Happy Easter

We didn’t plan anything for specific for Easter… being a non- Christian household it’d not a holiday we make a fuss about but it’s turned out to be a busy and fun weekend nonetheless.

Friday I made hot happy buns..(like hot cross ones but with smiley faces on) -which I’ve never made before..the prep time said half an hour and I didn’t notice the three stints of one hour needed for the yeast to rise…seems a bit over the top and me and my short attention span didn’t make it any where near that and they still came out rather well…soft and fruity and spicy..mmmm. We shared them with visiting friends…which was a good idea as they are best warm from the over and very moreish but I’m pretty sure twelve just between Al and me alone would have been half a dozen buns more than was good for us.

Saturday brought more friends to visit…and curry…lots of curry. I don’t often use repipes for curry but made a Goan chicken recipe…which just involved mashing up lots of yummy stuff…marinading the chicken in it and then frying coated in the glop.
It was a Keith Floyd recipe for cafreal chicken and he reckoned it should end up crispy…mine didn’t as I covered the frying pan as a trade off for moist succulent chicken breasts…

…other than that a  okra and fresh tomato curry, a yoghurt based potato and caulifower, and one of my all time favourites saag paneer…. served with half and half brown basmati (low to medium GI) mixed with puy lentils (you then add masses of butter and salt stirred and stick in a low oven for an hour and some magic happens to the flavour)..
….I even had a go at breads…. they were…bready… but with much room for improvement.

Sunday we got up early (for some reason Al was up at half four) and we were on the road to Sheffield to see Meg by half seven. We took her a bowl of curry for breakfast and picked up an easter egg and some jelly bunnies (like jelly babies but rabbitier) en route. She and I had a walk to see her local pigs whilst Al had some shut eye and then we tootled into Sheffield. Weston park museum is always good (even though they have ditched the pickled snake in a jar and the ant farm) and then bubble tea for Meg and a pub with lots and lots of beers so Al got a treat out of the day too. We sat marvelling, like the rustic types we are, at the sub-cultural mish mash of human beings a city has to offer. High marks for the lady who decided ideal Easter Sunday garb was a pvc Edwardian frock complete with bustle. Meg invented a new game called…’if that person were a pie what sort of pie would they be’…it’s a very good game. The miserable Forfar bridie and Morrisons ‘low on filling’ steak and kidney opposite looked proper miserable… but we were having lots of fun.

As we walked passed the cathedral back to the car it sounded like they were going for the full peal of bells for Easter..with daffodils waving and sun warming us….I could feel the joy of the festival. I hope those of you who keep Easter traditionally enjoyed it as much.

On the way home we stopped off somewhere we drive past and mean to stop often…a derelict government poultry research plant (sounds great huh?) – but it’s strapped onto the side of a turn of the 19th century manor house and the gardens have gone wild. There were lots of signs about security…and cctv cameras on poles…but we reckoned dog walking wasn’t doing any harm and had a lovely poke around as the sun went down and Lucky chased rabbits.

Today… we’ve been out geo-caching locally and discovered a little local nature reserve at Mepal that we didn’t know existed before. It was a lovely (sunny again) dog walk with a set of 5 caches…various sizes and difficulties… the first one was so cunningly hid we returned to the area where it ‘must’ be hidden at the end of the walk (the dog thought he was going for a second circuit and looked very pleased).

And now home…Al’s making fishfinger sandwiches and we have an afternoon of gardening and glass making ahead.
My birthday is tomorrow and the boy returns…spring has definitely sprung and I don’t think I could be much happier.

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