Before the arrival of the Small People in our lives, the other half and I lived in the wilds of West Wales with no neighbours just over a mile from the lovely village of Llangadog. I have lost count of the Sunday mornings we spent in bed reading the papers; drinking coffee and eating croissants. Just managing to drag ourselves to the pub for Sunday lunch and a glass or three of red; before a walk home and an afternoon snooze in front of the fire. Bliss!
Sunday’s have a very different beat now. Like all our days they are rammed with the juggles of life; work; new business and two small children. So this week we planned a very quiet Sunday where we would have an early visit to the park; followed by a roast lunch; then deliver the other half to the train station as she is working in London for the next few days; I would be home alone with the Small People who I had planned to bathe and get to bed early leaving me with a glass or three of wine and a re visit to my favourite Scandi Drama box set. Bliss!
I came home from work on Friday armed with a loin of pork; apples; red cabbage; celeriac; sprouts; carrots and greens ready for our Sunday roast. The best laid plans and all that! Breakfast was made and cleared; the veg prepped; the pork was scored and ready to go when I remembered we were having our annual delivery of logs at 1230 which means it’s all hands on deck to empty the delivery from the trailer into the front garden and then take them through the house and into the cellar for storage. Our lovely neighbours arrange this and they get their delivery at the same time so we all pitch in together. On top of this the trains were not leaving Swansea today due to line works and if I didn’t take the other half to the next station 10 miles away – the bus that the train service were using would add 45 minutes to her already long journey. Sunday had just become manic again. Worse than that we wouldn’t have time to make and eat the roast without putting pressure on ourselves. So my beautiful loin of piggy was sent to a frozen sleep with the promise of being eaten in the week. The carrots and potatoes got covered in water; the sprouts and greens were bagged and returned to the fridge leaving me with the celeriac which could only mean one thing – soup!!
Pour a glug of oil and a good knob of butter into a saucepan and add a chopped onion; two sticks of chopped celery. Follow with the celeriac (cubed or sliced) and then add a chopped potato. I added a few thyme leaves from the plant I have growing on the windowsill but it’s not necessary. Now usually I add two apples – peeled; cored and chopped but today I found half a small pumpkin in the fridge so peeled and chopped that and added it for sweetness. Let the vegetables sweat together for a few minutes then cover in stock. Bouillon or a gel pot or cube or whatever you use is fine here but if you do happen to have fresh stock – in it pops! Bring to the boil and simmer until the veg is tender. Blend – adding more water; or stock to achieve the consistency you like. Taste and season. I like to add a drop or two of milk at this point. Job done!
The Small people like a bowl or mugful topped with a spoonful of greek yoghurt accompanied with toast soldiers and grated cheese. Other toppings can include bacon and walnuts, a spoonful of walnut pesto or as we had yoghurt and toasted cashews – whatever tickles your fancy.
So even though there was a change of play – Sunday wasn’t so bad after all. The logs are in (always a delight for me it’s like a primitive feeling I get knowing that I can keep the clan warm); there’s a big pan of soup (same primitive feeling but about feeding the clan!); the other half was on time for her train; the Small People are in bed; so it’s just me; a fire; a glass of wine and Sarah Lund. Bliss!