Thursday, 9 March 2017


Good Morning to you,

It's a fact, I am getting older. isn't something I think about on a daily basis, it's just every now and again, when I go to do something physical, I notice I can't work at the same pace as I used to.

For instance.

I used to be able to potter around the garden for hours on end, but nowadays I find I need to take breaks and sit down for 5 minutes or so, before carrying on. It doesn't take the pleasure out of gardening, it just takes me a little longer to achieve my goals.

It's the same with cooking.  Nowadays, I cannot stand for hours upon end, cooking, the way I used to. Instead, I need to pace myself and plan what I am going to do. Whereas when I was younger, I worked, looked after George and our girls, as well as our home and garden, with enough energy left, to cook up a storm for George's birthday and create a huge buffet, for over 100 people. 

Yes, it's a fact, I have slowed down a little. I am not sad about this, because with age comes time.  Time to enjoy the things I love.  I decided long ago to follow Phyllis, my mother's ethos.

 'Forget your age, it's just a  number.  Get out there and enjoy life, as much as you can.' 

Talking of Phyllis, she is an amazing woman, because this year she will be 87 years of age, and do you know something, when we go out for walks, she can walk as fast as I do. In actual fact, I think it would be fair to say, when we walk together, it is Phyllis who usually sets the pace. I believe, one of the reasons for her fitness is, she never learnt to drive, she either cycled or walked to wherever she needed to be.  

As a child, Phyllis would walk with her brothers and sisters, along country lanes, for 3 miles each day, to get to school. She said she never thought about the distance, because come rain or shine, it was what they had to do, to get to school. 

As you can see for yourself, Phyllis is pretty amazing. You'll never believe it when I tell you, that she still does her own housework, she remains adamant that she will continue doing her own housework for as long as she can. Firstly, it keeps her fit and secondly it keeps her busy. She feels, by doing her own housework, she is incorporating exercise into her daily routine, which of course she is, so she does not have to think about going for a walk unless she wants to. 

I'll let you into a little secret, even at the age of almost 87 years, Phyllis  loves to go to family gatherings, as she loves to dance. Do you know she even keeps up with the younger members of the family.... that's how much she loves dancing.

I also believe, the key to getting older, is to have the courage to embrace new things which come our way. I love talking about the past and the memories it holds, but I am not stuck in the past.

I remember, when I first started working, in the late 1960's, I was a secretary, and I typed letters on an old black, Olivetti upright typewriter.... not an easy machine to use, so when the new Remington manuel typewriter arrived in the office, I was thrilled, because the keys were so easy to use, compared to the Olivetti.  I was happy with my manual typewriter, but then electric machines appeared, my word, they were a revelation.  No more working out the characters and page size to centre a heading, no this wonderful machine did all the work for me. I admit it took a bit of getting used to, but once I got the hang of using it, it made my working life so much simpler. Then it was the turn of computers.... nonsense thought I, what on earth could a computer do, that my marvellous Remington electric typewriter couldn't do. Nothing was my thought and so I resisted.  That is until I went on a course and was amazed at how I could delete and insert words, without the need for an eraser or Tippex.... and it made me realise, I must never be closed, I must always try to be open to new ideas.

I'm not saying it is easy, because there is comfort in doing what is familiar, but give it a go, be open to a new idea, you might be surprised. 

.... as I have today, I have introduced myself to something new,

Thai black rice.  Admittedly, by accident, as I had gone to the supermarket to buy red rice, but they were out of stock. Whilst searching  I discovered a packet of Thai black rice which looked intriguing. So this will be a first for me.

So it's on with the pinnie and today I am thrilled, because George surprised me with,

the new album by Ed Sheeran.  This album is so popular and is being played quite a lot on the radio at the moment.  

The track I have chosen is, Supermarket Flowers. Please don't be put off by the title, the song is lovely.
I tried to copy and paste the official Youtube clip but for some reason I could not do it.  Pop over to Youtube and listen to this beautiful song.

So whilst I listen to this track and think of how lucky I am to still have Phyllis in my life, I will organise my ingredients.

Serves ~ 4

160g Thai Black Rice
1 small carrot
50g broad beans
3 spring onions
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
juice and zest of half a lime
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon sweet hot chilli sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander


Cook the rice as per the instructions
on the packet.

Whilst the rice is cooking,
cook the broad beans in water.
When cooked remove the outer covering.
Inside you will find a bright green, broad
Set aside for the moment.

Peel the carrot.
vegetable peeler,
cut the carrot into ribbons.

Snip the spring onions into small pieces,
I snip them using a pair of scissors.

When the rice is cooked,
place the rice into a large bowl
and add
the ribbons of carrots,
the broad beans
spring onions.

Using a separate bowl,
place the
rice vinegar,
lime juice,
lime zest,
grated ginger,
soy sauce,
sesame oil,
olive oil
sweet chilli sauce
into the bowl
and mix the ingredients together.

Pour the dressing over the rice
and toss the ingredients to
coat the rice grains.

Chop the coriander
add to the bowl.
Toss again.

Then all there is to do


You will have noticed that I did not add any salt to the recipe, that is due to the soy sauce being salty.

I cannot lay claim to this recipe, because I have adapted the recipe found on the back of the Sainsburys Thai black rice packet. As it was the first time of using this rice, I wanted to see which ingredients worked well together.  I omitted quite a few of the ingredients and inserted others, because I wanted to use what I already had in my store cupboard. For instance I used broad beans because I had them in my freezer, instead of edamame beans.

The recipe also called for vegetable oil, but I use mainly olive oil in my cooking, so I preferred to use olive oil for this recipe.  I am really pleased with the outcome, so this will be making an appearance at supper time, many more times in the future.

You might be wondering about the title, Forbidden Rice.  When I was researching black rice, I discovered that in the days, when China was ruled by Emperors, black rice was grown in small quantities, strictly for the Emperor's consumption. The local population were forbidden to eat this rice, and so it became known as forbidden rice. Luckily for us, that time has past and black rice is more widely available.

Take care and I will catch up with you again next Thursday.

This week I will be joining,

As Always,

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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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