What a gloriously sunny late Bank Holiday it has been. As I write this, on Monday evening, about 6.45 pm, it is too hot to sit in the garden as the sun is now low in the sky and even the canopy of leaves from our walnut tree isn’t providing the necessary shade.
I decamped to the summerhouse and while that was pleasantly cool, I also wanted to write today’s post, so here I am in the study with the patio door open.
Yeterday morning I sat in the garden and read the morning paper and the magazine (photo above) which comes with the Sunday edition. It’s mainly fashion and beauty, but when the writers (occasionally) speak of fashions and beauty for the more mature woman, they mean someone about fifty or, pushing it, about sixty. I am therefore off the radar, but I still enjoy reading this magazine and I never fail to be amazed at what I think are rather silly prices for things like candles and sunglasses.
It has been too hot to work in the garden although husband did some gardening on Saturday and yesterday, but only before about 11 am and after about 6 pm. Today we have taken life very easy. Porridge for breakfast yesterday and today, and then we sat in the garden.
Morning coffee, today
We have also eaten in the garden during the weekend, yesterday lunch was roast chicken, but I didn’t want to serve what I call a ‘winter’ roast but I something much lighter …
Therefore I roasted the chicken and allowed it to cool very slightly, and served it on a bed of shredded Savoy cabbage which I’d steamed (so much better to steam veg than to boil the life out of them!) and over which, when cooked, I grated nutmeg, sprinkled on some crystals of sea salt, and mixed in a little low fat cream. This is the nicest way I can think of for serving cabbage. I piled that in the centre of the plate and put slices of chicken on top, and on top of the chicken a quenelle of stuffing.
Well, I attempted to make quenelles, but stuffing is sticky and it didn’t really work. But we can but try! I was going to slice the new potatoes and sprinkle them with black pepper, but I didn’t want the food to get cold, so they look a little lumpen, even though they are quite small. I made gravy as husband always like some gravy with potatoes and his veg, and I made leek cheese, as we like leeks in a cheese sauce to have not only as a main dish (to which I usually add pasta) but also as an accompaniment to a roast. (I made two cheese leeks and we had the 2nd one today, more of which later.)
When he first retired, way back in 1998, husband took up painting in watercolours. He had never painted before; he had no idea about mixing colours, but within a short time he became reasonably accomplished. He admits he doesn’t have imagination and so he copied paintings from books, such as the bird paintings of Basil Ede, and some of those we had framed and they hang in our summer house.
But for the past 15 years he’s not painted. He has kept saying, “One of these days I will start painting again …” and yesterday out came not the paints, but his drawing books and coloured pencils. Well, it’s a start! He spends so much time helping other people, especially our sons and his older brother (who has eyesight problems) but I have said that he really must set aside some time for himself. And no, I’m not going to refer to this as “me” time for him! It was lovely to see him sketching again, not working, not gardening, not running errands for others, but doing something at long last for himself.
Lunch today was grilled bacon, the 2nd leek cheese (from yesterday) and some lovely fresh runner beans from my brother-in-law’s garden. This was a lovely light lunch, and pudding was an apple and blackberry crumble. I made these in individual ramekins and served them with vanilla ice.
The only problem is removing a crumble from a ramekin without the crumble ending in the bottom of the dish. Crumbles can be served in the ramekin but there wouldn’t have been room for the ice! (And to drink: Crabbie’s alcoholic ginger beer. We don’t like this because it contains alcohol, we like it because it’s a delicious ginger beer.)
It seems that this post will be 99% concerned with food, because, finally, elder son and grandson called this afternoon for a cup of tea (daughter-in-law stayed at home to get on with some chores while the chaps were out of the house – can’t say I blamed her!) Grandson and his mummy had made cup cakes and Grandson brought one each for Granddad and Granny, and they were lovely – lime and coconut! We had them with a cup of tea about 4 pm. What could be nicer than these in the garden on a sunny late-summer’s afternoon with a cup of tea? The lime was just sharp enough to cut through the sweetness of the icing, they were absolutely scrumptious.
I hope your weekend has been as relaxing as ours has been. We really have had a mini heat wave and, from what I can understand from the Forecast, this fine weather is set to continue. We shall see.
Until next time.