Friday 25 October 2013

Go Gentle Through Your Life

I know that the title is grammatically incorrect, but this is a line from Robbie Williams' song, Go Gentle, which I have heard quite a few times on the radio this week.

The line resonates with me at this point in my life because all I've ever wanted was to tread softly, to treat people with respect and kindness and to receive the same in return.

Sadly, I have gone through nineteen months of hell due to a situation which is beyond my control.  I tried to do the right thing a year ago, but it had little impact on my day-to-day situation and I've found myself questioning why I have to go through it all again.

This is the main reason why my blogging has been so sporadic during this time.  It is hard to maintain a positive outlook on life and to take pleasure in daily tasks. 

In an effort to distract my racing thoughts from the never-ending cycle of worry, I have been turning my attention to some creativity.  In addition to baking for Christmas and cooking wholesome soups, I've been busy knitting and I will be sharing some of my creations in the coming weeks.

I would like to thank those of you who have continued to visit and comment on my posts.  I really appreciate your interest.  It makes a world of difference to know that there are friends who care.

Saturday 19 October 2013

Let The Preparations For Christmas Begin...

I've been off work this week, so it has been an opportunity to make  a start on some seasonal baking.  Top of my list was baking our Christmas cake. 

I had bought most of the ingredients ahead, as this seems to be the one time of the year when there is suddenly a shortage of dried fruit. I can't quite understand why the supermarkets are not stockpiling the stuff when they know that there is going to be a rush, but that is another story.

I find the whole process of mixing the ingredients and savouring the aroma of the spices quite therapeutic and soothing to my jangled nerves, which need all the help they can get at the moment.  There is something about the rhythm and ritual of baking this cake which is comforting and reassuring.

I am very pleased with the way it turned out.  The cake baked beautifully and is a lovely golden colour.
Now I can store it and feed it with brandy at regular intervals so that it matures in time for Christmas.

Tuesday 15 October 2013

Butternut Squash and Apple Soup

I've never done much cooking with squash, but after enjoying butternut squash and apple soup at a conference last year, I decided to give it a try.  My last attempt was fairly disastrous and I have to admit that no-one enjoyed it. 
In an effort to make more seasonal dishes, I went through my recipe collection and discovered another recipe for this soup.  As I am not working this week, I had time to spend in the kitchen experimenting with new flavours.

I followed the recipe closely and tried not to build up my hopes that this soup would taste anything like the one that I had previously enjoyed.

Having added the apple ~ Granny Smiths in the absence of my favourite Bramley apples for cooking, which are not available here ~ I let it simmer for a further ten minutes, then cool a little before blending.

The end result was delicious and I will now feel much more confident about making this soup again.

Monday 14 October 2013


Today is Thanksgiving here in Canada.  Although we have lived in Canada for a number of years, this is not really a holiday that we celebrate.  I suppose it stems from the fact that we don't have any family living near us and Thanksgiving is really a time for large family gatherings.

Another tradition which I've never adopted is pumpkin pie, which I hate.  Squash in general is something that I never grew up eating and my experience of doing so has been limited through choice.  Anyway, in an effort to try something seasonal, I made Butternut Squash and Apple Soup.  It turned out really well and it was very tasty (even if I am the only one who likes it!) 

The pumpkins were a fun little knitting project which I found in one of the Debbie Bliss books.  I may not enjoy eating pumpkin, but at least these little beauties brought a smile to my face.

Happy Thanksgiving!