Saturday, 22 July 2017

Saturday this and that . . .


The rain just bucketed down yesterday afternoon and last evening, bringing with it much cooler air. I don't mind the cooler air as I am not a real "hot-weather" lover. It saps my energy.  We had the missionaries coming for their tea/supper last night, so I spent a great deal of the afternoon getting things ready for that.  Nothing too spectacular, just a beef casserole, some vegetables, my infamous pea salad, and those chocolate fudge cakes for dessert along with the molasses cookies I had baked the night before. I sent the home with the rest of the cookies.  They were far too dangerous to have around for very long.  The lads did  not mind taking them with them when they left!

While they were here, one of them wondered, was the weather always like this here in the UK in the summertime. We were happy to reassure them that we get a happy mix of weather here in the summer months. A mix of rain and of sunshine, of warm and of cooler days, but that for the most part we enjoy very much a Maritime climate that only ever very rarely is composed of great extremes. My first year here in the UK which began in the autumn of 2000 was one of the wettest on records at that time.  It rained literally every day. I can remember wondering what exactly I had gotten myself into, but I soon learnt that people don't melt in the rain.  Back home if it rained, you pretty much stayed at home, only going out if absolutely necessary.  Here in the UK, the rain doesn't hold you down.  It does rain a lot and if you let the rain keep you from going out, you'd hardly ever get anywhere!  

 

I think it was Bob Hope who said of our weather that if you didn't like the British weather, just wait five minutes.  Tis true that it is very changeable!  But it always gives us something to talk about and we do love to talk about it!  Talking about the weather is a very British pastime, and who can blame us, it gives us so very much to talk about!

Today has dawned beautifully sunny with
nary a cloud in the sky.

  

Yesterday as I was puttering about in the kitchen I was thinking to myself, and not for the first time, how very lucky we are to be living in a day and an age when we have so many things available at our fingertips for us to cook with and eat.  A quick trip to the supermarket and the world is our oyster. It wasn't all that long ago, probably within the last hundred and twenty years or so, that our forebearers mostly had to rely on what they grew themselves, pickled, stored etc. and on seasonal goods. There was no such thing as strawberries in December.  If you wanted strawberries in December you had to think ahead in July and make sure you had preserved some for the Winter months. It was like that with pretty much everything. 


There was a program which I had watched on the television quite some time ago, back in Canada, on the PBS station called The Victorian Kitchen.  I have also watched it over here and actually have the series on DVD now and I enjoy visiting it every now and again.  It stars Ruth Mott as the cook, and her kitchen maid, Alison Arnison and the gardener Harry Dodson. I have always found it to be very compelling viewing, a real gem. This was a truly wonderful series recording life in a Victorian kitchen. Quite fascinating for someone brought up in an age of abundance and convenience.It is an amazing insight into life below stairs(with an occasional glimpse upstairs) Ruth Mott is almost, but not quite, outshone by the kitchen itself. The anecdotes she shares with us are priceless!  She began work as a kitchen maid in an old Victorian kithen back in the day. The mixture of her stories about those days below stairs coupled with the time consuming and elaborate recipes are an education. This program was actually a spin-off of the Victorian Kitchen Garden series, which is also quite fascinating, and covers the 12 months of the year in a Victorian kitchen garden. If you have never seen any of those programs I highly recommend them.  I am pretty sure you can buy the DVD's still.  I think you would enjoy them!

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I confess I fed the lads leftovers last night.  Monday Night Supper Dish. They gobbled it up so I didn't feel too bad at doing so.  Its a really simple dish which combines leftover meat and veg with cooked noodles in a delicious sauce with a cheese and bread crumb topping.  At first they were a bit cautious in taking some, but they soon went back for seconds after they had tasted how delicious it was.  I did something different with my green beans this time around.  After they were cooked, I added a tiny knob of butter and a dollop of Dijon mustard along with a pinch of thyme and some seasoning.  They were delicious! 

 

Likewise the Pea Salad.  This has always been one of my favourites, combining the humble iceberg lettuce with thawed frozen peas, crisp bacon, cheese, and onion in a delicious mayo vinaigrette.  I can't think of anyone that doesn't like this when I serve it. I quite often add dillweed to the vinaigrette.  It lends a special touch and flavour. My mother never bought storemade salad dressings. She only ever made her own.  We normally would have a salad on Sundays for dinner with our main meal.  She would start the dressing early in the afternoon.  She chopped a bit of onion  and put it into her salad bowl along with a splash of oil, some white vinegar along with some seasoning. 

We only had ordinary cooking onions back in the day. There were no such thing as red onions or spring onions. Not in our house at any rate!  Those onions would macerate in that mix most of the afternoon and in the process alot of the sharpness would be taken away, leaving only the lovely onion flavour.  At the last minute she would toss in the lettuce (always iceberg and the only lettuce my mother likes even to this day!) and some cucumber and tomato and on rare occasions, radishes.  We loved her salads.  Sometimes she would chop in some celery as well.  Sunday salads, they were a real treat. 


As you know we always love to have the Missionaries in our home.  They bring such a special spirit with them and we always spend some time sharing with each other special things before they leave and go on their way.  Yesterday they shared with us a little movie clip called Moments that Matter Most, which you can see here.  Its a great reminder to us of the things in life which really matter most and which often get lost in the hectic busy-ness of our daily lives.  Elder Beck shared with us a message that his Grandfather had shared with him since he was on his mission about time, about the difference between spending time and investing time.  We can all spend time, and time is very fleeting. Every second that passes is one we will never have again . . .  but investing time, that is when we can reap rewards that can bless us again and again and again.  Food for thought there.


I almost forgot to tell you about the little bit of excitement in our immediate neighborhood the other day.  About mid afternoon I noticed that the Police helicopter was circling around and around and around, mostly over our house and vicinity.  That always makes me nervous.  I know that when the helicopter is up there, they are looking for someone and so I always shut and lock all the doors.  Perhaps tht is a bit silly, but to my way of thinking if someone is on the run, I don't want them to have easy access to us and our home.  Becoming someone's hostage is  not my idea of a fun way to spend any time!  Todd had been out to the shop to get something and when he came back someone was parked right in front of our drive and so he had had to park our car further down the road.  He walked back up to our house and was in the process of writing a note to leave on the car wind screen,  when he saw a woman get in it and leave, and then there was a police car which parked in the same spot.  He was not about to leave them a note, lol.  Then our house alarm went off.  It never goes off.  We quickly got it shut down, but I could hear outside the window lots of alarms going off.  We thought it all very strange.  

Next morning I noticed that the house immediately across from us had its front door boarded up, which was also strange and we had a notice put through out mail slot that the police had been conducting some drugs raids in our area.  Come to find out that we had a drug dealer living right across the street from us, who is now on the run. I am not sure if they have caught him yet or not, but we also found out that not only was he a drug dealer but that he had spent time in prison for manslaughter.  I remember the case, having read about it in the paper not too long after we had moved back here to where we live from down South.  He and a friend had kicked a man to death (over drugs) on the City walls.  I had never put two and two together and realised that he was living right there across from us.  Kind of scary.  But come to think of it there has alwys been vans stopping in front of our house and men going in and out of that place. Odd behaviour.  You just never know do you, what goes on behind closed doors.

But then again, a woman who was my Visit Teaching companion a number of years back ended up in prison doing time because she had been letting a drug dealer store drugs in her outside shed.  She was getting £50 from him each time he did it. And then the police raided her house and shed and she got jailed for it.  She had to move away when she got out.  It was quite sad really . . . I had known that she was going through some rough times financially and Todd and I had helped her out a few times buying her groceries and stuff.  I guess when people get desparate, they do things that they normally wouldn't do . . .
 
I like to think that I would never break the law knowingly for any reason, but I am not sure that anyone could ever really say that with definity . . .  because we never know what we might do when we are pushed to the very limits . . . what sacrifices we might make to protect family, feed family, keep family safe and the wolf from the door.  More food for thought.

Another question . . .  what would you do for a Million dollars/pounds?  That used to be a discussion we would have amongst friends. They say everyone has their price.  In fact I think there was a film made about a man who let his wife sleep with a rich man for a million dollars, starring Demi Moore and Robert Redford. It ruined their lives. There is that old saying  . . .  be careful what you wish for.  I don't think you can put a price on integrity. My soul is priceless, as is my character and reputation.  But is that only because I have now lived long enough to know the things in life which are truly valuable?  Hmmm . . .  I don't know.

A thought to carry with you  . . .  
 
.° * 。 • ˚ ˚ ˛ ˚ ˛ •
•。★★ 。* 。
° 。 ° ˛˚˛ * _Π_____*。*˚
˚ ˛ •˛•˚ */______/~\。˚ ˚ ˛
˚ ˛ •˛• ˚ | 田田 |門 ★

 *.˛.° ˛°. goal should scare you a little, 
and excite you a lot!
~Joe Vitale  .° * 。 • ˚ ˚ ˛ ˚ ˛ •
 

 
 
In the English Kitchen today  . . .  Chewy Spiced Molasses Cookies.  Delish!

Have a great Saturday.  Whatever you do, be happy and don't forget along the way!

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And I do too! 
 


4 comments:

Suze said...

I am hoping my computer will cooperate as Connor has not looked at it yet.

Yesterday sounded so very scary. We had a man shot in our little area. It was an odd time. We had thought something must be going on but had not heard shots etc.

God bless and keep you safe and secure.

Marie Rayner said...

It is kind if scary when these things happen on our doorstep Suzan! Hope Connor gets your computer sorted soon! Xoxo

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

Sad to say drugs are very much a part of our society today and they control what many do. Most are selling to support their own habits they say. It's scary knowing that you had those people right across from you , but any more they can be anywhere around us. It's a big big problem in our part of the country as it is many others. Prayers said for those with such addictions and for the police trying to protect us too. It's rainy day here and since it got daylight it seems to have gotten darker rather than brighter. Hope you have super Saturday at your house.

La Table De Nana said...



Someone related to my step grandaughter won $20,000.00 yesterday:)

Lottery tiket..

I remember tha movie..

watched The Light Between Oceans last night and cried of course..
such beautiful looking people in that movie..Netflix.

I am certain everyone invited to your home to eat feels very special:)

You never know who your neighbors are I guess?:)

I know mine though:)

So many "star " deaths re those drugs:(lately..

Truly sad to become addicted to anything..

On that morose note..

have a happy weekend:)