Times they are a-changin’ around here, last Sunday being a case in point. Daughter was off at first light to help ease new life into the world and do the necessary with newly born lambs and Son was off to his second shift at Homebase in the afternoon.
Arriving home from a friend’s at 11.00am following a night out, S took a shower while I prepared some lunch. No, not a full roast, that was to come later. So, by 12.45pm, with the dishwasher churning away, my work here was done. Now what? Suddenly, and without warning, I came over all Nigella-ish and decided I’d have a baking session, the urge having lain dormant for quite some time.
Husband can’t resist foraging while dog walking and I well remember ungratefully grunting to myself, “Not more” when yet another load of blackberries was happily offered forth. Then someone he worked with sent a load of cooking apples. What’s a girl to do but cook and shove in freezer? And then there were all the pears, also lightly poached and shoved in freezer. Heck, I didn’t want to create at that time and these things can’t be forced when one’s not in the mood.
Truth be told, didn’t want to offer Husband too much encouragement in case his scavenging reached new heights as I feared just a word too far might tip him over into proudly presenting me with roadkill – fruit’s one thing, anything else quite another!
Anyway, in perusing freezer contents, discover blackberry and apple. Removed and carried to kitchen. Casting off the final remnants of resistance, I decided to vent my domesticity on the creation of a crumble. And so it came to pass, complete with crunchy topping aided by a light sprinkling of demerara sugar prior to cooking.
Glory be, now what? The urge remained so I moved on to the production of a chocolate cake and magnificent it looked too. Then prepared veg for roast dinner to follow later. Actually, I was thoroughly enjoying myself; the house was rich with the aroma of home baking and I was fleetingly transported back in time to Sundays when Dad would enjoy what he called a “luxury tea” which translated into several types of homebaked cakes to choose from and, in Paddington Bear fashion, a marmalade sandwich.
All that done, and it was only 3.00pm.
Husband needed a lie down following my shock announcement that I’m about to mow the lawns for the first time this year and could he please get the machine out? Please understand, lawn mowing hasn’t been my job, hence the shock.
It was beautifully warm and I delighted in the smell of the freshly mown grass. I felt truly happy, walking up and down with the mower, Nature’s beauty all around me. Have you noticed how the garden immediately looks wonderful following a good trim? Alf (Spaniel) lay on the mown bit, soaking up the sun; yes, it really is a dog’s life.
Son and Daughter arrived home within minutes of each other at about 5.15pm, both excitedly talking about the experiences of their interaction with the wider world. Son’s amazed by his first customer of the day at Homebase, a man who collects shovels and who is obsessed with the handle length of said items. Daughter’s completed her first day’s lambing and I try not to interrogate too fiercely – well, I do like details.
They both mention that “something smells nice” and, as their eyes alight upon gastronomic creations in the kitchen and see the freshly manicured lawn, they announce that I clearly have too much time on my hands! Shock, horror, probe – have I really been so negligent on the domestic front that the appearance of homebaked specials draws such a response? Actually, they’re right and I do have more time on my hands as taxi runs and general ‘clucking’ have markedly reduced.
And they even thought the roast potatoes were the best ever!
Move over, Nigella and Charlie (Dimmock), there’s a new kid on the block.