Friday, 22 December 2017

The Whispers of Spring

Conversation just had with Lester, my other half:
 
re: Christmas Lunch
 
L: (drifting past as I was doing a bit of crochet) ....so I was thinking about some Christmas nibbles....
V: I thought you didn't want us to buy any fancy foods.....
L: ..... I was thinking about dinner..... we've got plenty of potatoes we can roast,.... and we could have some lamb with it...or a chicken.....
V: .... well that's not a change....we have a lot of roast dinners. We still have some pork, but I was thinking about doing  rabbit in white wine sauce, just to make a change.
L: ..... Oh, ....... (wondering back to his computer,)
 
Ten minutes later, after I had done a search for the recipe....
 
V: The rabbit recipe has bacon, in it........
L: Have we got any of our bacon left?
V: No. I have to buy some......
L: We won't bother with  bacon then. We'll just do a white wine sauce.....
V: The recipe is for rabbit with apricots in white wine sauce.....
L: Do we have any apricots?
V: No. I have to buy some.....
L: No need for apricots then, just rabbit in white wine sauce.
V: But we haven't any white wine in the house......I shall have to buy some
L: Pork and roast potatoes it is then!
V: And there is cabbage out in the veg garden, and a jar of canned carrots......
 
So the 'Rabbit in apricots, bacon, and white wine sauce' recipe remains an untried meal, probably forever, and I shall carry on with my normal way of using the rabbit meat stored in the freezer.
I did start off with good intent to cook something different for Christmas Day, but the thought of having to buy most of the ingredients from the supermarket does not sit well with us, so a 'normal' roast dinner it will be.
 
Thus it is that we continue on with our dislike of commercial food stuffs, although it is possible that we might buy some chocolate, perhaps a tub of ice cream. We have no inclination to go shopping, but prefer to dig something out of our larder and freezers. Memories of large amounts of rich, expensive, and full of additives and chemicals binge food sit in our past, as could be seen by the amount of weight we were both carrying. Even though we worked hard, our days were spent in sedentary occupations, and so we gathered up quite a bit of body lard over the years. most of which has thankfully melted away although I still have a small over layer which I much appreciate because it helps to keep me warm.
 
But don't think that we have lost the taste for the less than healthy food stuffs which abound at this time of year. Two weeks ago I was given a large box of chocolates by way of a 'thank you' from the choir I was privileged to play the piano for. The concert had been a success, and I was impressed by the effort everyone had put into the event. I was going to save the choccies for Christmas, but they didn't last two days in the house, and all are now gone.
 
So we will eat less than healthy food stuffs if they come our way, which does not happen very often. What does happen is that we have a dislike of buying food which we have not produced ourselves, apart from staples like flour, etc.....
Lunch yesterday: Liver (ours) in leeks (ours), peppers (ours) and mushrooms (not ours), with sautéed spiced potatoes (ours) and Brussels sprouts (ours).  Dessert: Pear tart (Pears ours, eggs ours, flour, margarine and sugar not ours). This is usual food for us, and well worth the effort of having to grow and harvest it all.
 
---
 
And so it was that we arrived at the shortest day yesterday. The winter has been difficult this year, and has felt quite long. But yesterday the weather seemed to have calmed down, so off outside I went to let the Veg Plots know that I was still around........and the first whispers of Spring were in the air. The year had changed. No matter what weather comes our way Spring has already announced that we are not to mind, that soon we shall be benefitting from warmer weather. My spirits became lifted, not enough to fill me with super duper energy, but enough to dribble in a small recharge to my batteries.
 
Today the day has not woken up though. Everything is still: no wind movement, no rain falling, no sun shining, no white frostings of snow, just calmness, as if everything is having a rest, as if everything is waiting.............
 
----
 
 
Wishing you the best of the season,
 
for love and harmony to be with you all, 
 
for grace and acceptance to be within your hearts,
 
and for you to be filled with an eagerness to embrace all that 2018 has in store for you.
 
Bye for now,
 
Vx
 


21 comments:

tilly said...

Thank you for sharing the last twelve months with us again, Wishing you health, peace and happiness
Tilly

DUTA said...

Lamb roast and potatoes sounds delicious. The simpler, the better.

You've mentioned 'healthy' and 'weight gain' in your post. Unfortunately, most healthy products lead to weight gain which is a very unhealthy condition. So, quantity is key word here, and it's where we shamefully fail.

Avocado and nuts are considered very healthy products, and yet they cause overweight if not eaten sparingly. I seldom eat nuts although I'm very fond of them.

Fruits are considered the healthiest of products, and yet there are fruits we are advised to limit consumption as they're full of sugar and calories (grapes, bananas, parsimon). Even legumes such as potatoes, more than two medium potatoes a day, will add unwanted weight.

Working hard/exercising might or might not prevent weight gain, but from my own experience, only controlling nutrition can help losing weight. You can lose weight by dieting only, but not by physical activity only. The healthiest thing would probably be a combination of the two.

Sorry for the lenghty comment, but there's so much misleading info on these matters that I felt I had to comment on that.

Happy Holidays to you!

Rhodesia said...

It really hurts me to have to buy food for Christmas day when we have so much sitting at home in France. I did bring a pumpkin over to the UK and some potatoes, but they are all gone already. This means I have to shop, such a waste, but we have decided on salmon and as we do not have a pond at home I would have had to have bought that any way!
Hope you have a good day and whatever you eat I know it will be good. I never follow recipes very well as I put on what I have and not what they say :-)
Keep well and all the best for 2018. Diane

local alien said...

Have a merry festive season. Your home grown meals sound wonderful. Healthy and tasty! May 2018 be a year of happiness, wild growth and good health

Cro Magnon said...

It was hell in my nearby Leclerc this morning. However I got my Turkey, and some bacon, and a tub of thick cream. I think we should be OK for a few days! Siege mentality.

northsider dave said...

Wishing you a great summer and a very productive smallholding and have a great Christmas Vera.

Vera said...

TILLY, wishing you all the best for the new year, and thank you for reading my blog!

DUTA, our weight gains were through not eating the right food, eating our main meal in the evening, and not exercising enough. When we came to France all this changed... we now eat our main meal at mid day, are far more active because of living on the farm, and eat mostly from our farm. For us this was the solution to our weight problems.
Wishing you all the best for the coming festive season and new year.

DIANE, wishing you all the best for the coming festive season, and hope that 2018 will be a good year for you and your husband.

LOCAL ALIEN, thank you for your kind wishes, and hoping that you have a good Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year.

CRO MAGNON, I have tried to avoid 'siege mentality' since we came to France, although we have to go to the supermarket tomorrow and I am mot looking forward to it!
Wishing you and your wife all the best for Christmas and the New Year.

NORTHSIDER DAVE, thanks, and wishing the same to you and your family.

Dawn McHugh said...

I know just what you mean over food, we have been gifted a lovely selection of home made game pate's that is the extent of any special food over christmas here, I might make a cake tomorrow as I have a friend visiting next week, but I am not battling around shops for a trolly full of additives

Coco said...

Thank you for reminding me I have to go out and get a stalk of brussels sprouts before it starts raining.

It´ll be a long time before we can avoid the grocery store, so I admire your degree of self-sufficiency. Baby steps.

Wishing you a lovely holiday and a productive New Year!

Vera said...

DAWN, it is nice to know that there are other people who are on the same wavelength as us! Wishing you a good Christmas and a happy and productive 2018.

COCO, hope you got your sprouts harvested before it rained! Our sprouts are not tight budded, but have sort of gone into blossoming out mode. Not to worry, they still taste good!
Grocery shopping today, apart from dry goods which we can never produce ourselves, was for some parsnips and carrots (which we have trouble growing here because of our stony soil although I might try them in the raised beds next year) and that is all the veg we bought. Hooray! It is worth the effort to grow your own! ]
Wishing you all the best for Christmas and the coming New Year.

Shirley said...

We are in Ireland visiting our daughter and her family for the festivities. Sending best wishes for a Happy Christmas and New Year :)

Vera said...

SHIRLEY, I hope you have a lovely Christmas with your daughter and her family, and wishing you a happy and healthy New Year.

Janice said...

Merry Christmas Vera and Lester. I hope everything goes to plan for you, whatever those plans may be. We have some of the kids and grandkids that live in town over tomorrow evening for presents and appetizers. We are invited out on Christmas day and boxing day which I am very grateful for. Wishing you all the best in 2018!

Vera said...

JANICE, blessings to you, and wishing you all the best for Christmas and the New Year.

CD said...

Hi Vera and lester I have loved reading your blog , it's made me think differently about sheep and chickens !! And the whole thing about being self sufficient. I think you are doing the best thing possible wishing you a very happy Christmas enjoy your roast ! Sounds just perfect xx

Vera said...

CD, thank you so much for your kind words, and wishing you all the best for the coming year.

Horst in Edmonton said...

Merry Christmas Vera, hope you have a wonderful New Years as well.

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

I am always so impressed by your ability to be so self sufficient and ignore commercial goods.

Kirsty Udall said...

Merry Christmas Vera, sounds like a better Christmas dinner knowing it's all your hard work anyway x

Mama Pea said...

It has been said that the very healthiest foods one can eat are those grown as close to one's own living environment as possible. Currently one of our favorite meals is duck livers we saved from our last butcherings. With potatoes and sauteed onions and a veggie from the garden. Aren't we extremely lucky to be able to grow so much of our own food?

Sending our very best wishes to you and Lester for a simply wonderful New Year of 2018.

Vera said...

HORST, thanks, and wishing you the same.

LISA, we do the best we can, as I am sure you do. Wishing you all the best for the New Year,


KIRSTY, it was a lovely Christmas Dinner, although I kept it to the minimum because there was just the two of us to eat it!

MAMA PEA, Wishing you the same for the New Year, and yes, I think we are both blessed with living the lifestyles that we do.