Worries go down better with soup..

I love this old Jewish proverb..’ Worries go down better with soup.’

How comforting it is to feed and to be fed. From the moment we are born and laid in our mother’s arms we are programmed to fulfill our body’s need for nourishment, both physically and mentally.

As youngsters and teenagers we may have wondered why we had to spend many hours sitting around a dining table with our families, having to sit still, eat everything on our plates and wait patiently until everyone else had finished, including perhaps a tetchy great aunt who joined in on special occasions and dominated the conversation.

Sometimes we were made to eat things we didn’t like, only to develop an actual appreciation for them in later life ( I’m thinking mashed suede) and sometimes we can never smell the distinct aroma of overcooked greens without being transported back to our grandmother’s house! And sometimes we look back on some of the delicacies we were served, with total wistfulness. My Devonshire grandfather would upend a freshly baked loaf of bread, spread it with the best butter and slice it so thinly it looked like lace laid on a china plate. It was ambrosial. My Cornish grandmother made the best porridge and served it with lashings of clotted cream and  brown sugar. No matter how I try, I can’t replicate either of these two. Maybe that’s how it should be – a delicious memory.

Perhaps when we are grown up we look back on those occasions with nostalgia and realise how they shaped our daily lives; the sometimes unruly banter served up with the Sunday lunch, or the rather tuneless version of Happy Birthday that accompanied the arrival of a home-made birthday cake. Even the ordinary days when we sat worrying about homework and looming exams were bolstered by a good supper before we dragged our feet upstairs to study.

As a Cornish girl I could ramble on and on about the the food I was lucky enough to eat growing up. Considering rationing had only just finished when I was born, my mother and grandmother’s larders showed no sign of scarcity. But perhaps they made the very best of what was on offer, and took advantage of the locally farmed produce too. Most of all, my grandmother loved nothing better than to entertain and I can still picture her dining table already laid for supper when most of us were still replete from a more than ample lunch.

But we all have different memories, different likes and dislikes. We may all embrace different diets but one thing is for sure, there are times when it’s good to share food with family and friends both old and new wherever you are.

And on those days when life appears a bit dismal, what could be more comforting than an arm around the shoulder and a lovingly prepared piece of chocolate cake?

I remember an occasion when I was about six years old and upset about something that had happened at school. My Godmother came to fetch me on her scooter, placed me on the back and told me to hold on tight. She took me to a cafe and ordered hot buttered toast and tea. I was soon smiling again.

This blog has turned a bit more ‘foodie’ than I intended, but maybe that’s a good thing. I cannot finish without mentioning a bit more about my mother who is no longer with me. Whenever we arrived back from a holiday there would be an egg and bacon pie waiting on our kitchen table, and a light and fluffy Victoria sandwich bursting with jam. There would be a little note with a funny drawing on it and the words ‘yum yum.’ Thanks Mum.

‘If you really want to make a friend, go to someones’s house and eat with them…the people who give you their food give you their heart.’  Cesar Chave

           Blessings to you.

     Ella’s  Vegan Chocolate Cake    (delicious..I have the recipe..)

Cake

Bluebells and Dreams

 

Whenever times get a bit challenging it’s good to get out and commune with nature. No matter what the weather, there is always something new to see this time of year;  new buds unfurling a little more each day on the horse-chestnut tree, in turn to grow into the tall white ‘candles’ that grace the tree in early summer; the rooks having a good time preparing their nests high in the lofty trees, anticipating the warmer days ahead.

 Have you ever noticed that the earliest Spring flowers are either white or yellow? Snowdrops, Celandine, Primrose, Anemone, Daffodil – all are golden or white. As Spring advances, the blue flowers follow in her footsteps. Violets take the place of Snowdrops and Primroses give way to sheets of Bluebells.

The country side around us here in Buckinghamshire is always spectacular but I particularly love this time of the year. But I do need to allow extra times for my journeys for I cannot pass the woods without stopping, finding my way in and walking through the damp earth (always with the wrong shoes on) to admire the scene. Here I see a wonderful carpet of Bluebells beneath my feet and inhale their delicate scent. Sometimes I take out my camera and take more pictures to add to my ever-increasing portfolio; usually I cannot resist, but sometimes it’s good just to be still.

 

Bluebells

The Bluebell wood is truly a magical place. I imagine little furry creatures leaving their winter quarters and creeping out to sniff the warm breeze. Nature’s children waking up to joyfully prepare for the joys and labours of Spring and Summer.

This is a place to reconnect with our roots and a place to dream….

Garden of Dreams

Once I dreamed I was in a magical wood;
A carpet of Bluebells where I stood.
The nightingale sang to the velvet night
And set a myriad of stars alight.
And the lofty trees bent their branches low
To fold me in their arms below,
In that peaceful land of sleep.

And alone amidst those scented flowers,
I felt the peace of the night-time hours
Settle around me like the softest cloth;
A tapestry woven with the spirit of love.
And I tumbled through a mystic land
Until daylight led me by the hand
Back from that peaceful land of sleep.

© Lyn Halvorsen

 

Blessings to you.

To me you are the world’s best bear..

I’m getting on a bit but the older I get the more I feel the importance of reconnecting with childish things. As I sit and watch the occasional children’s programme with my grandchildren I see the world through their eyes. The colours are brighter, you can say what you really feel, and all things are possible; even magic!

Recently I watched a programme about antiques. Here they featured a pair of elderly teddy bears. One was a similar age to my own dearly loved bear –  but this bear had glass eyes;  a good sign apparently, and had felt soles on the feet, also a good sign. The difference however, was that this bear was up for auction (no!!) and was in tip top condition because he had never been played with! What!? Who wants a bear in pristine condition? (Well someone did as they paid a thousand pounds for him, but that’s not the point.)

Part of a bear’s charm is surely found in his threadbare appearance, a sure sign he has been dragged up through the years; sometimes cuddled to within an inch of his life, taken to play-group, dressed up and wheeled about, sometimes abandoned through teenage years but always on standby to be picked up and cried on during broken romances etc.  He was always loved.

Here’s a poem about my own bear. (Who will never be sold.)teds

My faithful friend you look quite worn
You’ve been around since I was born.
Rough and tumble through the years
Has left you with some tatty ears.
Your beady eyes don’t quite match,
Your tummy has a threadbare patch.
I’m afraid your growl sounds rather weak-
Really just a timid squeak.
I often think if you were willing
I’d treat you to some brand new filling.
I would stitch up all your gaping seams
And comb your fur until it gleams.
But what’s a bit of wear and tear?
To me you are the worlds best bear.

  Lyn Halvorsen