sparkle like those of the influencers I follow on "The Gram", that the jobs that had been waiting so patiently for me to have "time" would find themselve…

Live Streams - Monday Mini Makes

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Hello readers!It’s been a long time again, hasn’t it?I often find it hard to get the time to sit down and write, among all the other things I have to do, but I do enjoy it so I hope that you’ll forgive the sporadic publishing of blog posts.Firstly, let me say I hope you and yours are well and staying safe.It’s been a very strange six weeks, hasn’t it?Tough on everyone for a myriad of reasons.I saw a great quotation the other day:“We are not all in the same boat, but we are in the same storm”.This metaphor sums it up perfectly – while Covid-19 is affecting the entire world, how it affects us varies from individual to individual.My life is quite different now to how it was a few weeks ago.I’ve been working from home since mid-March, and then was Furloughed from 11th April from my day job as a yarn store manager.I am so proud to have got the new website up and running in time for my last day, although there’s lots still to do when I return.Although furloughed, I have found myself just as…

Baking with The Project Bag: Banana and Honey Loaf

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Hey there!
It's a strange old world out there at the moment isn't it?  I've been furloughed from my day job and on day one am already feeling twitchy.  But I reckon I can find enough to keep me busy.
One thing that's really at the forefront of my mind at the moment is the need to reduce waste.  Don't get me wrong, I'm not careless usually, but perhaps I don't plan enough and there ends up being waste.  
A couple of weekends ago I was eyeing up some blackened bananas and decided to rifle through my cupboards to see if I could whip something up.  I adapted a recipe from an old cook book and came up with honey and banana loaf.  
I love bananas, but I am super picky - one single brown spot and I won't eat them.  It's something to do with how the starch breaks down I think. Is it starch in a banana?  Anyway, I thought I'd share the recipe here.
TPB Banana and Honey Loaf.
Ingredients: 3 overripe bananas - peeled and mashed (I find a fork to work best for mash…

Word of the Year 2020 - Balance

Well it's that time of year again, when we find ourselves reflecting and setting goals.

Last year my word of the year was "Grit" - see here for the blog post about what grit is and some links to great resources.

This year, I will admit to having struggled.  Hope is too banal and immeasurable.  If I'm honest, I wanted "grit" again - one year surely isn't enough to perfect something is it?  I know it isn't for me.  But then I hit upon it:  balance.

For more than a decade I have struggled with balance.  As a dancer, my physical balance is excellent, provided my eyes are open (if they're closed I tend to just topple over backwards).  But as an adult?  Forget it.  The constant juggling and plate spinning of trying to manage work and life and a relationship and taking care of myself physically and mentally and squeezing some sleep in there occasionally is a skill I've yet to master.  I tend to be an all-or-nothing kinda gal, generally giving work …

Procraftination - causes, effects, and how to combat it.

Hello friends,

It's been quite a while since I last posted here - this is for various reasons.  Initially it was my daughter's first birthday - a difficult time as we figured out how to celebrate her life in the midst of our grief.  This was swiftly followed 32 days later by the anniversary of her death, another really difficult thing to navigate.  Then I landed a new job as manager of a yarn store: The Yarn Dispensary, in Faversham, Kent, and my feet haven't touched the ground since.

However, as time went on, there became another reason why I didn't post.  The longer I went without writing, the harder it became to get started.  In short, I was suffering from...

Procrastination.

So after some months, as I finally sit down to type, this is what I want to talk about.  Procrastination, procraftination, why it happens and how to combat it.

Procrastination is about fear, really.  Fear about getting it wrong, about not knowing how things will turn out; it's an act of res…

What's New for The Project Bag in 2019

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Hello friends,

It seems like I've written about this a lot this year (and as the year is only 8 weeks old, give or take, that's impressive) but as you know another change has come upon me in the past couple of weeks so once again it's time to take stock.

I've been doing a lot of thinking - what else do you do when you've had to quit the day job? - and thought it might be time to share some of it with you!

Firstly, though, let me say a heartfelt "thank you" for your kind wishes and support over the past year or so, but especially over the past couple of weeks as I've struggled to come to terms with my PTSD and also gone through a particularly challenging emotional time of my daughter's first birthday.  Your love, support, encouragement and general loveliness has meant so much.  Thank you.

Secondly, I need to apologise (sorry, Aileen!):  I try to keep the blog, instagram and the podcast all fairly independent of each other in order to keep things fr…

Word of the Year: One Month In

Dear Readers,

How are we all?  January is very nearly over so I thought it was time to have a little think about the new year so far, and to check in and see how we've done.

Viewers of the podcast (www.youtube.com/c/theprojectbag) will know that, rather than picking a list of NYRs, I've chosen a word instead.  And focused my time on setting goals, rather than resolutions.

So why reject resolutions?

I keep diaries.  Each year, a new diary, but old resolutions.  What?  Resolutions were always the same:  at least 10, generally aimed at bits of myself I didn't like or didn't feel good about, all of which required total abstinence from something, or a 100% dedication to embedding a new habit.  Immediately.  Is it any wonder I never managed to keep them?

It takes, apparently, 28 days of hard work to embed a habit. Why, then, do we get to NYE, or the 1st January and suddenly think we will be able to transform ourselves instantly?

Resolutions have taken different shapes for me.…