Monday, February 23, 2009

Spring Flowers, The Lace Reader,

Paragraph removed by author. Apparently the Crocus blossoms are beginning to poke through in England, they couldn't here, too much snow. Something I have never seen here are Snowdrops, now those we do see, in England, poking their heads through the snow. They are the most delicate little flowers and a joy to see in the late winter/early spring. I do love spring flowers, they are always so pretty and fragile giving promise of the summer to come. Unfortunately we won't be seeing daffodils and suchlike for a while yet. Its at times like these when I wish I had a yard/garden with lovely flowers in it. In North Carolina we had lots of gorgeous daffodils and also lots of azaleas of all colours which used to look very beautiful for a few weeks. Such a short life and yet they are a blaze of colour in season. There is a town called Wilmington in NC where they have an azalea festival every spring and the whole area is blanketed in beautiful flowers. There is also Orton Plantation outside Wilmington where they have the most fantastic show of flowers for the better part of the year including, of course, lots and lots of azaleas. Yesterday I finished The Lace Reader a novel by Brunonia Barry. Absolutely fascinating story full of twists and turns, secrets and mystery. It is set in Salem with a background of modern day witches and Lace Readers. I can highly recommend it, an unusual story, but good. My geography isn't very good obviously, I had never realised Salem was on the coast and that once it was the centre of a thriving shipping business. There are references to the hounding of witches in earlier times, of course, which gives an added flavour to the book but the story isn't really anything to do with witches. I found the book on the latest list from my library, they send an email every so often and I am so glad I decided to try it. My next book will be a novel by Jennifer Fallon. It is called Medalon and is part of the Hythrun Chronicles. I read a trilogy of hers which I very much enjoyed - it was called The Tide Lords. Slumdog Millionaire did it again. Saturday night, we had a Portuguese pork stew which was very good. We had some pork which I considered fit for stewing, certainly not for grilling, and so Matt turned it into a stew. Sunday I spent making Tourtières and I will give you the recipe tomorrow. Rojoes Cominho Braised Pork with Cumin, Coriander and Lemon Time Life Foods of the World Serves 4 2 lb. boneless pork, cut into 1 inch cubes 1/2 oz of olive oil and butter mixed 1/4 pint (UK 5 fl. oz) dry white wine 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin seed 1/2 tsp finely chopped garlic 1 tsp salt Freshly ground black pepper 5 thin lemon slices, quartered 2 Tbs finely chopped fresh coriander Pat the pork cubes thoroughly dry with kitchen paper. Heat the butter and oil in a large, heavy frying pan over a high heat until it splutters. Add the pork cubes and brown them, turning frequently with a wooden spoon and regulating the heat so that they brown quickly and evenly without burning. Stir in 6 Tbs of wine, the cumin, garlic, salt and a liberal grinding of pepper. Bring go the boil, then cover the pan, reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 25 mins until the pork is tender and shows no resistance when pierced with the tip of a small, sharp knife. Add the remaining wine and the lemon slices and cook over a high heat, turning the meat and lemon pieces constantly, until the sauce thickens very slightly. Stir in the coriander and taste for seasoning. Have a great day.


  1. Jo -- No spring flowers here in Paris either ...

    I think your recipe will be good for rabbit too.

  2. We don't see a lot of rabbit here, although went to a local restaurant once and Matt chose rabbit which he said was the best he had ever eaten.