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.