Thursday, 19 June 2014

Feeling thankful - #100happydays

Day 3 #100happydays

Today I am feeling thankful that our prehistoric dinosaur of a lawnmower still works.  It is over 30 years old and it is getting incredibly difficult to source parts for it when it has a breakdown.  We were lucky this year that my husband was able to find substitute parts to fix it. In the future we may not be so lucky.

To replace this beast will require a lot of money - somewhere in the region of NOK 50K .  So, as you can imagine, we'd rather not be burdened with that expense any time soon.

To cut the lawn (tamed meadow) takes over 2 hours, so this isn't a luxury garden toy, but an essential one. Here's hoping we have have a couple more, trouble free years of grass cutting.

My favourite summer salad.

Day 2 #100happydays

I posted about my love of Broccoli Salad as part of the 100 Happy Days Challenge here.

 I discovered the idea of the salad via a friend a few years ago and decided to give it a go.  The recipe I used was this one: Fresh Broccoli Salad.  To say it was a success for the guests I had visiting at the time was an underestimate.  Everyone enjoyed it.  For me, it was the perfect way to eat broccoli during the warmer months without having to steam or stir-fry the vegetable.

So fast forward a couple of years to now and this is a photo of the salad I took to a BBQ yesterday.
I've amended the recipe to reflect that we don't eat red meat, so the bacon has gone.  Instead, I added some sunflower seeds to add a bit more crunch.  I've also tweaked the dressing because our taste buds prefer something that isn't so sweet.  So here is my recipe:


2 Heads of broccoli, cut into bite-sized florets 
1 onion (red or white), finely chopped
50g/2oz Raisins
50g/2oz Sliced almonds
50g/2oz Sunflower seeds
1 cup Mayonnaise (I used lower fat variety)
3 tbsp White wine vinegar
3-4tsp sugar.

Cut up broccoli into bite sized florets and finely chop the onion then mix in a bowl with the raisins, nuts and seeds.
In a separate bowl or jug, mix together the mayonnaise, vinegar and sugar until smooth.  Then add dressing to the dry ingredients and stir in. Chill in the fridge until needed - it will keep for 4-5 days.

*Before pouring the dressing over the ingredients, taste to see if the dressing is to your taste.  If it isn't sweet enough, just add and taste with each teaspoon of additional sugar until you find what works for you.  

As a child, I hated all foods that were green in colour apart from cucumber. Now as a mature adult, I can eat this everyday during the summer.  I'm sure as a child I would never have believed I would eat such a thing as broccoli.  There is hope for my son... :-)

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

A challenge

Joanne, a friend of mine recently completed the #100HappyDays challenge. I read most of her posts, as she documented each day and I must admit I looked forward to seeing what she photographed and talked about.  So, when the challenge finished, I admit to missing the daily anecdotes and pictures.  So, to fill the void Joanne's #100HappyDays has left, I've decided to take up the batten myself and begin my own journey of discovery.

The question: Can I be happy for 100 consecutive days?  Hmm, I'm not sure, but I am going to give this a try.  I'm not a card wearing member of the "grinning Cheshire cat society," nor am I miserable.  If nothing else, I hope that this is an exercise in appreciating what we have and not taking things for granted.  The geek that I am has already figured out that this challenge will be finished on 25th September and it seems such a long way away.  This isn't about wishing my life away, but what life lessons can be learned.

Day 1 #100happydays

This arrived in the post today, my husband's PhD certificate... much work to achieve, but I am very proud of his accomplishment.

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

It's that time of year again.  The poppy plant in the garden is flowering again.  Nothing unusual about that, except this year the first flower began opening on 30th May.  I can't remember a flower before June before (at least in the Summer).

This photo was taken just as Oskar was leaving for school this morning .  The background story as to why I take photos of Oskar and the poppy is here.