I know a lot of things! My brain is full of information learnt and stored….but then it disappears into the deep, twisting chasms of the mind. I’m not just talking about those moments of memory lapse, when you walk into a room and cannot remember why, but those truths you want to live your life by, because they make you happy, somehow slipping out of focus and falling by the wayside. Then, BAM! An experience happens and this truth hits you full on in the face, and you think “how did I forget that?”
At the weekend, I was privileged to volunteer for a charity People in Motion, who raise money and gather items needed for displaced people all over the world. As part of the volunteer day, I packed Winter Care packs with items such as gloves, matches, chocolate, throat lozenges and vapour rub. Then I moved onto measuring out spices as part of a spice bag, given out for adding flavour to simple dishes of rice or soups.
It doesn’t sound like anything fancy or even heroic, but there is something wonderful about working with a group of people, all feverishly focused on a specific task to lighten the load of someone else’s troubles….even if it’s only by a fraction.
There is a unique feeling of happiness and fulfilment when putting yourself out there for the good of someone else. That is the truth I had forgotten…and I was so glad to be reminded of it.
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Sun streams through the window, marshmallow clouds gently flow through a faultless, blue sky as little hands gently and seamlessly press out symbols of love from the cushion soft dough. The sweet, warming aroma of ginger floats from the oven, with the promise of something both delicious and satisfying soon to be enjoyed by all.
The anticipation becomes too much and little morsels of dough sneak into little mouths. Only moments after the scorching heat leaves the tender treats, warm pockets of delight fall into eager mouths and tiny tummies are content….for now!?
Ok….maybe this isn’t exactly how it happened…but we can pretend can’t we?
I love my weekly delivery of organic fruit & veg (plus a lot of other grocery items to choose from, if I so desire). One of the changes I have made to our family’s diet this year is to try and eat as much organic food as possible – which fits into our budget!
I chose to try out the veg box delivery scheme offered by Riverford thought the recommendation of a friend who has used them for years. The quality of the food is great, with the bonus of sometimes receiving fruit or veg that I have never heard of, which always arrive with handy recipe cards!
In a recent veg box I received some tomatillos, which look like a green tomato in a husk. They originate from Mexico and are a key ingredient in many Mexican dishes, one of the most popular dishes they appear in is a salsa verde. This is the dish that I made with the tomatillos, using the recipe card that came with my veg box….I substituted the red onion with spring onions as that is what I already had to hand.
- First I mixed the sliced onion with the juice and zest of 2 limes and a sprinkle of sugar and left it for 30 mins.
- In a food processor I whizzed the tomatillos with a red chilli.
- Then I mixed it in with the onion mixture, some minced garlic and chopped coriander.
Simple, easy and delicious!
I think years of working in education has made me into an extreme planner and organiser (I might be bigging myself up a bit there), but I do love a bit of planning – to motivate myself more than anything. I love getting to the end of the long summer holiday and looking back on all the fun and adventures we have had. The years are flying by with my children and one of the things I want to give to them are lots of happy memories, so they can look back on the golden years of childhood with fondness and maybe a hint of rose-tinted glasses.
We had rather a mighty list of activities to work our way through, managing all but 2! So I’m pretty impressed, especially as we did lots of other things that didn’t appear on our bucket list.
We have had fantastic weather this summer, which makes all the difference, meaning we could spend a lot of time out and about enjoying the great outdoors. We became National Trust members this year and it is worth every penny! We have visited so many beautiful houses, gardens and beaches and they are very family friendly.
I have really noticed how happy the children are when we are out in nature and it’s all free! We did a fun scavenger hunt and some foraging as part of the Stitch & Forage Guide which has lots of fun cost effective ideas for the summer.
My take home from this summer is definitely that you don’t need to spend a lot of money to build beautiful memories and have exciting adventures. I think my children had the best time when they were outside, climbing trees, inventing games and swinging in the hammock.