- Japanese Ceramics. Quite by chance the other week I came across a guy called Mark Smalley who makes ceramics in the Japanese style — very much after the tradition of Bernard Leech and his grandson John Leech, the latter of whose pottery we love and use almost daily. Mark showed a photo (below) of a pot he'd made; it is a yunomi, a Japanese tea cup, but the type used for everyday rather than the formal tea ceremony. It intrigued me, especially when I saw that it was carved. Yes, carved. Apparently this is done by making the pot, putting it aside to dry, then carving it before glazing and firing. Luckily for me Mark put the pot on this Folksy site and I snapped it up as an unbirthday present for Noreen, knowing she likes both green and this style of ceramic. It is only about 3-4" high and as delightful as it looks!
Photo by Mark Smalley
- Nutty Seedy Bread. One of the great things about having a bread machine is that you can have an almost endless variety of loaves, at will, for no extra effort and at half the price you'd pay for something inferior in the shops. Noreen is master of the bread machine and a bread she does once or twice week is laden with pinenuts and sunflower seeds. If the nuts weren't so expensive we would doubtless eat this all the time!
- Broad Beans. Twice in the last week we've had broad beans; fresh broad beans. Firstly the other night in a chicken risotto and tonight in salad. Small tender and full of flavour — the best way to eat any vegetable.
- Orchids. Oh no! More orchids! (But not more orchid photos — yet!) I've decided that I shall only buy Phalaenopis orchids (they're the easy ones you most commonly see) if they are really unusual colours that I don't already have and which I like. So this week I bought three on our weekly trip to Waitrose. A miniature one in white and magenta, a large spotted one (in beige-y yellow with deep magenta spots) and a Chartreuse yellow one. And, oh dear, I've now run out of windowsill space!
- Saturday Dinner. I must say yesterday's evening meal was rather good. A week or two back Noreen bought a piece of lamb leg, opened out into a really thick steak. We didn't need it immediately so it was frozen. We thawed it and I cooked it for last night. Pan braised with some onion, garlic and wine; and served with English asparagus, samphire and steamed new potatoes. It was a lovely piece of lamb and I have to say I've paid a lot more for much worse in restaurants. Mmmmm...
24 June 2012
Reasons to be Grateful: 32
Experiment, week 32. Back on track this week with an on time report, although it will doubtless be coloured by the fact that I didn't start feeling really OK again until Wednesday. So here's the week's selection of five things which have made me happy or for which I'm grateful.