Thursday, 21 January 2016


Good Morning to you,

Are you a bit of a nosey parker?

Are you someone who doesn't mean to, but you can't help but listen-in, to other people's conversations?

I hold my hands up.... I am a bit of a nosey parker. I don't mean that I like to know people's business, in fact the opposite is true and  I don't go out of my way to listen-in to other people's conversations, but if I am on my own and I am within ear shot, well, I can't help myself. I think the best way to describe myself is inquisitive.... I find other people so fascinating.

.... and George, well he certainly would not be described as a nosey parker, but the other day he came home from swimming and told me a wonderful tale, about a conversation he had overheard at the swimming pool, between a little girl and her daddy.

I'll set the scene.

George had completed his daily swim when he noticed, up ahead, a little girl holding her daddy's hand. As they walked, the little girl was chattering away, none stop to her daddy. He said it was a lovely scene and it reminded him of the days when Natasha and Danielle were little girls.

George then went for his usual sauna and when he finished he walked into the changing room to take a shower and to get dressed.

He had just locked the door of his cubicle, when he heard this wonderful conversation between the little girl, he had noticed earlier, who he came to know as Daisy, and her daddy.

It went like this.

Daisy. 'Daddy, you don't put my vest on that way. Mammy puts it on the other way.'

Daddy did not respond.

Daisy. 'Daddy you've put my pants on the wrong way.  Mammy doesn't do it like that.'

Daddy. 'Daisy, I do it this way'

Daisy. 'Yes but daddy, mammy does it the other way'.

Daddy.  'Daisy, there are different ways to do things and this is my way'.

George heard a sigh from Daisy and all was quiet for a little while.

Then Daisy piped up. 'Daddy, you've put my socks on the wrong way, they are inside out'.

Daddy. 'No they're not Daisy'

Daisy. 'Yes they are daddy'.

Daddy, getting a little exasperated.... 'Daisy they're not'.

Daisy.  Yes they are daddy, the pink lace should be on the outside, not on the inside.

Daddy.  Daisy they look fine to me.

Daisy.  No they're not. I'm going to tell mammy when we get home, because you've done it all wrong'.

Daddy.  'It's alright Daisy, mammy will understand.'

Brief silence.

Daisy. 'Daddy,'

Daddy. 'Yes Daisy.'

Daisy.  'I need a wee.'

Daddy.  'Really, I just took you for a wee.'

Daisy.  'I know daddy, but I need to go again.'

Daddy.  'Really.'

Daisy.  'Yes daddy, I need a wee.'

Daddy.  'Ok Daisy let's go.'

Daisy.  'Wait a minute daddy.  I need to put my flip flops on.'

Daddy.  'No Daisy, you don't need them.'

Daisy.  'Yes I do, they are my new flip flops'.

Daddy.  'Honestly Daisy you don't need them because you have your socks on and we would have to take them off again.'

Daisy.  '.... but I do,  I do need them daddy, I really, really need them'

Daddy.  A little exasperated.  'I will carry you so you won't need to put them on.'

Daisy.  No, I don't want you to carry me, I want to wear my new flip flops.

.... d-a-d-d-y,

Daddy.  Yes Daisy.

Daisy.  'I'm going to tell mammy about all this.'

Daddy.  'Don't worry Daisy, mammy will understand'.

Daisy.  'No she won't.

Daddy.  Ok Daisy, let's just go to the toilet and you can tell mammy all about it when we get home.

Daisy.  Thank you daddy. Daddy.

Daddy.  Yes Daisy.

Daisy.  I love you.

Daddy.  I love you too Daisy.

Daisy.   But I'm still going to tell mammy, because you've done it all wrong today.'

.... and with that, it all went quiet.

George said he had to really control his laughter, because it was such a funny conversation between Daisy who was about 4 years old  and her daddy.

.... but what really made him smile was it reminded him of when our girls were little.  If things weren't as they should be, they always told George that they would tell mummy when they got home.

It's nice to know things haven't changed.

..... but what I have changed a little is,

what we are making today.... a spicy red lentil dahl. It has a little spice, but not a lot and it is lovely eaten with pitta bread.  I have even added it as a side dish along with a piece of fish.

I do apologise to my Indian friends, because this dahl is not authentic, but I feel sure you will forgive me, because we all adapt recipes to suit our own tastes.

So it's on with the pinnie and the music I am listening to, well here's a hint. If I say, Robin Hood Prince of Thieves.... do you know who it is?

Of course you do, it's Bryan Adams.  There are so many songs to choose from, which I love, but I feel sure you will enjoy, I'm Ready.... it's such a beautiful song.

.... and I know the weather is not warm and sunny, but after you have danced to Summer of '69 (now that took you by surprise didn't it) you will have a lovely warm glow about you. So while your dancing, I will gather my ingredients together and of course I am dancing as well.  I cannot imagine anyone listening to this track who did not want to dance.


100g red split lentils
500 ml chicken stock
1 medium white onion
2 teaspoons of sweet paprika
1/2 tablespoon of fresh ginger
1 clove of garlic
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 tablespoon of olive oil
salt to taste


Finely chop the onion.
My knife skills are not very good
so I used my food processor.

Place the olive oil
into a pan
add the finely chopped onions.

Cook over a low heat
until the onions
are golden.

Crush the garlic
add to the pan.
Cook for a minute.

Grate the ginger
and add to the pan.
Cook for a further minute.

Add the paprika

the curry powder.
Cook for another minute.
The aroma of the spices will fill the kitchen.

Add the 
chicken stock to the pan

the split red lentils.

Increase the heat
stir well 
to incorporate the ingredients.

When the  mixture comes to the boil,
reduce to a low heat
place a lid on the pan.

Cook for 15-20 minutes
or until the chicken stock has been 

After 10 minutes
stir the ingredients
Replace the lid, but keep a very close
eye on the dahl
as you want the 
liquid to be incorporated,
but you don't want the mixture to burn.

After 15 minutes, if the liquid
has not reduced,
I remove the lid and with a wooden spoon,
move the mixture around the pan until
the liquid has reduced.

Season to taste with a little sea salt

as always,

We ate this spicy red lentil dahl for lunch with pitta bread and it was the perfect lunch.

If you are a vegetarian, then add vegetable stock instead of chicken stock.

Now I have written that the dahl will take between 15 and 20 minutes to cook.  The difficulty in pinpointing the exact time is how different our cookers are.  I cook the dahl on my smallest gas ring and as I said over a low heat, but your gas ring might be larger than mine, so it will take a little less time.  The trick is to keep an eye on the dahl whilst it is cooking, because you do not want the dahl to burn.

Spanish paprika might seem an odd spice to add to an Indian dahl, but the reason for adding it is, I had run out of chilli powder and turmeric. So instead of going out to buy more I decided to add the paprika and curry powder instead, as they were the spices I had to hand. It was such a success that I don't add chilli powder and turmeric anymore.

We enjoyed this dahl so much that George has asked that I make it again this weekend so he can have it as part of his 'little plates' of food, whilst he watches sport on Saturday afternoon.

What better recommendation could I give you.

Oh and before I go, I thought I would mention that 'mammy' is a regional word for mummy.

Take care and I will see you next Thursday.

This week I will be joining,



As Always,

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