I cannot resist buying fruit with the leaves still on. I was thrilled to have an orange tree in my garden once when I lived in Cyprus.
I love the packaging too and try to use these containers as dividers in drawers and cupboards. The wooden cheese boxes are lovely too - has anyone come up with a use for these?
I got this recipe from my Mum, who got it I think from the BeRo cookbook, which is why the measurements are imperial.
3 oz marg or butter
1 oz lard
4 oz sugar
1 beaten egg (I add a few drops of almond or vanilla essence)
6 oz self raising flour
oats or coconut
Cream the fats and sugar, then with damp hands roll into balls and dip in the oats or coconut. Bake at 180C for 10 - 15 minutes till golden brown.
Makes about 24
They do look nicer with cherries on top but I didn't have any left..
..in a lovely old building with thick walls, wooden floors, beautiful views excellent food and friendly staff. A birthday treat for my friend.
If you are ever in the vicinity I can recommend Locj Fyne Oyster Bar and The Tree Shop plant nursery cafe and gift shop and a good local information centre. Great place to spend half a day and lots of money!
..and the seventh essential for this himan to thrve is non energy nutrients - important things from food lke fibre, vitamins and minerals. I hope to get all I need from a good mixed healthy diet but I do take a supplement called Macushield (made from marigolds) which contains lutein and zeaxanthin thought to slow the development of macular degeneration. My daily juices of mostly apples, carrots and spinach are also good for eye health I am told.
Another day of glorious weather with meals outside, a little gentle gardening and a nap in the hammock. Bliss.
..can be a real pleasure, althugh the first time I sat down at my table for a proper meal after my husband died I all but choked on it and couldn't eat it for crying. (Barry loved to cook and I absolutely loved being cooked for!)
Eating alone during Covid lockdowns was an awful experience I hope mever to repeat.
I sit down to my meals, and set an attractive table no matter how simple the food.. That's a big part of the pleasure for me. Napkins, flowers, candles - I really enjoy all that and it's only a minute of extra effort.
I am perfectly comfortable eating in restaurants on my own. Again there is that pleasure of someone cooking for me and I like to discreetly people-watch. I had two favourite restaurants in Glasgow which have both closed sadly. Betty's in York treat the solo diner particularly well, offering a good table and a newspaper. So nice.
But eating with family and friends is extra special now that it is not an everyday thing.
Perhaps if your life is busier than mine you will enjoy eating alone and having time to think? And really taste the food!
I am so grateful for the luxury of beautiful food.
..the machinations of the food industry gets easier and easier the more I learn.
Ultra processed foods are cheap, tasty, fast, easy and addictive. Even the savoury ones have sugar added. I have heard them called dysfunctional foods and I just don't want to go there. If I am tempted a look at the list of ingredients saves me!
I have some wonderful technology on my phome which will read a photograph of a page at a time of my cookbooks and am currently exploring A Table For Friends by Skye McAlpine (thank you Liz). I love her philosophy. Relaxed, generous and realistic. An inspiration for one of my favourite activities - eating with friends.
I want the lifeforce of growing things in my food.
As part of my studies as A Student Of Old Age I see that I get energy from clean air and deep breathing, from drinking lots of water and taking cold showers, and from getting enough quaity sleep (need to do some work on this).
Next on the list (see here) is energy and we get most of it from food. A huge subject, isn't it. I eat a pretty healthy diet and a craving for sugar is the only thing that can be a problem for me I would say. However, I am focussing on filling up with the good stuff before even thinking of the not-so-good, which works quite well for me as I really do like good food! I am increasing my intake of fruits and vegetables, and buying the best quality I can afford.
What works for you? Do you notice your energy levels vary when you eat a certain way?
Look at the wonderful life force/energy in this beautiful flower!
..of a cappuccino is the chocolate on the top.
I am focussing for the rest of August on Simply Eat and Simply Fitter. You will have heard of rewilding the landscape, but have you heard of the idea of rewilding your body? A friend said it conjured up an image of us with matted hair, weilding clubs, but it is more about eating and moving the way nature intended and I am intruiged by that concept..
We abandoned hte beach barbecue option because the weather forecast was so bad, but in fact we had a lovely sunny day with a warm breeze, so we had some of the meal indoors and some outdoors. Perfect.
I baked - Victoria sponge with strawberry jam..
I cooked ratatouille, the eggs were hard boiled to go with prawns in mayonnaise, lettuce and dill open sandwiches (I have been into open sandwiches since Copenhagen!)
A bowl of hot soapy water to wash up as I go.
Everyone brings a dish to share, and we drank Bellinis - I love family lunches. I also love sitting round a table together.
Do you like to entertain?
..is the spice of life!
Back up to the city with my visitor from France and an artistic bowl of soup in the elegant surrundings of The Anchor Line.
Then a brief visit to Moma where there is a Banksy exhibition. It is on until late August so we looked at an exhibition on the third floor called Taste. (Lovely modern stained glass on the way up the stairs.) The highlights for me were a stunning photograph by Cartier-Bresson, a Hockney, and an interesting comparison berween a Stanley Spencer and a Beryl Cook.
Lots of things I liked in the gallery shop too, but I resisted the temptation..
Do you live in a city and enjoy trips into the country? Or like me, live in the countryside and enjoy trips to the city.
I love the variety.
The cupboard was bare! Oh well, no dessert tonight then.
The cake shed is obviously proving to be very popular.
I do like to cook and bake for guests. Perhaps because on the whole I don't like to cook, it is even more of a gesture of love that I do this? If you see what I mean..
One of my favourite films is Babette's Feast and I have recently watched two more films about food and love. Master Cheng and The Hundred-Foot Journey. Feel-good films all of them.
Have you seen them? Can you think of others about food and love?
It helps iif I clear all the surfaces in my very snall kitchen and make it somwwhere I want to be in. I make sure it's warm enough, I have enough light, I have all the ingredients (30 mile round trip on a bus to the shiops if not!). A fresh tea towel, a bowl of hot soapy water so I can wash up as I go.
It helps if I don the beautiful linen apron a friend gave me for my birthday. It's funny just how much difference this makes. I feel like a real cook with this on.
I might put on some music, or a podcast and the scene is set.
I cut the aubergines in half and score them and add oil and salt before cooking them for a bout 40 minutes. Oven at 189C.
Meanwhile I fry some miced beef or lamb, onion and garlic and add a tin of chopped tomatoes, some tomato puree and when the aubergine is soft I scrape out the fleesh and add it to the mix, then layer the sauce into the aubergine shells with some mozarella and basil leaves and pop back into the oven till the cheese on top is melted and golden.
I set a nice table and pour a glass of wine, and realise I have quite enjoyed myself.
Today a friend and I revived Affogato Sunday - a thing we devised during the dark days of lockdown to help keep us sane.
First set a pretty table, then make a pot of espresso and get the ice cream out of the freezer. Get changed and put on some relaxing music. Meet on Zoom/WhatsApp whatever.... Enjoy. Romantic in its way, no?
Loving your suggestions for romantic films - keep them coming please.
I would add Out of Africa, Girl With A Pearl Earring, This Beautiful Fantastic..