Monday 21 July 2014

Weekend : Celebrations, revelations, a missing link and the bees knees :: Oh and pan fried sea bass with puy lentils

There aren't any pictures of windy lanes parting sheep inhabited hills and vales, even though we travelled them. But  there are lots of images of wattle and daub (I think) and timber and stone. My mind was on floors and walls this time, not the countryside...Oh, and of course the food...

It was A's last day at work before we move and my sister B and husband arrived Friday evening to help us celebrate...also to drive my little old car down with us to the new house. She'll wait for me until we move in car that is, not my sister. The oppressive heat gave way to rain, lovely heavy cooling rain but as we reached our little house after calming our rumbling tummies with a plougman's lunch  here, the rain had subdued and in true Incy-Wincy fashion the sun was shining brightly.

It was the first time we'd shown Corner House to anyone else. It was a bit like introducing a teenage boyfriend to your mates. You think he's the bees knees and don't notice the pimple or the whiskers on his chin. You've seen him (maybe only in your imagination) without either, and have more than a bit, of a crush on him. Even though it doesn't really matter if they love or hate him, you really, truly want everyone else to think he's the bees knees too...

Well I think they can see the attraction...

There was much climbing on things, other than ladders to inspect out of reach corners, banging of walls and pulling off bits of wallpaper to discover what secrets were lying beneath. Our lovely new neighbours and a stone mason friend joined in too. The air was thick with ideas, beams that could be exposed introducing light and space; and revelations, like lovely old wide wooden floorboards that had been hiding under 1970's carpets, possibilities of hidden fireplaces or stoves, and even more excitingly the potential missing link that may confirm definitively, that we share the footprint with our neighbours of a large medieval hall house, that is circa 1430-50. Photo's are going to be sent off to a historian who can hopefully verify this. 

Tons to do...but the infatuation continues...

We suppered here (great Indian food), passing this amazing shop and planned to return soon. 

After a very late Saturday night we woke to brilliant sunshine and fresh produce  and flea market shopping. Bargains were found by everyone including a studio pottery jug and copper coffee pan for the new kitchen. BBQ lunch thanks to A and a pottering afternoon.

Busy weekend...but oh so good...How was yours?

joining karen of pumpkin sunrise to share our weekend

Ps. This is my current favourite quick supper dish that I made Friday evening. I don't think I've shared the recipe before...

Pan fried sea bass with Puy lentils

Ingredients for four generous portions:

  • enough sea bass fillets for four people
  • two cups of uncooked puy lentils
  • six cups of stock or hot water
  • three medium sized sweet potatoes
  • two medium sized red onions
  • a few cloves of garlic
  • crushed chilli flakes
  • a little ground turmeric
  • a little ground coriander and cumin
  • a handful of swiss chard or spinach (optional) 
  • sea salt and fresh black pepper
  • olive and oil and butter 
  1. Peel and finely slice the onions. Cook them with a little olive oil in a heavy bottomed pan until caramelised.
  2. Meanwhile peel and cube the sweet potatoes.
  3. Peel and crush or finely chop the garlic cloves and add to the caramelised onions, cooking carefully so as to avoid burning.
  4. Add the spices and seasoning then cook for a couple of minutes, stirring well.
  5. Wash the lentils and drain. Add these to the pot too. Stir well and then add the water or stock. Bring up to the boil, add the sweet potatoes and reduce the heat. 
  6. Cook for about twenty minutes or so until the potatoes and lentils are both tender. 
  7. If using spinach or swiss chard add in the last few minutes to wilt.
  8. Turn off the heat and cover and then quickly pan fry the fish seasoned with a little salt in a  olive oil plus a generous nob of butter. Allow the oil and butter to heat up to a gentle sizzle sound but not burn, then add the fish skin side down. Cook for about two minutes. Turn over and then flash fry on the other side for a couple more minutes. 
  9. Drain the lentils and place in the centre of a dish and then place the fish skin side down on top to serve.
This is nice just like this or for a more substantial supper served with new potatoes and green salad or seasonal vegetables. 


  1. A nice busy, busy weekend. I adore Indian food, but there isn't a restaurant here so I always have to make it at home.
    I love, love your new home Debby and am so happy for you.
    PS- Blueberries and figs don't grow in England? I never knew.

    1. The meal was amazing Tracey. I love Indian food but we don't have it often these days and it was so good. I really want to try making some myself once settled.
      Thank you. You can see that there is a lot to do but I know you can past that Tracey. Thanks for the thumbs up.
      They do, but unfortunately not in my garden. For some reason I can't grow blueberries or figs but I believe the soil is amazing in our new watch this space...Maybe, fingers crossed.

  2. Love your analogy to a boyfriend being introduced :) So true! I see beauty in all the photos and I'm so excited for you to be moving to the Corner House!

    1. Thanks Karen. I'm so glad that you can see the beauty too.

  3. Oh, Debby, I think your new house truly is the bees knees!!! I get goosebumps just thinking about the possible age of exciting it will be to slowly peel back the layers and discover more about its history! I hope you are able to take it all in and enjoy every minute of your new move.

    1. That's so good to hear Emily. Thank you we can't wait to move in and start. There are just a few solicitors hiccups with the water source etc. It comes from a local farm and for some reason it's fazing the solicitor and holdings things up a little.