Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Hot & Cold

One thing I love about winter is that you get to enjoy some snow every now and again. For the past few days we've had snow in London and the white has transformed the nearby park into a beautiful snowy landscape. So I put on my wellies and gloves and went for a walk. It's the sound of snow crunching under my boots, the way it reflects the sun, making the days look much brighter, the laughter of people throwing snow balls at each other or fall over while building a snowman that makes me smile. I'm more of a summer girl, but the magical white makes me happy somehow. It also changes the familiar park, like a scene change in a film and I have new things to detect. A 45 minute walk in the winter sun is like a quick charger for the mind. I can think, listening to music, while moving my feet to the beat.
Snow reminds me of my childhood since I had to go on ski holidays until I was sixteen. I remember the first time I stood on skiers; they just put me on them and pushed me down the hill. Well, okay, it was more a slope than a hill, but it was pretty scary. I never really learned skiing, I was far too scared to break my arms and legs and rather mucked out the cowsheds and looked after the animals. I was already weird back then. Quite interesting considering the fact that I'm ADHD and therefore should have been all up for the risk of bone-breaking, but it seems I was a reasonable little girl. Anyway, back to the walk in the park. As I marched on, I looked at the scenery with interest, dogs were enjoying the cold white, many people too pictures of each other or the park. And as I wanted to have one with myself in the white, I asked a couple if they could take one of me. They asked me if I can take one of them and while we were telling each other a to move a little bit to the left, and a bit back, then to the right and a little more and ... smile, another woman joined our merry photo session as she was also looking for someone to take a few pictures of her. We handed each other our mobiles and cameras and grinned like idiots. It was quite the funny--pardon the pun--picture, I believe, because people giggled when they passed us. And this is the result:

Well, yes, that's me.
Finally back at home, I went straight to the kitchen and cooked a winter favourite of mine: swede stew, which is basically a hearty and sweet bowl of goodness:
1 smoked Gammon Joint
2 swedes (not someone from Sweden)
2 carrots
2 leeks
A few new potatoes
1/4 of a celeriac

Boil the meat for about 30 min in about 3 liters of water before adding the vegetables. Then cook for further 30 minutes until everything is soft. You don't need to add any seasoning as the smoked Gammon Joint has enough salt in it and the vegetables add to the taste. Dice the meat and put it back in. You can add some parsley or chervil to give it a bit more colour. I love it just the way it is. I normally add a special smoked sausage which I cut into rings. This time I bought some from the Polish shop, which did the job. A hearty dish that warms you through after a long walk.


  1. Whoah...people smiling and talking to each other in...London. Result!
    Not neighbours, I'm guessing ;-)

    Have a look at my latest blog. Every cloud. What an interesting contrast to your day.

  2. Okay, so the link to my website didn't show.
    This is why it says preview, Helen, before you hit publish. D'oh.
    here we go.