Not so much recipes and such but more of 'how to chop stuff up' kind of post ...
It probably wouldn't be a LONG post - after all, I expect most of you already know how to chop stuff up don't you?
I saw a video on FB book the other day - 'never peel potatoes again' or something - apparently you can just score around the potato, boil it and then slip the skins off.
I guess that would work if you had asbestos hands ...
My post wouldn't be like that. I'd tell you stuff like how to peel an onion. I watched a friend peel an onion a while ago, it was the most painful thing I've seen in ages. I mean LITERALLY painful - his eyes were watering so much he could barely see!
I've never peeled an onion under water or tried that trick of putting a spoon in your mouth while you peel one (and seriously? Surely that's just someone taking the piss to make you look stupid isn't it?).
So I took pity on him. Onions are SIMPLE!
All you do is top and tail them, cut them in half and then the skin comes off in two halves - couldn't be easier!
But I expect you already knew that ...
Did you know that rhubarb is easier to chop if you turn it on it's side? It really is, try it. I know it seems obvious to place it flat side down but then the outer layers tear and you get ribbons of rhubarb attached to your slices - turn it on it's side and that doesn't happen.
So, there you go, a master class in onion peeling and rhubarb chopping - next time we will do 'cutting up peppers' and how to skin a tomato (which is very similar to the potato peeling tip).
I can smell my rhubarb gently stewing. My friend Nicolette brought it over last night, it's the first picking and the stems are slim and delicate with a slight pink blush, it should be sweet and juicy and soft after a few minute simmering.
I'm hoping it's sweet enough as it is without having to add sugar so that I can take some up to Mum who is in hospital at the moment with a broken ankle and knee. She's diabetic so treats are difficult to find. If it's still a little sharp I'll thrown some sweet eating apples into the mix which should take it down a level or two.
I've been spending a little of each day with Mum since she's been in hospital and it almost feels like we are building a new relationship. Until recently she and my step father lived in Spain for many years and we went for long periods of time not seeing them. It's good to have them close by.
Things have changed though. Aside from recent events Mums health isn't so good and she struggles with short term memory loss but essentially she is still the same person although in some ways a softer version of her previous self.
It's her Birthday in a few weeks, she may still be in hospital as until her knee is recovered sufficiently she can't begin her rehabilitation.
I'm hoping they will keep her in Taunton. The ward she is on is only supposed to be a short term solution and she is on the waiting list to be moved somewhere that is set up for more long term but that could mean it will be more difficult to see her.
The care she is getting is just amazing. There was a shift change while I was there last night and one of the nurses made a point of stopping by to see Mum for a quick chat, not medically related, just to see how she was and to tell her she would see her tomorrow. The nurses do 12 hour shifts - SUCH a long day! Yet they still find time to care and show a genuine interest in their patients which goes beyond the nursing care they are paid for.
Anyway, Mum's birthday - how hard is it to find the perfect present for someone who really doesn't need or want anything?
Sweet treats are out as I said before and my step dad has always brought Mum flowers on a regular basis. Mum likes to read but she has plenty of books thanks to a system the hospital has where people donate books and then they sell them for just £1 each to raise funds so my sister has bought Mum a few and we will donate them back as she finishes them and buy some more.
Well, I think I may have found it - the perfect gift!
A coupe of weeks ago I was thinking about the place that I grew up and googled something about it - to my huge surprise a photo came up:
That's my Mum on the right aged 11 in 1952 walking through the barley field from the church with a friend.
What an amazing find! I don't think Mum has any photos of herself at this age - if she does then I've never seen them.
I love everything about this photo. I love the fact that I recognise that field and the church. I love that I used to walk that very same path at the same age through the barley. I love the dress she is wearing and I love the way that she and her friend seem so intent on the book they are looking at that they seem completely unaware that their photo is being taken.
I would love to know who took this photo but it's just a stock photo with no credit. It does give Mums name and age though but even if it hadn't, she looks so much like my 2nd eldest sister in this photo that there really is no mistaking the fact that it is her.
I'm going to order a copy of it and have it framed for her Birthday - I hope she loves it just as much as I do!