Malta has joined the celebration of Halloween only recently . If you go back a few years, you would have only found the occasional costume party here and there, but now lit up pumpkins in the windows and ‘trick or treating’ seemed to have found their place in our culture as well. Here at Design Sorbet we want to share the celebration of Halloween with you by sharing our autumnally experience at the pumpkin fest (‘Festa tal-Qara`Ahmar’ as we call it in Malta).
This Festival is being organised yearly at Manikata by the Koperrativa Rurali Manikata and the Manikata Parish Church, with the support of the Mellieha Local Council. Although we arrived late, in the rain and most of the stands where closing down, this event was still a worthy visit. It was enough just to see all the wet pumpkins still on farm carts, stands and in the streets with the rain pouring on them. It was quite a scene. You could smell the first smells of winter and the grey weather was just appropriate for the weekend before Halloween. We were also lucky enough to find two stands still open and I bought a quirky jar of pumpkin jam and two pumpkins. I couldn’t resist and as soon as I came home I started to work on a pumpkin soup (following my mum`s recipe) and kept the other one to carve or to draw on for this Wednesday.
If you still haven’t had any time to look up any pumpkin recipes or pumpkin carving ideas. I’ve done the job for you. Here’s something you can try out:
Mum`s Pumpkin Soup
1 kilo and a half pumpkin
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 cloves garlic
4 medium onions
2 large potatoes
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
Juice of 1 medium orange (4 tablespoons)
Pinch of salt and fresh pepper
Cook the onion and garlic in olive oil, in a pan over medium heat.
Combine the onion, garlic, pumpkin chunks, chicken broth, potato cubes, orange juice and cinnamon in a large saucepan. Cook slowly for 1 hour. Stir every 15 minutes.
Turn off the heat, leave to cool for few minutes and purée the soup with a hand blender.
Garnish with fresh cream and herb of your choice. Add a drizzle of honey (optional).
Serve in a blue bowl:) Accompanied with warm toasted bread and a glass of wine (maybe a Chardonnay or a Pinot Noir).
When I’m travelling I make it a point to bring different kinds of coffees from the area that I’m visiting, therefore this machine was a perfect treat for me. Recently I am also experimenting with my own coffee mixtures such as my version of the traditional Maltese coffee which is a mixture of good quality ground coffee, a little bit of chicory (cikwejra) , some ground cloves, aniseed and a pinch of cinnamon. If you appreciate simplicity, good design and good coffee, then you will love this machine. Usually I enjoy a cup in the morning in my balcony looking at the view of Kalkara front, Vittoriosa bastions and Valletta harbour.
Birthplace and Story.
It was love at first sight and given the bright colour and minimalistic shape, I was immediately picturing it in my new white kitchen. At the same time, I had always wanted to buy a coffee machine due to my obsession with good coffee. It was at the back of my mind for a long time now. I was trying to find something with good/playful design and at the same time that produces a good thick espresso. I bought this Machine during an event at Domestica Showroom. At the time I was flat broke but the temptation was too strong. The fact that I was a little bit tipsy didn’t help either and the cute salesman made things look more tempting. I left the showroom still a little bit dazed and with a big smile on my face, proud with my new toy.
So today at Design Sorbet we had a brief get together after a long day at work, where we discussed some future posts that we have planned for you in the coming days. Since today I was hosting the blog meeting at my flat, I was in charge of providing the food. As you can imagine I had little time to prepare a proper meal so I made a quick trip to the store before heading home, however there was a special ingredient waiting for me back home. My mum had just given me a bottle of extra virgin olive oil that was made in Safi, which is one of the smallest villages in Malta, and it’s also where I live, so I was interested to see what it had to offer.
This is what we made:
Boiled the pasta in a bit of salt. In a large bowl, mix together Greek black olives, sun dried tomatoes, a couple of raisins, cashew nuts, plenty of Feta cheese, fresh chopped basil, home made olive oil and fresh squeezed lemon. I also added a little bit of olive oil to the pasta before mixing in the rest of the ingredients. Serve with Parmesan shavings and a basil leaf (if you’re into that stuff)
Everyone loved it, trust me I wouldn’t I share it otherwise 😉
Every month, we at Design Sorbet are going to cook up a very special mystery literature box for you readers to decipher before the end of the post. Each month we will be revealing a different book, or a piece of literature that we have personally read, liked and that we want to suggest to you. Once the box is opened, you will be guided with clues along the way that will vary from folded illustrations, to quotes and other related items. These symbolic objects will serve as teasers for literature lovers, in order to discover the unknown book. (The title for this project will be a randomly selected quote from the chosen book / literature piece.)
Have you guessed? It’s of course ‘Lolita’ by Vladimir Nabokov
“The most controversial classic novel of the 20th century,”Lolita” tells the story of aging Hubert Humbert who has an obsessive, devouring, and doomed passion for the nymphet, Dolores Haze. It is also the story of a hypercivilized European colliding with the cheerful barbarism of postwar America. All in all, “Lolita” is filled with awe and exhilaration, along with heartbreak and mordant wit.”
So what is this Sketchbook Chicks all about? Well it’s all about portraying creative females, sometimes according to their careers, and surrounding them by stereotypical (albeit desirable) items! I’m not gonna lie, it’s also an excuse for me to draw these kind of things. There’s something oddly entertaining about drawing nicely dressed ladies with their tiny items and accessories.
The first one is ‘The Fashion Blogger’; the envy of all Fashion enthusiasts, with her colourful brogues, aztek cardigan, retro sunglasses and the infamous ‘blogger bun’. She’s obviously ditched her car for a bicycle because cars are bad for the environment man! She still can’t let go of the Eiffel Tower motif, even though it’s been plastered around the fashion industry for a while now. A lover of owls, moustaches and a Diana camera, the Fashion Blogger is what every hipster chick aspires to be. Can you relate? 😉