Hand making

I’ve always loved making things with my hands… whether it’s been cooking, or small crafts, or drawing, but with a grand mother professional knitter, a mother and elder sister that know sewing, as the smallest one I didn’t really get a chance to learn any on these. Knitting I would probably be able to catch up, I did a little knitting when I was a child, but sewing… except for making squared pillow cases and the like, I really know nothing, and cutting is even worse, ask A. about my attempt of making a cylindrical pillow case… so when my old neighbor asked me if I wanted to learn how to make a traditional Japanese quilted jacket, I knew it would please her to spend some time with me chitchatting, I just couldn’t say no! I love learning new things to do with my hands. She told me what to buy and I prepared everything to be ready when the making day would come. She told me: “you’ll see it’s very easy” I understood “it will take one afternoon or one evening and you’ll have a new overcoat”… it was underestimating the skills needed and my total lack of them!!! It took me one evening just to cut and prepare the basic shape and she was guiding me all along, one other evening to add the filling and do the preparation sewing, and one evening to finally finish the hand sewing! But I did it!!! I am very proud of my first real piece of clothing! Hand sewing is yes time consuming but the cutting and mounting part were really interesting to learn!!! Learning how to make the best of the piece of fabric you have, how to avoid useless cutting and sewing, and how to optimize ease of mounting the whole thing together was really eye opening on knowhow and craftsmanship. I will definitely try again. The thing I found the best of all was that rather than watching an online tutorials I found that having someone experienced to show me was crucial in succeeding and in making the whole experience engaging and fun. Because not only did I learned how to make the jacket but also how to make small consistent knots, to use a supporter to make straight and regular stitches… and one million other things about Japan 70 years ago!!!

That said, you can understand that I had fewer time for cooking, so it was always simple. And with the chilly evenings, a warm soup was always welcome. I made a sweet potato and cauliflower soup. It’s so easy and requires so little work that it was perfect for me.

Sweet potato and cauliflower soup (2 large servings)

– 1 small cauliflower

– 2 small Japanese sweet potatoes (or 1/2 if it’s only big ones you can find)

– 200ml of milk

– salt and pepper

Boil the vegetables after washing/peeling and cutting them. When tender, move the vegetables in a blender, add the milk salt and pepper and mix. If too thick add a bit of the cooking water. Serve immediately and eat hot!

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