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text 2020-02-09 19:45
Sunday Soup

Well, I did mention that the chances of a Sunday Soup post were favourable as Storm Ciara passing over inspired me to stay indoors and search for a new soup recipe...and of course read. 



The soup is a sweetcorn chowder which features coconut milk as one of the ingredients - you can find the recipe here. It's delicious and I look forward to having more of it for lunches and dinners later this week. 


I'm loving John Bercow's book and am paying no heed to the critics that are trying to shout him down in the media at present. It's a timely read. 

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text 2020-02-02 18:18
Sunday Soup
Überlebt: Meine 14 Achttausender - Reinhold Messner

I have done very little this weekend other than to do the usual chores, attempt to tidy the spare room, do some personal admin and read.

Mostly, I read about Reinhold Messner being stuck on a mountain. Well, 14 mountains. All of these 14 stories seemed to involve storms, snow, ice, hypothermia, frostbite, and people generally being cold. 


So, when I woke up this morning to an invitation to go for a walk in the countryside and my phone told me that is was currently -5C outside, I knew what I had to do:

Decline the invite and make soup. 


The soup is nothing special, but it tastes great and is pure comfort food.

I obviously made enough to freeze in batches for quick dinners later. 


What's in it? - Mostly things I found in the fridge/kitchen:


- onion

- celery stalks

- green beans

- veggie chunks (I love them. I know that some people don't like them. That's ok. Use whatever you want. Chicken would probably also work well ...)

- 2 tins of chopped tomatoes

- potatoes 

- vegetable stock

- salt/pepper

- paprika

- smoked chipotle peppers

- parsley

- slices of lemon ... this was a last-minute decision. Lemon works well in solyanka, so I thought it would work in this.

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text 2019-02-10 22:06
The Sunday Post

This Sunday Post is food-heavy. 


No adventuring or cute animal pictures this week as we had quite strong winds this weekend and some of my plans were changed at the last minute. 


So, instead, I have had a chance to catch up with friends over some ice cream, browse one of my favourite second-hand bookshops, and go wild with the new cooker - and by go wild I mean try a couple of new recipes that I will last for a couple of weekday lunches. 


First off, I had a blast meeting with some friends at our new favourite haunt - the ice cream parlour in town. It's been our first meet-up in the new year and we had a great time, even if (or is it because?) we didn't try the Haggis and Marmalade ice cream that was on offer. 

Yes, I kid you not. They had that concoction - I was offered a taster, which I politely declined, not just because it wasn't veggie, but also because there is no universe in which Haggis & Marmalade ice cream should be a thing.


Instead I went for some white choc & coconut and a scoop of creme brulee ice cream. 



On the way home, I stopped by a favourite charity bookshop. It's one of those gems of a shop that carries more than just your old bestsellers and popular books. There are specific sections for niche interests, antiquarian, and what I also like is that it is frequented by students a lot who also donate books, so there is a great variety of "classics". The shop is also my go to place for passing my own read books on to. 



I look forward to reading them all, but I was most surprised to find a copy of Jill, which I believe is Larkin's first novel. It will be a while before I get the books and given that most (if not all) of them are a bit bleak, it will take a while to read them.


Has anyone got any thoughts on them? Any heads ups I should know?


Lastly, we have more food. 


While some of my original plans (like going to the movies) were postponed at the last minute, I had some time to spend on cooking while Hugh Fraser narrated some Dame Agatha to me, which is a fab way to spend a few hours.

I somehow ended up with a veggie version of pulled pork. I'm not quite sure how but I assume I picked it up when going shopping while half-asleep and very hungry. 

Anyway, I figured I should try something with it and found a recipe for it. 


I eventually settled for this one here, and it was delicious. I have some left overs for lunch tomorrow.



I also wanted to do some meal prep for this week and try a new soup ... you know, other than just throw things together in a pot and see how it goes. 


As it turns out, this Cabbage and White Bean Soup (sorry the picture is not great) was pretty easy and felt a lot like just throwing things together in a pot. So, I loved making that. It is also really, really tasty. I have to say, tho, that I didn't follow the recipe exactly (because I just am not capable of doing such a thing...which is also why I am not a baker). I felt the soup needed caraway seeds. So, I added them. 



Anyway, this is it for this weekend. 


Hope you had a fun one.


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text 2019-01-13 18:18
The Sunday Post - Seals and Soup

Happy Sunday!


I haven't read much this week (owing to the Great Gaudy Book Hangover), but it has been quite a week in other ways. 


My cooker (hob and oven) had packed it in over the holidays and I have been trying to arrange to get this fixed over the last week ... but with busy work commitments, I took some time to get this arranged. Yesterday, finally, was the day. It's still not fixed, but it is now working enough to last me until the new appliance gets delivered. Yay!


All of this, of course, had to be celebrated, and what better to do this than to make some soup!?



The recipe can be found here ... but I had to leave out the spinach as I forgot to pick some up. 


In other news, I  really needed the soup today. I've been on a little outing earlier and got soaked through with freezing rain and chilled to bones by that ever-present North Sea wind. 


But it was worth it to see the seal colony that has made its home just north of the city. 



They are so cute, and so impressive. They are completely wild but you would not really know it when they swim up right to the other end to the river mouth (the one that is safe for visitors and seals, and unlikely to distress the colony while hauled out on the other bank). Seriously, they came right up to the edge of the water! They are such nosy buggers! And so cute. Have I mentioned this already?


I hope you all had a great day. 


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text 2018-10-28 19:59
The Sunday Post - The Run-Up to Halloween

Happy Sunday!


Winter arrived this weekend with the first sprinkling of the white stuff just outside the city boundaries and with a significant drop in temperatures.


The weather had changed so much, in fact, that my friends and I had to think of alternative options to our planned trip Glamis yesterday to partake in this year's Halloween event. In the end, we just settled on taking extra layers of clothing and getting on the road a little earlier than last year in case the roads were affected. It turned out that the roads were clear, but it was absolutely freezing, which made our walk around the Bewitched Woods at the castle a rather swift wander. 



The Bewitched Woods were the same as last year, just with different lighting and new spooky sounds and special effects that set off by motion sensor as you found your way through the wood in the pitch dark soon after we started the trail. And I do mean, pitch dark! It was a lot of fun.



I still love the wood carvings illustrating the story of Macbeth (Shakespeare's version, that is) that are placed along the trail. All of the sculptures were created using a chainsaw and I am simply amazed by the level of detail that the artists (Neith Art) commissioned to create them put into each sculpture. They really seemed to have read and analysed each scene and character that they chose to create.



The main event was, as it was last year, a ghost tour of the castle. Again, the inside of the castle had been decorated appropriately with skeletons, cob webs, and very real ghouls and ghosties who would pop out from behind doorways or nooks as we followed our guide through the castle. The usual tour packed with history was adapted again to tell of the more ghostly and ghastly history of the former inhabitants, and it was a lot of fun to see some of the characters "come alive" to converse with the visitors. 

One of the funniest things about this all was that there were some kids on the tour - some of which were really quite scared, and some of which put on a lot of bravado and ended up heckling the ghosts. One rather felt sorry for the ghosts. 


Even tho this was the same event as last year, I am glad to say that the people at Glamis castle again lived up to the challenge of creating an event that can be enjoyed on repeat visits. The ghosts and stories were rather different from last year - there was a lot more shrieking (mostly by the "ghosts") and there were a lot more and different "ghosts", too.  All in all, we had another excellent experience that put everyone in the right mood for Halloween. 



Of course, we ended our visit with a stop in the old castle kitchens again to sample the pumpkin soup before we made our trip back home. Unfortunately, I didn't take a picture of the soup. I did make up for it today, tho, when I made some butter bean, lentil and spinach curry ... which I am counting as a soup as its consistency was rather stew-like.



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