Sunday, 8 December 2013


Good Morning to you,

Firstly, I have to apologise for not writing to you on Wednesday, this was not intentional, but once I explain, I know you will understand.

This week, has been an exciting week for us, as the first member of our family arrived, to celebrate Christmas with us.... our lovely daughter Natasha.  She had a long flight from India, but you would never have known, as she looked beautiful when she walked through the Arrivals door. 

Have you ever seen the film Love Actually?  Well, I have to tell you, we were exactly the same as those families in the film, we were crying with happiness, laughing, hugging and kissing each other and so very, very pleased to see each other.

On the day of Natasha's arrival, George and I could not wait to collect Natasha from the airport. We were so excited, that we were both up and about much earlier than we needed to be, and, as I said, we were so excited we could not sleep. I kept myself busy in Natasha's bedroom, plumping cushions and moving things around, which really did not need to be moved around and George kept himself busy, by checking the flight details, checking the weather over and over (of course it never changed) and checking the car.

When we first arrived at the airport, (much too early), we stood by the Arrivals barrier, waiting for the doors to open, eagerly anticipating Natasha's arrival. We had a clear view, but then another family joined us, who were just as excited as we were, and they stood in front of us. Well, I am not very tall and they were much taller than I am and unknowingly, they blocked my view. What to do.... George was fine, he could see, but each time I found a space where I could  see who was walking through the doors, they moved as well..... after a lot of moving this way and that way, the doors finally opened and there she was.... I am told I jumped in the air (well not a real jump, just a little jump) with excitement.   I clapped my hands together and ran towards her and I gave her such a big hug.  George was hot on my heels and we all hugged each other....... and we talked and we talked, all the way to the car, on the drive home and we have not stopped talking since.

So that is the reason for my lapse in writing to you. I had intended to post a recipe on Wednesday, but do you know, as much as I love chatting to you, I just could not tear myself away from Natasha.  I know you will understand, because as a family we live so very far apart, so when we manage to get together, the time is so very precious..... and the exciting thing is, we will relive that same wonderful moment,  when our beautiful daughter, Danielle arrives and also when Phyllis arrives.

Now, I hear you saying that maybe I should have planned for this and written the post before Natasha arrived and saved it, so that I could just press the publish button, but, I don't write my blog that way.  What I do is, I share with you what I am either cooking or doing on a daily basis and I really do not pre-plan my dishes.  If I am making a meal, cake or dessert for George, which I think you will enjoy, then I share it with you.  Such as this,

Sweet Potato Soup

This soup arose because I had a sweet potato, a squash, a few leeks, carrots and potatoes in my vegetable basket which I wanted to use up.  When I have a few "this and that" vegetables, I always make soup. That is the wonderful thing about soup, the measurements are not precise.  If you only have a few vegetables, then you can make a small amount of soup.  Or if like me, now and then, you have too many vegetables left over, then you can make a large saucepan of soup. We have eaten some of the soup, and the remaining soup is going to be put into the freezer to be enjoyed after Christmas as it will be perfect to eat after indulging in all the rich, traditional, Christmas food.

There is no music playing in the background today, as there is too much chatter..... I know you will understand. 

So it is on with the apron and I have gathered my vegetables and other ingredients.


2 leeks
1 sweet potato
4 medium sized carrots
1 butternut squash
6 medium sized potatoes
1 400g tin of cannelloni beans
1 teaspoon of chilli flakes
(less if you prefer)
2 litres of chicken stock
olive oil


Add olive oil to a large saucepan
add the chilli flakes
cook for a minute

Cut the leeks into slices
and wash 
(I find it easier to remove any grit when the leeks
have been sliced)
Dry the leeks
add the leeks to the saucepan
and gently saute

Peel and chop the sweet potato into cubes
add to the saucepan of leeks

Peel and chop the carrots
add to the saucepan

Peel and chop the squash 
add to the pan
and coat all the vegetables with olive oil.
Add more olive oil if needed

Peel and chop the potatoes
add to the saucepan.

Add the chicken stock
bring to the boil
simmer for 45 minutes

Add the tinned Cannelloni beans and simmer for
a minute or so.

sea salt and black pepper
to taste

Very carefully, ladle the soup into a blender,
or if you have a hand held blender,
blitz the soup in the saucepan 
(very carefully as I don't want you to be splashed with hot soup)
until the soup is smooth.
You will find the soup will become thicker
as it is blitzed.

Place your soup into a bowl
and garnish with a few bacon pieces
and black pepper.

If you prefer, add the Cannelloni beans after you have blitzed the soup, which is what I sometimes do, but today I wanted a smooth soup.  I had a couple of rashers of bacon in the fridge, so I grilled them, sliced the rashers and added them to the soup.  If you prefer you can add a swirl of cream, or as I sometimes do, wilt spinach into the soup..... which is very healthy. If you are vegetarian, then use vegetable stock instead of chicken stock and it will be perfect for you.... of course without the rashers of bacon..... that goes without saying.

Because I had some cooked chicken in the fridge, I decided to make a chicken and lettuce sandwich to eat with the soup, which we all really enjoyed.

Later this week I will be visiting London, which I am very excited about.  So I won't be writing to you this Wednesday or  next Sunday, but I promise I will be returning on Wednesday 18th December to share with you my finished Christmas Cake and photographs of my trip to London.

Now, I  really must catch up with you and reply to your comments. Until next time, whatever you are doing, have a wonderful week and take good care of yourself.

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Dear Friends,

It is so wonderful to know you enjoy reading Ivy, Phyllis and Me! Thank you so much for taking the time to leave me a comment. I really do appreciate it.

Best wishes to you.


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