Sunday 31 May 2020

'Ta dah' in May

Well, even in pandemic times there can still be ta dah moments at the end of the month - and not just the 'I successfully gained 6lbs in weight' kind.  Ahem.  Let's move on ...


My first Ta Dah is really my grandson's achievement - but I'm going to claim some involvement.  When it was his birthday I bought him a butterfly raising kit.  It is a little collapsable net container in which you hatch butterflies.  At the beginning of lockdown I sent away for the caterpillars to start off the process and a few weeks ago a pot of caterpillar food with five tiny caterpillars arrived.  I handed them over to him to nurture and he's been keenly watching their progress from tiny caterpillars, to larger hairier caterpillars, to chrysalides and finally fully grown butterflies.  He's fed them fruit and leaves and yesterday was the day when they were ready to fly off into the wild.  My daughter filmed the great release and it honestly brought a tear to my eye to see the pure wonderment and joy in his little face as they fluttered, flew to the top of the container and then tentatively flapped their wings in the fresh air before taking their first steps of freedom into the garden.  

It's been a fabulous project and he has loved doing it.  If you are ever looking for a different kind of present for a small child, I'd really recommend it.


I've read a lot of books this month.  Firstly our book club's choice of In Five Years  which I enjoyed, and showed that although you may think you have a five year plan, you sometimes really can't see what may be round the corner. Then I read The Sister in Law - set in sunny Italy, was great to read while sitting out in the sunshine in the garden, made it very easy to transport myself to the location.  Something totally different was Verity which actually made me gasp at the end - I do like a book which keeps me on my toes!  Finally, The Other Wife  which makes me wonder if all this lockdown is leading me back to psychological thrillers!  

I'm not just reading books but I am still learning Spanish on the Duolingo app on my phone.  Haven't missed a day yet ... 

By the time we're allowed to leave the country (and return without going into 2 weeks quarantine) I should be able to make myself understood.  At the very least I'll be able to book a table in a restaurant (if they are open) order a meal and drink, and get us booked into a hotel.  Anything else will be a bonus!


My oven's been busy this month too.  I'm trying to 'only' cook one cake a week but it seems the more I bake, the more we eat ...

Coffee and walnut sponge - I froze half to save us from eating the whole thing!

I went into overdrive one day, rock cakes and a Victoria sandwich cake on the same day.  I promise you that half of the rock cakes were put straight in the freezer.

Chocolate cake with raspberry jam and butter cream icing - I actually gave a quarter of this to Rachel to save us from too much temptation

Something savoury for a change, cheese scones

Lemon and poppyseed loaf

In addition to all this, I've discovered how easy it is to make flatbreads and that means that a meze lunch is very easy to throw together to eat on the patio now - especially as I've tweaked a recipe for hummus which is so easy to make.  Ruth reminded me of how delicious beer bread is and I've also discovered a new way to incorporate lemon sorbet into an amazing pre dinner gin cocktail.  Did I mention about my waistline increasing by the day?  


Cheri said...

Seeing all your baking makes me glad I have no flour in the house. So I can't make those things. Which means I don't eat those things. Which keeps my entire COVID weight gain at a reasonable 2 lbs. :)

Jane said...

you have been busy! Looks like you've had fun with the caterpillars. Thanks for your comment on my blog x

Ruth said...

Haha, cake and the Covid Kilos - it's a thing in our house as well!

I enjoyed reading about 'growing' butterflies - such a brilliant gift idea.

Patio Postcards said...

I like the idea of gifting your Grandson the buttterfly kit - what a wonderful way to show him the miracle of life. All your baking looks delicious. I'm with Cheri on this, if I do not bake it, I will not eat it. Thanks for the book recommendations.

♥ Liz ♥ said...

I love the idea of butterflies and some of our classes in school have them. Not this year though :(
Your baking looks amazing. I will admit, I had to stop making cakes when the lbs started to go on. I'm back to looking at what everyone else is making.

alexa said...

What a splendid idea, the butterfly kit - never knew these existed! His face speaks volumes ... My goodness, I am in awe of your baking! What a wonderful selection. You'll be applying for the Bake-Off any day now :).