September 4, 2015
So... according to the Met. Office Summer is no long with us. In my part of the world I don’t think it ever was with us. Lovely Husband and I headed to the coast of Wales in June and had a week of sunshine and soaring temperatures. That was it. The sum total of Summer.
Listening to the radio a favourite of mine by Justin Hayward came on airwaves and I did have to smile wryly as I contemplated the fact that it could have been the anthem for June, July and August here in the middle of the UK.
The most disappointing aspect of Summer going AWOL was the distinct lack of al fresco dining. Summer to me is embodied by long lazy evenings in balmy sunshine with brightly coloured salads, chicken on the barbecue and a glass of something long and cold over ice. I have managed to eat and drink my Summer favourites.. but it isn’t the same in the dining room with the lights and central heating on.
However… on the positive side.. having already spent three months tucking into wonderful on-the-vine tomatoes; tiny minted steamed new potatoes; and enjoying jugs of elderflower cordial chilled by handfuls of ice cubes, I would very happily do so for the coming months. Unfortunately I am at the mercy of “supply and demand” and have already noticed that the “salad aisle” is looking a lot leaner and the aisle which is home to the “chunky root vegetables” which are slow cooker and casserole staples is, dare I say it, looking chunky.
It was the displays on the supermarket shelves which made me lift my slow cooker from off the top of the fridge. Despite my best intentions to use it all year round, it seems my DNA is not tolerant of stews, hot-pots or piping hot pasta dishes during the months that I still optimistically label as “the summer season”. It would seem my local supermarket take the same view because despite plunging temperatures and waterlogged barbecues typical summer fare was on “special offer” throughout the store for the last twelve weeks… but in the past couple of days the ready-made salad bowls and six varieties of lettuce have been usurped by “selection packs” of root vegetables and shelves of “winter greens”…. and the psychological effect was to have me reaching for the “crock pot” and turning to my trust “slow cooker cook-book” for menu choices.
As much as I would love to carry on eating my “summer food”, economics and availability mean that my eating habits are completely seasonal. The beauty of WLR is that the recipes on the website; those shared by members; and the quick-and-easy options found in the “Faff-Free” mean that, along with my trusty “slow cooker book” I am spoilt for choice without having to jeopardise my weight loss efforts. Busy days at the office mean I can set it on a low simmer at 7:30am and get home to the comforting smell of a hearty stew filling the kitchen and have enough left over to decant into containers and freeze for the coming weeks. If all goes according to plan I should be able to strike a healthy balance with both my Summer and Autumn favourite foods – although I am not entirely sure that “Stew and Salad” together would make the most appetising of suppers (although I do know that it would be utterly WLR compliant, nutritious and tasty). My wardrobe has been “seasonally interchangeable” for the past three months.. the cardigans which I consigned to the spare bedroom wardrobe at the beginning of May were back in my “main wardrobe” by the second week of May and have been worn over my summer staples for most of the past twelve weeks. If Summer and Autumn can sit comfortably together on my ever-decreasing frame… then perhaps they can sit alongside one other on my dinner plate as well…. I shall have to explore the possibilities…..
Have a wonderful weekend
With a Hug