If you live in the UK, it has been difficult to be enthusiastic about anything this March. We've had Siberian winds and low temperatures, and not much sign of a change of season. Spring, it would appear, has been delayed in the post. The clocks won't be put an hour forward until the very end of the month, so we are still in 'Winter' time. Add to that the state of the economy and the worry many people have for their futures, it's been pretty grim all round.
So I've not really come out of Winter mode. I've been wearing my duck down coat more than any other this month. I've been wearing boots, often with 2 pairs of socks underneath. I've really wanted to dig out my pretty pumps and ring the changes, but it's just too cold! I'm not losing all feeling in my toes for the sake of style. And so far the fashion police have not come a-calling with an arrest warrant with my name on it. Phew!
Likewise, I've not come out of Winter mode with the food I've been eating, cooking or reading about. It's all been about the comforting stuff; the hearty, warming, sustaining dishes. The oven has been commissioned frequently for making stews and casseroles. The hob has been working on creamy risottos.
I'm hoping that the Post Office or FedEx or whoever has the contract to deliver the Great British Spring will get round to doing it soon. And when they do, I'll happily sign for it, and pay any surcharge, if the correct postage was not paid in the first place. But please, call when I'm in the house. And if I'm in the house, not when I'm having my shower.
When that Spring package arrives, I'll unwrap it, putting all the packaging dutifully in the recycling, and make sure I share it with everyone.
I look forward to April, when I hope I will be feeling and sharing the joys of Spring with you.
This month, my pictures to accompany this post are of the Dambulla Cave Temples in the Cultural Triangle of Sri Lanka. They were unbelievably beautiful, even on a day where it poured with rain.
Blogs worth following:
Not just roast potatoes, but great recipes: http://bigspud.co.uk/
Restaurant reviews: http://laissezfare.wordpress.com/
Beautiful artist designed recipes: http://www.theydrawandcook.com/
We had a virtual cook along of this Jamaican stew on FB, recipe by the lovely Tash: http://www.foodifancy.com/jamaican-oxtail-and-butterbean-stew
A quick and tasty tomato soup, for a busy evening or when in the middle of revision for exams: http://chubbyhubby.net/recipes/a-tasty-and-delicious-cream-of-tomato-recipe
Yum Woonsen - glass noodle salad similar to that at Kao Sarn, Brixton (just add cooked king prawns): http://www.joysthaifood.com/spicy/thai-food-recipe-yum-woon-sen-spicy-glass-noodle-salad/
A rapid chicken stew for when you have friends round and no time: http://www.domesticsluttery.com/2012/08/sluttishly-savoury-lemon-and-garlic.html
Healthy and quick, with no soaking and boiling of the Chick peas required. It's Mamta's Chick pea curry: http://www.mamtaskitchen.com/recipe_display.php?id=10015
How to use red quinoa (in a bean based salad) and bulgur wheat (in a beefy stew): http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2012/nov/02/lemon-salad-beef-stew-recipes
A sly way to use leftovers from a Sunday roast: http://kelliesfoodtoglow.com/2012/12/26/leftover-roast-potato-and-ham-soup-with-dijon/
Want to eat more fish? Here is a salmon (oily fish) recipe and a snapper (lean fish) recipe: http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2013/feb/17/salmon-snapper-fish-recipes
Pistachio & Cumin Crusted Rack Of Lamb (gluten free): http://www.tarteletteblog.com/2013/01/recipe-gluten-free-pistachio-cumin.html
Speedy dinner: Chicken Marsala with mushrooms: http://savorysweetlife.com/2010/03/chicken-marsala/
In need of a healthy packed lunch? Try a salad in a jar - and it won't come out soggy! http://www.thekitchn.com/no-more-soggy-salad-a-guide-to-the-perfect-salad-in-a-jar-186104
Who ate all the pies? Varied spins (sweet, savoury, meaty and fishy) on pies: http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2013/feb/16/10-best-bakes-pies
How to make pickled green beans (Video recipe): http://youtu.be/10XdOcVwizM
Indian style lime aachar (hot lime pickle): http://www.greatcurryrecipes.net/2011/04/29/an-amazing-indian-lime-pickle-recipe-that-blows-store-bought-away/
Indian style Mango Hot Pickle - Gupta Family Style from Mamta's Kitchen: http://www.mamtaskitchen.com/recipe_display.php?id=10029
Mauritian style vegetable pickle (fusion of Indian meets western): http://ile-maurice.tripod.com/achar.htm
Articles, know how etc:
Using mince in your cooking: http://www.seriouseats.com/2013/01/ask-the-food-lab-on-browning-ground-meat-in-recipes.html
Know your beans: http://www.foodsubs.com/Beans.html
Steve Mason and Dennis Bovell - Ghosts Outside
Death Cab For Cutie - Narrow Stairs
David Bowie - Hunky Dory
Radiator - Super Furry Animals
Engrenages Saison 2
The Killing II