Thursday, April 05, 2012

All about England and other stuff..........

My friend, Kathryn - aka The Bookworm has had a brilliant idea, so this first part of my post today is for all my British  (not just the English ones!) friends. She has started a series called This England to delve into all the wonderful British things we can come up with, because this year, 2012, is the year of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, and also the year that London hosts the Olympics. So there will be a great deal of UK coverage on TV all over the world, and in our own way, we would like to show everyone bits of England -our way of life, traditions, countryside - anything which springs to mind. She chose the title from Shakespeare's Richard II:

This royal throne of kings, this scepter'd isle, 
This earth of majesty, this seat of Mars,
This other Eden, demi-paradise,
This fortress built by Nature for herself
Against infection and the hand of war, 
This happy breed of men, this little world,
This precious stone set in the silver sea,
Which serves it in the office of a wall, 
Or as a moat defensive to a house,
Against the envy of less happier lands, 
This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England.

Every Saturday, she will be adding a post, and anyone can join in at any time. Just pop your post onto Mr Linky on her blog and away we go. It will be great to see what everyone comes up with!

And I have a day to come up with something interesting. Hmmm.

My friends are coming here for Easter Sunday lunch. Jean, Peter, Glynis and Kate, P &G's daughter. That will be great. I have plans to cook the leg of lamb in the slow cooker, people, so does anyone know how I can chop the leg down to fit in there? Apart from using Jean's axe or my scroll saw, of course. I have visions of CSI type people one day examining the blades and seeing traces of bone. I could be losing the plot.

Never having chopped any form of bone before, I am clueless. I do know that it doesn't bend. I also know that I will probably be up at 4am to stick the slow cooker on. Jean and I are on church coffee duty, so lunch will not be early. I have instructed all guests to have a large and late breakfast.

So today, I ventured out, after aquazumba, to the supermarket(s) in search of anything else I needed for the lunch. The world also ventured out today ahead of the long weekend. I should have realised that. With children in tow. Many children. It is the school holiday season around here at the moment. I left the list at home, so, after negotiating my way through 2 huge supermarkets, I arrived back home to find that I had forgotten most of what was on the list. Sigh. I still managed to bring home 4 shopping bags though. Full ones. And the slow cooker roast lamb can have an altered selection of fancy spices. I am adaptable. Has anyone ever put a leg of lamb in a slow cooker? Please share recipes and any and all tips, people. This will be a first for me, always supposing I can get the lid to shut with the lamb inside and not sticking out.

A hacksaw?

So, I sort of gazed ahead at the next few days. This is something I have not done for ages, because I do one day at a time, you see, and 3 days ahead is a LONG way for me. But there is a house to be cleaned, services to go to, cupcakes and Easter nests to make for church, and then the guests to take care of. I need a plan.

Instead of making the plan, I am sitting here, still in my coat, talking to all of you. I do like a simple life, and chatting is always good. Weather report - grey and cold but the rain has departed. And my seedlings are doing just fine. I bought 2 bunches of daffodils at supermarket #1, then forgot about them and bought 2 bunches of daffodils at supermarket #2. My house is overflowing with daffodils, because I also forgot that I had bought a double bunch 2 days ago. The memory? Groan. But it will definitely look Spring-like for Easter. I can tick the "Flowers" box on the mythical list, can't I? Hah.

Tomorrow is Good Friday - hot cross buns for breakfast and fish for supper. I always do fish for supper on Good Friday. Do you? It is a tradition for me. And so is the lamb on Easter Sunday. Tomorrow is also Passover or Pesach. The story of the Exodus from Egypt is as important to the Jewish community as it is to Christians. I grew up in a neighbourhood with many Jewish families, and we all celebrated with each other. As kids, we loves matzohs and our friends loved hot cross buns. We learnt in day to day lives, not from books, how our different religions celebrated, and it was a wonderful way to learn. Jesus celebrated Passover - I wonder why we don't any more? Some things should never have stopped.

When I was a child, on Good Friday, all normal radio programmes (there was no TV then) stopped, and all that was broadcast was sombre music. Bach type music. All day. No shops were open at all. It was a dark day, in my memories. You know, I cannot understand how Good Friday became a token Bank Holiday. The banks may close, and the post office and some businesses, but every shop will be open here. Not in Europe so much. Most things close, I think. Especially in Catholic areas.

I have rambled on enough. I am procrastinating. Maybe I will go and start the cleaning. I am going to make an apron with many large pockets to house all my cleaning gear and then I do not have to carry it anywhere. Now where did that come from?? Maybe I need to go and lie down and listen to a relaxation tape........


Vee said...

The history bit? I like it. Whenever I read at Barbara's...Ramblings... I must Google. I spend an hour reading after every post.

Leg of Lamb? We don't care for lamb, but I'd de-bone it. There have got to be ways. Now I'll probably wind up Googling again just because I'm so stupidly curious. Is that an oxymoron?

I must go out and work in the yard, I've cleaned up the entire neighborhood, now to clean up my own patch. I just finished steaming floors. Everything smells so fresh and clean. It's on to the upholstery next. Wishing you well with all of your plans. Let's pace ourselves, shall we?

A blessed Easter to you!

Lu said...

We are also having family visit and eating lamb, not a whole leg though. I love it in the slow cooker. My usual method is to grind some dried rosemary to powder sprinkle over the meat which I have place with a small amount of oil in a frying pan just to seal it before placing into slow cooker.
While typing the about my husband who has not seen your blog, walked past and said we could put the joint I have bought into the freezer, and get a larger one as it might not be large enough, looks as if I may have the same problem as you

MelD said...

Actually, shops are more likely to be open in Catholic areas, as Good Friday is more important to the Protestants...