Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Time To Dust Myself Down



O.K.  While not going overboard , I've done the mumpy bit and  it's time to do something that involves less sighing ... so tiring ...

 Given that Mrs. Laxmi Devi hasn't suddenly appeared outside my front door , rolling up her umbrella à la Mary Poppins , we've just been eating cottage pie or chicken fillets , slightly cheered by the last of the Dutch strawberries for pud. I've stoically eaten the last leaden Polenta Muffin and I've got Yotam Ottolenghi's  "Plenty" out of the library to see if it can inspire me to cook something a bit more inspiring  . I like his recipes ... so unjudgemental and very comforting . And  I do like aubergines .

The trip to the library helped in another way , too . At last I'd managed to creep towards the end of  "Incredibly Loud etc."  and returned it , glad to have read it but in need of something more relaxing . And I found Kate Atkinson's "Life after Life" on the New Book shelves ( English books take a while to get up here ) . "Oh , " said the librarian , "you'll love it ! " ,  And I did .

I finally got a haircut that doesn't make me look like an elderly Milly Molly Mandy


But more Christopher Robin-ish , which is an improvement ... I think .


 And today we visited a Care Farm


that Husband liked and seems happy to go to one day a week . Chickens and cows , loads of cats and a beautiful Friesian horse , not too many people and the freedom to help out or just to sit in the conservatory admiring the view . It's beautifully and imaginitively run by a couple who watched their small farm become steadily less viable , while looking for a friendly day care place for a relation , and decided to kill two birds with one stone . The prospect of feeding the calves and the presence of a pair of very fat pigs clinched the deal . He goes for a trial day next week . His clogs and Benny-from-Crossroads wooly hat are ready and waiting . I could see the farmer looking at them with approval .

12 comments:

English Rider said...

That farm sounds like a precious resource and the hair-cut is always a boost to morale. Cook something spicy and light some candles:)

Lucille said...

I do hope your husband likes the farm. I am just beginning to use Plenty myself. The recipes are a bit ingredient heavy, but nevertheless inspiring. I'm just a bit lazy at the moment. I'm more into Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall's Thre Good Things.

Lucille said...

Missed an 'e' in three there. That's how lazy I'm getting.

Toffeeapple said...

I have 'Plenty' too. But I seldom have need to cook.

I like the idea of the farm - I might magage that...

colleen said...

The Care Farm sounds like a godsend - so inspired. Hopeyour husband enjoysl.

And I so usympathize with lethargy in relation to food. I read Yotam in the Guardian and have made some of his stuff (all very delicious) but oh! all that collecting of exotic flavourings - is there enough time or energy for all that? Sometimes, but not too often I suspect.

rachel said...

What an excellent idea the care farm is! I hope it turns out well for you both. It got me thinking.... I should like to be looked after in a care cattery (I'm serious! I can't imagine a life not filled with cats).
I gave my Ottolenghi book away as I couldn't be bothered with dozens of ingredients in every recipe; cooking for just two means (as it does with my many curry spices) that using them up can take forever.

Friko said...

Good, something positive. We meander through the later years at half throttle, always a bit with an eye to what little future there remains, so it’s good when something works out.

Ottolenghi has far too many unavailable (here, anyway) ingredients for me. I go with Nigel Slater, whose recipes aren’t really recipes, but a pinch of this and a handful of that.

Loved everything Kate Atkins has done and read everything she does the minute it comes out.

driftwood said...

I read life after life on holiday. every now and then someone would cheerfully ask if she'd died again yet....... thanks for your visit to my blog, the cats jumped in the suitcases as we were unpacking them as well, but this time it was definitely "don't you dare leave us Again......" x

love those cupcakes said...

Oh, I do hope the trial day went well. Care farming does sound an improvement on the more traditional day care provision.
I was given a copy of 'Plenty' as a gift but have only tried one of the recipes so far. There are shelves of cookbooks here and yet I seem to always use the internet for recipe inspiration these days. And then I usually tweak and substitute.
Maybe the Milly Molly Mandy hair just needed a red striped dress?

Liz Hinds said...

Sounds like a wonderful place. Some lads from a rehab smallholding spoke in the prison recently with great pride about the pigs and donkeys they care for.

I enjoyed Life after Life too. Have you read This is Life by Dan Rhodes? Delightful story in the Amelie mode.

Isabelle said...

That does sound great. I remember once seeing on tv a care home which was attached to a nursery school. All the old people were enraptured to be able to watch the children pottering about, and the children had no idea that the old folk were losing the place and chattered to them happily. I thought it was a brilliant idea. But I never heard of it catching on and I imagine that it would now contravene current Health and Safety rules. Old age stuck in a chair in front of a tv all day does not appeal...I would love the nursery option.

Annie Cholewa said...

The farm likes the perfect solution to a perennial problem. In fact it sounds like the kind of place there should be more of. I do hope it works out well.