Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Pasta al pesto all Summer long

Even on a small balcony there is usually room for a pot of basil. If you buy a nice healthy plant at the beginning of the season and look after it well, you can have Pasta al pesto at least once a week, and use the leaves for tomato salad and all sorts of things.
Basil is a real powerhouse of goodness. It contains Vitamins A K and C, magnesium, iron, potassium and calcium.
One of my sons adores Pasta al pesto and so I bought him a basil plant. He looked at it rather forlornly and said he much prefers it when I make it.

Pesto is really easy and quick to make and once you've tasted the home made version you will never buy it ready made again.
It's the one time when I use an electrical appliance for my cooking. I don't really like whizzing and whisking and slicing in sharp noisy bursts, my approach to cooking is more soft and gentle, but pesto has to be nice and smooth and creamy.

People from Liguria might raise their eyebrows at my recipe, they put in garlic and then often add sliced green beans and diced potato to cook with the pasta.

First wash and dry the basil leaves
Grate a chunk of Parmesan cheese
Put the pine nuts in the blender and give them a whizz, and transfer to a dish
Put the basil leaves in the blender and add some olive oil, blend well then add the grated cheese and ground pine nuts.
Season to taste

Cook your pasta, preferably linguine according to the packet. If liked add the chopped beans and diced potato.
Drain the pasta and mix in the pesto sauce.

You can make the pesto in the morning, cover and leave in the fridge. It is best eaten as soon as possible to preserve the vitamins and minerals.

Herbs can easily be grown on a small balcony, sage, rosemary and basil shown here

Get your ingredients ready and prepare to whizz

Quick and easy supper contains, protein, fats, fresh green leaves and nuts, and of course pasta

Monday, 27 April 2015

Share your joy

Ready for the oven

Four bowls needed
 Now here's a prayer from St Thomas More (1478 - 1535) which whatever your religion or no religion could give you inspiration and comfort today.

Prayer for Good Humour

Grant me, O Lord, good digestion and also something to digest.

Grant me a healthy body and the necessary good humour to maintain it.

Grant me a simple soul that knows to treasure all that is good and that doesn't frighten easily at the sight of evil, but rather finds the means to put things back in their place.

Give me a soul that knows not boredom, grumblings, sighs and laments nor excess of stress because of that obstructing thing called 'I'.

Grant me, O Lord a sense of good humour.

Allow me the grace to be able to take a joke, to discover in life a bit of joy
and to be able to share it with others.

First of all here's a wonderful recipe for chocolate cake, that takes care of something to digest.

Serves six

100g butter, softened
100g sugar
3 eggs separated
50g flour
250g chocolate, melted with 50g milk and left to cool

Beat the egg whites in a large clean dry bowl until stiff
In another bowl beat together the butter and sugar until soft
Add the three egg yolks and beat well until thick and creamy.
Fold in the flour.
Stir in the melted chocolate mixture
Fold in the beaten egg white

Pour into a loose bottom cake tin lined with oven paper.
bake in the oven at 170 degrees for 25 - 30 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.
Cool in the tin
Sprinkle with icing sugar to serve or decorate with whipped cream rosettes.

And now for the humour part :)
Did you hear about the chef who got an electric shock?
He stood on a bun and a currant shot up his leg.
ha ha ha ha
and one of my favourite verses by Hilaire Belloc
From quiet homes and first beginnings
Out to the undiscovered ends,
There's nothing worth the wear of winning
But laughter and the love of friends.

So share your joy today, make a cake and share it, pass on a funny joke, get in touch with someone who cares about you, anything that gives joy!
Ready to go

Mozzarella in Carrozza

Anyone with a friend from the South of Italy will sooner or later be told about some wonderful recipe from their aunt or grandma, mother or cousin. A dreamy look will come over them as they describe the sensations this dish produces, the sweet juicy tomatoes, the freshly caught fish, the olive oil that stings the back of your throat as it should, the softness of the mozzarella.
Today someone told me about their aunt's Mozzarella in carrozza, which means Mozzarella cheese in a carriage, just the thought of it transported her to the bay of Naples. It sounded delicious so I asked for the recipe. She told me you have to make it with care and love.

The ingredients as often happens when someone tells you a recipe are approximate, it depends on how hungry you are.

Serves 4

200 g mozzarella, sliced and left to drain excess moisture
8 slices of bread, cut into triangles
2 eggs, beaten
oil for frying

Place the slices of mozzarella on the bread triangles.
Cover with another triangle and press lightly, make sure no mozzarella is poking out
Dip the mozzarella and bread triangles in the beaten egg and then in the breadcrumbs.
Cook in the hot oil until lightly golden, turning once
Drain on kitchen paper
Serve with a green salad.

Verdict, appearance 8 out of 10
taste 10 out of 10

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Round the World Cookery, Ratatouille

For Earth Day I have been thinking about recipes from around the world and have decided to make Ratatouille, which is  French and has recently been immortalized in the Disney film.
 I always love making ratatouille, from buying the vegetables to chopping then up into different shapes to layering them in the pot and watching them get to know each other and turn out like a real party, it's a party dish, colourful, vibrant, full of flavour, fun and very versatile.
 A really wonderful one pot cookery recipe from France.
The first time I made it for my husband- to- be, he was very impressed and unfortunately for him got the idea that I was an international cook. On a camping stove with a feeble flame I managed to produce this wonderful dish aided by some rough red wine and a youthful enthusiasm for life.

Bring some sunshine into your kitchen and with love in your heart prepare this dish today, you won't be disappointed, unless of course you find peppers indigestible.

Here goes,

one or two white onions, finely chopped
Some courgettes, washed and dried and cut into funky diagonal shapes
One or two red and yellow peppers, washed dried and cut into strips .julienne
two aubergines, washed and dried and cut into rounds
Ripe red tomatoes, skinned by pouring boiling water over them, then cut into quarters.

Put some olive oil in a large saucepan and cook the onion until translucent.
Add the vegetables in the following order:-
Pour over a glug of olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper

Simmer over a very low heat for about an hour, checking to make sure it doesn't stick to the bottom,
Stir very gently from time to time.
Add a few fresh basil leaves and tomato puree
Check seasoning.





Monday, 20 April 2015

Travelling the road together

When you see a road, a lane or a path leading away in front of you and then disappearing from view around a bend or over a hill, stand still for awhile and imagine what could be there waiting. What would you like to be there?

I looked at the road and stood quite still
Leading onwards over the hill
If I walked on would I see a view?
Somewhere I could stay with you?

The road wound on and turned a bend
Not long  now and I 'd meet a friend
Coffee cups waiting all in a row
Come on in I've missed you so.

Along the path and between the trees
All decked out with fresh green leaves
Maybe at the end we'll glimpse the sea
You'll turn your head and smile at me.

Wherever the road goes please come too
I'm never afraid when I'm with you
Wherever it goes and whatever we see
Hold my hand and stay with me.

There's something about a road leading off into the distance that makes you stop and think, especially if you don't know where it goes. You have to pace yourself.
 I'm sure we all have experience of following a route for the first time feeling so much longer than the second time. When you know where you're going and what to expect a journey is much easier.

When you have to contemplate a journey or a task and are not sure of what it entails just one step at a time is the most used advice.

Thomas Carlyle(1795 - 1881) said lots of wise things or aphorisms. Here's a good one for anyone about to embark on a task or journey.

Our grand business undoubtedly is not to see what lies dimly at a distance, but to do what clearly lies at hand.

Have a good week everyone.



Five a day Risotto

We all know by now that we should eat at least five portions of fruit and vegetables every day. They should be different colours and as varied as possible.
Some days you might find that you have been so busy that you've just had a ham sandwich. Never fear, you can easily make up for it  with this lovely recipe for Risotto.

You will need two large saucepans and a small one for the vegetable broth.

Risotto with red wine and vegetables.

Serves four

100g carrots, washed and cut into small pieces
100g courgettes, washed and cubed
100g mushrooms cleaned and cut into small pieces
1 white onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 sprig of fresh rosemary
olive oil
salt and pepper
small glass of red wine

for the risotto

320g rice, preferably wholegrain
200ml red wine
1 small vegetable stock cube
grated parmesan cheese
30g burro

In one saucepan heat some olive oil and a knob of butter and gently cook the chopped onion until translucent.
Add the chopped carrots and cook gently for five minutes.
Add the chopped courgettes and mushrooms and stir well.
Pour over the small glass of red wine and stir
Add the chopped rosemary and salt and pepper to taste.
Stir well and cook over a low heat for about ten minutes.

In the other saucepan put in the rice and heat it stirring often until it is lightly toasted but not brown.
Add the red wine and stir.
Cook the risotto in the usual way with the vegetable stock.
After twelve minutes add the vegetable mixture and stir well.
When the rice is cooked add some parmesan cheese and a knob of butter. Check the seasoning and leave for a few minutes before serving.

Courgettes carrots,onions mushrooms

Follow with beetroot tomatoes plums

eat a rainbow today and every day.

Buon appetito

Put some sunshine in your cooking

Not much room on my stove,

In goes the red wine,

Altogether now

Buon appetito

Friday, 17 April 2015

The first Cuckoo

Today I heard the cuckoo calling for the first time this year. He sounded very happy and his song rang out loud and clear.
It's always fascinating to think of the birds that migrate and go somewhere for the Winter and then come back. They don't need passports and vaccinations, they just go where they need to in order to survive.
In spite of their happy song cuckoos don't have a great reputation. They lay their eggs in someone else's nest. Not for them the gathering of twigs and leaves, they let others do the hard work.
When you hear the cuckoo's song heralding the arrival of the warm weather, beautiful blossom and the return of lush green leaves it's hard to picture what this bird actually does. The Cuckoo is considered a parasite as it lays its eggs in the nests of other birds. The eggs vary in colour and often resemble those of the unlucky bird whose nest is chosen.
The cuckoo lays about twelve eggs but they are all laid in different nests. When the young cuckoo is hatched it turns our all the other fledglings and eggs and they are left to perish on the ground. It's hard to understand Mother Nature, and why they don't build  build their own nests.  So when you hear the Cuckoos song spare a thought for their victims.

Cuckoos are brown when they are young but adult cuckoos all look the same, male and female.

My poem for the day is by William Wordsworth (1770 - 1850),

To The Cuckoo

O blithe New-comer! I have heard,
I hear thee and rejoice,
O Cuckoo! shall I call thee bird,
Or but a wandering Voice?

While I am lying on the grass
The twofold shout I hear;
From hill to hill it seems to pass,
At once far off and near.

Though babbling only to the vale
Of sunshine and of flowers,
Thou bringest unto me a tale
Of visionary hours.

, Thrice welcome, darling of the Spring!
Even yet thou art to me
No bird, but an invisible thing
A voice a mystery.

the same whom in my schoolboy days
I listened to, that Cry
Which made me look a thousand ways
In bush, and tree, and sky.

To seek thee did I often rove
Through woods and on the green;
And thou wert still a hope, a love;
Still longed for, never seen.

And I can listen to thee yet;
Can lie upon the plain
And listen, till I do beget
That golden time again.

O blessed bird! the earth we pace
Again appears to be
An unsubstantial, faery place,
That is fit home for thee!

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Poem for the day, Spring time

It really is Spring, it had burst forth with a passion that holds all the promise of the wonderful glorious days in store for us.
Spring leading the way to Summer forging a flower strewn path alive with the buzzing and humming of insects, delicate warm scents and a gentle fluttery breeze that lifts the corners of  the dull blanket that is covering all your cares and sweeps them away.
Spring is in the air. Love is in the air. Hope is in the air. Begone dull care.
The bright cheerful days full of sunshine fills hearts with gladness and vitality.

So with a hey and a ho and a hey nonny ho here is my poem for the day by Ben Jonson (1572 -1637).

Ben Jonson was a friend of Shakespeare's and wrote many plays and poems. His work has not carried the test of time as Shakespeare's has, and one of the theories behind this lack of timeless popularity is that his characters lacked kindness. There is not one character in the whole of Jonson's work that is remembered with affection. Cleverness is not enough, we all need kindness.
 However this poem by Ben Jonson has been set to music and my mother used to sing it to me and it seems appropriate for a lovely sunny spring day when our thoughts turn to loving and kissing. I hope you like it.

To Celia

Drink to me only with thine eyes,
And I will pledge with mine,
Or leave a kiss but in the cup
And I'll not look for wine,
The thirst that from the soul doth rise
Doth ask a drink divine;
But might I of Jove's nectar sup,
I would not change for thine.

I sent thee late a rosy wreath,
Not so much honouring thee,
As giving it a hope that there
It could not wither'd be,
But thou thereon didst only breathe
And sent'st it back to me;
Since when it grows, and smells, I swear,
Not of itself but thee!

Ben Jonson

It's always a joy to wake up on a morning in Spring

We're all like the bees looking for something nice in a flower

Monday, 13 April 2015

Thermal baths and spas in Italy

If you go to a hotel in Italy they might tell you there is a Spa for hotel guests and sometimes it is available to day visitors. A Spa in Italy is a relaxing area where soft music plays and the lighting is dim. They will offer all kinds of treatments from massages to manicures and you will hopefully come away feeling relaxed and recharged to start your busy working week.

SpA after the name of a company in Italy stands for Società per azioni, which is like a shareholders' company, but when it is written Spa it is definitely a haven of tranquillity and peace.
 There is a town in Belgium called Spa which might claim the origin of the word, but in Italy it is considered to be an acronym for Salute Per Acqua. This means health through water.
The Romans knew all about health through water and we are lead to believe they spent a lot of time frolicking about in spa water baths getting up to all sorts of mischief.
 In modern Italy these are called Terme, like a thermal bath.
 Bubbling away under the Italian soil there are many sources of rich sulphurous water and visiting a place where this is on offer makes for a great day out.
 If you can convince your doctor that your health would benefit from a trip to a Terme you might be lucky enough to get some treatments free.

Every Terme will cure some ailment from  dodgy knees to asthma.
 Yesterday none of that was on people's minds as they enjoyed the sun in Sirmione's beautiful public spa or Terme.
 The moment you enter you feel at peace, the staff are all so welcoming and kind, the bang up to date technology means that you only need the plastic bracelet they give you when you are inside.
You are given a soft white towelling robe and a towel, a natty red and white striped bathing hat. All you need to take is a swimming costume and a pair of flip flops, and suntan lotion. Then for five hours you can enjoy the water, the Jacuzzis, the sunbeds, the olive groves, the stunning view of the lake. You can have a cappuccino or spritz on the terrace, have the dish of the day or salad or sandwiches, pizza, cakes and a bottle of prosecco.
You can have a sauna overlooking the lake, a Turkish bath, a Roman bath, sit in a wooden cabin breathing in eucalyptus and mint.
If this all gets too much you can stagger up a flight of stairs and enjoy the ample multisensorial area. This is divided into zones, Salt, water, sky, Stars to name a few. All the while you can sip on the Tisana del giorno in unlimited quantities, ours was Goji berries.
When your five hours is up and you are dressed and ready to go home all you do is hand in your watch and pay for your drinks and pizza.
Walk slowly back through Sirmione maybe have an ice cream on the way or a Spritz in one of its many pretty piazzas, or take the little train to the Roman ruins and learn all about Catullo.

At the entrance to Sirmione there is often a cart selling what look like enormous knobbly lemons, and are called cedri. You can have a refreshing drink or take them home. Then at the car park you get a discount if you have had a stamp from the Terme di Sirmione to prove you've been there, if your relaxed attitude and red face isn't enough.

Everyone looks the same wearing red and white hats and white dressing gowns, like the Romans in their togas

Just the place for your morning cappuccino or evening Spritz

The lighting in the evening adds a magical feel

Infinity pool +lake+sky

thirst quenching cedri juice

Stars, just one of the places to relax

Salt, another one

Saturday, 11 April 2015

Bluebells from Scotland in an Italian garden

This evening at some friends' house enjoying a glass of wine and some olives and watching the sun go down over their cherry tree, my glance fell on some bluebells growing beside the path. As you know from my post from last year, or if you're new readers I'll tell you now that most of the world's bluebells grow in Britain and it is very unusual to see them elsewhere.
Our friends explained that the bluebells were brought back from Scotland in 1945. Their father had been a prisoner of war in Scotland and had fallen in love not only with the Scottish lassies but also with the bluebells. He had planted the bluebells and the whole family considered them an heirloom. Each year a member of the family would take a cutting and now everyone had bluebells in their gardens.
What a lovely symbol of hope and friendship.
It filled my heart with such joy and happiness to see bluebells on an April evening in an Italian garden brought from Scotland with love.

Bluebells brought from Scotland in 1945

Watching the sun go down over the cherry orchard

What a lovely cherry tree

Thursday, 9 April 2015

Enchantment, fairy tales, magic

Over the Easter holidays I went to see two films about fairy stories, 'Cinderella' and 'Into the Woods'.

 Now you're never too old for fairy tales and an added attraction was that I had been told they had both been filmed in the beautiful countryside which I love so much.
 Both of the films had been sort of cartoonized and computerized but the woods and villages so familiar to me were clear to see.

 Everyone all over the world knows the story of 'Cinderella', her wicked step mother, ugly sisters and Prince Charming and the film version was faithful to the Disney favourite. Just a few changes, for example instead of mice the Fairy Godmother used lizards, but there was the mouse Gus from the Disney cartoon and of course the glass slipper.

'Into the Woods', is a clever weaving together of five of the Brothers Grimm's fairy tales, Cinderella, Jack and the Beanstalk, Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel and another one when they couldn't have children because of a curse. Meryl Streep was a witch and Johnny Depp the wolf who lured Red Riding Hood into his den.

The film made you reflect on all the hidden meanings in the stories and the life lessons contained therein. Oh it is a fascinating subject, many books have been written about it and I'm sure you can all think of something meaningful to you and remember that delicious feeling of fear while sitting safely at home.

My favourite line from the film, without wishing to spoil it was from Prince Charming,
he says ' They told me how to be charming but not sincere.'

Here is my poem for the day by Walter de la Mare (1873 - 1956)

A Song of Enchantment

A song of Enchantment I sang me there,
In a green-green wood, by waters fair,
Just as the words came up to me
I sang it under the wild wood tree.

Widdershins turned I, singing it low
Watching the wild birds come and go;
No cloud in the deep dark blue to be seen
Under the thick-thatched branches green.

Twilight came: silence came:
The planet of Evening's silver flame;
By darkening paths I wandered through
Thicken trembling with drops of dew.

But the music is lost and the words are gone
Of the song I sang as I sat alone,
Ages and ages have fallen on me -
On the wood and the pool and the elder tree.

Widdershins means 'away from the sun's direction.

Having said how much I love the woods, thanks to Enid Blyton I have always been afraid of them, especially in the evening and at night, and in the film they do look very scary.

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Spring holiday, time for a picnic

In Italy it is traditional to go for a picnic on Easter Monday. It is often done in great style with a portable barbecue and can last all day. Some people will even camp out the night before to make sure they get a good place. There will be football matches, guitars playing, whole families and groups of young people will be dotted about the Italian countryside from top to toe.

My first memories of picnics are of cheese sandwiches and a flask of hot chocolate. We were never put off by the British weather. If it rained we picnicked in the car, if the sun came out we looked for an ice cream van and had a 99 flake.
On holiday in France we would have the ubiquitous baguette, some ham or cheese and a pastry from a patisserie.

The most wonderful description of a picnic is surely from Kenneth Grahame in The Wind in the Willows. If you're not familiar with the story it's right at the beginning when the Mole has made friends with the Rat and they go for a picnic on the river.

It took my Italian relatives awhile to understand this very British story. They are still not sure about it, but they do appreciate the beauty of the River Thames which inspired it.

Yesterday we went out for the day with Italian friends. I thought we were just going to have a quick sandwich but no, we were taken to a beautiful spot by a river and in just a few minutes, tartan rugs were laid down, a tablecloth placed in the middle and covered with all manner of  ham, cheese, boiled eggs, tomatoes, olives, bread, and then bottles of red wine, Italian Easter cake in the shape of a dove.

I think I know how Mole must have felt when Ratty produced his wonderful picnic.

You can easily have a picnic with whatever you've got in the fridge

From The Wind in the Willows, description of Ratty's picnin

Arthur Rackham's lovely illustration of the picnic

Primroses make a picnic spot enchanting

Sheep. lambs and cherry blossom

Sunday, 5 April 2015

In Your Easter Bonnet - Judy Garland (Easter Parade)

Dear readers of my blog, I do appreciate you keeping me company and I love to see that I have readers from all over the world. For me this is the spirit of the World Wide web as its founder Tim Bernard Lee intended it to be.
Many of you might not celebrate Easter for whatever reason but its origin was a festival to herald the Spring so this is a wish for all of you wherever you are.

For readers in the Northern hemisphere may you enjoy the blossom and the Spring flowers, sunshine and showers and meet kindness on your way.
For those of you in the southern hemisphere may you enjoy the Autumn colours, get pleasure from the cooler days and prepare for a safe Winter, may you also meet with kindness and may you all enjoy my blog!

happy Easter, Happy Spring, Happy Autumn and best wishes to you all.

I hope you like the song I've chosen for today.

Here are the first two verses from a poem by John Keats

The Human Seasons

Four seasons fill the measure of the year
There are four seasons in the mind of man
He has his lusty Spring when fancy clear
Takes in all beauty with an easy span.

He has his Summer, when luxuriously
Spring's honey'd cud of youthful thought he loves
To ruminate, and by such dreaming nigh
His nearest unto heaven: quiet coves.

Friday, 3 April 2015

Lemon Snow, a light frothy recipe for Easter time

Here are two Lemon desserts for Spring.
The first recipe always reminds me of the game we played at children's parties when you have to look at lots of objects on a tray for a few minutes and then try and remember as many as possible.
That's because my mum taught me how to make it and made it into a game.

Lemon Snow

 First of all find a wooden spoon, a saucepan, a whisk, a metal tablespoon, a bowl to whisk the egg whites in. a pretty glass serving dish, a knife , a lemon squeezer and a grater.
Next assemble the ingredients

4 rounded tablespoons of cornflour
1 pint of water, (half a litre)
2 lemons, organic if possible
4 rounded tablespoons caster sugar
2 egg whites

Measure the cornflour into a saucepan and add the water.
Finely grate the lemon rind. Use the finest grater you can so that you grate only the outside yellow skin of the lemon.
Add the grated rind to the pan and reserve the lemons.
Stir the contents of the pan with a wooden spoon to make sure that the cornflour is thoroughly blended with the water.
Place the pan over a moderate heat and stir all the time until the mixture comes up to the boil and thickens.
Lower the heat and allow it to simmer for a minute.
Draw the pan off the heat.
Cut the lemons in half and squeeze the juice. Add the juice to the pan with the sugar and stir well.
Set the pan aside and leave to cool for about ten minutes.
Place the egg whites in a bowl and whisk until stiff.
Using a metal tablespoon, fold the egg whites carefully but thoroughly into the lemon mixture so that it looks white and frothy.
Pour the lemon Snow into a serving dish cover with clingfilm and leave for several hours until quite cold and set before serving.

This is quite a light version of lemon mousse as there is no cream. It goes very well with biscuits or strawberries.

Lemon Semifreddo

Semifreddo is Italian for half cold and is a cross between ice cream and mousse.

4 lemons,
4 eggs, separated
200g caster sugar
250ml double cream
pinch of salt

Finely grate the zest of the lemons and then squeeze the juice and mix together.
Beat the egg yolks with the sugar with an electric whisk until light and fluffy, for at least 8 minutes.
Place the mixture in a bowl over a large saucepan of simmering water and whisk continuously until the mixture comes to the boil.
Remove from the heat and let it cool.
Add the lemon mixture and stir well.
Lightly beat the cream and fold in.
Beat the egg whites with the salt until stiff.
Fold carefully into the lemon and egg yolk mixture.

Line a tin with greaseproof paper.
Pour in the mixture and put in the freezer for a few hours until firm.

Both recipes serve at least four people.

I hope you like them and they make a change from all the chocolate that will be around for the next few days.

Get all the ingredients ready

One a penny, two a penny, hot cross buns

Today it's Good Friday, Venerdi Santo. A friend and I were disappointed to find that the wonderful on line shop that delivered our Christmas puddings and mince pies did not have Hot cross buns just a Hot Cross bun cake.
 Every year whoever went back to Britain  in the Spring, of my British friends would come back with Hot cross buns for everyone and invite us all round for tea and buns. This year though no-one had the chance and so I ordered the Hot Cross bun cake, so here it is and it's better than nothing. Here is the childhood rhyme that goes with the Hot Cross Buns.

Hot Cross buns
Hot Cross buns,
One a penny
Two a penny
Hot Cross buns.
If you have no daughters
Give them to your sons
One a penny
Two a penny
Hot Cross buns.

Hot Cross Bun cake

Thursday, 2 April 2015

A poem for the day, Spring

It's a beautiful sunny day today. It's the sort of day that my dad would tell everybody was a sign that the Archangel Gabriel, AA for short was looking after him.

My poem for the day is by William Blake (1757 - 1827) It's a suitably silly poem for Spring, light hearted and bouncy like the little lambs bounding round the fields.


Sound the flute!
Now it's mute.
Birds delight
Day and Night,
In the dale,
Lark in Sky,
Merrily, Merrily, to welcome in the Year.

Little Boy,
Full of joy,
Little Girl,
Sweet and small;
Cock does crow,
So do you;
Merry voice,
Infant noise,
Merrily, Merrily, to welcome in the Year.

Little Lamb,
Here I am;
Come and lick
My white neck;
Let me pull
Your soft Wool;
Let me kiss
Your soft face:
Merrily, Merrily, we welcome in the Year.

There hasn't that made you want to frolic and frisk and gambol and all the other things lambs do?

Lavender fields

Bees looking for pollen