Monday 24 May 2010

Thoughts on a Monday . . .

We had a nice quiet evening last night. We had gone for a long walk in the sunshine after our supper and then, when we got back in, we just vegetated in front of the telly.It felt good to be lazy and there were some cracking programs on . . . several nature shows on the BBC, (I just love nature shows) and then at 9 pm an audience with Michael Buble was on.

Oh how I love Michael Buble, and not just because he is Canadian. He has such a lovely voice and engaging personality. You can tell he is really nice and it's not a put on. He's a very entertaining entertainer as well! If I was the Queen, I'd request him to perform for me at the Royal Variety show for sure!

Have you ever wondered about all the hard work and thought that goes into a television program?? Much like life . . . what you see in the foreground depends entirely on what's gone on in the background. The script, the actors/presenters/performers, the lighting and actual recording, the audience if one is needed . . . all have been put together to create the perfect mix.

A fulfilling life too, should be well thought out. Most success is achieved only through good preparation ahead of time. A marathon runner trains for months before the big run and, even for a short performance, a dedicated musician practises for weeks and weeks ahead of time. That lovely show with Michael Buble last night was probably rehearsed several times before we got to see the actual thing.

Lord Baden Powell, the founder of the Scouting movement, always spoke and wrote about being prepared. In fact that was, and is, the motto of the Scouts . . . "Be Prepared." He knew that being prepared for the small things in life would help to lead youngsters to practise the habit consistently. By doing so, they would be ready to meet any great challenges with courage, strength and even life's disasters with a modicum of serenity.

I am ever grateful for the time I spent as a youth in both the Brownies and the Girl Guides. I learned so very much in those organizations. It was good preparation for the reality of life and many of my skills were gained from what I picked up during those years and in those meetings. I wonder do many children still belong??? I do hope so.

It was another beautiful and warm spring day yesterday. Today is supposed to be even warmer still, and probably not a little humid. I am not complaining though . . . it feels really nice after the cold winter we have had this year!

Salad days . . . that is what we have been having. It's a good thing I like salad! Todd is not so fussed, but he eats it anyways, with hardly any complaints. He's really very easy to please.

*Punchy Pea Pesto Salad*
Serve 4 to 6
Printable Recipe

I like to make my own pesto for this (see below). It's so easy to make and tastes so much better than the stuff you might get in a jar. If you must use store bought pesto though . . . do try to get the fresh stuff from the chiller cabinet. Not only does it look better, but there is really no comparison to the jarred stuff.

4 ounces baby spinach leaves, washed and dried well
10 ounces frozen baby peas, de-frosted
1/2 cup prepared pesto
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan Cheese
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 TBS pinenuts, toasted

Make sure you spinach leaves are really dry. Blot them with some paper toweling if they aren't. Place the spinach in a bowl along with the peas. Add the pesto and the cheese. Toss together. Season with some salt and pepper. Toss again and then sprinkle the pine nuts of top and serve immediately.

Note - this salad is not one that keeps for long, so don't toss it with the pesto until just before serving.

*Green Basil Pesto*
Makes approximately 1 cup
Printable Recipe

There is nothing better than making yor own pesto if you can. It's so easy, especially if you have a food processor that you can use.

180g fresh basil leaves (a big bag)
1 pinch sea salt
2 ounces good quality olive oil
2 to 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and cut in half
2 ounces pine nuts
4 tBS freshly grated Parmesan Cheese

Wash your basil well by swishing it i a pan of cold water. Dry very carefully between paper towels, so as not to bruise it. Pick off and discard any stems.

Place the basil in the bowl of your food processor. Add the garlic, pine nuts and salt. Pulse for a few seconds to chop it all up finely. Begin to pulse again as you slowly add the olive oil through the feeder tube. When it has emulsified and is smooth, add the Parmesan cheese. Taste for seasoning and if need be add more salt and a bit of freshly ground black pepper if desired. Pulse once to mix together and then scrape it out into a bowl. This will keep for several days in the refrigerator.

Today on The English Kitchen a delicious Herbed Potato Salad!


  1. Sounds like a nice day and evening. I love the nature shows and Masterpiece theater tonight. I love Michael too! I believe if we are prepared we need not fear...:D

  2. Oh, Michael Buble is wonderful! Your salad looks delish, too. I love pine nuts on a salad.

    Have a great week Marie!
    xoxo, Rachel

  3. It is the same here. Our weather has turned delightfully warmer and it seems like summer time. I was thinking how differently I eat when the weather gets warm compared to winter time. Oh my it does feel good to be warm. Have a wonderful Monday!

  4. i LOVE michael buble! hes coming to dallas in the summer and we might go and see his show-oh i hope so!!!

  5. Hi dear Marie,
    So glad you had a nice and relaxing day! The last time I was in the antique store I saw several old books for Brownies and Girl Scouts. I enjoyed looking through them and was impressed at all the skills they taught. Would have loved to have been in those when I was growing up. Your salad looks wonderful! Thank you for sharing the recipe! Lovely photos too! Love, Paula

  6. Ah, Brownies, Girl Scouts, and being prepared...all things we share in common. There are just so many things, aren't there? And now Michael Buble too. As you know I also love Michael Ball, not just cuz he's Welsh but is also the nicest guy. If I lived where you do I'd probably be a groupie following him around the country! I love his voice, dimples and laugh. LOL, I am not too sure my hubby would approve. Nice daydream though.

    Jim's great great aunt use to make pesto with a meat grinder and we would watch and help. Such deliciousness. I have a freezer full of homemade pesto from a lady Jim works with. I'll try this salad sounds yummy!

  7. My favorite part of salad is the dressings.


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