Category Archives: seasons
Is anything as uplifting and joyful as that first exuberant burst of blossom in early Spring? My spirit soars when I meander down the village lanes accompanied by clouds of gentle blossom – and new buds giving the promise of more to come. My appreciation of the seasons seems to intensify each year since we came to live in the English countryside. And of all the seasonal changes, the colour and light of Spring is especially welcome. Walking to the village school with our son and his little friends each morning, I point out all the little blooms and buds. But little boys are really much more interested in discussing Lego and trains!
Never mind, on the walk back home I can linger a bit, perhaps with my camera, and perhaps to find a blossom or two to make a Spring posy.
When the sun is shining, I love to take my lunch out into the garden. What to cook? I think some classic fishcakes are just the thing, with a fresh salad on the side. Golden and crispy, delicate yet satisfying. I made these with Haddock, but you can use any firm white fish (without bones) or if you are feeling indulgent, with crab or little prawns. All delicious!
Out comes the trusty folding table. It’s actually a decorating table that’s never been used for wallpapering – much more useful to pop open for an impromptu lunch! A bit of white lace, my jar of flowers … and it’s ready for service.
Things have been quite busy of late and I have lots of projects on the go. And getting to know this new garden is one of those projects. All sorts of surprises are emerging – little primroses dotting the grass like jewels, cheerful daffodils, tulips and the first signs of peonies. It’s very exciting.(To me!)
More soon. x
Blossom! All the trees around here are starting to burst into joyful exuberant bloom and I just love it. Nothing evokes springtime, optimism and bright beginnings quite as well as nature cloaked in a mass of petals. The tulips, daffodils and other bulbs are all lovely, but for me, it’s the blossom that really gives life a lift. So beautiful, these delicate petals and colours, and so fleeting too. You just have to stop and enjoy them as they last. So, blessed with some gentle sunshine this week, we are taking our aperitifs to the garden!
If you are like me, you’ll enjoy a little savoury treat with your drink. And these little cheesy, nutty biscuits are just the thing. The problem is only that they are so tasty and moreish (that’s a word from my childhood!) that it’s hard to stop from eating too many. Never mind, I have a robust appetite and it’s not readily ruined. These biscuits are quick and simple to make, and you can even prepare the dough in advance, shape it into a cylinder and freeze it. Then when you wish to bake the sables, just allow it to barely defrost so you can slice the little rounds and bake.
In this recipe I used a strong, sharp cheddar and pecan nuts. But like most things I cook, it’s all variable! Try a version with gruyere or blue cheese and walnuts, or parmesan and sesame, poppy, caraway, onion seeds, paprika…
I wish it weren’t so, but we tend to hibernate a bit during the winter months in England. I feel much more inclined to socialise and entertain when the sun is shining. Living most of my life in sunny climates, I never noticed this – it’s one of those things that we are aware of with the distinct seasons we have in England. So here’s to Spring, Summer to come, warmer weather, friends and fun.
As always, thanks for visiting and please do leave me a comment if you wish. I love to get the links to your sites and blogs too. Or keep in touch on twitter!
More soon. P.
Sometimes it’s only the old favourites that will do. Those wonderful, comforting dishes that nourish the body and make you feel happy. For me, leeks and potatoes are one of those glorious long standing marriages of pure comfort and deliciousness. Together in a simple soup they are real harmony. Recently, I’ve really been craving those nourishing foods so I’ve been enjoying lots of this lovely soup. I like to add other richly nutritious greens like watercress or spinach for an extra boost of goodness.
Do you remember last time I mentioned that my lovely husband has been doing a little more of the cooking lately? I’ve been been trying to teach him a bit as he goes along. Some people are not natural cooks are they? (It’s that good old diplomatic side of me speaking here!) I firmly believe that everyone can cook, it’s a matter of common sense and if nothing else you can always follow a decent recipe. But that real magic, that blend of art and chemistry that makes for the yummiest food, well it’s an instinctive thing isn’t it? I wouldn’t say that D is a natural cook. But given the chance – and he doesn’t get much chance with me in the way all the time – he does really well. In fact, he is now a master of this lovely soup. It’s actually even nicer because he’s made it for me, and that makes me feel very happy.
It has been a proper old winter, this one. Bitterly cold on many days, dull and gloomy at times too. It’s got a quiet beauty about it though, doesn’t it? I still love to go out walking even though I don’t really like being cold. There is always something interesting to see in the stark winter landscape and I love to see the horses, cows and piggies in the fields around our village. And then come home to a big warm bowl of nourishing, homemade soup.
If you feel like sharing any thoughts or ideas or sending me a link to your website/blog, please do leave a comment. It’s always wonderful to hear your thoughts.
Otherwise, until next time. With some more vibrant colours I think. P.