Wednesday, 6 May 2015


Good Morning to you,

Last Thursday started like any other Thursday.
I had my breakfast and morning coffee with George.

I checked my blog and decided it was ready to be published.

I wrote my shopping list, checking my store cupboard to see what was needed.

I got myself ready, you know the usual, casual clothes, a little make up, a spray of perfume and then I collected my shopping bags and we (that is George and I) headed for the car.

Whilst George was driving, we were talking, then out of the corner of my eye, I noticed something on the pavement.  I asked George to stop. George asked why, but before I could answer, he quickly pulled in to the side of the road. The car had hardly stopped when I flung open the door, as I had realised it was a lady slumped on the floor.  I ran towards her and when I reached her, I asked what had happened. She told me that she had tripped over a paving stone and fallen, and she just needed help to get back on to her feet.

George arrived and our first thought was to call an ambulance, but she became so upset, when we mentioned this. She said she was alright, she just could not get up. George asked her some questions to check that all was well, and it was then, that we decided it was best that we did as she asked, because she was getting very upset.

We asked if there was anyone we could telephone and she said there wasn't, which made me feel quite sad. We asked where she lived and luckily she lived just a few yards down the road.  When she pointed out where she lived, we realised she lived in sheltered accommodation and we knew that there would be a nurse on duty.  So we each took an arm and very slowly we walked her home, keeping an eye on her as we walked. 

When we arrived, she could not find her keys and became very anxious and upset, but luckily someone was coming out of the door, which allowed us to walk through the door, into the entrance. We found a nurse and explained what happened and the minute the lady, who we discovered was called Joan, saw a familiar face, tears welled up in her eyes..... she had found a comforting face.  Both George and I realised that we were strangers, and even though we were helping Joan, she did not know us, which made her nervous.

Joan so reminded me of my mother, Phyllis, as both Joan and Phyllis come from a generation who do not make a fuss, they just get on with things. I recognised that, Joan, just like Phyllis (when she fell) needed a little love and attention, even though neither of them knew it themselves.

When we left, the nurse had her arm around Joan, and we knew, although Joan was very shaken, she would be taken care of and loved.

.... and George and I, well we got back into the car and carried on to the shops, where one of things I bought was a butternut squash to make,

Roasted Squash Houmous (hummus).  I love houmous and have made it for years.  So when I was reading Gordon Ramsay's book, Ultimate Cookery Course and came across this recipe,  I just had to make it. 

So it's on with the pinnie and the music, well you'll never believe what I found in my music drawer, a cassette tape, still in its wrapper, which had never been played.... how could that have happened,

especially when I tell you it was a cassette of the Carpenters.  I feel sure you will agree, that Karen Carpenter had the most beautiful voice.

You do not need me to recommend these songs, as I feel sure you already know them.

Sweet Sweet Smile
Goodbye to Love
Yesterday Once More

So whilst I listen to 'We've Only Just Begun' I will organise my ingredients.


1 x 1kg butternut squash
3 cloves of garlic
4cm fresh root ginger
5 tablespoons of olive oil
2 tablespoons of tahini
1 x 400g tin of chickpeas
juice of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon of sea salt
1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper


1 cinnamon stick 
1 teaspoon of cloves
1 tablespoon of coriander seeds
1/2 tablespoon of fenugreek seeds
1/2 tablespoon of fennel seeds
1 tablespoon of mustard seeds
1/2 tablespoon of cumin seeds
1 teaspoon of ground paprika


Snap the cinnamon in half.

Place the cinnamon,
coriander seeds,
fenugreek seeds,
fennel seeds,
mustard seeds
cumin seeds
into a dry pan.

Allow the spices to brown over a medium heat for
 3 minutes,
or until the seeds are browned and start popping.
Move the spices around the pan, as you don't
want them to burn.

When the spices are brown,
remove the pan from the heat
and add the ground paprika
mix together.

Place the spices into a coffee grinder
(I have one which I use just to grind spices)
a third at a time and blitz until
the spices are all ground.

You will be making more than you need today.


Pre-heat the oven to 180C

Remove the skin
cube the squash.
Place in a large bowl.

Drizzle over
2 tablespoons of olive oil.

Sprinkle over 1 tablespoon of the
spice mix.

Add the sea salt
freshly ground black pepper.

toss everything together.

Brush 1 tablespoon of olive oil
onto a baking sheet
lay out the butternut squash.
Pour over any olive oil and spice mix
which is in the bottom of the bowl.

Place in the pre-heated oven
roast for 30 minute.
Remove the thinner squash pieces
as these will be cooked
and continue roasting the larger pieces of
squash until tender.

Grate the garlic
and the
and place in a food processor.
Add the already roasted butternut squash
whilst still hot

Add the tahini

Add the 

half a lemon
add to the food processor.

Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil

Place the contents of the food processor into a
large bowl.

When the rest of the butternut squash
has roasted,
place in the food processor, along with
the olive oil left in the tray.


If you find that you need to loosen the
mixture a little.... add a little water,
 but not too much.

When the roasted squash is smooth,
add to the bowl with the rest of 
the ingredients.

Stir everything together.

Taste and if you need more seasoning 
then add now.
Also you might find you need to add
more lemon, if so add now
mix well.

all there is left to do

This is my first attempt at this recipe and I have to tell you it was a real success. We both loved it.

We have eaten this roasted butternut squash houmous with pitta bread, crackers, crusty bread and crudites.

I have tweaked Gordon's recipe just a little.  If you prefer the more mellow taste of garlic then roast the garlic, you can also roast the ginger.

Also I added more tahini and lemon juice.... a personal preference. 

Now you may be looking at the ingredients thinking that there is an awful lot to do. Trust me there isn't, it just seems as if there is. If the recipe seems a little daunting, then you can make the spice mix one day and the houmous the next.

You will find that when you have made the spice mix, there will be too much for this one dish, but don't worry,

when the spices are cooled, pop them into a little jar, because as Gordon mentions in his book, the spices will last for 3 months..... but you know us.... they will be gone before we know it and I will be making some more.

Just before I leave you, I wanted to mention, that we checked to see how Joan was doing and I was told she is doing well. Luckily Joan suffered no grazing to her hands and knees, as she was wearing gloves and trousers. She was shaken, but otherwise doing well, which we are so pleased about.

Take care and I will see you next Thursday.

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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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