I've been despairing recently about how very dreadful I am at keeping house. I look around my home and think how much it needs some serious attention (on every level), and how I can never seem to muster up enough energy or enthusiasm to tackle any of it. Every single room here is in need of a thorough de-cluttering and a good deep clean, yet I can (and do) think of a thousand ways to avoid getting stuck in. I was thinking yesterday about it all, wondering if I will always feel this way, or whether these feelings belong to this particular stage of motherhood when my busy days often leave me feeling so rushed and tired. However, one of the housey "jobs" that hardly ever gives me that sinking feeling is the preparing and cooking of our evening meal. Even though I am often very weary by this time of day, at 4.30 I do always seem to be able to get myself into the kitchen with my apron on, the radio cranked up and enjoy setting to work.
I love to surround myself with visual pleasures, and usually this involves colour. No surprises there then. I get pleasure every day from setting the table with coloured drinking glasses and pretty paper napkins, a little posy of flowers in the centre.
Over the years I have gathered an array of pretty and colourful spoons, utensils, plates and bowls that are a pleasure to use. I cook every day from scratch with fresh ingredients, and I am very, very grateful that I have the time to do this each day. I just love the thought that I am feeding and nurturing my family to the best of my ability, that I am providing not only good nutrition for the Little Peeps, but helping to develop their appreciation of flavours and home cooked food.
I tried out a new recipe yesterday, a new way of cooking fresh salmon. In the bowl above, there is honey, white wine vinegar, olive oil, garlic and fresh thyme. It smelt really lovely as I whisked it all together.
This dressing/marinade is spooned generously over the salmon fillets which are placed in a baking dish, then covered in tin foil and baked in the oven. Oh yum! They came out moist and tender, with a delicious sweetness that the Little People loved. You can find the recipe here.
I made a bowl of Greek salad to go with it, chopping and throwing everything in a bowl whilst day dreaming of the Greek islands where I once spent an idyllic twelve week summer back packing with J.
I had the back door open and popped out to see what was happening on my little herb bench. Like the rest of the back yard, it's looking a little forlorn and neglected but I'm hoping to find time this Summer to re-do my pots out here.
There was enough fresh sprouting mint for me to pick a few sprigs....
....to toss with a knob of butter and lots of seasoning into a pan of boiled new potatoes.
It was a simple meal in many ways, just salmon, minty potatoes and greek salad, and yet very delicious indeed. I loved all those fresh flavours mingling together on the plate, and I loved that it was a shared family experience, as our evening meals always are.
It was cooked with love, and plenty of day-dreamy feel-good. I might have cluttered shelves and dusty surfaces, but I do make good meals.