Saturday, 18 April 2009

Come, I come . . . ye have called me long . . .

Hark, I hear a robin calling!
List, the wind is from the south!
And the orchard-bloom is falling
Sweet as kisses on the mouth.

In the dreamy vale of beeches
Fair and faint is woven mist,
And the river's orient reaches
Are the palest amethyst.

Every limpid brook is singing
Of the lure of April days;
Every piney glen is ringing
With the maddest roundelays.

Come and let us seek together
Springtime lore of daffodils,
Giving to the golden weather
Greeting on the sun-warm hills.
~Lucy Maud Montgomery, Spring Song

Last night as I walked home from work, a light mist was falling. It was not yet dark, but twilight . . . that space of time before the light of day finally fades and the dark of night takes over. The birds were calling to each other from the treetops, as if to say, hurry up, hurry up . . . the day is fast ending and we must all be about our business of bedding down . . . hurry . . . hurry . . .

I looked up at the trees and all are in leaf or in bloom, whereas, just a few weeks ago they were all bare. Everything is looking green and fresh. The Robin's nest, which sets in the tall tree next to the hedge which separates the grounds of the big house from ours, is invisible now . . . but I know she's there . . . the nesting robin . . . I could hear her beautiful song ringing out against the darkening sky . . . a wonderfully heartwarming sound amidst the fading light . . .

The air smelt clean and fresh, of new green leaves and blossoming bush, of damp pavement . . . a smell that I truly love. I do not mind the mist. It is like a soft whisper against my skin. It does not assail or beat . . . but lays gently in the air around me, stroking me, all silent . . . save for the collected drops that fall in gentle plops from the leaves of the trees and bushes onto the damp and fragrant earth. Even the puddles are still . . .

Oh England, I do love you . . . but most especially so in the Springtime . . .

Come, I come! ye have called me long,
I come o'er the mountain with light and song:
Ye may trace my step o'er the wakening earth,
By the winds which tell of the violet's birth,
By the primrose-stars in the shadowy grass,
By the green leaves, opening as I pass.

~Felicia D. Hemans, Voice of Spring

Yesterday, Todd feasted on a chicken curry and rice and I feasted on Pasta. Todd is not a pasta lover as you know. I think it is the texture or some such. In any case if I cook pasta for him, he is not a very happy camper, although he will eat it. Myself, on the other hand, I just adore pasta. I could eat it in any way shape or form, and have been known to sit down and eat just a plain bowl of spaghetti with nothing but melted butter, salt and pepper to adorn it. I guess I must be a died blue carbaholic! Yesterday I added a bit more than butter, salt and pepper though . . . and it was wonderful!

We were both happy.

*Spaghetti with Olives, Tomatoes and Basil*
Serves 4

Not only is this cheap and tasty, but you can have it on the table in 15 minutes flat! It's also very easy to halve this recipe if you are only feeding a few people and once again it's low fat and counts as one of your five a day!

14 ounces of dry spaghetti
300g pack of cherry tomatoes, halved
20g of basil leaves, roughly torn into pieces
1 TBS of capers, drained
a small handful of stoned olives (I like to use the dry cured ones)
1 TBS butter
handful of freshly grated Parmesan
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Cook the spaghetti according to the package directions. Scoop out a small cup of the cooking water before draining, then drain the spaghetti completely.

Tip the cherry tomatoes, basil, capers, olives and butter into the hot pan and place over the residual heat of the burner and allow to heat for a few minutes. Toss in the spaghetti and add some of the cooking water, if needed, to loosen. Serve in a heated bowl with plenty of Parmesan, some sea salt and a good grinding of black pepper.

Ahhhhh . . . Nirvana.


  1. Ahh I do feel sorry for Todd not liking pasta or chocolate: two of my favourite things! Your pasta dish looks yummy ;)

  2. Your spaghetti looks delicious, Marie. My aunt couldn't hear pasta either, said it was something about flour and water being mixed together?

  3. Keith's like that about rice. He doesn't actually dislike it; he will eat it. But he says he's chasing it around his mouth forevermore. I like everything but there are some things that just don't GO with one or the other. He does enjoy pasta now but wouldn't touch it at one time, thinking it was slimy and horrid.

    There are many things that make me feel proud to be British, but few make me prouder than to have someone who hasn't always lived here say they love this country. Thank you. So do I, so do I.

    love, Angie, xx

  4. Poor Todd...He doesn't know what he's missing not liking pasta...or chocolate! ;o) I'm making your pasta dish for our dinner--I have all the ingredients and planned on spaghetti anyway. Beautiful thoughts here Marie... I, too, love England, and especially in spring! :o) Happy weekend to you all! LOVE YOU HEAPS!! ((BIG HUGS))

  5. Your walk home sounded delightful just what I would like. Everything is looking so good just now that beautiful lime green everywhere. I too love pasta pity it was so fattening but still it is yummee. Love Joan

  6. Mrie I dont have idea Todd dont like pasta, I knw about chocolate, but pasta, is really curious! well anyway your pasta look wonderful, I lovecherry tomatoes, are so cute!! xGloria

  7. "damp Pavement".Yes, I like that smell too.
    Your photos look very very good of the spaghetti!

  8. I love pasta too ,but Maurice isnt so keen though like Todd will eat it so we do the rice and pasta thing as well ,I so enjoyed your walk home from work in the mist ,the violets are lovely I could almost smell them Jan xx

  9. My John is like your Todd about pasta...he will eat it with a hearty tomato and veggie sauce but doesn't like it any other way... and like you... I love it fixed any way at all. Today's dish has me licking my chops... it looks yummy to me.

    I have been missing you a lot lately. Maybe it is because I am back home again. It was fun making your cake and chocolate sauce and your hearty ham broth with Claire. When I make your recipes I feel like you are joining us... and that makes me smile.

    EJ is spending the night tonight and will go to church with us tomorrow. He has not stayed with us for a while so it is special to have him. He couldn't stay last night with Claire and Austin because he had a ball game he had to go to today...besides he likes being here for his own special time. When all three are here at the same time Austin dominates because he is used to having our undivided attention and thinks house be his territory. He is not too good at sharing yet.

    I hope that you have a nice Sunday. I am sending love. Lura

  10. I never thought of pasta and butter! Brilliant!

    I had leftover meatballs and meat sauce on toast last night with a ton of parmesean cheese. It was phenomenal!

  11. first of all, the spaghetti looks amazing! yum-i'll have to try to make it soon!

    and i know what you mean about the misty weather and the quiet of twilight. love it. it must be even better in england where you are surrounded by so much natural beauty-whereas i'm surrounded by house after house after house in a very suburban area:)

  12. I never knew a man who didn't like both pasta and chocolate. Seems like they should be staples of any eating plan to me. I've had chocolate pasta and it was pretty good also. My mother was quite happy with a bowl of angel hair fixed with butter & pepper. One of her favorite things; I inherited that simple pleasure from her.

    I have to admit the pasta dish you have in this entry, while more work, looks like it might be a bit better than the butter & pepper combo. ~Mary


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