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The Simple Things

The Simple Things March 2020

The Simple Things is a beautiful, useful, quirky and fun magazine about taking time to live well. We cover mindfulness and microadventures, eating and growing, forgotten wisdom, home life and slow moments. It's for people who love their lives but want to take the pressure off and remember what’s really important. We like tea & cake, learning stuff, being outside and the satisfaction of a job well done. Do you?

Country:
United Kingdom
Language:
English
Publisher:
Iceberg Press Limited
Frequency:
Monthly
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12 Issues

in this issue

1 min.
editor

Letting an idea blossom and grow is not always easy to do. We’re tempted to act now, make it happen, force it into existence. Sometimes, letting a thing gradually unfurl means that when it eventually bursts forth and blooms, it is the stronger for it. Taking time to notice and observe brings new life and perspectives to our thoughts. Then, like a kite catching the wind, they can take flight and soar. IDEAS THAT BLOSSOMED IN THIS ISSUE Traditions Fig and walnut scones p9 Life lessons How learning a language brings understanding p52 WIN! New spring clothes p71 and a year’s supply of plants p101 Looking back The women who collect textiles p56 Miscellany How to draw a portrait; board game of the month p121…

2 min.
nature’s table

EARLY SPRING Spring is tentatively emerging, and with it there is a soft fuzz of green on the trees and a hint of warmth in the sunshine. The vernal equinox comes this month – the tipping point when day and night are the same length – and after that the tug of war between dark and light will be won by light, as the days start to lengthen. Finally, winter really does end. Outdoors, the plants and animals know this moment is coming and are starting to peep their heads above the soil: fluffy pussy willow catkins unfurl, primroses the colour of baby chicks bloom and daffodils wave cheerily, all against cold, dark earth. Mothering Sunday is coming up, too. Traditionally a day to visit your ‘mother church’, the church where you…

1 min.
primroses the colour of baby chicks bloom…

Fig and walnut scones with honey butter Figs have a long association with Mothering Sunday and, in the north of England, a fig pie made with dried figs was the traditional present to take to your mother. These are much simpler and quicker to make and, if you can serve them warm with the whipped honey butter, all the better. Makes 10-12 scones 150ml milk1 tbsp lemon juice225g self-raising flour1 tsp baking powder50g butter50g dried figs, roughly chopped50g walnuts, toasted then roughly chopped1 egg, beaten FOR THE HONEY BUTTER 100g salted butter, softened1 tbsp honey 1 Preheat your oven to 220C/ Fan 200C/Gas 7. 2 Pour the milk and lemon juice into a jug or bowl and leave for a few minutes. It will start to curdle, but the acid will help to create a good rise…

2 min.
outdoors, plants and animals know that spring is coming

Leek and goat’s cheese flamiche Flamiche is a leek pie from northern France, ideal for this time of year when leeks are almost the only veg still standing. They’re cooked low and slow to bring out their sweetness, and the addition of goat’s cheese makes it extra creamy. Serves 6 500g ready-made all butter shortcrust pastry60g salted butter5 leeks200g crème fraîche3 egg yolks, plus 1 whole egg125g goat’s cheese You will need: A 28cm loose-bottomed flan dishBaking parchmentRice or dried beans 1 Remove the pastry from the fridge about 30 mins before you are going to use it, then melt the butter in a large saucepan over a medium heat. 2 Wash the leeks well before trimming, halving and finely slicing, then add them to the pan. Stir all of the leeks into the butter until they…

1 min.
the daffodils wave cheerily against the cold, dark earth

Parisian spring punch A lovely long and refreshing champagne (or sparkling wine) cocktail to treat your mother – or yourself– after a long day’s baking and flower picking. Serves one 25ml calvados1 tbsp (17ml) dry vermouth1 tsp lemon juice1 tsp simple sugar syrup*Champagne or sparkling wine, to top up Shake the calvados, vermouth, lemon juice and syrup together with ice. Strain into an ice-filled glass, and top with champagne or sparkling wine. * Put 200g caster sugar and 240ml water in a pan. Bring to the boil while stirring then allow to cool..…

4 min.
march

Project How to name your home brews Whether you’re brewing beer, making wine, steeping sloes in gin, or creating something much more healthful and less alcoholic, your moonshine needs a catchy name before you delight friends with it. Here are some naming tips. Write your moniker in the bottle above when you’ve picked one. • Alliterate. Think Beryl’s Best Brew or Sticky Sloe Syrup. A rhyme helps too: ‘Ida’s Cider’ (assuming your name is ‘Ida’, of course). • Include the name of your location to whip up local interest: Trusty Tiverton IPA, perhaps. A nod to a local landmark is always good, too. • Feel free to over-promise (as long as you aren’t charging for it). If you say gin will make you beautiful and witty, then it is so. March Almanac In the trees... Nest-building is gathering…