Daily Archives: July 20, 2009

A day in the life: Sunday

Continuing my occasional series in the spirit of  ‘full-disclosure’ here (well, as full as it’s going to get), here is an edited- for- privacy version of what is being recorded in my diary here at home:

Bette 5S asked me recently for the recipe I used to do for Tomato and Lentil Dahl with Toasted Almonds.  I found one – but it was definitely not the one so loved of this family.  This morning I looked again through my collection of recipe books and found the Real McCoy – hence the link to my recipe pages. I haven’t done this for ages and as it made my mouth water just typing it up, I think maybe I should do it again.

I keep meaning to get back to ‘real cooking’ but in the last few weeks I’ve struggled with the emotions of living in a seriously stirred house and it’s making me feel inordinately tired, not to mention fed up.  The book that this recipe came from is a heavy tome, under-used by me, and so well worth dipping into again.  When our visitors this week have been and gone, the carpeting guys have been and gone for the umpteenth and final time, and the house has some semblance of order again, I think I’ll try a few more of these vegetarian recipes.

Later…

No.  This is not funny.  We worked for most of the day again on clearing the dining room – carefully sorting, wrapping and packing away precious pieces.  I’m knackered and more than a little overwhelmed.  We virtually have no space to move things to now and it’s pretty depressing.

We can’t go on like this so I’ve come up with a strategy:

Tomorrow

  • I’m hiring the largest skip (dumpster) available and we’re having a massive garage clearout.
  • I will phone the carpet guys and delay the fitting of the final room (my study) by another two weeks – giving us a month to prepare between the last two rooms.
  • I will try to research lockable storage cabinets for the (newly tidied) garage….cabinets in which to store some of the precious bits from my parents’ house that have so broken the back of our usual Feng Shui calm and simplicity.

I want calm restored to this house.

I want to be free of tradesmen.

I want to, once again, freely access all areas of my home (which means spending time ‘acclimatising’ the kittens to the big wide world outside).

I want to, once again, have a thoroughly clean home (which means dealing with all of the above).

I want to go on holiday and lie quietly in the sun (frustratingly, we have to wait some weeks yet for that).

By the way, just to illustrate the tone of today, having only just finished packing away stuff in the dining room and feeling pooped and emotionally strung out, we came through to find that one of the cats had puked on our bed …. on our brand new Yves Delorme sheets.

Amen.

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Cooking with the seasons – Summer*

Summer BerriesSummer is, of course, the best and easiest season in which to source fresh, locally grown produce.  However while supermarket shelves are heaving under the weight of fresh fruit and vegetables at this time of year, you need to be aware that many are still sourced from way beyond your direct area.  It’s quite possible that there are smaller, local producers selling many of the same products fresh from the fields and this is why I’m a fan of farm shops.  Seek them out and you will often be rewarded with the best fruit and veg money can buy and the satisfaction of knowing that you are supporting traders in your own community.  

It may be that supermarket shopping is easier for you and that buying locally produced goods is less of a priority.  Whatever the case, Summertime gives us an enormous variety of fruit, veg, fish and meat which is at its best at this time of year.

SUMMER

Seasonal Vegetables

Artichoke, Asparagus, Aubergine, Broccoli, Carrots, Cauliflower, Corn-on-the-cob, Courgettes (Zucchini), Fennel, Green beans, Green peas, Herbs (Basil, Chives, Dill, Fenugreek, Mint, Oregano, Parsley, Rosemary, Sage, Thyme), Jersey New Potatoes, Kiwi Fruit, Marrow (Squash), New Potatoes, Peppers, Rhadishes, Rocket, Runner beans, Salad ingredients, Sorrel, Spring Onions, Spinach, Squash, Tomatoes, Turnips, Watercress

Seasonal Fruits

Apples, Apricots, Blackberries, Blackcurrants, Blueberries,   Cherries, Gooseberries, Elderflowers, Loganberries, Melons, Nectarines, Peaches, Pears, Plums, Raspberries, Redcurrents, Red water melon, Rhubarb, Strawberries, Tayberries,

Seasonal Meat & Game

Lamb, Wood Pigeon

Seasonal Fish

Cod, Clams, Crab, Dover Sole, Grey mullet, Haddock, Halibut, Herring, John Dory, Lemon Sole, Lobster, Mackerel, Pike, Pilchards (Sardines), Plaice, Prawns, Salmon, Sardines, Scottish Squid, Sea Bass, Sea Trout, Trout

…………………………………..

*(Seasons and availability of produce obviously varies from country to country depending on geographical location.   This list is primarily based around location in the UK & western Europe).

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