Thursday, 7 September 2017


Good Morning to you,

I was travelling on the bus the other day and the lady in front of me was reading a magazine.  She lifted the magazine and the headline read '60 is the new 40'.

I was intrigued and I  started thinking about  reasons why I feel woman of today appear younger than our grandmothers. 

I feel there are a couple of contributing factors. The first is clothes.  There are no style rules for women of our age, we are free to choose whichever style we wish to wear, whereas women of Ivy, my grandmother's generation, did have to conform to a certain set of style rules.

I remember Ivy would always wear beautifully cut clothes, she always wore a hat when she went out and about and her hair was curled. She always carried gloves and a handbag which matched her shoes and her perfume was glorious, she always wore Chanel No 5. The one thing I never saw Ivy wear was trousers.... women of Ivy's generation just didn't have the luxury of wearing trousers,  as it was deemed unladylike.

Nowadays we have so much more freedom where clothes are concerned.  I often wear trousers, actually they are so comfortable, that I probably wear them a little too much, I  have to remind myself every now and again, that I have skirts hanging in my wardrobe waiting to be worn.

Secondly, we have a great choice of hairstyles to choose from. If we wish we can wear our hair long, medium or short, with no one  raising their eyebrows at the length of our hair. The ability to have our hair coloured has made such a difference. Although I do have friends who have embraced their grey hair and I have to say it does look lovely, maybe I will consider this in the future when I tire of going to the hairdressers.  On second thoughts, I think I had better retract that last statement, as Natasha and Danielle will be raising their eyebrows, when they read the words I have just written, because it is a silly sentence.  They know and I know, that I love visiting the hairdressers, so I will never allow my hair to go grey. It just will not happen....  I am being being totally honest with you.

Although it is true to say, Ivy did look older than I do at my present age, she still looked beautiful to my young eyes. Her hair was always neat and tidy, I never saw a strand of hair out of place. I remember on occasions she had her hair permed and also I have seen photos of her with waved hair. She wore her hair long when she was a young girl and shorter as she became older.

.... but Ivy's life was very different to mine. Is it any wonder that I look younger. She lived through 2 world wars, once as a young girl and then again when she was a woman.

These periods in Ivy's life, were difficult, as they were times when food and clothing were in short supply. Firstly as a young girl in the early 1900s and you will get a little snapshot of Ivy's younger years here.  Also during  World War II, when rationing was in place. Gramps was away on ship with the Royal Navy, so it was difficult to work the allotment, which normally provided fresh fruit and vegetables for Ivy, Gramps and my father.  To have a husband away fighting in the war, a young son to look after and continuous bombing of Portsmouth Harbour, must have taken its toll. To deal with rationing, Ivy, like all the women of her generation, had to be creative when it came to cooking and clothing. 

Whereas I can buy any type of food I choose and within reason, buy any item of clothing I desire. With a healthy diet, clothes, hair and makeup I have available to me, is it any wonder that I look younger than Ivy did at my age.

Do I consider myself fortunate?  Absolutely. 

Am I grateful? Again absolutely.

What are your thoughts on '40 being the new 60'?

Now in terms of age, today's original recipe, is classed as old, but I would class my version as young.

Today we are making my version of Goulash.  I have not written Hungarian Goulash in the title, because this is not an authentic recipe.  It is a recipe which started as Hungarian Goulash, but which has evolved over the years to suit my family's taste buds.

So it's on with the pinnie and the music I am listening to is,

the fabulous Frank Sinatra singing 'Saturday Night Is The Loneliest Night Of The Week'.

I was playing this song, and doing a quick two step around the kitchen, whilst gathering my ingredients, when George walked into the kitchen. He took my hand and we had a little two step around the kitchen together. These are precious moments.


Serves 6

1kg stewing steak
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 large onion, finely sliced
3 large cloves of garlic, crushed
1 red sweet pepper, deseeded and sliced
2 large carrots, peeled and chopped into 1/2 inch chunks
1 stick of celery, sliced
2 tablespoons of paprika
3 tablespoons of tomato puree
sea salt and black pepper
400 ml of chicken stock
200g tin of tomatoes ~ chopped
200ml red wine
4 tablespoons of Worcestershire Sauce


Finely slice the onion.

Place 2 tablespoons of olive oil into a large pan.
Place the pan over a medium heat
gently cook the onions until they are golden brown.

Grate the garlic and add to the pan. 
 Cook for a couple of minutes.

Add the paprika, tomato puree and tin tomatoes
to the pan and mix everything together.

Add the red wine and bring to the boil, simmer to allow the alcohol to evaporate. This usually takes a couple of minutes.

Add 1 teaspoon of salt

1 teaspoon of black pepper.

Slice the celery into small pieces
add to the pan

Cut the carrots into chunks
add to the pan.

Cut the sweet red pepper in half
remove all the seeds.
Slice the remaining sweet pepper
add to the pan.

Add the stewing beef and stir to incorporate all of the ingredients.

Add the Worcestershire sauce to the chicken stock 
and stir.
Pour into the pan.
Stir the ingredients together once again.

Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat

and simmer for 2 hours or until the meat is nice and tender. Check after an hour that the liquid has not evaporated too much.  If it does you can always add a little more stock.

Check for seasoning.  You might find you need extra salt or black pepper.

Then all you have to do, is find a bowl

some crusty bread to mop up the juices

and enjoy.

Sometimes George enjoys this Goulash just as it is with some crusty bread.  Other times I will serve it with creamy mashed potatoes and broccoli.  It just depends on our mood. Which ever way you eat this Goulash, I feel sure it will become a favourite when the colder weather arrives.

The nights are rapidly closing in and there is a definite chill in the air, so this is the perfect warming supper.

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

As Always,

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