Feeding Body And Soul

Last night, my beloved went to a performance of ‘Swan lake’, at the Harrogate Centre, with Beth and Cathy. So after a somewhat weary day (see ‘Busy Doing Nothing’ on The Word of Sinna Luvva), I simply put my feet up, and listened to a bit of radio before ‘Celebrity Fame Academy’ came on the goggle-box. When the programme finished, shortly before 9.00PM, I finally felt sufficiently energised and inspired to prepare something for Sunday Lunch.


My favourite implement, a large square griddle pan, came into play at this point. Generous sprinklings of coriander, garam masala, ginger, turmeric, and some garlic were heated through (to release their aromas) before I threw in generous proportions of onion, red, green, and yellow peppers. Next a generous dollop of olive oil was added to the mix, along with some hot chillies; to this I added 500 grams of lean minced beef. As the whole concoction simmered merrily, I added a few chopped mushrooms, more turmeric and ginger, and revelled in the olfactory sensations which percolated not only the kitchen but, the hallway as well. As the meat browned, I added a tin of plum tomatoes, generously laced with freshly ground black pepper.


About this time I start salivating and can’t resist tasting a little sample; exquisite, although the after-burn did slightly exceed my expectation. The saving grace was a wonderfully blended flavour but, an earlier consideration to add a jar of Madras sauce for good measure had to go on the backburner. What was needed was a moderating influence and, to this end, I added a jar of Bolognese Sauce. The end result – another culinary success for yours truly. The whole concoction was then transferred into two medium size casserole dishes, the contents of the first one being devoured today, along with my special ‘dyed’ rice! The other one will be served with pasta and steamed vegetables, tomorrow evening.


When Helen returned from her evening at the Ballet, I discovered that the music had lulled her to sleep during part of the second half. Perhaps she’s still recovering from the virus that afflicted her last weekend, poor dear! Or maybe, some of us are quite simply not cut out for the high life.


This morning, my beloved took the service at Starbeck Chapel (see ‘Sunny Day, Welcome Sunday’ on Bright Light), a role in which she both gives and receives so much pleasure. I’m so proud of her commitment to her role as a Methodist Local Preacher, my roots having been in the Methodist tradition – a son of the Manse, whereas her father was a cleric in the Anglican tradition. Helen had attended, and trained for Local Preaching in the Methodist Church with Stephen, her first husband and it was only after his death that she returned to her Anglican roots for a while. I’m so grateful for that return as we met at St Marks, our local Parish Church, at which I regularly attended at that time, in Holy Week 1999 and married the following February.


Her service was already well underway, before I was able to release myself from the duvet lair and enter the world of the day people! A short while after noon, I went to sit beside the garden pond for a few minutes but, feeling rather more energised than I had done yesterday, I was overwhelmed by the urge to trim back some of the pond’s marginal reeds. These plants are all in containers but the roots had become so matted and entangled that the removal of the first container necessitated the removal of a further two, together with a rock and containers of some other marginals. I resumed the trimming process, at a leisurely pace, an hour or so after our satisfying lunch. I have always to discipline myself in terms of “pacing”, being so well aware of the post-exertional malaise which seems to be part and parcel of ME/CFS but, it’s always a wonderful feeling to bask in the glow of a job well done.


I give thanks for this day the Lord has made; I rejoice and am glad in it.

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One Response to Feeding Body And Soul

  1. Bittersweet on-the-hill. says:

    Hello Malcolm….
    A delightful post!  You are indeed the renaissance man!  I actually came here hoping that I\’d reading something about your garden pond and you didn\’t disappoint. I think you are a bit more moderate in your temperature than we are so was expecting that soon you\’d be elbow deep in weeds and tangle.  And sure enough!
    I loved your casseroles.  Served on a bed of rice, it sounds delicious.  We are warming up a tad…..high 50\’s today so slowly getting there. I might take a few minutes this afternoon and visit my gardens although I suspect most things are under a fair amount of snow.
    You take care and give my love to Helen.      Bittersweet

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