Looking back January was a bit of a blur of feeling ill, and
mindless tv viewing of a million box sets. Wishing that instead of snoozing on the sofa and drinking juice and ginger tea, that I was in the garden digging and planting. Of knitting a randomly striped sweater inspired by the little urchin in the film about Hugo Cabret. In-between a spot of driving over more than one bridge to visit some of my favourite people. Of making the scrummiest basil and tomato soup, thanks to my very own baby's recipe.
Now it's February and we've had snow and rain and sun and showers. Sometimes all in one day. The hellebores are blooming and the snow drops are out. We've had Pancake and then Valentines day, and even Chinese New Year but didn't manage to celebrate any of them. Soon another month will have flown by and we'll be spring cleaning for Persian New Year...
But I have decided to slow down a bit this month. The second half. To be kind to myself and keep telling that little voice in my head that things don't matter and I can take a few short-cuts. Sort out my seeds and send for those nice seed catalogues that I'm always too late to send for. To sometimes just stop working and make sure that I don't miss the next little buds as they peep out. To go and say hello to the sheep down the lane...
...or just sometimes sit down by the fire and read a book...and not feel even the teeniest bit guilty...
- The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry. A gothic novel set in the marshlands of Essex. Strong women, fossils, folklore, mud and overcoats.
- Leaf by Niggle, J. R.R. Tolkien. A sweet short story that I could relate to. A late birthday gift from my acorn and her larger oak.
Making and baking:
- Ahmad made bread and I made pastry
- A bit of a plum celebration, regular short crust pastry open tart and my new obsession, tarte tatin.
- Bagel sandwiches with cold nut roast and homemade cranberry sauce - feeling glad for stock of nut roasts in the freezer
- Pancakes... somehow they always seem to bring a smile to my face
Hannah's awesome tomato soup
- Five large ripe tomatoes
- Two red onions, chopped finely
- One carrot(not peeled, chopped finely
- Three tablespoons of olive oil
- Three minced garlic cloves
- One tsp of sugar (or alternative e.g. honey/maple syrup
- One tsp of tomato puree
- A quarter of a cup of chopped basil leaves
- Three cups of vegetable stock
- Sea salt and black pepper
- Cook the onions in the olive oil until caramelised.
- Add the garlic and cook for a further minute, stirring to ensure that they don't burn.
- Add all the other ingredients including the hot stock. Stir well, bring to the boil, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for thirty or forty minutes until everything is tender. Blend and then reheat if necessary