It is a bitterly cold day here with snow on the ground and a biting East wind blowing - a day that calls for good, warming comfort food.
Yesterday's Cream of Onion Soup was a great success and there was enough left for today. To make it, soften a heap of onions (I used all that we had left from our garden - maybe about a pound) in a bit of butter - add one chopped potato, then add half a pint of good stock, a pint of semi-skimmed milk and seasoning - bring to a simmer and pop in the bottom Aga oven for a couple of hours. Then liquidise. Result is bliss.
Today I flung browned sausages (Debbie and Andrew's Harrogate since you ask), parsnips, carrots, potatoes, peppers, tinned tomatoes, mushrooms, onions, lentils, herbs and seasoning into a casserole and popped it in the oven for an hour. Result delicious with little or no effort. Meanwhile I sat by the stove and began to compile the next - Grand Easter - cryptic quiz sheet for my friend, G, proceeds in aid of our local Nature Reserve.
Speaking of Nature - twenty blackbirds, plus robins, tits (great, coal, blue and long-tailed) house and tree sparrows, chaffinches, goldfinches, greenfinches, mistle thrushes, pheasants - all have congregated round our feeders today. Sadly there is one house sparrow less as Blackie, the farm cat, caught one this morning. I instinctively said - rather a sparrow than a blue tit. But that is hardly fair is it? Does it matter what kind of bird the cat catches? Why should the life of a blue tit be more precious than that of a sparrow?