The first day of the rest of my life

Generally I’m not a fan of New Year. I used to enjoy being out clubbing for the bells I hung up my spangled hot pants a long time ago and last night the closest I got was the last five minutes of Frankie Knuckles’ set on Channel 4.

Today was a good day though. All the parents were round for New Year dinner and it was one of those occasions when I could step outside myself, look down upon the scene and be thankful for everything that I have: a great relationship with my parents; two bright and beautiful children who have the world at their feet and a wonderful husband who came to me late in both our lives but who puts up with my foibles and who’s the yin for my yang.

We had a lovely, mostly traditional meal of lentil soup, steak pie with all the trimmings then pear and ginger pavlova. Once upon a time I’d have made the pie from scratch but on the 11th day of Christmas I was given the gift of the Norovirus so this festive season’s been a bit of a blur and there are parts of Christmas Day I can’t remember.

So instead of toiling over beef, gravy and pastry I made a mercy dash to my wonderful butcher Scott Alexander in the Common Green, Strathaven and bought two of his steak pies instead. I can honestly say that I will never make a steak pie again because Scott’s are to die for. This is a relationship I intend to work on over the next year and I’m sure HimIndoors will approve. We will be eating less meat but what we do eat will be from Scott, not from the supermarket. I will learn all about the cuts of meat I’ve never used before and hopefully in the next few weeks we’ll be launching a new Facebook page for him where his customers can share recipes and photos.

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Now that I’m back in the blogging saddle I hope to do a few lines every day, just what I’ve been up to, what I’ve learned and what I’ve been cooking.

I may write some rubbish, some of it may be boring but hopefully there will be the odd gem in there too and if nothing else you may get an idea for your dinner!

Today I have learned:

  • don’t slave over a hot stove making steak pie from scratch when the butcher’s tastes better anyway
  • after my husband, my next most important relationship with a man should be with my butcher
  • my life is pretty wonderful

Today’s recipe:

Lentil soup

Serves 4

Ingredients:

Butter

1 tbsp oil

1 onion, chopped

2 carrots, chopped

2 garlic cloves, chopped

1 red chilli, chopped or 1/2 tsp lazy chillies

1 tsp yellow mustard seeds

1 tin chopped tomatoes

100g red lentils

1.2 litres vegetable stock

2 small potatoes, peeled and chopped

salt and pepper

juice of 1/2 lemon

Method: Melt a knob of butter in a pan with the oil. Add the onion and carrot and cook until the onion is soft. Add the garlic, chilli and mustard seeds and cook for a few more minutes.

Stir in the tomatoes, lentils, stock, potatoes and seasoning and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes.

Leave to cool slightly then add the lemon juice and whizz till smooth. Reheat if needed.

And there you have it, my first blog post of 2013. Hardly earth-shatttering but then I couldn’t cope if every day was full-on 🙂

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