Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Potty about herbs

Now a few ailments and fevers are behind us...(partly swine flu? Don't know, would be good to think the boys might have it behind them though!) R and L's appetites are larger again this week so far.. which feels great!
Today was a simple dinner- blanched about 7 tomatoes and made a fresh sauce with them, adding the mixture to sauted garlic, a tin of butter beans and a couple of tablespoons of tomato puree. Other veggies could also have easily been blended in of course but we are doing quite well on the fruit and veggie front so far this week so didn't add more but put in a tablesoon of ground golden linseed. And fresh coriander from the window sill... a birthday present from a friend was 3 herb plants.. lovely and thoughtful as they were, yet also potted in these gorgeous green, spotty tubs! Lemon thyme, coriander and parsley. Perfect antidote to slugs eating the coriander we attempted to grow! And I'm so lucky to have the above view from the sink now.

Also, hollyhocks are out in the garden; love them. Have inherited this wonderful garden, and with it the original owner's great taste!

Friday, 3 July 2009

sticky weather; gooey cake

Crazily decided to stay up late last night to make myself a birthday cake; silly idea really when sleep shortage abounds here since poor Rohan has been contending with a cough for the last few days, and a temperature for the last three. Sitting up, when everyone else had gone to bed, at 12.30am, it really dawned on me- self inflicted sleep reduction really isn't sensible. Rohan awoke at 4.00am, suddenly full of energy and a raging thirst for juice, and a desire to watch 'Fifi and the flowerpots', the library dvd. I woke again at six to day one of the cycle arriving, in quite a grump!
However, there was cake! (recipe from La Dolce Vegan). Very delicious, velvety chocolatey, took ages to bake though only because I sleepily thought it would be okay to put it in one 8 inch tin, instead of divide it by two. Sigh.

Had a lovely day with my parents and one brother visiting; quite sedate though with Rohan being under the weather. Hopefully he will feel up going out somewhere nice tomorrow. Feeling warmed by lovely cards and wishes...and we are in the midst of a heatwave so the paddling pool has been out and lots of smoothies made, with mangoes and strawberries dominating them.

... just to mention a couple of books, I got a book on bread from the boys- it looks really good; covers all aspects of breadmaking, hand baking as well as by machine. It'll be good to experiment as wonder about getting a bread machine at some point.

And some books the boys are currently are enjoying:
Patrick paints a picture- got this from the library; both boys were really taken with it- introduces colour mixing really well integrated into a sweet little narrative.
Mike Mulligan and his steam shovel- saw this in Waterstones, when Luca and I went out one saturday on our own. (Trying to squeeze in some time with the boys individually- this was fantastic in the bookshop setting- impossible when they are together!) We bought it soon after- both boys love all things diggers and this story has lots to say- on people, and must have had a 'green' message long before it got fashionable.

Sorry this is getting really bitty now, but have to mention- we had the unusual opportunity of an evening out last weekend- the boys went to stay with their twin friends for the night, we headed to Tibits in town,and ate scrumptiously well. It's vegetarian but caters very well for vegans- with many dishes being vegan, and one desert. It's unique, the restaurant, it's a very nice setting which has quite an upmarket restaurant feel, really nicely decorated, but with an informal style- you get a plate and weigh it, same with a bowl for desert.

We had a tab and paid at the end. I don't know if it's to do with eating out being such a treat, or passion for gorgeous vegan food, or both, but I piled my plate high! Mit laughed- I helped myself to twice as much as him, however, it all went! The vegan pudding option was chocolate and coconut cream- delicious!

Walked from Oxford Street to Victoria on that balmy eve, taking in a variety of atmospheres from a look around Hamleys, to Methodist Central Hall, not before St Martin's in the Field's church where Michael Jackson tributes were being written... some had actually penned messages on the wall but the police had been called in, so everyone was leaving written messages taped on paper instead. To pick one; 'Sorry your childhood was hard... but you made mine'. The controversies were there- who knows what really happened. But seems to me Michael had masses of compassion, as well as huge talent.