Saturday, November 14, 2009

Blow, blow, thou Winter wind..

Heavens, what weather! Yesterday I had arranged to drive across country to an ex-Advertising BF who lives in the middle of National Trust woodland in the middle of nowhere. It was a wild drive, with lashing rain and winds all the way, but quite an adventure really, and absolutely lovely to arrive at her gorgeous old house which looks as if it has been planted in the earth and then overgrown with old trees and wild plants. It's really magical. And then to be welcomed into the warmth of her house, which is comfortably cluttered with wonderful stuff! There are shells, books, ancient objects, fossils, rugs, throws, piles of jewelled fabrics and soft cushions, and paintings everywhere, both framed and unframed, because she is a prolific Artist (with a capital A). Her husband was also at home (he has a delightfully archaic building in the garden that he uses as an office), and he made us some fresh coffee which was just lovely. We had intended to go out and about to look at various places, but as the weather was so atrocious, we simply sat and nattered most of the day. We covered a lot of ground, metaphorically of course, and interspersed the day with refreshments and laughter. It was the best sort of day possible. Lunch was some lovely little pear and stilton tarts, loving made by my BF, with a salad and a glass of white wine. Perfect!

I had taken her a jar of my freshly made Marmalade of Apples, Raisins and Shallots - which is perfectly delicious, though I say it myself. It's intended to be eaten with either cold meats, pates or terrines, or with cheese. Yummy. I'll give you the recipe (though it's not my invention - actually it's from the Mail on-line and I came across it when looking for an article in their "You" Magazine). I have to say it was the simplest thing to make, requiring only a fair amount of chopping and a bit of simmering. I'm planning to make another batch, with double the quantities, to give to friends for Christmas. The jars do look very pretty with little mob caps made from bits and pieces of fabric which I seem to hoard and then tied with ribbon. I made some labels which I wrote in coloured pencils,and they just finish it off nicely. Hopefully, I've uploaded a photo for you to see - and of course I can't put it where I want to - it seems to be at the top of the page! Ah well, at least it's there.

This morning I was due to make and deliver a Vegetable Lasagne (another dish I'm now making for the Deli), but discovered I didn't have the dish in which to make it, so had to venture out into the wild weather to collect it. I've now made the thing, but since I started cooking the wind and rain have escalated into full-blown gale force with horizontal heavy rain hurling itself at my windows. I think I'll just take a few minutes to finish this and then hope that the gale subsides a bit. I drove along by the sea to collect the dish earlier, and the view was both amazing and awe-inspiring. The waves were being whipped up all along the beach and promenade, curling round both the piers, old and new, and looking like wild horses with foaming white manes and tails, galloping towards the shore and hurling themselves onto the shingle. Magnificent!

Perhaps I'll give you my Vegetable Lasagne recipe too, which is a combination of all the recipes I checked in my Cookery books and on-line. I added a few touches of my own, removing an aubergine here and adding a touch of Brie there. So look out for a culinary adventure in my next post - hopefully.


gaelikaa said...

You are indeed a creative lady; I do so admire you. I've been thinking a lot about your grandson! Hope he's fine. Your post was a wonderful read!

Expat mum said...

Margot, I think I've said this before but you sound like you're living in a Jilly Cooper novel (without the raunchiness - or at least you're not blogging about that part). Crusty bread, home made delicacies etc.
And please tell the BF to vacate her house in a few years as I'll be looking for something just like that!

A Mother's Place is in the Wrong said...

Thank you Gaelikaa, you are very kind. I think about him all the time too - and keep hoping that something will change...I do miss him terribly. M xx

Hi Expatmum, that's really funny, and if only I had some of her raunchy stuff to write about! As for the house, you'll have to stand in line because I'm having it if there's any chance, M xx

Crystal Jigsaw said...

The jam sounds lovely, I'm not a great lover of jams and marmalades but some of the homemade ones are simply divine.

Having a day with a friend is always a good way to pass time.

CJ xx

menopausaloldbag (MOB) said...

Sounds idyllic! I always wanted to be able to eat jams and chutney’s but I don’t like sweet stuff much at all. I loved pud’s and sweets when I was younger but I lost the taste for them later on. Now if I get a savoury dish that has sugar added I get really cheesed off because I can’t eat it. I do love the way home made chutneys in jars look so rustic – such a great present to receive so I’m sure your friends will be delighted with a homemade present unique to you. Very thoughtful.

auntiegwen said...

I was down in Brighton and Hove a few weeks ago, I should have gone to your deli to eat, myself and the eldest beautiful daughter are veggies and I know we'd love your stuff. Hope all is going ok with grandson, much love xxx

Donna said...

From here, it all sounds SO fairy-land!! I can Only imagine her home, the sea...the taste...fantastic sweetie! Thanks for the adventure!!hughugs

Sarah said...

Italy is experiencing some unexpected dribbling at the sound of the apple and shallot marmalade.

A Mother's Place is in the Wrong said...

Dear Crystal, thanks for your visit and comments, and you might like that savoury marmalade - worth a try.
My day out was lovely, if a bit scary in the weather department! M xx

Dear Mob, lovely to hear from you, and I guess that Marmalade is not for you! I just love that sweet/sharp combination but not everyone does.
I've made another batch, but have eaten one jar myself already:-) M xx

Dear auntiegwen, lovely to hear from you - I was reading about your visit to Brighton in your Blog, and would have loved to meet you and EBD. I'm assuming it was for University visits? Son did his degree at Sussex and really loved it here - in fact that's why I'm living here now!
Am hoping to see Grandson this weekend. Lots of love M xx

Dear Donna, you do make me laugh!
But I guess it does sound a bit like that. So pleased you enjoyed your visit :-) Love and hugs. M

Hi Sarah, and thanks so much for dropping by - I promise to post the recipe, and then you can get cooking with an Italian version, M xx

aims said...

That looks delicious! Waiting patiently for the recipe. I think I'd like to give it a try!

A Mother's Place is in the Wrong said...

Dear aims, so sorry it's taking me so long to post the recipes- I'll just get on with it. M xx