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A Winter’s Tale.

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Not Shakespeare’s play, or the book by Mark Helprin, not even the songs by Queen or David Essex, although both are definitely worth a listen.

Just my own little Sunday story.

It has been unseasonably warm the last week or so. I’m a believer that winter has to be properly cold, to kill off bugs and other nasties, and I love winter, so I was a bit peeved about the warmer weather.

But today is colder, and I am not going anywhere, so I am doing the ‘slow’ thing today. I woke up, fed the cat and dog, made myself some coffee, and took myself and the coffee back to bed. Not to sleep, no. But it was the warmest place to be, so I read in bed for an hour before getting up and getting dressed.

I had to do a quick stop at a shop, unfortunately, but I needed one or two ingredients to make my and my SO’s favourite date and nut loaf. It is baking as we speak, and smells delicious. I am sorry that he is not here to share it with me, but I did make him one before he left to go back north.

I can not deny that I am feeling a bit out of sorts today. I had a wonderful long chat with my son in Ireland last night, but today I am missing him and my Canadian children fiercely. And even though I saw my son in SA about 2 weeks ago, and my SO as well, when the missing starts, it encompasses them all. It is in fact causing a pain in my chest and a constriction in my throat. So I am trying to rise above that by keeping sort of busy, but it will probably get the better of me sometime during the day… I will definitely go for a long walk with Daisy later, to get some good physical exercise too.

So that is basically my winter Sunday story. Not a very chirpy one, I know, but weekends on my own often result in these emotions.

But let me try and end on a positive note. Although it is colder today, the sun is shining outside, the birds sound deliriously happy because they are chirping away like crazy, and the date loaf is nearly ready to come out of the oven! I will be having at least two slices with some tea within the next hour – yum! I had a good night’s sleep, and I am still hearty and hale!

So all you good folk and gentle people, have yourself a wonderful Sunday, and be kind to yourself.

Spicing it up.

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My tiny chilli plant really delivered this time!

I do love spicy food.

By that I don’t mean food that burns my lungs out, or makes my tongue go numb, but I do love spices, and lots of it! Food can be spicy without any heat, of course! I generally like using spices in all my food, not only curries. I enjoy Indian and Thai food, and a mild to not-quite-so-mild sting is fine, as long a I can still taste my food. I also love Middle Eastern food, and Chinese flavours.

The other day I realized that I haven’t had a bit of spicy heat for some time, and the weather was perfect for some comfort food, so I decided to make a mutton curry (I prefer mutton to lamb.) I mostly do not follow recipes, so I cannot give you a recipe for this, but it did come out flavoursome and moreish.

First I fried some onions, fresh garlic and ginger, and spices together, then I added the meat to give it some colour.

I then added some tomatoes and water, and left the curry to cook slowly for a couple of hours.

I love using veggies in my curries, so close to the end I added potato cubes, baby marrow and a few florets of cauliflower. Served on Basmati rice, and voila!! Delicious.

My most used spices for curries are S & P (of course!), turmeric, coriander, fresh chillies (or chilli flakes, depending on what I’ve got handy), sometimes cumin and a piece of whole cinnamon. I taste and taste and taste until it has the degree of heat I want, the curry flavour I love.

Other favourites are butter chicken, and Thai green chicken curry. I want to explore and try out other curry styles like Madras, tandoori, tikka, etc., so I’ll be eating a lot of the good stuff during the winter months!

Let me know what your favourite curries or spicy foods are, and which one’s you’ve made yourself.

Have a good weekend folks! ๐Ÿ™‚

Winter warmers.

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Some light snow on the mountains during the previous cold spell we had.

 

We’ve had 2 beautiful, mild, spring-like days, but the wind is starting to blow seriously now, and I’m sure the promised cold front is on its way. The possibility of 2 or 3 very cold days does not faze me, I love the cold weather!

Along with the cold weather, I also love food that most people consider perfect for cold weather – hearty stews andย  heavy, veggie- and-meat laden soups! Even thinking about cold wind howling outside, a huge pot of stew on the stove, and a warm, comfy lounge and some blankets for extra cosiness, makes my heart warm… Throw in some knitting and a soppy TV show/movie, and you’ve got perfection!

I also love winter clothes. Jackets. Boots. Scarves. Hand knitted sweaters and cardigans. Crochet afghans. It is ironic that I live in a country where winter is only 3 months long, and also very mild, compared to most other countries.

I know most people hate winter. I cannot quite understand that, as it really is an essential part of the cycles of life and nature, so rather than hating it, why not make it easier on yourself and embrace it? There are just soooooo many ways in which you can make yourself comfortable in the cold. And after all, you can pile on the clothes to make yourself warm, but in the heat, even if you strip down to bare essentials, it doesn’t help to cool down – not where we are, anyway!

Like comedian Billy Connolly says – ‘There is no such thing as bad weather, only the wrong clothes!’ ๐Ÿ˜€

I have yet to decide what we’re having for dinner tonight, but I do know that if the cold front is in full swing by tomorrow, as promised, dinner will be something warm and filling and comforting…

(I wonder if psychologists have figured out people’s personalities by the season they prefer yet?)

Until next time, stay safe! ๐Ÿ™‚

Musings about feelings…

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My back garden.

It is mid -winter here in South Africa.

In general, winter has not been too cold, except for a week here andย  a few days there, which has been icy cold. At the moment it is cold inside, but divine weather outside, so here I am, sitting with my back warming in the sun, listening to birdsong, enjoying the outdoors while writing my post. (My view from where I’m sitting. ^^)

I have to admit I am disappointed in the fact that things seem to be very slow here in blog country, I expected it to be as lively as it was 2 years ago, but there you go – the only constant in life is change!!!

So, I’m going to give it a while and see how things go. I do enjoy interaction with other people. I am definitely not only writing here for my own enjoyment, I am telling you some things that I think about and feel, and it would be wonderful to get some feedback on how you see things. You are, of course, welcome to have different opinions, please never agree with me because you feel it’s the right thing to do, or ignore my post because you do not agree with me. Tell me. I like some healthy debate!

I do feel there are way too much ‘political correctness’ these days – everybody gets hurt and feels insulted by everything other people say, and most of the times, it is only because other people see things differently, which they are allowed to, as far as I’m concerned. And everybody is so very very careful of what they say and how they say it… My goodness, it is starting to be a bit ridiculous out there. So feel comfortable with disagreeing with me!

While I’m waiting for some response, I am going to do some knitting, and then pour myself a glass of wine and just sit back and relax…

Until next time, blog friends! ๐Ÿ™‚