How to have fun with a squash: Episode 2 + recipe

January 29th, 2012 Comments 0

You may remember the alien surprise I got when making squash soup a year and a half ago.  Here is the second episode of this adventure:

Accidental Squash Spiral!

I started by chopping the top off and using it in a stir-fry earlier in the week, but you could try this with the whole squash. 

1. Peel your squash.
2. Take a sharp knife, and aiming to slice a disc an inch thick, cut into the flesh, catching the blade at just the right angle so that as the knife rotates around the squash, your circular incision travels a much longer distance than you expected, making a surprising and beautiful spiral.

spiral squash 1

3. Find an extra pair of hands to help you photograph it.

spiral squash 2

4. Make soup.

Squash, Ginger and Lemon soup
This soup is based on the holy trinity of squash, ginger and lemon.  The squash is sweet, earthy, tasty and orange, the ginger is hot, pungent, earthy and kicky, and the lemon is sharp and zingy.  This soup looks and tastes like sunshine in a bowl and always makes me happy in winter. You can add more or less of each ingredient.  By experimenting over the years I have found that there is an upper limit of ginger tolerance.  You can add other ingredients, but don’t be fooled, all you really need is the holy soup trinity.

Peeled and cubed butternut squash (remove innards)
1 inch of finely diced ginger root,
1 lemon (none of that bottled muck)
Salt and pepper
Garlic cloves
Chicken/veg stock
Soy sauce

Boil squash and ginger for about 20 minutes in enough water to nearly cover the squash in the pan.
When squash is soft, take off heat and mash with a fork or masher (easier than mashing potatoes).
Add the juice of half a lemon (I always add the lemon once the soup is off the boil to preserve more of the vitamins – I haven’t done any scientific testing to see if this works, but it does at least add a placebo effect of more vitamins)
Add seasoning, stock or soy sauce to taste.
Add more lemon and/or ginger to taste.
Gently heat again if it needs it.
Serve with homemade bread and butter.

squash soup

This soup will separate overnight into squash pulp and liquid, so just stir it up again for your day two helpings. 

I’ve never written a recipe here before, so if you try it, please let me know what you think!

Forwards and backwards

January 22nd, 2012 Comments 4


Last night would have been the closing night of WiLD at Chapter.  I’m not sad anymore, as I’ve had plenty of time to think and make new plans.  I’m actually really excited about this coming year.


When someone you love gets ill it definitely puts things into perspective.  Rob, my partner (in life, crime and theatre-making) was the team member who spent the New Year in hospital.  He is getting better, and we’re all in fine spirits.  Thanks to everyone who has offered their support during this time.  I sincerely wish you good health in 2012! 


January is a wonderful month!  I focus so strongly on re-aligning the tracks of my life, it feels like there’s an abundance of positivity and motivation to live well.  I’ve done more yoga in the past fortnight than I have in months.  The question is how long will it last?  I’ve given up writing resolutions, instead I’m making goals and then scheduling them.  Sometimes I wish we could have another January sooner than 2013, to stop the inexorable drift of good intentions.  Maybe one in May and one after August?  As it is I need to charge up a whole year’s worth of motivation right now to keep me going.  I might add a pretend January into my schedule.


Looking back, since starting working on this play in October 2010 I have gained more skills than I thought imaginable.  The habit of Getting-Things-Done is the best of them.  I wasn’t setting out to learn anything, I just wanted to make and perform a one-woman show (just!)  Nevertheless the learning kept coming.  Here is a list of what I learned last year making WiLD (since the end of the Aberystwyth performance):

How to video edit
How to use graphic design software
How to make a website (using Xara)
How to make and use my own font
How to scale down ambition when necessary
Knowing when to scale down ambition (having run out of time was the main reason)
How to set up a fundraising campaign
How to go busking for the first time despite The Fear
How to book a theatre tour (still have a lot more to learn!)
How to recruit a team and interview people
How to (successfully) apply for Arts Council funding
How to overcome my nerves about making important phone calls
How to be an employer
How to write contracts
How to draw animation storyboards and make an animatic
How to Get Things Done
and finally
How to re-make plans when they fall apart

That’s probably enough for now although there are many things in that list only half-learned and many more not on the list.  It has been an epic year, not what I expected at all and I feel good.  So onwards to those re-made plans (news of which to follow)!

Happy New Year!

two seagulls

Sad news about WiLD

January 9th, 2012 Comments 0

dove directions

I am very sorry to say that WiLD is being postponed.

A core member of the WiLD team has been ill for three weeks and is now in hospital.  There’s no way we can do the play without them.  Thankfully, they are getting better and should make a complete recovery.  The decision to postpone the show was difficult to make but was definitely the right thing to do.

The show will go on!  Please watch this space for an announcement of new dates!  WiLD will go ahead, bigger, brighter and better!  I will be using the extra time available to improve the play in every way possible, and I will keep posting about it here.

To be updated about a new performance schedule and rehearsal progress click ‘subscribe’ on the left hand menu, and follow the links.

Thanks for joining this journey so far, I feel it has only just begun…

Where am I?

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