Monday, July 04, 2011

Enjoying the Moment

Another lovely day yesterday, most of which I spent sitting outdoors soaking up the sun. Beloved was out most of the day with the sailing club (fortunately there was a slight breeze over the Bay), so had the day to myself.
The Busy Lizzies in the containers are now beginning to flower (they seem to have been stuck in the bud stage over these past cold weeks), and the Trailing Lobelias (various shades from pink through blue to white) are also growing fast with plenty of flowers. The garden is beginning to look good again. The 'jungle corner' still needs to be cleared, and now we know what is there (but can't be seen) it might as well all go anyway to open the garden up further. Maybe (just maybe) a good place to keep chickens being a fairly shady corner.

Decided to 'treat' myself to a frozen orange lolly, so fetched one from the freezer. It was refreshing and was taken by the "100% fruit juice" on the front of the packaging, "orange" written underneath. Having time on my hands read the words on the back of the wrapping and discovered it wasn't 100% as I believed (perhaps this should read 'led to believe'), but a mixture of fresh orange, apple and grape juice. Admittedly more orange juice than the rest, but even so...
It also said possibly contains milk solids. The only place these could be I assumed would be in the words impressed into the wooden stick embedded into the lolly.

Sorry Stephanie - I did succumb to eating some of the chocs. Chose to have one of each of the varieties (9), and thoroughly enjoyed being 'naughty', having recalled the huge box of chocs, plus chocolate biscuits, mince pies, Christmas cake, Stollen, Turkish Delight...that members of the family gave me over Christmas/New Year to keep me happy whilst Beloved was on his month's sailing holiday. When I had my three-month check for blood glucose level etc it had gone DOWN. So had my BP, etc - so don't feel that this indulgence will do me too much harm as my next check isn't until the middle of September. Just for interest - my weight is now a 1lb less than yesterday - so might as well eat the rest of the chocs today!

Hope your glucose level test is OK Stephanie. Have never myself found type 2 diabetes anything to be concerned about (although perhaps I should be). Initially I was petrified, but by just cutting out sugar (I've always used sugar substitutes anyway) - and this I am allowed occasionally 'as a treat' - seemed to have no problems other than needing to lose weight. Once I changed (with doctor's permission) from the carbohydrate diet that many diabetics are given (and carbos always make me sleepy), to the high protein (which gave me a lot more energy), my weight just dropped off, as also did my blood. gl. level. Everyone is different, but even if you are mildly diabetic, you would probably be given just a diet to follow and no pills.

Thanks for your comment Cheesepare. Am sure it is because I've allowed myself to sit in the sun that is causing my good mood. They do say we need sunlight on our bodies, and think it must be about a year since I sat outside for a good 'sun-soak'. Will be out there again today (the forecast say it will be even hotter), making the most of it, and maybe even tomorrow - although by then think we are due for low-pressure and the rain moves in and the temperature will drop. Make the most of the sun while I can.
The blackberries planted a couple of years ago are now beginning to become established, but with no flowers this year, so will have to wait until next before we have any fruit to pick (hope I can live that long). The autumn fruiting raspberries are now beginning to show fruit, so in a few weeks will be able to harvest them.

The courgettes planted in a large flowerpot, and because stood on a brick in a tray of water, this certainly seems to work when it comes to keeping away slugs. Others in pots that the slugs can reach are not faring so well.
The tomato plants have just about taken over the greenhouse - wish I'd bought a larger one now. Am considering taking down the largish shed on the north side of the garages, and having a proper glass greenhouse built there. There is normally no sun there, except during the summer months when the sun is high enough to shine over the garage roofs, but then that is the time tomato plants need the most sun. Have to think about that. Being that to reach the shed, we have to go through a side gate and down a path to enter it, then it would be my hidey-hole where I could sit in peace surrounded by my plants.

B was kind to me yesterday, he said he'd get his own supper (think he had sardines on toast), so that let me off cooking. He also finished off the last of the huge (12" dia) quiche I had made the day before. Did myself managed to have one-fifth of it before it went completely. So that's something.

Reading the trade mag. more closely saw an article about the rival to 99p Stores, and Poundland. Apparently there is another discounter store called Poundworld that is "planning a massive expansion of its grocery range". They already sell discounted crisps, sweets, and soft drinks, but within three months will begin selling canned goods, pasta sauces, eggs and bread, and later selling 'chilled products' such as cheese, sausages and bacon, as well as some frozen foods.
Whether of interest to readers of this site I don't know - all depends upon the quality I suppose.

Also was reading about Netto stores. Didn't realise this store was owned by Asda, who are now selling some or all, and the Co-op have now bought some. Even if we try to get away from the larger stores and use some of the smaller ones (such as Netto), the profits presumably end up back in the fat-cats pockets. Hardly anything 'small' these days is owned by the 'name on the front'. Think Aldi and Lidl are independently run (by two brothers who fell out, so set up on their own).

Have to say am feeling almost guilty about writing about food at all since I watched the news yesterday about the famine in the Horn of Africa. And we (as a nation) are worrying that we now can't afford to buy food to feed our families. How lucky we are to have clean water flowing from our taps, when others can find no water at all.

The above report was followed by another explaining how more and more of our children are becoming obese, and we saw huge crowds sitting in the sun, with the children eating chips and beefburgers in buns. So hardly think we need to worry about not being able to afford to feed our 'littlies'. For one thing, bought chips and burgers cost a lot more than a healthy meal.
The trade mag has something to say about that - telling us about the concern about children's food intake has led to 'healthy ready-meals for children' appearing on the supermarket shelves' and - I may add - at a goodly price. What is so wrong about cooking meals from scratch, using cheap and healthy ingredients that cost little compared to the bought finished product? Is it that children now will only eat something that comes from the supermarket, in a bright attractive package, than something mum has plonked down to them on a plate?

Yesterday took a look at two discount food sites. Approved Foods and The latter was very interesting as it sold both fresh and frozen foods as well as the dry packaged and canned. Unfortunately none of what I wanted of the fresh/frozen was available to be delivered in my area. So that was a no-no. On the other hand, Approved Foods did have plenty of bargains, and considered ordering so wrote down the foods I fancied (below).
Chivers orange jelly (12 for £1),
McDougalls flour (3 for £1),
Naan mix (60p),
Beetroot soup (20 packs for 99p),
Bulgar wheat (flavoured at 5 for £1),
Toblerone (3 for £1.37),
Lentil and Vegetable Instant Soup (10 for 99p),
Orzo Pasta with cheese and tomato (4 for £1),
and Caesar dressing (2 for £1) .
as the delivery charge would take most of the savings, didn't seem worth it. Pity that.
Last time I looked, this site had bread mixes on sale, but not this time, so presumably the items available change regularly and so always worth a weekly check. Perhaps if I can get my own stores depleted to the extent it is worth stocking up with some of the above plus more, then maybe will order from this site in future.

Where has my Beloved gone? Nearly 10.00am and he hasn't yet brought me my morning coffee. He's probably still lying in bed as I write. Heard movement earlier, but he probably went back to bed - as he does. But am not going to waste this glorious day, so will go and make my own coffee, take in outside and sit in the sun again. We are lucky in that our back garden is a real sun-trap, all day bathed in sunlight, with only the west end becoming shady during the late afternoon. So have a choice of where to sit. Almost certainly on the old bench that belonged to my parents. Just like the old days when I sat in the sun as a teenager. Still sitting there a few years later when my Beloved would come striding up the long garden path to come a'courting. Few years later still when I sat there with our first two children playing in the small willow 'copse' at the side and back of the bench. Happy memories that reappear every time I sit there. All I have to do is shut my eyes and I'm back again.

Forgive me for not giving a recipe today. Am not in a cooking mood. Hope I will be at supper time or B will have to make his own again. As if I care!
Hope you too enjoy your day. Tomorrow hope to hear from you to say you have. See you then.