Doesn't the sun, blue skies and warmth just make you feel a whole load better? The picture above is looking toward the south bank of the River Humber this afternoon. Welcome to new follower Peter Rubinstein. I don't know anything about you Peter, but you are very welcome anyway. The flowers are late and sparse in the garden this year which is a little disappointing but the daffodils are out on the grass verges, the the buds are showing quite clearly in the bushes and some of the trees. Indeed, I've noticed cherry blossom around although my cherry tree is nowhere near producing yet.
The fish in the ponds are eating wheatgerm now, pretty low protein stuff, nothing too rich - it just gets them going and I've decided to put some salt in the water in the next couple of weeks to aid their health.
Normally as you know, I'm a fairly positive person, glass half full - that sort of thing, but last night we had some Norwegian smoked haddock and I am so disappointed. Our normal smoked haddock from the supermarkets (we don't have a fishmonger round us) is yellow. This is from a dye I understand rather than a true smoking unless anyone can tell me different. This Norwegian haddock is just off white (see the picture below) and did not have a strong odour, even when cooking which is quite a refreshing change. I cooked it for exactly the same time, around five minutes in gentle simmering water and it tasted of - nothing. It was meaty and flaked beautifully but was without any taste, so much so, my two lads who loved smoked haddock couldn't eat it and it took me years to get them to eat fish.
Next time I guess it will be okay in a kedgeree, a recipe I've seen the Hairy Bikers (TV chefs for those who don't know) use with rice and eggs and a touch of optional spiciness, normally a breakfast dish. Kedgeree was introduced to the UK by the way of returning colonials from India in Victorian times, but the recipe goes back to around 1340.
You live and learn. I was sat in the garden this afternoon enjoying the sun and the cat playing around my feet with twigs - she's still like a kitten sometimes. I saw a huge bird of prey swirling in circles up above us climbing high on the thermals and I have little idea what it was but we do have red kites in the area, what a magnificent sight. I just couldn't capture a photograph of it. Talking of birds, although the crows are now nesting in trees nearby that they have never used before, which is a delightful sight, the little birds have not used the bird boxes as they have in past years although there seem to be plenty of the little fellows around. Perhaps there's still plenty of time.
I did notice today that the grass will almost certainly need a high cut imminently; the first of the year. I know this is strange, but I love cutting the grass, not only is it exercise, but the fresh air and the resulting look to the garden is very satisfying indeed.
I'm back to the healthy eating and exercise will follow very shortly. I'm not using the 'D' word any more (of or relating to a food regimen designed to promote weight loss in a person) and after a fortnight - I already feel better. Thanks to my friends for their encouragement. I must mean it this time - there are biscuits and chocolate goodies around the huge office I now work in and so far, I've resisted it all.
I hope you've had a great weekend and have a safe and successful week ahead!