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Thursday, 19 January 2017

A REVIEW OF 2016

Happy New Year to you,

I am sorry, I'm a little late, in wishing you a Happy New Year, but I do have a very good reason. We have been away on holiday and only returned home last Wednesday. I have to tell you, it has taken us all week to recover from jet lag. For days we were waking in the early hours of the morning feeling really hungry,  we didn't know whether it was breakfast, lunch or supper time. 

Now as  you know, I love every aspect of Christmas, but this year, December felt a little off kilter, because I had nothing to organise.  Yes I had bought our Christmas gifts, but  there was no Christmas food to prepare, no Christmas decorations to put up and no Christmas tree to decorate.

.... but I have to tell you, although the run up to Christmas felt strange, Christmas itself was amazing and I had the most wonderful 3 week holiday.  

Christmas Day was such a treat, as we went to a restaurant for our Christmas meal. I wore my favourite dress, I put on my favourite pair of shoes and I felt like a million dollars. You see, these days, I rarely have a reason to dress up, so when the opportunity does presents itself, I make sure I savour every moment. 

At the restaurant, there was an amazing range of food to choose from, with each dish being truly exceptional, but the one thing which surprised me, was seeing sprouts on the menu.... this made George very happy as he loves sprouts.

I think, maybe it is time I stop waxing lyrical, because I feel I might give the game away.  I am going to keep you in suspense until next week, because I need just a little more time to organise my photographs, but what I will tell you, is, we did not visit warmer climes, oh no, the place we visited was even colder than the North East of England. In fact the temperatures have been known to be as low as -20C... now that is cold. It makes our North East winters seem almost tropical.

So instead of writing about the last 3 weeks, I thought it would be nice to look back a little further and revisit 2016. I know we are supposed to look forward, but I also like to look back, because it reminds me of how much I have achieved in the past year.

So come along with me and let's remind ourselves of what we did in 2016..




After all the rich food we ate during the Christmas festivities,  our palates craved fresher flavours.  





So we made these prawns with a touch of spice. It was fun reading the words I had written, because this was the first post of 2016.  I was deciding whether or not to battle the elements and drive to my sewing group.  In the end I decided to drive, and I was so pleased I did, because we all managed to make it through the bad weather. Some friends arrived later than others, but when everyone arrived, it was so lovely catching up with each others news.




In February George was unwell, so I needed to be around to keep an eye on him.  It was a lovely sunny day, but as you know, when the sun shines, it can highlight those places in our homes where dust has gathered a little more than we thought. So one thing lead to another, I started dusting and washing plates and kept myself very busy.  I ended the day with a cup of coffee and I put my feet up, to watch the film 'African Queen'.  All in all a good day.




During March, we made  Rice with Green Lentils.  I have to say, I really enjoy this rice dish. This is where I introduced you to a 90 year old friend of ours, who has long since past. Rose was a wonderfully, eccentric lady, who loved to smoke cigars. There are people we meet in our lives, who have such an impact on us, and for me Rose was, one such person. Today, we know that cigarettes and cigars are unhealthy and we have the information to enable us to make our own choices, but remember, Rose came from a time when it was popular to smoke. It's incredible to think that people even thought that smoking was healthy.  I remember Sadie, George's mother, telling me that she started to smoke as a young woman, because the film stars of the day, looked so exotic when they smoked.  If you watch 1940's films, you can't fail to notice that most people were smoking. What I admired about Rose, was that all her life, she was a fiercely independent woman.




April arrived and we visited the Isle of Wight, just off the south coast of England.  We had a wonderful few days away and the weather was so very kind to us. It was a treat to see these beautiful thatched cottages.




We also made this appetising lemon cheesecake. It looks very impressive, but it was so easy to make.
April was the month I decided I needed to sort out my messy kitchen drawer.  I discovered recipes from 2011 which I had cut out of newspapers and magazines. At the time I had fully intended to recreate these recipes, but I just never got around to it. Do I still have those recipes.... well yes, some I kept, I just could not bring myself to throw them all away.



During May it snowed, yes you read that correctly, snow in May.  Consequently, I had to rush around the garden re-covering the lemon tree and the olive trees. We certainly did not expect snow in May, but once the snow had disappeared it was nice to see which plants were beginning to flower in the garden. It is a nice reminder of what is waiting for us, just around the corner.

During June, July and August, I had a break, because I was helping George decorate the house.



I wrote again in September. If you have been reading Ivy, Phyllis and Me! for a while, you will certainly know about my love of potatoes.  I really don't mind how they are cooked, as I love them, any which way.... but I have to tell you, these spicy potatoes are rather good. 



Oh my word, do you remember in October, we made this Brioche Pudding, which was so decadent, but oh so delicious. I think this was one of my favourite puddings of the year. I admit not very good for the waistline, but every now and again, it is alright to indulge just a little.

November brought something a little different.  I had been practising my crochet skills and was thrilled with how this frilled throw turned out.  I use it often, as it is perfect for snuggling up whilst  reading a book.


Then before we knew it, December had arrived and whilst I had no Christmas preparations to complete, I could not let Christmas pass by without making something a little festive.  So I shared this Christmas mulled cider.... which received a perfect score of 10 from George.

So that is a reminder of what we did in the year 2016 and whilst it has been fun looking back, I am very excited for the year ahead.  Who knows what will happen, who knows what exciting things lay ahead for us all.... I for one cannot wait to find out.

So, as always, take good care of yourself and I will catch up with you next Thursday.

This week I will be joining,










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