I hardly slept at all last night. In the late evening we realised the pump that is activated whenever we run water to increase the pressure, was running constantly. That usually means someone has left a tap on. We couldn’t find any running water and the only way to turn the pump off was to remove the fuse. But we couldn’t do that because Lara was coming home very late with a friend after a long night out saying au revoir to friends who start to leave town for various Universities this weekend. We didn’t want to risk any accidents as she stumbled around in the dark.
So I went to bed at 1:30am, unable to sleep as the pump is quite noisy and fretting about what may be wrong. Was there a major leak causing thousands of pounds of damage somewhere? Or was the pump going to explode or start a fire? When Little Miss Party Pants returned home in the very small hours and decided to cook a late/early supper, all hope of sleep was over. I think I fell asleep at about 5 am and then had to be up at 7 am. Grrrrrrumpy!
I had breakfast with Harvey; porridge made with soya milk and water, a banana, chia seeds and some cashew nut butter. And a much needed cup of tea.
Thanks to everyone who recommended plumbers and a very helpful man came and cut off the pump. It had become corroded and was locked in to operating continuously. It was “red hot” and will need to be replaced 😦 But at least the house is peaceful again.
Late morning I set off for a long walk with Lucy and our 3 dogs. We met in Sissinghurst village and set off though the apple orchards,
through the woods,
passed Sissinghurst Castle gardens,
round the lakes,
We walked for over 2 hours and I felt much better for it. I was very tired though and this can be a real danger time when I want to eat loads of highly processed carbs. But I decided to eat as many fresh foods as I could. I figured my body needed loads of nutrients to cope with the lack of sleep. I wanted to eat the rainbow i.e. as many different colours as possible. I had tomatoes, carrots, radishes, Swiss chard, salad leaves, beetroot I had roasted recently and half a tin of sardines in olive oil.
I made an interesting dressing to go with it. I blended in a small blender:
Avocado Salad Dressing
- 1/2 an avocado
- 1 heaped tsp Quark
- 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
- Juice from about 1/3 of a lemon
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- salt and pepper
I made it originally without the maple syrup but it wasn’t quite right. The maple syrup lifted it and it was very enjoyable. A very creamy and thick consistency and a lovely pale green colour.
I confess I did take to my bed in the afternoon as I needed a sleep. I only managed about half an hour but it helped.
For supper I made Quesadillas. Yotam Ottelenghi has a fantastic recipe in his wonderful book ‘Plenty’. If you have the book, try the recipe including the salsa and all the little extras as it really does work beautifully when you eat it all together. But I didn’t have all the ingredients so I made a simpler version.
Quesadillas for 4 people.
I put the following in to a blender and blitzed until smooth:
1 can of black beans,
the other half of the avocado I’d eaten at lunch time,
juice of 1/2 a lemon,
some fresh coriander,
1/2 tsp cumin,
1/2 tsp paprika,
Warm a large frying pan, put a tortilla in the pan, spread with the black bean paste and add chopped tomatoes, sour cream and Cheddar cheese. Place another tortilla on top and warm gently for about 3-4 minutes. Turn carefully and warm for another couple of minutes.
I put each warmed quesadilla on a chopping board and cut it in to 8 pieces so we could eat them by hand. We all felt a bit tired so munched them in front of the tv.
Over the road live our wonderful friends who were hosting birthday drinks for me. My neighbours on either side and neighbours down the road and over the road are all lovely. We are all very sociable but have a tendency to overdo it. So the plan tonight, as we all had busy Saturdays, was to start early and finish early. To help with this, we sat outside. Sarah and Chris had set up a delightful area outside with plenty of fairy lights and candles and it looked enchanting. It was bit chilly but not so cold that a warm hat and a blanket couldn’t resolve. The men looked very charming in their hats!
Marion and Pippa snuggled up under a warm blanket.
Despite my best intentions, we didn’t leave until 11:30 pm! I did manage to restrain myself and only have 3 glasses of wine :-). But I did eat way too many of Sarah’s delicious nibbles 😦 . It was a very splendid evening. Thank you Sarah and Chris for being such wonderful hosts and thank you Marion, Colin, Jane and Tony, Mr B. plus the kids for being such fun company.
Saturday was very busy as I had 16 people for lunch; all my immediate family plus Gail who looked after us when we were children. They all came to wish Lara all the very best at University. And also so we could share out Dad’s glassware and our Grandma’s ceramics.
I was so busy cooking I hardly managed any photos, even though some of our lunch came out of a tin. Yes, really it did. For those of you who have said “don’t you ever open a tin of something?”, yes, sometimes I do. Great big enormous tins of confit de canard and cassoulet I bought in France ages ago. The baked beans are purely there to show how large the tins were.
Aubergine and roasted pepper dip served with flatbreads
BBQ chicken drumsticks, corn cobs, new potatoes and cassoulet (for the children)
Roasted Confit de Canard
Roasted chicken pieces marinated in a jerk seasoning and oil
Potatoes sautéed with garlic and rosemary
Green mixed leaf salad (from the garden) with tomatoes
Apple crumble (apples from the garden)
Custard and cream
A selection of cheese
Coffee with chocolate-peanut-Crunchie squares
Home made sloe gin
And we drank loads of wine and Prosecco.
I love my little nieces and nephews and it was just wonderful to have them all at my house. They all played together and had so much fun.
I ate and drank way too much. I have fallen off the wagon massively in the past few days. So my intention tomorrow is to get up early and go for a swim. I do have friends coming for lunch but am hoping to behave myself!
Right now I am off to bed, with my head and heart full of happy memories from the past 2 days and thinking how lucky I am to share my life with such wonderful people.