Thursday, February 03, 2011

Spring Fever

Yesterday, a thin wind, blowing right through you, but today, a blue sky, sun and the urge to inspect all the shoots of Spring in the garden.  I like the idea of getting going on the allotment, but I know that it is folly.  Potatoes planted too early have a tendency to have their tops frosted; last years earlies never recovered.




And where is this?  Occasionally, I enjoy a little light shopping and grazing in Cambridge, an easy hour's drive from here with a good Park and Ride.  In another lifetime, I was invited to  entrance interviews at Newnham.  I had left my home in Cumbria earlier in the week to go to Oxford for interview, but then had to take the coach across country to Cambridge.  I recall pottering around the open market in the middle of Cambridge with another interviewee feeling like a seasoned traveller and completely at home.


I still prefer the spaciousness of Cambridge, and the lovely little details which surprise at every turn.  Of Newnham, I remember only the very long corridors, more like a hospital than anything else.


And King' College Chapel, lovely in the sunlight.  I like to lunch at Michaeljohn, a dual use church with a great cafe at one end. 



More hat-work.  My husband was taken with my new titfer and requested a cycling hat for himself.  This cabled hat is Knotty but Nice from Knitty, Winter 2009.  He prefers plain colours and this needs to chime with a dull green scarf he has.  A number of people have commented on the swatch of J&S I posted.  It often surprises me how their colours blend together so well, even those without the same dyed fibres within the mix.  "Peerie" patterns are the small patterns lasting a few rows each.  I suppose that I was aiming at a wave effect and something fern-like for the green.  All I did was choose them from the book, though.  I suspect the swatch would make a perfectly acceptable hat, but there is not really enough "Pop" in the colours.



Food for cold weather: one of my favourite supper dishes is a casserole of pork-chops, first served to me by my elder sister.  Dice and gently fry two onions in a little oil.  Press both sides of two pork chops into some dried sage and onion stuffing mix and brown them in the frying pan.  Place them in the casserole with the onion. Add some stock and cook for about forty minutes in a moderate oven.   Braised like this, the stuffing swells and the seasoning is so nicely balanced no other ingredients are needed.  Serve with potato and greens. Very tasty.





7 comments:

Angel said...

Oh your recipe sounds really good- I am going to have to try it. I often make pork chops with chili sauce and spinach- that is something that is common here in the American Southwest.

kristieinbc said...

I always enjoy your pictures! And I like that hat pattern. I remember seeing it when that Knitty issue came out, then promptly forgot about it. Too many patterns, not enough time....

frayedattheedge said...

I like the hat! One of my favourite pork chop recipes is - very finely slice onions. Slice one orange and squeeze the juice from another. Brown the chops and put them in a casserole dish, put the onions and orange slices on top and pour the juice over, Add salt and pepper to taste. Cook in a medium oven until the chops are tnder.

mrsfife said...

I preferred Cambridge to Oxford as well. Oxford seemed more industrial, less of a university-only town. But then we visited Cambridge in July and Oxford in October, so perhaps that had something to do with it?

Mary Lou said...

I get lots of pork from a local pork farmer, so I appreciate all these ideas. And my garden is under several feet of snow, so I am not even dreaming of gardening right now!

Janet said...

You have me searching to find my black and white photos of Cambridge. We tended to stop there enroute to and from Ipswich when one of our sons lived in that part of the world.

Ms. Yingling said...

Thank you for posting these lovely pictures! It is bitterly cold and we've had snow on the ground forever in Ohio, US. It was nice to be able to take a little "trip" to Cambridge.