Happy new year to everyone. Rather late in the day, being half way through January, but the year already seems to be racing past at speed.
We are back in Cornwall after spending Christmas and the New Year looking after the most beautiful black labrador in the Cotswolds village of Bretforton, while her owners went off on holidays for a couple of weeks.
Thrown in with the deal was a velvety black rabbit called Bumbles – a comical, cantankerous, unpredictable, dish-hurling, naughty, affectionate little diva. After two weeks, we came to an understanding – she could nibble my jumper sleeves as long as she didn’t nibble my wrists, and I would provide her with an endless supply of brussels sprout tops, kale, cabbage and the occasional stick of celery. That seemed to work. To be fair, the dish-hurling only happened twice – unfortunately this then involved me crawling into the pen on my hands and knees, Christmas-enhanced backside in the air, trying not to kneel on rabbit poo, in order to retrieve it. We’ve had more dignified assignments. Oddly enough, Robin left rabbit care to me, though I admit he more than made up for this by taking on responsibility for the early-morning dog walks.
Continue reading “High-fibre beef & lentil chilli”
Despite the mostly inclement weather, we’re enjoying being back in Cornwall, and it is especially novel not sharing our house with the plumbers, carpenters and electricians. We quite miss them though – they are a happy and helpful bunch – though we don’t miss the early morning start time. They were here last week finishing off a few bits and pieces, but I think that is everything now until the summer. Robin is muttering about ‘getting up the floor of the conservatory’ to install underfloor heating, as that is our only dining space and it can be parky at this time of year. Personally, I favour a large rug. The thought of having the floor up fills me with horror. I am hoping he will have forgotten about it by the summer. Continue reading “Hot and sour Thai noodle soup”
We are back home in Turkey and I have an entire kitchen at my disposal: working oven, tick; working hob, tick; fridge on the same floor – indeed in the same room – as the rest of the cooking facilities, tick. Food in the fridge? Errrrr, scratch that.
It has been unseasonably hot since we got back and I’ve failed yet to make a raid on the greengrocer – shopping has been limited to a quick skirmish in the supermarket on our way through town at the beginning of the week, with meals mainly scratched together from the various things our house guests left in the fridge. Continue reading “‘Creamy’ tomato & roasted red pepper soup (vegan)”
Still no kitchen, but things are moving along. Today, the carpenters magically constructed our built-in seating area, which is exactly as I had pictured it in my head. I showed them a photo of the kind of thing I wanted and they built it to fit the space – the seats even lift up so that we can store our outside cushions beneath them. When it comes to anything that involves a drill or a screwdriver, shall we just say that it’s better if I just stick to making the coffee, and it always amazes me that people can just knock up something like this from some apparently random pieces of wood in the space of a few hours. Continue reading “Italian-style tuna and bean stew”
I am very excited because tomorrow we are off on an unexpected jaunt to the Jurançon wine district in France and then travelling back here next week via Amsterdam – a city I have always wanted to visit. Getting to places from here is never simple, so we are going by a very convoluted route, which involves four different airlines. (*Sighs dramatically*) The route was originally going to involve the TGV, but in view of the strikes, we’ve decided to avoid that option. Continue reading “Slow roasted tomato and red pepper soup (5:2 recipe)”
It’s Tuesday so it must be diet day. Hey ho, that also means Don Draper Day, though we’ve just reached the end of Season 6, so not long to go now. I am not sure where we will spend our evenings when we are no longer gadding about in 1970s Madison Avenue, though it will soon be too warm for sitting inside after dinner, so perhaps the timing is excellent. Continue reading “Moroccan spiced carrot & lentil soup (5:2 recipe)”
Our friends Jean and Ian arrive from the UK this evening, so I am baking a couple of bits and pieces to leave in their apartment, lest they have the inevitable midnight munchies after their long journey from Somerset. Continue reading “Sticky fruit tea-bread”
My brother loves a ‘lobby’. The kind of thing where you just lob everything into the pan and hope for the best. Despite his enthusiasm for throwing caution to the wind, I tend to be marginally more scientific about it – I start with a recipe, pick it to pieces, keep the bits I like the look of, and change everything else. I don’t apply this principle to baking, I hasten to add – in that case, I would definitely try the recipe first, then make modifications. Continue reading “Asian ‘lobby’ rice pot”