Friday 23 April 2010

Tis Blossom Time . . .

It is blossomtide again.

In the sunshine and the rain
Thruses sing a madrigal
For this Vernal Festival.
From the bare bough there has come
Milk-white bloom on pear and plum,
And upon the apple tree
Pink buds cluster daintily.
Spring's green banners are unfurled.
Joy comes back into the world.
Man may weep, but with one voice
Nature says,
"Rejoice, rejoice!"
~author unknown

Oh what a beautiful past few days we have had here. The sun has been shining and there's been nary a cloud in the sky. A cold wind has been blowing but yesterday it finally let go and we were able to walk about in relative warmth.

What an incredible season this is. The season of blossom. It is as if all of nature has decided to explode upon the byways and highways of the land in a riotous dance of blossom!

It's just so very beautiful. Of course where we lived down South, surrounded by Orchards as we were, we were buried in a virtual sea of blossom and bee . . . it was so very lovely . . .

But even here, enclosed in a city in the NorthWest, we are able to find the lovely blooms. They are scattered here and there . . .

Along the canal walks . . .

In serene gardens . . .

along the hedgerows at the edge of town.

Oh what a beautiful gift our Heavenly Father brings to us each year in the form of spring!! When one stops to think that all we see here on Earth is but a pale reflection of what lies on the other side . . . the mind boggles. Oh how very unimagineably beautiful it must be!!

Happy Friday everyone!! Wherever you are, I hope the sun is shining and that you are able to take a walk amongst the blossoms of springtime!

I had a clean out the fridge day yesterday. I usually have one about once a week. I make a hash or casserole, or in the case of yesterday, this tasty clean out the fridge rice dish that is a real favourite of ours!! The quantities are given for two people here, but I can imagine it could easily be increased for more!

*Clean Out The Fridge Rice*
Serves 2
Printable Recipe

This is the perfect supper for those nights when all you have left in the fridge is the basics and a few leftovers!

3 rashers of sreaky or back bacon, chopped
a handful of closed cup white mushrooms, halved
1 TBS sunflower oil
1 small onion, peeled and chopped
1 clove of garlic, peeled and crushed
5 ounces long grain rice
300ml of hot chicken or vegetable stock
a handful of leftover cooked vegetables, chopped (optional)
1 cup of leftover cooked chicken, cut into cubes (optional)
a handful of grated strong cheddar cheese, or other hard cheese as desired

Heat a large nonstick pan over medium heat. Add the bacon and fry it for a few minutes until it begins to brown. Tip in the mushrooms and turn up the heat. Fry for another 3 to 4 minutes, until they begin to brown. Scoop out into a bowl and set aside.

Add the oil to the same pan and heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionaly until beginning to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for a minute or so longer until really fragrant. Tip in the rice and cook, stirring to coat and mix together with the onion. Add the chicken (vegetable) stock all at once and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes, or until almost all of the liquid is gone. Take off the heat and give it a stir. Cover with the lid or a large plate. Leave for 5 minutes to allow it to finish cooking in it's own steam. Stir in the cooked mushroom/bacon mixture, and the leftover veg and chicken (if using) along with the cheese. Serve immediately.

In honour of St George's Day there is a delicious Apple and Blackberry Crumble over on The English Kitchen today!


  1. kind of meal! I loved your places to go walking..I would love to go there on a walk! Have a great day :D

  2. You chose just the right time for moving north! You'd already got well into spring I should think down south and we're just getting into it now - so you've got spring twice over this year. A one-time special offer! The BOGOF of the north!

    We usually have a clear-out-the-fridge meal each week too. I love them and it makes me feel so virtuous and clever. Today it's a fish pie using little bits of different fish from the freezer, a few left-over peas and sweetcorn kernels and mushrooms, a leek which will form the basis of a sauce to bind it all together and a topping of mashed potato from Wednesday, sprinkled with cheddar. No way anyone starves in this house!

    Oh, I AM a good girl..........! Now I suppose I'll have to wash the fridge out as well! Maybe I'm not THAT good.....


  3. Springtime...I just LOVE this time of year! And it looks so beautiful where you are now, Marie! Not much blossom happening here yet... and it all seems a slow unfolding this year, as it's turned chilly again. Oh, well, Mother Nature must take her time... LOL! Wonderful meal for today! It's always a good feeling to be able to use up those fridge or freezer leftovers and bits in a tasty way. Hope you & Todd have a lovely weekend ahead! Do hope we get a chance to chat on Sunday! LOVE YOU HEAPS!! OXOX ((BIG HUGS))

  4. Looks delicious to me! Love those clean out the fridge meals--at least once a week in our house, too!

    What glorious springtime photos you shared, Marie! Would love to take a walk in those beautiful places--lucky you!

    Hope your day is wonderful today--lots of hugs to you today, my friend!

  5. Great pictures of your new area! I am loving spring but we are till getting bits of winter with rain here and there. I hope we get some lovey moderate weather before it gets blazing hot over here.

    Is the ash cloud breaking up over there? I hope so.

  6. I am so happy for you and Tod that you are finding your "fet" so to speak in Chester, I passed the sign post on my way up and back from Scotland on Sunday/Thursday and was speaking to Sarah and John about you and hoping all was well...We had a great few days in Fife in Scotland and although there was a cold wind teh sun shone all day long.
    Love Sybil xxx

  7. The blossoms are gorgeous. I love spring but unfortunately the Tennessee springs and huge amounts of pollen are starting to not like me :(

    Isn't it fun to raid the fridge and see what can be created from whatever is in there :)

  8. What lovely blossoms. I especially like those white flowers in the fourth picture down (right above the picture of the path). I don't think I've ever seen those before.

  9. beautiful post and I am all for that yummy on the bottom of your post. Happy weekending Dear Marie. Hope your blood pressure has gone down...Take care ya hear!!! Mica

  10. I hope everything is going well with you!

  11. Marie...Spring is my favourite time of year. What beautiful photos you have taken of your surroundings. It is surely heaven on earth.
    I hope this good weather lasts for a while. Enjoy it whilst you can.
    Jeanie xxxxx


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