Weekends and a recipe

This is me on a local walk with the family during the Christmas holidays recently. We walked as far until the path ran out.

We all need downtime. I find it hard. I don't want to give the impression that I am always working, that's not the case but I do feel that I am always thinking about it. Partly that is because I work at home. The ups are I can usually do something when I am inspired to, unless - as at the moment most of my things are outside and it's dark and wet and I can be bothered to slip and slide across the garden to bring everything in. Plus I am not keen on painting in artificial light. Possibly why I love Spring so much. The days start to lengthen and I can work for longer. I am worrying about which direction to go in with my work - not across the garden. I thought I would just not do any today and see how that goes :)

It has been a domestic day. Our double oven is broken - both heating elements have gone, we've managed with one oven for a couple of years - no hardship at all having come from a flat with a very cronky little one! So I pulled out our little slow cooker and put together a beef casserole for me and the children tonight, then scraped the ice of the car to go to Sainsbury's - other supermarkets are available - spent about 45 minutes walking about making sure that I didn't buy anything that couldn't be cooked on the hob or grilled.

I'd plonked some prawns in a bowl of cold water before I left so bought one of those small trays of 'ingredients for a fish pie' - basically a couple of bits of salmon, cod and smoked haddock. Once home I put some white Basmati rice on to cook for 10 mins then I set to work finely chopping red and green chillies, coloured peppers, half an onion, fennel, coriander stallks, half a courgette, and  grated carrot. I gently fried most of this in 2 tablespoons of rapeseed oil and grated pepper; after a while I threw in some basil leaves and lots more coriander. Then I chopped a fish stock cube up , popped it in the wok and poured on some preboiled water, not sure how much but enough to be about 2-3 fingers deep. I let that bubble away slightly - at this point I added the grated carrot - for about 5 minutes. The rice done I simply left the lid on and turned the heat off. I fetched the creme fraiche from the fridge and added two heaped dessert spoons of it to the brew and tipped in the fish and prawns. I watched it, stirred, laid the table, stirred a couple of times until I could see all the prawns had turned pink. It smelled heavenly. A sweet, smoky, Asian soup of a stew.

Dishing up over the now very fluffy, white rice, I thought we'd probably all like to have spoons to scoop up the golden creamy sauce - I was right. It was delicious. Wish I'd thought to take a picture! doh!

My daughter was the only one of us not to like it but I expected that; she ate bits of it. I resolved not to mind ;) beforehand.


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