One Man’s Meat

Having made a vegetarian sausage for St David’s Day with my mum’s favourite way to encourage me to eat veg, carrots in parsley sauce, I was pleased to see Nye extending his vegetable meal range. His hello fresh meals are often meaty but sometimes it is just a little and he has been ordering veggie ones too. The other day he tried marmite, which is famously not to everyone’s taste and he decided it was okay and went back for more and is planning recipes with it. It is an odd food altogether, vegetarian but tastes like beef, probably why it does appeal. He wasn’t persuaded to try rocket tonight, a step too far and to be fair I had never had rocket at his age either.

We have been feeding birds and love that we now have regular visits from three blackbirds. At first it was just breadcrumbs. This was popular but many pond signs tell us not to give too much white bread to birds. Nye has bought raisins, perhaps remembering his granny used to feed sultanas to blackbirds, or may be he researched it. I was surprised dried apricot was ignored. I was going to put crumbs out from chocolate brownies but Nye stopped me and checked the internet…chocolate can be poisonous to birds!

Blackbird at our back door

I remembered that when I had retired I had got a voucher for a garden centre. As I had gone straight to the boat immediately after I had not bought any plants but the voucher had no expiry date so I decided I should visit while I was here. I had spent a day with Nye entertaining small children, while Shane cycled. The mother is on maternity leave, from working in the local butcher’s shop. I had bought my Christmas turkey there and had got vouchers for there too but just the other day Shane threw them out as they had expired without us benefitting. Thank goodness the retirement gift hadn’t been time limited. Unfortunately the whole family had a cold. They were glad to have a little help with the little ones. We were rewarded with home made gingerbread and tea.

The next day and I headed to Stockbridge where there was a branch of the garden centre (other garden centres are available), which meant a walk along the Water of Leith. We passed a road with almost the same name as the butcher’s and exactly the same name as the baby’s mother’s family. It was jollier than most, and matched her colourful crocheted teacosy.

We got some stocks in at the shop of seed and fatballs and I love the brand name “Peckish”. The staff were patient enough to let me pop outside to get enough signal to get access to the email with the voucher attached. We found a little alley that neither of us had seen before as we were on our way back. It gave a clue as to why the area is called Stockbridge when we reached the end of the passageway… Or perhaps why it had been a market.

Old gateway to Stockbridge market

I have never made a big deal of the commercial success that is Mother’s Day. There was no breakfast in bed or garden centre lunch booked. In fact I was on my own all afternoon, which many a mother would indeed find a luxury. Nye cooked the tea and that is a treat, and I had the adventurous tang of a completely different beer, though I did have a rhubarb beer in Lille with my friends, and it is both sour and bitter, unlike them. Pink is not a feminine colour in this brand.

Fierce and fruity rhubarb beer…looks like poison …the peanuts really are poison for Nye

I was lucky to be able to enjoy mother’s day at all as my babysitting caught up with me as I got a cold. I think several hours cuddling a snot encrusted (yet somehow still very cute) baby was possibly unwise. Anyway Nye assured me today they are all well so I am hoping I will be fit for travel tomorrow since Shane has a morning train booked back to Rugby. Over the last few days I have finished up knitting, washing, blocking and putting buttons on a baby cardigan. Having recently seen her I think it will fit Kirsten.

“Peanut warmer” baby cardigan…handle with care Nye!

I said since she had generously given me a cold, she could have a cardigan – Nye thinks I got burned in the deal! I have left Nye in charge of handing it over. He’s already taken over feeding the birds so he is back to looking after our house from tomorrow. I have enjoyed trying new recipes with him, from hello fresh and the free gift of a lemon, ginger and turmeric tea has been just the job the past two days!