Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Home Comforts

Another dark, cold, wet and windy day has dawned.  H1 is still at home suffering with an ear infection.  Pea is still battling with a massive load of homework and revision and H2 talks about Lego from the moment he awakes until he finally snuggles down to sleep at night.  At 7 this morning he perched on the edge of my chair and began his monologue.  I sat with my legs curled under me, hands wrapped round a mug of steaming hot tea, trying to warm up and muster enthusiasm for the day ahead.  My mind was not yet in this world and I treasure those minutes of silence at the beginning of the day, before it's all systems go.  I gently persuaded him to go and toast some crumpets for his breakfast, then I let my mind go back to it's early morning wandering.

When I arrived back home after depositing H2 at school, the day seemed to be attempting to brighten up a bit.  Full of optimism, I loaded the washing machine and hung out a good line full to dry in the wind.  By mid morning the rain had set in and I had to dash out, in between cleaning the bathroom and making the beds, to fetch it all in again and drape it over the clothes horse in the hall way.  H1 had a shower and dressed while I made him a toasted hot cross bun for breakfast.  Well he's poorly so he deserves a treat.  Actually on a horrid, miserable day like this we all deserve a treat and I think there is only one thing that can hit the mark; jam roly poly. Yesss!

This book is full of old-fashioned food.  You know, normal cooking that people have largely forgotten about nowadays.  Food that you cook then sit down at a table and eat with your family.  I think it's so sad that many children can't use a knife and fork properly because they have never had a family meal at a table and learnt how to eat.  Each evening the four of us all squash together round our small kitchen table and have dinner.  It's never anything fancy, sometimes it is just egg and chips or salad or lamb chops and veg.  I don't always make a pudding during the week so we have fruit, or if I've baked we will have some of that.  I try to save big meals for Sundays and keep things simpler mid week, that way we won't pile on too many unwanted pounds!  However, there are times when comfort food is needed and that's why jam roly poly is on the menu for tonight.  We will be having salad and Scotch eggs to begin and then we can really enjoy a good stodgy pudding.

Once made it needs two hours steaming then it just needs a jug of custard (Bird's will do nicely) and a spoon!  Mine is presently undergoing this process, neatly wrapped in it's coat of baking paper.

It looks a bit sad and anaemic before it is cooked, but the smell of hot raspberry jam when you unwrap it is so mouthwatering and you just know this will stick to your ribs and keep you going through a long, dark evening. Yum!

One of the many joys of my life is making compost.  I know it's a bit weird, but as I love Planet Earth and don't want to be responsible for causing any harm to it, I get an enormous amount of pleasure from composting things that otherwise would go in the bin and eventually to landfill.  When we lived in the cottage I couldn't really garden in the way I wanted to, as I knew we were only there temporarily and the garden was mainly looked after by the owner.  Moving to our tiny house in the woods has brought an opportunity to rescue a slightly neglected, but once very much loved, garden and with it the chance to sow seeds and be creative with nature.  And I can make compost!
At the back of the poly tunnel is a huge area of dead trees, nettles and brambles; perfect for wild life.  Among it all were two compost bins, perfectly usable and not full of rats or snakes.  Pea and I pulled them out and repositioned them in more useful places; one by what will be the kitchen garden and one next to the poly tunnel.  We had to dig one into the ground a bit as it kept blowing about the garden in all the storms.  It seems perfectly happy there and I quite enjoy trotting across the garden to empty my bucket of kitchen scraps into it.  By autumn we should have a bin full of well rotted compost to spread over the garden and all from things that would have been thrown away.  I seem to derive great pleasure from some of the most simple, seemingly mundane things in life; pudding for tea, home made compost and a walk with the dogs at the end of the day.  It is hard to believe that in mid January we are heading into the light half of the year.  Two minutes of extra light every day means that we can begin our post-tea time walks again.  And boy do I need to after eating that roly poly!

It was drizzling a bit, but the wind had dropped and the sun set was so gorgeous, it was worth forcing myself out into the fading light.

A flooded field made an impromptu home for ducks.

A water logged lane showed the sky her reflection as it wound like a pink ribbon between the blackened hedges.  It was getting dark and time to go home.  Waiting for me was a pile of tea time dishes, a very untidy kitchen and two dogs that would need the mud scraping off them before being fed and allowed back indoors.  Simple pleasures are the best!

Enjoy your home comforts and simple pleasures today. xxx


  1. Umm rolypoly pudding .... just fab .. I can smell over here..

  2. My mouth is watering at the thought of your rolypoly! Heaven in a bowl!! By the way it's me not karl writing this!! Xx