I have just spent two hours cleaning - yuckity yuck. Eight litter trays, vacuuming, washing the floor, tidying. Now I feel I have the right to stop, blog a bit and make cards this afternoon. Clare, who is a district nurse, has asked me to make some more of what we call Sorry-You're-Dead cards. Typically black humour from Clare - she gives condolence cards to the families of patients who die. As most of her patients are elderly, or seriously ill, she needs a constant supply of these cards. I also have promised a pack of 10 Christmas cards, and a pack of 10 other occasion cards to the Church auction next week. As well as a couple of "Little Boxes of Surprises" - these are boxes of gifts, which are all wrapped up. So you bid on a box without knowing the contents.
Here's one of the boxes I made last year:
This year I have a pretty box that doesn't need covering (hurrah!) - so far it has been packed with some soap, a book (second hand but in good condition), a picture frame, some sweeties, a little pot (re-gifted), a pair of ear-rings and a necklace (re-gifted). There's room for a few other things, so I may have to make a quick visit to Noz to find a few more gifts. I have a smaller gift box which I'm also going to fill.
I made a card for our friend Richard, who will be 70 this week. This one is for Friend Cathy to give him (which is a shame, as I really like it!) I will have to make another for us to give him:
Michel from across the road has just visited with a large courgette/small marrow and a round squash for us. As we stood in the courtyard chatting, he pruned our squash plants (which are happily producing leaves and flowers but absolutely no fruit). I picked a grand total of 5 green beans to offer in return! He has promised us some salad as well. So the planned menu below may have some changes made as the week goes along...
YESTERDAY: We had falafel burgers, with salad, tzatziki, wraps and mango chutney. They weren't great, but they weren't terrible.
TODAY: Hunters' Chicken (not quite this recipe, but almost), with roasties and roast vegetables. I've got lots of bits of veggies to use up, so I'm thinking roasting them, and then freezing what we don't eat, might be the way to go. We now have a lot of courgette to add to the mix!
MONDAY: Orange glazed salmon, rice, green beans. The recipe gives a recipe for spicy butterbeans too, but I'm not a butter bean fan...too much like broad beans for my liking, which is a vegetable I go out of my way to avoid.
TUESDAY: A Mexican style Buddha bowl, with rice cooked with lime & coriander, spicy green beans and spinach. I may add some kidney beans too.
The last Buddha Bowl was a success, and we felt very virtuous after it (although that may have been slightly spoiled by the fact we had a couple of chocolates afterwards!)
WEDNESDAY: Sun Dried tomato and sausage pasta (Again, be aware that the post with the recipe contains some strong language! But the recipe itself doesn't, so you can scroll down to read the recipe) Mr FD will be cooking as it's my foirst week back dancing. And teaching all day. It's a rather tiring programme:
10.30-12.00 first lesson
12.00-12.30 Drive to next lesson, eat lunch in car.
12.30 - 1.10: next lesson
1.10-1.20 Drive to lesson
1.20-2.50: next two lessons (same family 45 minutes each)
2.50-3.00 Drive to next lesson
3.00-5.00: Next 3 lessons (same family 40 minutes each)
5.00-5.05 Drive to next lesson
5.05-6.35 Next two lessons (same family 45 minutes each)
6.35-6.45 Drive to dance group
6.45 - 8.30 Dance group.
8.30-9.00 Drive home
9.00 Collapse with dinner and Great British Bake Off.
THURSDAY: Oven Baked Risotto
FRIDAY: German Style Potato Salad and Paprika Chicken (Fruity language alert!)
I'm trying to get a fairly good balance between fish, vegetarian and meat recipes, avoiding red or processed meat - although I see we have both sausages and bacon this week. Hmm, a bit of a fail there then!
My packed lunches are mostly soya-based cheese-substitute spread, soya sausages, or tuna mayo. Which are fine, really. I'm having soya sausages today, and will have the other two cold tomorrow.
Busy Little Chicken: Not only did the fish-with-four-carrots look delicious, it was delicious! I rarely cook fish with fancy sauces - a quick bish-bash-bosh with salmon is all I do, and I rarely choose it in restaurants...but when I have it, I really enjoy it!!
Confuzzled Bev: You're the only one who has guessed so far, and I'm afraid you're not quite right. I wonder if anyone else will try...
There are two traditional Auvergnate foods on this plate (besides the Cantal cheese and the salad) What are they? C.Bev guessed potato salad and " kind of looks like meat loaf"...Neither guess was quite right. Anyone else up for a guess?
Thea Ava Martinez: Thank you for your comment. Unfortunately it seemed a little "false sounding" for me to click on the link...I don't want to start being showered by spam mail. If your blog is genuine, feel free to comment again, and I will visit you.
Hawthorn Spellweaver: You're right...Not knowing about George is the hardest. We are trying to think that some lovely person has taken him in, rather than thinking about him being run over or killed by a predator.
Still, we must try to move on - although we still have people keeping their eyes open, and telling us if they see any ginger/white cats. The others are adjusting to not having George around, but I fear Mr FD will especially miss George in the winter, as George was the best cuddling cat in bed, especially with Mr FD. He would snuggle up, put his head on Mr FD's shoulder and they would fall asleep together to George's purring. Sad face.