As it was very briefly sunny this morning, and not due to remain so for any length of time, we all quickly got ourselves together and headed out to a local park (Cannizaro Park, Wimbledon) for a stroll in the sun. Even those of us who would normally sleep for a large part of the morning decided to take advantage of the sun while it lasted - which was a fairly short time, as it happened.
You can see a little sun here in this photo, though not a lot.
There were some crocuses out, and a very few daffodils, but you can tell it's been a colder than normal spring, as usually by this time of year, there would be swathes of daffodils, and they were pretty thin on the ground (lots of stems, but not many blooming). This was one of the few which was open all the way.
The forsythia was just beginning to bloom, but on the whole, the garden still looked quite wintery,
with lots of seed heads and old growth. I quite like that look, but I'm more fond of it in January than in the end of March...
Still, it was nice to get out and have a stroll, and in some cases, climb a few trees
or try on Olivia's sunglasses... (I reckon he should use this as his Facebook profile picture; what do you think?)
As it was Thursday, Sarah cooked tonight - this is a dish we've eaten lots of times before, but her first attempt at it - and lovely it was, too. Two weeks' holiday coming up, which is nice, as we'll have a bit more flexibility about meals - not so many of them that have to be fixed quickly. Though I'm sure there will be some, of course.
From the Hairy Bikers' Cookbook, The Hairy Dieters. This was great - hot, but not too hot, pretty quick, great combination of textures because you cook the peppers and onions (and some tomatoes) separately at the end. Yum.
This is a recipe I've cooked before and although I do use this recipe as a basis, I always cook this in the slow cooker. I also make goulash without sauerkraut, but this is lovely and moist and surprisingly, doesn't taste that strongly of sauerkraut - just enough to make it interesting. Sometimes I serve it with noodles.
Despite the protests of "Fennel? Really?" this was eaten with no complaints - it doesn't taste strongly fennely, just pleasantly so. A recipe I've cooked a number of times before from 100 Greatest Rice Dishes by Diane Seed.
This is my fabric postcard display unit, which hangs in the living room, on the (closed off) chimney breast. I made it a number of years ago to hold fabric postcards, which I used to trade a lot (they are 4x6") - I accumulated a lot of them, some of which I like very much, so I keep a seasonal (mostly) display of them up in the living room. Sometimes I just put ones I like, with no seasonality to the theme. It had Christmas and winter cards in December and for January, I took out the really Christmassy ones and just kept winter ones in, but I'm getting bored of winter now, so I've put up loads of spring flowers and sunshine, and so on.
Some May blossom, for instance.
A vase of flowers on the windowsill.
A leaf with dragonflies.
Some lovely handpainted dogwood blossom.
And to remind me it's still not quite spring, a little felt snowdrop.
This was a perfect getting-back-from-music-lessons-quite-late dinner, because it took very little time to assemble and then gave me 20 minutes of free time to sort stuff out before eating. The recipe is from Good Food Magazine (as is so often the case) and is available on their website. I made two, and there is some leftover for lunch. I used some mozzarella and some gruyere, and on one tart I used pesto instead of sun-dried tomato paste (I had half a jar of each in the fridge, so it seemed obvious). Both were tasty. And the kids didn't even complain about the mushrooms, which was a bonus.
An old recipe, this one from Olive magazine. I haven't cooked it in a while, but we've had it on several occasions in the past - it's full of things we like (chorizo, rocket, tapenade) and quick and simple to make.
As the Scouts were having their Easter Fair today (postponed from Christmas, for various reasons) I knew I would be out most of the afternoon, and not getting back until 5 or so, so today's meal needed to be something I could stick in the slow cooker for most of the day. I had a request for beef stew, which is fine with me - it's easy...
Sometimes, you just have to throw away your best laid dinner plans and have bacon sandwiches (and curly fries) for dinner. Especially on the Friday of a busy week when you are exhausted from a parents' evening the night before and a class assembly on the day, and your husband is away in Glasgow until 11pm anyway... The chicken will last just fine until Sunday.
A big hit. I used one tin of butter beans and one of chickpeas as that's what I had, and a bag of curly kale instead of savoy cabbage because I didn't want half a cabbage leftover. And I like kale, anyway. But the soup, which was dead simple to make, was very tasty and a nice, filling, warming meal for a rather chilly evening. Mmm.
nope, not the shape of my shadow (I am wearing a skirt, and a long coat) - it's the fact that Alex and I have shadows at all in the morning on the way to school. First time we've seen the sun in a while. It was still cold, mind you, and today's brief sun appearance didn't stop us from getting some sneet (a cross between snow and sleet and yes, I know sleet is already a cross) on the way home from music lessons this afternoon. Roll on spring, I say.
Haven't posted what we are reading in a while - and yes, I know there are 6 books in the stack, but Sarah is reading two of them (top and bottom) - she's been reading Life of Pi for a while - I hope she'll finish it and not give up - she hasn't even got to the best part yet! The others, you can probably match up to the readers...