In which the sun mostly shines, so often I am even watering the garden, and I haven't had to make a school lunch for weeks. It's definitely a happy life.
Leeks taste quite good, but left alone, they are beautiful gone to seed. Behind the seed head, that is not fancy solar panels on the house roof. Rather, it is where the finish on the coloursteel roof has worn off. Which is why tonight Favourite Handyman and Fionn assembled this:
In honour of all this roof painting and window painting and the general observation that FH is working very hard, I made myself clean and tidy quite a bit of the house today. I also played nurse to Brighid who has a minor lurgy and planted more basil and made some pesto. This year's basil harvest is my best yet, possibly making up for the dismal state of the tomatoes. I know the diy gurus all seem to freeze basil for the rest of the year, but I find it too yummy to have any left to save.
Yesterday I started making a skirt:
I thought it would be magnificent but currently I'm less convinced by the reality of how the pattern is turning out. It may be that I just need to get my head around my actual size rather than assuming a pretty skirt can render my tummy invisible.
I do love my cosmos flowers a lot. The green leaves to the front right are bean plants. They taste good raw but I don't have enough ripe for a family meal yet. In the right background are gladioli almost ready to flower.
At the same time as loving all this time with all of us at home together, I am starting to get organised for a year ahead in which I double my paid working hours compared to last year. I think that on balance it is a good decision, but I'm a little nervous about the family-work balance. It is the first year in the last nine since I became a parent that I'll be working five days per week, meaning I won't have a day to keep an exhausted or asthmatic child home to rest or help Mary K for the day and it will be harder for me to go on the children's school trips. Still, I remind myself that it is all about one foot in front of the other, knowing that I have a supportive workplace and also my wonderful child carers Robyn and Sharon who the children love.
After the success of the Christmas shortbread, I think I will make a big batch of that for the freezer for school lunches. After four years of frozen muffins and banana cake, it's time for change. Last year when I was recovering from surgery, my lovely friend Nina popped round with a container of bolognaise sauce from her freezer, a bag of pasta and a pack of parmesan cheese. She was really busy herself, but her awesome pre-cooking organisation (and generosity) meant she could still gift us something nutritious that required little cooking. With lots of veges and tomatoes, I reckon I could make up six meals of bolognaise sauce from two kilos of mince.
Also on the freezer project, maybe polenta, especially now Fionn likes it as well. Really garlicky polenta this time. As always, I'll fill the rest of our little freezer with Blackball sausages. I don't care what the food purists have to say about sausages, they keep faces smiling and bellies satiated here and I can't imagine giving them up unless we give up meat altogether.