Return to life

I've been decidedly 'off' lately. I've kind of hidden from myself, withdrawn from friends and not really done MUCH. Today I broke and shook myself off a bit. I decided there was nothing for it: I need to cook and bake. Food for me is the heart of life. I have been avoiding cooking- always a bad sign.

Peering in cupboards I sensed I wasn't in the right frame of mind or ingredient-enriched position yet so I mooched down to the farmers market and the man and I got as much produce as we could carry. I was so busy buying I forgot to take pics. I know, I know. Like I said, I've not been myself. 

We came home and made an astonishingly good Summer Salad (recipe in tomorrow's podcast). Again, such was my delight at this return to all things delicious I forgot to take pics.  I did however write it in my recipe journal and thought about how to use the dressing in tomorrow's lunch (warm new potato salad I think- YUM)!

Next came toasted walnut and pesto bread. It's in the machine as we're heading out and I wanted to be sure I had a loaf and had time to bake something sweet. 

About that something sweet......

Bread flour does not provide a substitute for the100g that is missing from the needed wholemeal flour. So you know.

Will it ever get light?

It's so dark today. It's pouring with rain and from where I sit, I can see the people opposite with the adorable spaniel scurrying around under a big umbrella. Nothing bothers that dog, it is possibly one of the happiest creatures ever. I remember when O.T.L. was that excitable just to be by your side. He stills get excitable but in a more weary 'I'm-feeling-old-now' kind of way.

You'll note I'm back on the coffee. I feel this lethargy is turning round today. I plan to make soup and gourmet macaroni cheese (farmer's market cheese- WIN). I've been lost to blogland and knitting this week. It feels good to be honest. I remembered why I started blogging in the first place. I needed a space to push my creativity. I love photography but sometimes feel lacklustre about what to photograph but reading blogs always gets me thinking again. I love this idea from 'I should be Folding Laundry's' Blog. I might hover around today as Thursday is the I capture challenge day and give it a try. 

I've particularly enjoyed rediscovering old blogs I've not read for age, as well as finding news ones. It struck me that I often feel I have to blog SOMETHING INTERESTING when actually what I love and find most interesting in other people's blogs is the everyday. I love that, it's what inspired me in the first place. Pictures that made me smile. 

In fact I generally realised I don't use my camera enough. I have plans for today ande I'll be sure to be snapping along the way: phone my mum, finally order those dance clothes I've been promising myself, knit some more of the shawl that scares me (the one on the left not the stunning Cedar Leaf on the right in the pics below) and cook soup and Mac. It doesn't sound like much but it's a lot when you've had zero energy. I've not left the house since Monday and it's.......... woah, Thursday. Ok I also need to put welly boots on and leave the house this afternoon. There's some good puddles out there now too.

I've also enjoyed some Britishness. Chemicalika's blog in particular. Her blogs chat about the 3 most talked about subjects for the average Brit girl: the weather, colds and flu and wine (or being drunk). She's witty too but don't indulge her with this 'lace is so fast' thing she states. Really. It's all lies and she's just showing off.  

Here's my day so far:
2 people's breakfast debris- he once gave a monalogue about the frustration that his mother NEVER rinsed her oatmeal pan. I'm looking at the bowl from his Muesli and smirking.
Oh how you haunt me
Unpacked atlast- I missed you!

They're keeping me company today

In celebration of Vegetables

I'm really taking stock these last few days. I've withdrawn into a world of knitting, eating, sleeping and blog reading. After the last few weeks of moving (again) across London and OFSTED I just am left completely drained. In these situations I find the best thing to do it ply oneself with as much fruit and veg as possible and just take stock.

We have a Farmer's Market near here on Sunday so I was finally persuaded to leave the house and break my solitude. On the way, something truly AMAZING happened but I can't blog about it yet because it would involve spoiling a surprise for my BFF. I did feel the usual love of being outside and no longer being contained come flooding back and as we started filling our canvas bags
with tons of vegetables and shaking off soil as we packed them away in the kitchen, I remembered why I love farmer's markets so much.

LOOK at the colour of this soup. Go on, look. That's not photoshopped. That's just the joy of good wholesome cooking and a peek at some potentially spring like sunshine on the work surfaces. Here's what I did:
  1. Take one large pepper (seriously, it was the size of my face), chop roughly and throw in a pan with whole, but peeled garlic cloves. Add segmented red onions (I used three little ones), drizzle over oil, salt and pepper and roast for about 30-40 mins in the oven.
  2. Meanwhile chop 1 courgette and 2-3 medium carrots into as small peices as you can be bothered. Drain a tin of beans or pulses unless you have time to cook them up from dried. I chose Chickpeas.
  3. Add roasted vegetables to blender along with one tin of plum tomatoes and pulse till fairly smooth.
  4. Fry off carrot and courgette till tender in a little olive oil before adding the chickpeas and roasted vegetable mix. I usually top up with a little water rinsed round the tomato tin so it's not too thick.
  5. Add 1/2 tsp dried chills, 1 tsp Worcestershite sauce and season to taste.
Devour when it's tender enough for you. This is a good size portion for about 4 people.

What's this? Oh that's the fresh bread I made from mincing up some of the extra roasted garlic and fresh herbs.....