I had planned to start some intensive work on SKIL2 this week.
Aaaah … all the well laid plans …. sometimes come to nothing.
Did I think I’d just work throught the week and pop in for a cuppa tea with Derek and Lynda the night before they left?
Nada … silly me.
We had the Saturday party … a few hundred readers have enjoyed the photos … it was a blast.
Monday … Derek & Lynda came over for afternoon tea … and stayed for dinner until after midnight.
Tuesday … I enjoyed Obama’s speech … can we have a few leaders like that in Ireland? … please don’t get me started on the blatant greed … ineptitude and sheer stupidity of some of our so called business and political leaders.
Wednesday … I was feeling discombobulated and couldn’t put a name to the feelings.
I realized that while I had pragmatically, positively and realistically thought through Derek & Lynda leaving … I hadn’t really given myself some time to feel sad and pissed off … about change … about not having them 2 doors up … about missing the long & brilliant chats we have … about having 2 dear friends close by who really love me… and who I love and esteem … 2 friends who understand the mad person I am … 2 friends who I trust implicitly … 2 compadres
It doesn’t matter how positively you view change and the future … and I do … it’s important to acknowledge the loss of the known.
S0 … I let myself feel sad and ratty and irritable.
I was having Derek, Lynda, Mags & Brian over for dinner last night so I went about tidying the cottage and preparing the meal.
Just to show she empathised with my ratty mood … Coco pup kept messing up places as I cleaned them … walked muddy foot prints on clean floors … chewed a champagne cork she found on the floor … mauled a bone on the couch …
And I sounded like the last of the shrews and fish wives … nothing like a good old venting to clear away the emotional cobwebs.
I relaxed completely as I prepared the dinner … I adore cooking and tried a recipe I’d never used before … gourmet roasted vegetable lasagne ... individual garlic and herb breads … local icecream and rasberry sorbet … yum.
I got the fire blazing and rearranged all the furniture around it … cosy and welcoming as I intended us to all eat off our laps.
The food was lovely and the company was sparkling … I love love love our conversations and laughter … as the evening went on I had tears of laughter trailing my cheeks as I listened to Mags telling a story … and then we all got into fierce discussions … then more laughter … a few gasps of horror (Derek’s story of the killer on the Canadian bus … gross gross gross) … and before we knew it … 1.30am.
So much fun … and I slept like a baby until around noon today … was thinking of staying in bed just to reinforce all the teasing from the crew last night about how much I love lolling … amateurs!!! … they just don’t get the complexities & commitment required of a life long passion … and I do some great thinking when I’m lolling.
We’re out tonight in Priors and then tomorrow night at McGirls for final final final farewell drinks … and then I go to the train station with them on Saturday as they start their journey back to America.
I’m hibernating for a week and the only sightings of me will be on this blog or in my office … or taking Coco for her walks.
Here’s the recipe for the lasagne … it was really tasty and better than a meat one. Very very easy to make … just follow the instructions. The vegetables I used were … aubergine, sweet potato (kumara), red and yellow peppers (capsicum), mushrooms, zuchinni, garlic and onions … and I added dried mixed herbs to the recipe. The addition of tomato pesto to the tomato based sauce gave it a great kick … and the white sauce was remarkably easy to make and delicious with the grated parmesan (get a block and grate it for extra tastiness).
Roast Vegetable Lasagne Recipe
Roasted vegetables are layered with tender pasta and a creamy cheese sauce and finished with bubbly, melted cheese. This rich vegetarian dish is just as delicious when reheated.
950g mixed vegetables (we used pumpkin, sweet potato, zucchini, mushroom and eggplant)
40ml (2 tablespoons) oil
1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
2 tablespoons sundried tomato pesto
660g canned crushed tomatoes
About 100g fresh lasagne sheets
100g (1 cup, firmly packed) grated tasty cheddar cheese
Peel and slice vegetables and place in a large bowl. Season vegetables with salt and pepper, drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the oil and toss to coat with oil.
Note from Liz … I cut and oiled the sweet potato (and pumpkin if you have it) separately from the other vege and placed them in the baking tray.
Place pumpkin and sweet potato on a baking tray or dish and roast at 180 degrees Celsius for 10 minutes. Turn vegetables over and roast for a further 5-10 minutes. Add remaining vegetables and roast for about 15 minutes, until the vegetables are tender. (Turn the vegetables once during cooking.)
While vegetables are roasting, heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is soft (about 2-3 minutes). Add garlic and pesto (Liz note – I put in 3 or 4 good dollops of the pesto as it really adds flavour) and cook for another minute. Stir in crushed tomatoes. Reduce heat and simmer for approximately 10 minutes, until sauce has thickened. Remove from heat and stir in roasted vegetables.
Spoon half the vegetable mixture into 2.5 litre casserole dish. Top with a layer of lasagne sheets. Spread with half the cheese sauce. Repeat the layers, finishing with cheese sauce. Sprinkle with grated cheese. Bake at 180 degrees Celsius for about 35-40 minutes, until golden brown.
50g (1/3 cup) plain flour
625ml (2 1/2 cups) milk
44g (1/2 cup) grated parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
Salt and pepper
Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir flour into melted butter and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly. Gradually add milk, stirring constantly, until sauce is smooth. Continue cooking until sauce bubbles and thickens. Remove from heat and stir in parmesan cheese, nutmeg, salt and pepper. © http://www.exclusivelyfood.com.au
The garlic bread … I bought little baguettes and sliced them lengthwise … then spread a mix of butter and garlic on the bread … sprinkled with mixed herbs … placed in tray … put in oven about 10 to 15 minutes before serving … easy peasy.
The icecream and sorbet is made by a local producer and available in Supavalu … really tasty.
I’m now going to chill and read a book for a while then do a smidgen of work.
Hope your week is going well.