Monday, 24 May 2010

I have ice in my glass

We had a wonderful weekend. After three busy weekends with trips to York, Preston, Cumbria and Bristol we stayed at home all weekend. The weather was really hot and I wore shorts right through the day on both Saturday and Sunday - something I haven't done here since 2007.

I was lucky enough to see a female broad-bodied chaser on both days and a trip to either of the ponds during the day guaranteed some damselflies and hoverflies. The lupins and sweet rocket began to flower and the back garden is only a few weeks away from breaking out into full bloom.

We fitted the last of the main cabinets in the kitchen (just the wall cabinets to go) and yesterday I installed the round turntable thing that goes in the corner cabinet. That was a huge relief as we didn't know if it could be put in after the worktop was screwed on and forgot to do so earlier. Our new pans now have a home and I found a shelf for the recipe books too :-)

I did lots of cooking during the weekend after our new pans arrived. Actually they were three dishes cooked in the slow cooker, but two required some cooking on the hob first. The red onion soup wasn't a great success (Ian was kind enough to eat quite a bit, but I found it far too sweet and slimy), but the Moroccan stew I made went down very well and Ian had two whole portions on the first night. I've yet to try the red cabbage with apple that I cooked yesterday, but hopefully there's not much that can go wrong with that. Ian also made a lovely salad to go with our meal last night so finally the days of micro chips and fish pies are over (I do like fish pies, but we ate quite a few in the absence of the oven so I'm going to need a break from them for a few weeks). I found the ice cube trays on Sunday afternoon and managed to freeze some ice by dinner-time. If you've seen the (excellent) Tom Hanks film Castaway you may remember him saying "I have ice in my glass" after several years alone on a tropical island. Our discomfort may have been slight in comparison, but I still repeated the phrase with glee.

The not so delicious red onion soup (with our beautiful walnut worktop in the background):

Unfortunately the weekend ended on a sad note with our cat William pulling off half his nose. Not actually half his nose, but it feels like it. One side of his nose has been receding (probably cancer) ever since we got him in 2007. It has always been difficult to hear him howl when he attempts to wash it and now it can be really painful for him. Ian spent half an hour holding his right paw so he couldn't wash whilst we were having a cuddle and watching a film, but the moment we stood up he really went for it. Both of us tried to grab his paw and Ian got scratched quite badly in the process, but to no avail. A bloody mess (literally). Generally I think he has a high quality of life and in between nose washes his nose scabs over and he seems okay (although he sneezes a lot now - more of an inconvenience to his target than himself), but each time he washes I begin to wonder how long he has left. On a more positive note he seems fine now that it's Monday morning.


  1. That's a bitter sweet story of William if ever there was one.

    I'm very pleased that you've had the lovely weather. I just wish it had stretched to this part of the UK too.

    I'm even more pleased that your life is returning to 'normal' in the culinary sphere.

  2. Thanks GB. Sorry to hear that you didn't have the good weather. We're left wondering if this is the beginning of summer or if last weekend was summer!!

  3. Ah, Poor William.

    I tried making onion soup once. Never again. Like you, I found it too sweet and the texture off-putting. The only other soup I've tried that wasn't a success was celery soup. I don't know why that didn't work - a shame because I love the bought ones. But it is noticeable that it doesn't appear in any of our local shops any more.

  4. After a rather memorable experience in Formby in the mid-1990s I don't recommend making lettuce soup either. I'm not sure which was worse - the colour, the texture or the taste!

  5. Even the sound of lettuce soup - ugh!

  6. I make celery soup. I thought it was ok. So did Pat. Must try when you (CJ) are up here (hopefully) later. I'd make it for you (Helen) and Ian of course if you wanted it but I suspect it could be a while before you'll be up here.