University applications require extensive travels. When my elder daughter was looking for a place we headed north to Durham, Edinburgh, Glasgow, St Andrews and Aberdeen. With her younger sister we've been concentrating on the south, from Falmouth to Brighton via Cardiff, Plymouth and Winchester. However this weekend we ventured a bit further afield - to Norwich.
Here are a few random photos of our visit:
Full English at Chez Dennis
They say Norwich has a church for every week of the year ...
I'm afraid I didn't manage to get through my list. I made chutney, bread and Christmas cake, finished the bunting and met up with some former workmates. I discovered another trader who accepts Bristol pounds (The Folk House on Park Street) but only after I'd paid in sterling. Still, I'll be better prepared next time. I started my book but didn't got very far. As for the rest (and the back bedroom in particular!) .....
However, as in the summer, I did other things - delivered leaflets and processed data for George Ferguson's campaign, went out to lunch, had friends round for dinner, attended a WI wine tasting evening and a mayoral election hustings, and finished off two more knitting projects. Not as much as I would have liked, but just about enough.
We rarely have a traditional Sunday Lunch - or at least not a lunchtime! When we do have a roast dinner it's in the evening, so Sunday lunch is usually pasta ... or soup.
I absolutely adore soup. My earliest memory of it is my grandma's rather greasy but nonetheless delicious broth. The Scots seem to eat a lot of the stuff. We always started our dinner with a bowlful . My mum, who wasn't a particularly imaginative cook, nonetheless produced a lovely fresh tomato variety, as well as the occasional spicy mulligatawny. She is also the only person I have ever known who made kidney soup. But we won't go there!
Soup is cheap to cook and extremely versatile. In our house it always starts off onions sweated in a knob of butter, or a splash of oil. But from there it could go anywhere, depending on the time of year or what we have in the kitchen. I never throw away a chicken carcass or a marrow bone without having first boiled it for stock which I freeze for later. My favourites are leek and potato, lentil and bacon, spicy lentil and tomato, minestrone, scotch broth, cauliflower and blue cheese, butternut squash and chorizo, chick pea and harissa, chowder ...
Today it was a johnny allsorts affair with a random selection of vegetables left over from last week's shop. There were onions, celery, romanesco, a carrot and a few stalks of cavolo nero that had seen better days. I threw in a few handfuls of broth mix to thicken it, and a couple of bay leaves and some dried chilli flakes to spice it up. There was no stock in the freezer so I used up the last of our Marigold powder and a vegetable stock cube. Ten minutes before it was ready I sprinkled in some mini pasta shapes.
I served it with a drizzle of extra virgin oil and a couple of slices of my freshly baked bread.
It was just what was needed on a cold wet Sunday afternoon.