“The North wind doth blow,

And we shall have snow,
And what will poor robin do then,
Poor thing?
He’ll sit in a barn,
And Keep himself warm
And hide his head under his wing,
Poor thing.

We in Warwickshire have been very lucky that we haven’t had inches and inches of snow. We had a little bit, it stayed for a few days, it did not disrupt traffic and then it went. As a walker (rather than a driver) I did find the pavements very slippy, so I only went out if necessary. I think snow is pretty, but not if one were to break a hip.

However, we are having some very hard frosts and late morning today I took a photograph of the beautiful tree’s caught in an icy pose. There is no wind at all, which would normally break up the ice. The lack of wind has created a very strange, eerie atmosphere, almost reminiscent of Coleridge’s Rime of the Ancient Mariner when the ship is caught in the doldrums.

Cottage Pie,

I do like a cottage pie especially when there is a chill in the air. You could label it cottage and vegetable pie. I do put a lot of vegetables into my pies, firstly, I am a veg freak, I love them and secondly its an easy way to bulk out your meat and slip in a few vegetables to a hungry child. I’ve perfected the way I add the carrots and swede in that I fry the onions then add the root vegetables and slowly saute them with a greased proof paper lid. Which allows enough steam to escape and the vegetables slowly soften and shrink and become sweeter. Then I add the mince and fry it off, minced garlic, (you wouldn’t want your garlic to burn, which it will if you add it too early) tomato puree, various herbs, a beef stock cube and a good splash of worcester sauce, salt and black pepper, water to make the gravy and then I add a couple of handfuls of peas. Let it bubble for a bit, thicken it slightly with cornflour and let it stand whilst you deal with the potatoes. Cover it with mash and pop it in a medium hot oven for an hour. I always serve it with something green and leafy, yesterday it was a little broccoli although I think it would have worked better with a sharper vegetable such as kale.

And the beauty of this is its a substantial meal for much less than a fiver. Thank you Jamie, I have been perfecting my family meals over the course of twenty odd years, but I am glad you are teaching others on how to get the best out of their ingredients. And the best bit about home cooking, is the leftovers, especially on a cold and frosty day.

Lunch was delicious and I have enough left over for lunch tomorrow. Five meals for about four pounds fifty, can’t be bad.

I’ve finished son no.1’s hat. It took longer than anticipated because of all of the cables, but it has turned out really well.

I’ve blocked it and it is at long last dry. The pattern is tighter where the cabling is and it does make it a snug fit. The blocking that I gave it has loosened it up in this area.

So at long last he will be able to wear it. I hope he enjoys it.

And the pattern is Knotty but Nice by Natalie Larson. It is a very popular pattern which people seem to be having a lot of fun with. The yarn I used was Rowan Pure Wool Aran on 4.5 mm needles. It was one of the Kemps specials, 500g for a fiver and therefore this hat cost me about 75p to knit, I am feeling thrifty at the moment. (My husband might say otherwise!)

2 thoughts on ““The North wind doth blow,

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