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Friday, 28 October 2011

Love apple days...

They took a long time to germinate,then pots of pots of them took over the dining room until the danger of frosts was over, and I've been a watering and a spoiling them ever since.

I'm talking tomatoes..little ones(cherry), mediumsized ones (roma) and some larger ones but I haven't a clue what they are as I did a swap with my mate Keith in our village. I grew most of them at my allotment but kept all the little cherry tomatoes here in the courtyard at home.

Those were the first to by one, they took their time..and every morning I looked eagerly outside the kitchen window to check how they were doing.

The allotment tomatoes grew well enough,a few turned orange and red,so I whisked them smartly into the kitchen to be sliced,and have olive oil,black pepper basil leaves thrown over them.

The rest of them have been obstinate little devils - refusing to ripen, like teenagers kicking their heels....and shouting "No! Won't!"
As with teenagers sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind....with a cold frost forecast last week they all were all taken off the tomato plants, before they died.

Since then , I can't see any of my windowsills...the tomatoes are lying in the sunshine there, finally turning colour.They're the ones in pole position for the race to ripen.

I'm having to help the less fortunate ones...I've taken this lot out to bask in the sun today.

I was going to make a rich sauce with some of them today but as it's such a beautiful day here, I've decided to make one last summer tomato tart.

It's a recipe I've loved and cooked for years... by the wonderful Tamsin day Lewis.She makes tartlets but I like to see a big tart...

Tomato , camembert and herb tart


1 tbspn Dijon mustard
A large shortcrust pastry case - prebaked
100gm Gruyere or parmesan cheese
8 -10 firm ripe tomatoes, thinly slcied
1 whole camembert , quatered and thinly sliced
6 tbspn olive oil
2tspn finely chopped fresh thyme
1 tspn fennel seeds
2 garlic cloves
salt, pepper

How to make

1.Heat the oven to 190 C (375)F Gas 5 and put a baking sheet in the oven to pre heat...this will keep the pastry base crisp

2.Spread the mustard thinly over the pastry base then sprinkle with the gruyere or parmesan/Arrange overlapping slices of tomatoes, then a row of slices of camembert, another torow of tomatoesetc

3.Put the oil in a small bowl, add the thym,me, fennel seeds, adn crushed garlic.Brush the tomato and camembert slices and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

4. Bake the tarts on the hot baking sheet until golden and bubbling - it only takes about 25 minutes.

5.Serve hot, warm , or at room temperature...I prefer warm.

One last reminder of summer....

The soundtrack for today's post was going to be something else....but in view of the pounds and pounds of tomatoes here , it's got to be Paul Simon - 50 ways to leave your lover.
Only I'm singing 50 ways to cook tomatoes at the top of my voice alongside the chorus.Go on , try fits!You may get some odd looks who cares? The sun is shining!And this is such a snazzy version.....

Sunday, 23 October 2011

rugby days

I don't know about you, but I'm exhausted.
I've spent a weekend watching rugby -one game having a slightly more higher profile than the other though.....

Yesterday's game was in Leicestershire where my elder son won man of the match scoring 17 points. Standing on the sidelines, squinting in the sunshine and feeling elated as he ran and scored a try, feeling frightened as I saw him at the bottom of heap of tangled bodies on the ground....and relieved at the end when he came off the pitch without being injured.

Being a rugby mum isn't easy - that queasy feeling of anticipation, pride and worry never goes away no matter how many matches I watch my son play.

Watching the Rugby world cup over the last few months has been a completely different ball game altogether.Sitting in front of the telly cheering on England , shouting at the referee ,jumping up for joy when we scored. screaming in frustration when we's been addictive but relatively pain free.

And this morning , it's been a joy to watch New Zealand play France .There's been blood,guts and a primeval pleasure watching thirty athletes at their physical peak ,who are primed and pumped for 80 minutes of gladatorial action.
Running , tackling , rucking, mauling ,these are what I call real men....not the poncy metrosexuals who waft around a pitch for 90 minutes chasing a round ball, who cry and throw themselves on the ground when another player comes near.

Quite a few of my friends are now converts to the more beautiful game - and it's the men who've converted them. Their pecs and abs defined in the tight fitting rugby shirts , their height,strength ,power and sheer physicality
are attracting my friends' attention - no matter what team they play for.
The French team may have lost this morning,but in a quick straw poll amongst the girls, the French were fitter in more ways than one.(Rougerie,Dusatoir and Szarzewski warranting special attention).

The world cup is over for another four years, but in the meantime I think I can persuade my friends to start coming down to watch the Leicester Tigers with me at Welford Road. A superb rugby team, who'll supply enough drama, testosterone and players in their prime of physical perfection to keep them entertained until 2015.

Today's soundtrack has to be Smoke on the Water by Deep Purple -an old song but it gets me going as the Tigers come out onto the pitch at every home game.

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

thinking of the days

To be fair, I don't quite know what I'm doing or why I'm here.

I'm talking about the blogging world and not real life -although come to think of, no, I think I''ll be ok.

But back to blogging - it's true I don't know what I'm doing technically.I'm about as useful as a gnat's whatsit when it came to following instructions on .Setting this up has not been straightforward and I've found many new words I don't understand like link fields and float alignments.They mean nothing to me, but I've been saying the word "bollocks", that's a word I know well.

SO why am I here?

Well, I love reading other people's blogs - all these windows on others' worlds that delight, entertain and intrigue.You could call me a blogging tart as I read blogs about gardening, self sufficiency, writing,music, beachlife - you name it, I'll read it.

But who will read this? I have no idea. What will I write? I don't know yet, anything that tickles my fancy I suppose.

In my working world I'm a journalist, I appear on radio and give talks. I'm really nosy so I get to go to some places others don't and I get to meet such interesting people.So this blog "thinking of the days" will reflect those, and also the days I spend doing what I love and being with the people I love.

Oh, and music.I can't not write about music - the tracks I adore,and the bands I see .

So,here we are...first blog nearly complete.But not quite....the soundtrack to this first blog has to be "Days " by the Kinks.

"Thank you for the days
Those endless days, those sacred days you gave me
I'm thinking of the days
I won't forget a single day, believe me.......
Here's a lovely version of the song performed at Glastonbury last year

So here we are.....hello!