Monday, April 30, 2018

Bouquets, Victoria and Abdul, Paddington 2, Skin Cancer Procedure,

Sunday morning on GMA they were talking about THE wedding and flowers etc. and I suddenly thought "why do women carry bouquets". I Googled and according to legend, during the 15th century, people took their yearly baths in May and would generally get married in June. Just to be safe, brides carried bouquets to mask the smell of body odor. ... Another old and popular custom for carrying a bouquet, was to ward off evil spirits. I know the tradition of the white wedding dress started with Queen Victoria. 

Talking of Victoria, we watched Victoria and Abdul the other day. What an interesting story - I Googled again and apparently the royal household endeavoured to remove all trace of the relationship once Victoria died and it wasn't until 100 years later that the story surfaced. Things have changed mightily, but I can imagine how horrified they were at the time. Not only was Abdul supposed to be a servant, but he was 'dark skinned' too. They were pretty upset about her relationship with John Brown, but at least he was a white man. It seems Queen Victoria was ahead of her time. I might say Judi Dench is absolutely marvellous as Queen Victoria, both in Mrs. Brown and Victoria and Abdul. Much to my surprise, Matt watched it right through and didn't disappear to bed half way through.

I got my copy of Paddington 2 on Friday. Haven't yet had a chance to watch it. But if it is as good as the first movie I will enjoy it.

No, I'm not back in full swing yet. Matt has a skin cancer procedure on Thursday so that will take up some of my time. He has had to stop taking his blood thinners for a few days which always makes me feel nervous. 

Still no sign of asparagus yet. I am suffering I tell you, suffering!!!

I am not familiar with farro although it seems to be cropping up in a lot of recipes lately. This one looked particularly appealing.

Spring Vegetable Grain Bowl

This dish is all about clean flavors and distinct textures. Farro provides satisfying chew, while the raw shaved veggies soften slightly in the vinaigrette to become perfectly crisp-tender. To blanch the peas, cook in boiling water for 1 minute or until crisp-tender, then dunk in an ice bath for 1 minute to stop
the cooking. A mandoline or vegetable peeler makes quick work of thinly slicing vegetables.

1 1/2 cups uncooked farro
3 cups water
1 1/4 tsp kosher salt, divided
2 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tbs sherry vinegar or white wine vinegar
1/2 cup roughly chopped beet greens or arugula
1/4 cup blanched English peas
2 baby carrots, thinly sliced
1 green onion, thinly sliced
1 celery stalk, thinly sliced
1 small red beet, peeled and thinly sliced
2 oz goat cheese, crumbled (about 1/2 cup)
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

1. Combine farro, 3 cups water, and 3/4 teaspoon salt in a small saucepan over medium-low; cook, covered, 25 minutes or until farro becomes tender. Place farro in a strainer; drain well.

2. Place hot farro in a large bowl. Add remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, oil, vinegar, greens, peas, carrots, onion, celery, and beet; stir gently to combine. Top evenly with cheese and parsley

Servings: 5

Source: Cooking Light

Have a great day


  1. I've yet to see the Victoria movie and just saw Paddington show up in my feed. Think I'll borrow it from the library. I enjoyed the first one. I had farro with a Blue Apron meal and really enjoyed it. Even made it for one of my family dinners.
    I saw asparagus in the store and wondered where they are importing it from. And I thought of you.

    1. I got both movies from the library Denise. Paddington I bought. I have just been told by the author's daughter to be sure to watch it to the very end as there is a lovely scene during the credits.

      That is an advantage of using Blue Apron.

      Probably from Texas or even Mexico. Supposed to get a sunny week so fingers crossed those little green spears will appear.

  2. Hope everything goes well on Thursday.
    I'm beyond grateful for daily baths.

    1. Thanks Alex. Yes can you imagine what they must have smelled like?

  3. Hi Jo - I haven't seen the movie yet ... but have seen Judi and 'Abdul' talk together about making the film .. he was exceedingly helpful to her ... as she is struggling with macular degeneration. Amazing actress ... we've had some asparagus from the garden - which is good ...

    Hope Matt's tests are ok and you don't have too difficult a week - cheers for now - Hilary

    1. Yes, I knew about the macular degeneration - so sad for her as an actress. She still does a fantastic job.

      I am green with envy. No fresh asparagus here yet.

      Not tests, his cancer, on his face, is being excised.

  4. I love the sound of that recipe Jo although I have only just heard of farro in another recipe I was reading today - small world.
    I hope Matt does well on Thursday - my father in law went through that procedure a few times and was fine.
    I loved Judi in Mrs Brown and heard about this story - must watch out for it coming up soon.
    We'll be heading to Germany at the end of the month right in the middle of 'spargel' season - we save all our asparagus eating until then and look forward to it immensely:)
    All the best for now - Fil

    1. I have yet to try farro Fil. This is Matt's fourth procedure. If only we'd known when we were youngsters what could happen from the sun.

      I think Judi Dench is great and she did a great job in Victoria and Abdul.

      I am assuming you mean white asparagus in Germany? I have friends who will only eat the white and as we don't see it here much, they don't get to eat it at all. I tried the white once and didn't think much of it, but then I understand sauce is imperative. Have a great trip when you go.

  5. I watched Victoria and Abdul. It was a really good movie. She was very open minded for her time.

    I hope the sun shines bright and you can get yourself some asparagus soon. Tell Matt good luck!

    1. Ii thought the same Liz, incredible how prejudiced they were, a servant and coloured, the horrors.

      The sun has been doing its best so maybe at the end of the week. I will, thanks

  6. I love Judy Dench in everything.I love Helen Mirren too. The English certainly know how to perform.

    1. Do you get the old programme As Time Goes By? That was a Judi Dench comedy series and absolutely hilarious. Only ever seen Helen Mirren once and yes, she was very good. We have a very good training ground for aspiring actors.