Monday 19 February 2018

Leek 'n' tattie soup ... the ultimate comfort food

Poor Emi has just gone Full Metal Jacket with the orthodontist, who has started to encase his teeth in metal braces. The poor lamb is still getting used to the sensation of having his pearly whites pulled into place to straighten his smile. I'm sure he'll thank us in the future, but right now he's got mixed feelings about the whole business.

So, to cheer him up, and give him some easy-to-chew chow whilst he's getting used to how his mouth has been re-configured, we're eating a lot of ... soup. One of my favourite go-to dishes in times of crisis and stress is Leek 'n' Tattie soup. It's comfort food on a spoon, and it's helped me to cope with many a black dog day. And, let's face it, with all this cold, grim weather, we could use a bit of comfort.

Just read on for the recipe.

Thursday 15 February 2018

Drifts of 'drops

Last weekend we went to visit our besties, P, A, S & A, down in lovely Dorset. Whilst the welcome was warm, the weather was cold. Really, really cold. But we didn't let that knock us off our stride. Bravely coated and firmly booted against the elements we went out on Snowdrop Patrol

Now I know that there are lots of superstition about snowdrops, and how it's unlucky to pick them and bring them indoors, but for me they're irresistible at this time of the year. Frankly I'm grateful for anything that's prepared to bloom outside, and turn muddy borders into drifts of elegant white. And that's exactly what they do down Dorset-way. As you drive along there are banks of wild snowdrops blossoming all over the shop. 

I have a sense that we're culturally prejudiced against them by dent of still being a bit too close to those soppy Victorians. They had a penchant for planting snowdrops on the graves of their loved ones, creating an association between the shroud-like blossoms and the grim reaper. I know we're in the 21st century, and all that, but we're not that many generations removed from those tender souls who now lie in the churchyards that they once tended. Think about it: lots of grandmas and grandpas alive today can boast of having had a grandma and/ or a grandpa who was a Victorian. And, as a result of that generational proximity, there's probably still a residue of Snowdrop prejudice in our contemporary folklore. I mean, how many people do you know, who will not, under any circumstances, bring snowdrops indoors as cut flowers?

Wednesday 7 February 2018

Pink hearts and lavender sachets ...

Are you in the mood for lurve, or do you just like to self-indulge in pink hearts and lavender. I don't need much encouragement to doodle in yarn. And with St Valentine's Day just around the corner I'm having a little play to keep myself entertained. How do you like my lavender sachet?

Just read on for the instructions. 

Sunday 4 February 2018

Candlemas Day ... so how did it work out for you?

Friday was Candlemas Day, the day on which the faithful traditionally celebrated the churching of the Virgin after the Holy Birth. It seems a strange thing to celebrate these days, but it was the occasion for a special mass preceded by a candlelit procession, which would have been a pretty spectacle back in the day. And, of course, snow drops were taken as Candlemas Bells, their whiteness resonating with the theme of the festival. And anything that focuses on a beautiful bloom in the grey of winter is an attractive proposition in my book.

There was also an old tradition that if the weather on Candlemas Day be bright and fair, it meant (perhaps counter-intuitively) that winter's grip had not yet weakened. If on, the other hand it was grey and cloudy, it signified that half o' winter's gone at Yule. That was to say, that the better part of the winter was spent, and spring was just around the corner.

Thursday 1 February 2018

Blue Moon ... Super Moon

Last time we had a super moon - a few weeks' ago - I bemoaned the cloud cover. It was supposed to be a totally spectacular thing, but, here in London, we had one hundred per cent cloud cover, so it was an epic fail. We saw nothing - a big fat nada.