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Thursday, 7 January 2016

PRAWNS WITH A LITTLE TOUCH OF SPICE

Good Morning to you,

Tuesday morning arrived and I wondered, 

Should I?

or

Shouldn't I?


Should I or shouldn't I what?

Well I shall tell you.

On Tuesday, I made my usual morning cup of coffee and George's morning cup of tea, then the next thing I did, was to switch on the radio and listen to the traffic and weather reports. I was not surprised to hear that there were traffic hold ups on the motorway and local roads. Cars were travelling bumper to bumper, well not travelling so much as standing still. Added to that, there was a weather warning in place.

I have to tell you, we have been experiencing some dreadful weather of late. The skies have been grey and the rain has poured from the skies for what seems like days on end.... the rain has been relentless.

So, I was not sure if I should brave the elements and drive to the first meeting of my sewing group or should I stay at home, where I was warm and cosy.

What to do?

I so wanted to go. I wanted to see my friends again after our four week Christmas break. I wanted to catch up with everyone's news.... and of course there was the sewing to catch up on, which I have to say, on the first day, is always secondary to the catching up of news.

I checked my phone, to see if I had received any messages, but not one of my friends had text to say they weren't going.

So what to do?

I decided to get ready, then make a decision. I told George, who did not want me to drive, but he could see how much I wanted to, so instead of trying to put me off, he gave me a pep talk about driving in hazardous conditions and the do's and don'ts of braking in wet weather. He told me to make sure I had my mobile phone with me, just in case of an emergency. Now you may find it strange that George needed to remind me to take my mobile with me, but I have to tell you, I am terrible, I always forget to take my mobile. I am notorious amongst my friends for answering texts a week after they have been sent.  If it's something important you want me to know, then it is always best to ring the house.

So I got myself ready. I looked out of the window, to see, the heavens were still full of rain. The rain fell so harshly, that each raindrop that fell, bounced off the pavement.... but I made my decision, the pull of a morning full of fun and chatter was too much for me to ignore, I really did not want to miss it.

Yes I was going to drive.  

I put my hat on my head, with not an inch of hair peeping through.... don't you find hats always play havoc with the 'hairdo'. Often, when I remove my hat, I am surprised at how my hair style has changed during the period the hat has been on my head.... hey ho, the delights of wearing a hat. Next, I put on my boots, my scarf, my waterproof coat and gloves. I then picked up my sewing bag.... and yes my mobile phone and I was ready to go.... I looked like Nanook of the North.

The journey was slow, and yes it was not the best driving conditions, but I decided it was better to arrive late than not at all. When I finally arrived, I parked in the car park and by the time I returned to the car to display my parking ticket, I was soaked.  I still had a little walk to reach the church.  I tried putting up my umbrella, but it was too windy, so I put my head down and practically jogged to the church.... I was so glad of the hat.

When I walked through the door, I was welcomed with a huge smile from Olive, who said she had missed me over the Christmas.... wasn't that lovely of her to say. We hugged each other and wished each other a Happy New Year.

Olive is a lovely lady, who at the age of 87 years, still makes quilts and bags for family and friends. She produces some wonderful work and donates a lot of it to charity. You can always depend on Olive if there is something you want to know, as she is always at the fore when it comes to useful hints and tips about patchwork. I said I was so surprised to see her, as the weather was so awful and she said, with a smile on her face, that it would take much more than a drop of rain to stop her coming to the sewing group.  

Slowly but surely, each friend arrived and with each friend, the noise level grew louder and louder, as we were all so pleased to see each other.  Even the sound of the choir practising in the next room could not drown out our excitement.

Everyone agreed that we had all made the right decision to battle the elements to return to our Tuesday routine.

I spent a lovely morning with my friends and when I returned home I felt rejuvenated.  I was so happy that I had decided to brave the elements to meet up with my friends.

Was it sensible to drive in such bad weather conditions, probably not, but was it worth it, oh most definitely.

Now today's recipe does not take much effort, and once made, I feel sure you will make it over and over again.



Prawns with a little touch of spice, is a recipe which is simple and after all the Christmas preparations this is certainly the type of meal we want to make.  

When Christmas has come and gone, do you find, when you re-organise your fridge, you find bits and bobs, which were not consumed during the Christmas festivities.  I discovered I had a couple of packets of cooked prawns, which we had intended using on New Year's Eve, but for one reason or another, were not eaten, but  left in the fridge. I could not freeze them as they had already been frozen, so I decided to make this spicy sauce, which incidentally, I use quite a lot during the winter months.

So it's on with the pinnie and today, I am not playing music, instead I am listening to,



Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. I love audio books and whether I am cooking or sewing, I can so easily become immersed in the story.  Now as you can see the book above has been well read, hence all the marks on the cover. The pages are quite brown with age, but afterall, it is an old book, what does matter is the content.... and I love the content.

Let me tempt you.


Jayne Eyre
Chapter 1

'There was no possibility of taking a walk that day. We had been wandering, indeed, in the leafless shrubbery an hour in the morning; but since dinner (Mrs Reed, when there was no company, dined early) the cold winter wind had brought with it clouds so sombre, and a rain so penetrating, that further out-door exercise was now out of the question.'

.... but now, it really is time for me to organise my ingredients.


INGREDIENTS
YOU WILL NEED
TO MAKE
PRAWNS WITH A 
LITTLE TOUCH OF SPICE

375g large cooked prawns
1 medium sized onion
400g tinned tomatoes
2 cloves of garlic
1 teaspoon of sugar
1 teaspoon of dried chilli flakes
1 teaspoon of ground cumin
1 teaspoon of freshly grated ginger
1 pint of chicken stock
2 tablespoons of olive oil
handful of fresh coriander

HOW TO MAKE
PRAWNS WITH A
LITTLE TOUCH OF SPICE


Finely chop the onion.


Place the olive oil in a wide pan
and add the chopped onion.
Cook until golden in colour.


Crush the garlic
and add to the pan.


Grate the ginger
and add to the pan.


Add the dried cumin
and



dried chilli flakes
to the pan
and cook for a minute or so.


Add the chopped tomatoes
and



the sugar

and 
stir.


Add the chicken stock,
and stir to combine the ingredients.
Bring to the boil,
then reduce the heat.
Place a lid on the pan and
gently simmer for 
20 minutes or until the
sauce has thickened.


Add the cooked prawns
and cook until warmed through.


Remove from the heat
and
add a squeeze or two of lemon.
Then


season with salt and



pepper to taste.


Sprinkle with 
coriander
and
as
always,
please enjoy.

While the dish was coming together. I cooked some giant couscous, which I drained and seasoned. I then added finely grated lemon rind and some cubes of Feta cheese. I have to say, we really enjoyed this meal.

Take care and I will see you next Thursday.

This week I will be joining,

and


Until then,












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