Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Food, Food, Glorious food .. and memories .. and, and .. Part 1 !

Last week on my birthday I had to go down to Cornwall to collect the remains of the things that I wanted from my mother’s flat – the day of reckoning had come .. that departure knowing the connection will no longer be there: sad times.

As travelling by car can do, we have time to think and mull and I got to think about not what I was missing, but the occasions of wonderful fun times over the years for birthdays and some of the fine dishes we’d experienced.



Beotys restaurant as it was .. and as I remember

Having a winter birthday is not really a good thing – but we don’t have a choice do we? ... I scarpered for a few years to South Africa ensuring that I had warm sunny birthdays by the pool, or at the sea with the sand between my incy wincy toes.

However last week I took with me a picnic for a very long-term family friend (92), who is very special to me .. so that we could enjoy a good chat without the worry of preparing or washing up afterwards. We had extra special Waitrose food on paper plates, with plastic cups, knives and forks .... it just fitted the bill: no hassle and no worries: we split the left-overs and the rubbish went in a black bag to be taken away ... nothing for her to do.

Eastwood as Rowdy Yates in Rawhide (1959–65)




Going back to way back when ... and first memories ... my parents must have gone to enormous trouble creating an Indian theme for one of our parties ... we were hooked into Cowboys and Indians .. Clint Eastwood and Michael Langdon to name two .. (was Clint a cowboy ever? – well memories merge! of course he was in Rawhide fame) ... we had a tepee with all the trimmings, must have had bows and arrows, and I’m sure guns .. I don’t remember much more – but it was a wonderful surprise opening the door of the dining room and seeing the magic.




Sioux tipi, watercolor by Karl Bodmer, ca. 1833

I know cowboys and Indians are definitely not ‘de rigeur’ now .. but back then we just accepted the norm ... the same with golliwogs on the Chivers Marmalade pot ... they were always so wonderfully cheerful and brought a smile to our faces; Little Black Sambo one of the small-format books ... he had such wonderful adventures in the sea, sun, palm trees and blue skies – where tigers came out of the bush, everything melted into a yellow sea .. as the tiger chased Little Black Sambo – I did love them .. evoking such brightly coloured memories.



Chivers Marmalade advert from 1952, via Grace’s Guide

I probably wouldn’t have mentioned them – but they’re part of history – and with the Mark Twain “N” thing going on ... I feel I can. Times change – but those times won’t .. that’s life. I’ve had a ‘Letter to the Saturday Times” hanging around because I wanted to mention it ... where do you mention slavery though? If we think about it ... slavery has existed since time immemorial ... no-one was really free .. armies were raised, pyramids and other buildings built, the Roman armies were conscripted ... this letter, I think sets it out clearly though:

Letter to the Saturday Times 27 November 2010 by Mrs Cyrstal Rushbrooke Dickinson, Bedford

Slavery Economics: Sir, At the heart of the New Testament is the ‘book’ of Philemon; the cover-note St Paul wrote, for the voluntary return of a former runaway slave, Onesimus. Paul tells Philelmon’s master, in no uncertain terms to receive him, “not as a slave, but .. as a brother, beloved”. That was the most subversive idea conceivable, in a world in which the institution of slavery was universally taken for granted ({previous} letters Nov 24 and 25).

Enfranchisement of individuals was always possible, and indeed common at the time, the freed individual normally remaining dependent on his former master, as “his freedman”. Very few slaves are known to have been fully liberated , in our sense of the word, let alone given the status of a “brother”, not even in households where common paternity was not infrequently a known biological fact.

But to overthrow the institution of slavery would have ruined the economic foundations of every major civilisation before the Industrial Revolution. No responsible thinker, however humanitarian, could dare to think in terms of abolishing the economic basis of his civilisation until there was a viable alternative. It took centuries, but the Christian Church got there, more or less, as soon as it could.”



What she says makes so much sense, if we think about it .... and as I posted over at Stephen Tremp’s Breakthrough Blogs .. but now ....


Little Black Sambo, from the 1899 edition, written and illustrated by Helen Bannerman


Can I go back to food, glorious food after those first paragraphs – perhaps yes, considering my next mention is the musical Oliver! which premiered in 1960 ... my parents went to see it a few times ... I seem to remember feeling left out, and never went! Anyway that was our introduction to Greek food ... Oliver! was on at the New Theatre in St Martin’s Lane, and Beotys became our favourite restaurant for a few years. The Greek restaurant opened up my palate to other world's of tastes .. sadly I see it is now closed, must have done so relatively recently.



Oliver! Original theatre programme and poster - 1960


To go back to our picnic last week ... which my ‘aunt’ described as absolutely fantabulous – "she of very high standards", was extremely happy to sit by the fire with a paper plate full of goodies .. and let me tell you they were goodies ... I had to go to Waitrose and make notes, because I’d forgotten what I’d bought – well the ingredients contained therein!

We had a selection from the following for my two visits ... six hour fireside chats! ... the first time we had her homemade mulled wine before I switched to apple juice (champagne was on the cards – but as I was driving to Penzance thought better of it!) ... we started with quails’ eggs and celery salt – a special request from the week before ...

... then lunched on smoked salmon crescents, mini scallop shellfish selection (a creamy prawn mousse, topped with king prawns and smoked salmon) a smoked haddock, smoked salmon, egg and asparagus layered tian – with a champagne vinaigrette, crawfish tails with lime mango mayonnaise, mini blinis, salad slithers for me, half-frozen sweet cherries and Cornish cream to round off ... so a wonderful experience and the fact my aunt had no work to do at all made her day almost perfect!
Waitrose’s - Salmon Tian

I left her with her first Taiko Sushi titbits of a taster! with an explanation of pickled ginger, wasabi - hope she remembered not to have too much?, and soya sauce ... something new at 92 – can’t be bad! More memories and good food coming up ...

Here's a story on this amazing lady that I posted almost two years ago ... Huggins Cottage

Dear Mr Postman .. who would have thought I could cover all those topics in one post ... but that’s “this mind” being let loose ... I’m sure my mother would be amused; though because she cannot eat or drink ... I don’t discuss the food and drink elements – she was an excellent cook .. and loved entertaining.

Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

95 comments:

The Exception said...

Your picnic sounds delightful – as it is the company and the food combined that are the treat.
It is interesting to see just how far we have come in the last 50 years. I took my daughter to see South Pacific over the weekend… what a different world.
Have a wonderful weekend Hillary!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi TE .. it was absolutely what the doctor ordered .. no sweat, nor effort - just a little thought before I left the east and headed west!

As you say a lot has changed since the War .. how fabulous that you both saw South Pacific .. must have been fun .. but again such a different world ..

You too TE have a great week and weekend .. Hilary

Betsy Wuebker said...

Hi Hilary - Memories are made of all the senses, aren't they. Loved the part about your birthday party, and the restaurant looks lovely. Cowboys and Indians - my sister loved her cowboy hat and gun holsters. Probably not PC anymore. Too bad. We were all buckaroos back then. Thanks for a great post.

rosaria said...

Hilary, this is rich, and satisfying on so many levels. Now, that picture of salmon tian got me thinking about lunch.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Betsy .. you seem to summarise things succinctly .. memories make that birthday cake! Beotys was a brilliant place for me as a teenager and young adult.

I'd mostly forgotten about cowboys and Indians - but it still resurges .. my youth! You're right we were all buckaroos - even on a bicycle riding round the garden!!

Glad you enjoyed it .. cheers Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Rosaria .. thank you - it's good to bring those memories up at times like those I'm in ..

.. the salmon, smoked haddock tian with asparagus and egg .. was absolutely delicious .. the flavours were gorgeous .. Waitrose is a good food supermarket .. they pride themselves on good food etc ..

I hope you enjoyed your lunch .. ?cheers Hilary

welcome to my world of poetry said...

Loved the read that photo of "Chivers" brought back some memories of when I was younger.
Thanks very much,

Yvonne.

Sara said...

Hilary,

First of all...HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU:~)

It must have been hard to go back to your mom's house. I'm sure it brought lots of memories back.

It was also nice of you to prepare a picnic for your friend of 92. She must be something special.

I well remember the times of Cowboys and Indians. I used to dress up as a cowboy. I'd eat baked beans and turn my chair around so it was like I was riding a horse:~)

I also used to adore Michael Langdon. I think he was the first TV star I had a crush on.

Thanks for walk down memory lane. May you enjoy many more birthdays.

Cheers:~)

Joanne said...

I think Eastwood then went on to become somewhat of an urban cowboy. One weekend a year or two ago, we had an Eastwood marathon here, renting all his Dirty Harry movies and settling in for Eastwood all weekend.

And what an amazing spread of food you shared with your friend. To me, who is not much of a cook, food always, always tastes so much better when someone else prepares it!

Thanks for sharing your memories with us today ...

Mandy Allen said...

Well, my mouth is watering! I loved your description of the Indian theme - I had a Chinese theme one evening and we all sat around the coffee table on cushions, it was great fun. And I love interesting picnics, what a great way to get together. I must remember that one!

Enjoy the journey.

Mandy

Helen Ginger said...

A very eclectic post. Love the way you glided from topic to topic.

TALON said...

A belated Happy Birthday, Hilary!

Good food, good company, good conversation - it's one of those fabulous trifectas. :)

Teresa aka JW said...

I absolutely love your attitude to look at the fun times of the past and not to think on what you might be missing. YOU are a jewel!

PS I still love cowboy movies and old shows. Gives me comfort.

Teresa

Mason Canyon said...

Happy belated birthday. Sounds like you had a wonderful time. The food sounds delicious and the company entertaining. Memories of playing cowboys and Indians, such fun.

Mason
Thoughts in Progress

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Yvonne .. so glad you enjoyed it - and I was amazed at what I found out about "Chivers" marmalade .. a few breakfast table memories came back too .. marmalade was a treat!

Pleasure - have a good day .. Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Sara .. thank you - another year!! It was and is difficult .. given no time doesn't help .. but such is life.

Joan certainly is very special and selecting some goodies that she'd enjoy made both our lives easier - more time to spend conversing.

I love your memories of dressing up as a cowboy, eating baked beans with the chair turned round - improvisation is essential .. as a kid - always find a way .. and the imagination works!

I suspect my first tv crush was Clint .. but Michael Langdon pretty soon was added to the mix.

Delighted to hear I stirred some memories .. and thanks for the birthday wishes .. cheers and have a great day - Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Joanne .. gosh a whole weekend of Dirty Harry movies .. you must certainly have settled in .. a good walk in between perhaps?! Sounds fun though - glad your eyes are no longer rectangular!

That was the joy - I didn't cook either .. I just took the purchased deliciosa goodies with me & we lunched straight from the supermarket! Certainly Joan delighted in the simplicity of everything .. she's longing for them to open a store in Cornwall!

Happy to share and bring back a few other memories of your own .. cheers Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Mandy .. thank you .. my parents really excelled themselves for us that year .. your Chinese one sounds fun - I've never done that & am now not sure I'd get up easily!

It was fun and I'm so pleased Joan thought the idea was a good one - and was happy to accept the simplicity & ease of effort it offered .. rather than worry about china, cutlery and washing up.

You too .. have a good rest of the week .. Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Helen .. thank you - that's me eclectic thoughts! Good to hear that you enjoyed the glide ..

Lovely seeing you - cheers Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Talon .. thank you! You're so right aren't you .. we did enjoy ourselves - as I haven't been able to get down often since my Mama's been ill .. so these were two treat visits. I shall remember that word 'trifecta' ...

Good to see you - Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Teresa .. thank you - it's definitely not perfect .. but I always try and remember others - which bring the good times back that my mother and I had when she lived in Cornwall. I do so appreciate your thoughts ...

Yes .. occasionally the old movies provide a dose of warm memories .. comfort as you say!

Cheers - hope the next couple of days gives you a few extra little steps in your new job .. soon it won't be new! Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Mason .. thanks - I did .. it was just lovely making something positive out of what was a difficult day.

Joan is an extremely intelligent lady so we covered many topics and brought back many memories of the old days .. in Oxford .. she's always been so interested in life & learning more.

We both enjoyed the food and I was pleased there were left-overs for me to take on to my hotel in Penzance, so I could get a good night's sleep .. and Joan had supper prepared too, which she appreciated.

I've enjoyed trawling through the memory bank! - cheers Hilary

Megan "JoyGirl!" Bord said...

What a lovely account this was to read -- specifically the food part, and sitting by the fire chatting for so long. Cozy for winter; I loved it! And now you have me wanting to see what all the fuss with Mark Twain is about. I did hear there was a book of his that just came out, and that it's full of his p*ss and vinegar. Time to do a Google search!

Happiest Thursday, dear Hilary!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Megan .. you'll definitely enjoy the next part then! They were two lovely days .. and so often we don't give our wise ones that long .. so these were treats of both orders!

Ah .. have you not heard the Mark Twain herumphs that are going on? Not sure what you'll think about the googling search .. not much I suspect! Life is life .. it changes ..

You too Megan - lovely seeing you here and thanks for the wonderful comment - cheers Hilary

Talli Roland said...

The picnic sounds lovely - hope your friend enjoyed it!

What a wonderful collection of memories. I haven't ever seen Oliver! but I'd love to!

Glynis said...

Belated birthday wishes. Thank you for sharing your lovely picnic with us.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Talli .. good to see you - the picnic was delicious and she certainly enjoyed the simplicity, yet the fact it was so tasty c/o Waitrose!

Thanks .. it's good to put them down occasionally .. I've seen Oliver on the tv - but not the same thing as the musical .. I'm sure we'll both get the chance sometime ..

Great to see you - Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Glynis .. thank you! Glad you enjoyed the thought of the picnic! A Cypriot picnic would be rather gorgeous .. ?! Have a good rest of the week .. Hilary

Yaya' s Home said...

How I have enjoyed your trip through time, today; including the episode with Sydney. Thank you.

Oliver is one of my very favorite movies an' I went to great lengths to acquire the book that has Little Black Sambo in it, quite some time ago. I love that story. Its jus' too bad that the next generation has been denied the riches of what we enjoyed as children. We lose so much when political correctness takes over.

~ Yaya

vered said...

Both my daughters were born in the winter. True - we have no choice over that, but we manage to make it fun and festive. It helps that they were born during the holiday season, so everything around is decorated and pretty.

walk2write said...

What glorious memories to share over a picnic! Clint was a looker and so was Michael Landon. "Cowboys and Indians" was pretty much past in my playtime heyday. The Vietnam War was in full swing so the boys in the neighborhood favored combat gear instead of buckskins and cowboy hats. Westerns were still popular on TV, though. We tuned into Gunsmoke or Bonanza as soon as the news program with its grisly statistics and visual images was over. I guess the networks still catered to the older viewers in those days.

I think it's delightful that your 92-year-old friend is not afraid to try something new. May we all be as brave and sociable at that age.

walk2write said...

Oh, I forgot to wish you Happy Birthday!

Sibyl - alternaview said...

Hilary: Great post. Happy Belated Birthday. It sounds like you had a great picnic and birthday celebration. Thanks for sharing the great descriptions of what sounds like some great food.

Evelyn Lim said...

Dear Hilary,

You are making me drool all over with the thought of yummy food. It's funny that I don't even eat shellfish, prawns or smoked items. But just the thought of having a delicious meal is making me hungry and ready for lunch!

To more good times and fond memories,
Evelyn

L'Aussie said...

Hilary, these are delighful memories. I remember Clint Eastwood as Rowdy Yates. He was still a cowboy into his Dirty Harry days. Great post.

Denise :)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Yaya .. so pleased you went over to 'meet Sydney' .. that was a fun story to hear after all these years.

Wonderful that you remember Little Black Sambo .. and found the book .. I used to love him and the story too. You're right aren't you with the political correctness - life is life at the time and is part of history .. like slavery.

Oliver always rings bells when the music comes on the radio .. and the immortal words "Please Sir, I want some more ..."

Lovely to have your additions to my post- thank you .. Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Vered .. you must have a busy time .. I was just in the holiday season .. sometimes only half a day!

I'm sure your daughters have a huge amount of fun on their birthdays - I can feel the warmth emanating from your household.

Certainly that's one advantage of the winter season - everything is colourful and bright .. and pretty for the girls. Thanks Vered - good to see you .. Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Walk2Write .. I'm not sure I mentioned Cowboys and Indians to my 'aunt' .. but we certainly nattered about many things.

I'm sure the Vietnam war didn't impact as much in England ..so Cowboys and Indians continued on. People still now watch the good old Westerns .. light, switch-off times .. I occasionally hear one going on in a resident's room as I visit my mother.

Joan is certainly intrepid and keeps up with all that is going on - as she said when I saw here .. as long as her mind is alright, she's fine - and she is lucky it is ... so many don't realise they are losing theirs.

Another excellent point you make - may we all be as brave and sociable as she is .. and age gracefully.

Lovely comment - thanks so much .. Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Walk2Write .. and I forgot to add in thank you re the Happy Birthday .. lovely additional thought which I'm grateful to have - Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Sibyl .. thank you and we did have an excellent time together .. it's good to put these memories down otherwise they lapse and may never get remembered.

Lovely seeing you - have a good weekend .. Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Evelyn .. thank you & you don't eat those things & yet you were drooling at the thought of a delicious picnic ..

I'd love a Singaporean lunch - but a little early now!

Thanks for the thoughts for more good times and fond memories .. Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Denise .. thank you - glad you enjoyed the memory bank and could resonate with the Cowboys ..

Lovely seeing you here and thanks for following .. cheers Hilary

J.D. Meier said...

> sit by the fire with a paper plate full of goodies
That is just one of my favorite all, time activities ... it never gets old.

Al said...

So many shared memories here!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi JD .. yes it was just a lovely way to relax and enjoy each other's company .. sitting by the fire in contented peace..

Thanks for your wonderful focused comment .. Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Al .. thanks for coming by .. your trip to Tasmania with its photos is lovely to travel with .. good memories there too .. Hilary

Helen Ginger said...

I feel like I went along with you during your day. Invisible, quiet, a small bird on your shoulder.

Susanne Drazic said...

What a wonderful picnic that you had. Thank you for sharing the memories.

HAPPY (belated) BIRTHDAY!!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Helen .. thank you .. what a lovely idea - just quietly listening, watching and singing at the edges .. as a bird does .. love that thought -

I love company too .. great comment - Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Susanne .. certainly on both occasions they were thoroughly enjoyed - it was such a pleasure to see my aunt's delight ..

Thank you for the Happy Birthday .. and your thoughts .. Hilary

Holly Ruggiero said...

Oh just lovely. What a great picnic. Happy birthday.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Holly .. we had a great time and I'll have many happy memories .. thanks for the birthday wishes .. good to see you - have a good weekend .. Hilary

Karen Lange said...

Hilary,
Your posts are always so chock full of knowledge and fun tidbits! Your personality just sparkles through, and I'm thinking it would be great fun to meet in person some day. :) So if I am ever over your way, or you are ever over near mine, we must at least meet for tea!

Have a wonderful weekend. And thanks so much for your ever faithful support wherever I happen to be posting. :o)

Blessings to you,
Karen

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Karen .. gosh that's a wonderful comment .. I'm honoured - thank you! Well I'd love to .. and certainly look forward to meeting up sometime .. somewhere ...

You too - have a great weekend .. and it's pleasure to pop across and see what you're up to ..

You too have a peaceful time - Hilary

... Paige said...

I really enjoy the stories you tell and the way you tell them. happy weekend

Jannie Funster said...

I never got to see Oliver either, but on the telly.

TELLY?

Your accent has rubbed off on me. Look at me talking all Brit-like!

I'd love some half-frozen cherries, asparagus and all that other yummy stuff. Smoked salmon, yummy.

Good on not having champers to drive!

Clint Eastwood's always been one of my fave actors. Nice pic of his earlier days.

xoxo

Connie Arnold said...

Happy belated birthday, Hilary! Thanks for sharing the memories. Interesting assortment you share here!

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

Happy Belated Birthday, Hilary! It sounds like you had a lovely picnic with your friend. Don't you just love those special times...

Arlee Bird said...

Another post packed with all sorts of stuff. I guess you and I must be close to the same age as I have some of those same memories. I recall a chain of pancake restaurants in the 60s and 70s called Sambos. My family used to eat at them frequently. They fell out of favor in the late 70s with politcal correctness and all.

I'd love to try that mousse dish with the salmon--sounds great.

Lee
Tossing It Out

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Paige ..good to see you .. and thank you - delighted you enjoy the posts - you too happy weekend ..Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Jannie .. interesting -I thought I must have mentioned 'telly' - but no - just you absorbing the Brit-talk .. obviously!

Oliver is great viewing .. and the songs are just brilliant & seems to be a classic.

The food was good I must say .. the frozen cherries came from the farm shop and part thawed on the way down. You are so right .. but a glass of champers would have been rather nice!

I was pleased to find Clint's picture complete with cowboy hat.

Good to see you .. enjoy the weekend .. Hilary xoxxooxo

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Connie .. thank you for the birthday wishes ..

I'm afraid (?) that's how my mind works apparently .. just quietly weaving together .. as long as everyone enjoys them that's the main thing .. good to see you - Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Sharon .. thank you .. we did have a lovely time .. and yesterday we had a quick chat on our respective projects! This was one of those special times ... and my mother enjoyed hearing about my visit. Have a great weekend .. Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Arlee .. probably we are .. I remember the first Burger restaurants - we had to go to Waterloo Station London - & it was a treat!! Pancake houses - perhaps hit London in the 60s - 70s .. and I don't recollect a 'Sambos' .. perhaps they never got here .. but we probably didn't move away from English food til the mid-late 60s ...

The 'dishes' were extremely good tasting .. that salmon tian wasn't bad .. but the crawfish with its lime and mango mayo was delicious!

Good to see you - enjoy the weekend ... Hilary

Len said...

Hi Hilary! Thanks for dropping by my blog :)

Happy Birthday! Hope it was happy! :) My husband likes Clint Eastwood and he has most of his DVDs.

The smoked salmon crescents look really yummy! I love salmon with cream cheese, it's so yummy! Oh and I love sushi, too!

Have a nice weekend!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Since the movie Cowboys and Aliens is coming out this summer, maybe there will be a resurgance?

L. Diane Wolfe said...

You pack a lot into one post!

It might be better to respond to several people in just one comment rather than multiple. Some might think you're just trying to pad the comment total.

And that food item at the end is sushi? Never seen it presented like that.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Len .. it's a pleasure! It was happy in the middle of the long drive and we had a really good day together my 'aunt' and I.

Excellent a husband who likes Clint .. including his cowboy days?

Waitrose's food is excellent and the bits I selected we thoroughly enjoyed - including the salmon crescents and the salmon tian - as shown. The sushi pieces were good too ..

You too - been hareing around a little I shall be glad to come back to earth - still cold! Cheers Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Alex .. is there a movie Cowboys and Aliens .. now that should be interesting .. may be there will be a resurgence - as you say. Have they really gone away? Not sure what the techie toys have done to tv & vice-versa ..

Cheers - good to see you & I'll keep an eye out for Cowboys and Aliens! Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Diane .. yes I sure do - each and everyone post usually has an eclectic mix .. it's what I've always done .. and they're the sort of things that I chat to my mother about .. which stimulates her and others, and the friends and relatives who get proper letters - seem to love the snippets I include.

I might re the comments - but the blog is for pleasure .. and I'm not promoting anything .. others do it either way .. and I have been thinking if my numbers go up - then by default I'll have to start saving time & I guess that might be one way.

When I talk numbers .. I always halve them .. and I (so far) like to comment personally.

You're right that food item is Waitrose's special starter of a "salmon tian" - a layered salmon, prawn and egg dish with asparagus, and champagne vinaigrette .. it is delicious!

Thanks for your thoughts appreciate them .. cheers Hilary

Keith Davis said...

Hi Hilary
Looks as though your musings on food have brought back a lot of memories for your readers.

You have an individual style that invites a leisurely reading. One of the comments used the phrase...

"so chock full of knowledge and fun tidbits"

Don't change Hilary - don't change.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Keith .. thanks so much - that's a truly wonderful comment to receive ..

I honestly don't think I could now .. this little blog is here awhile yet .. with its tidbits or titbits weaved together ..

I won't change .. I won't - just develop and fluff out the ideas and thoughts elesewhere in print - in an ebook, in a newsletter .. somehow somewhere .. oh yes & know 'talking' .. cheers - thanks Keith so much I really do appreciate this - enjoy Sunday .. Hilary

Madeleine said...

Happy Birthday

The food items have made me feel very hungry.

I was thinking maybe you could be like the Queen and have an official birthday in the summer?
Though it sounds like you don't mind having a winter birthday. :O)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Madeleine .. many thanks .. and food always makes me feel I'd like to get up and try those recipes!

I wonder how many winter babies think of having an Official Birthday .. or a plus one half, or preferably minus one-half a birthday!!

We make plans .. or rely on others to do so on our behalf .. I just enjoy celebrations .. recognition of others ..

Great to see you - enjoy Sunday .. Hilary

Kathryn Magendie said...

Oh I have the winter birthday too, February- the month where everyone is SICK of winter and no one wants to celebrate because by then they have "SAD" *laugh* --ah well - I enjoy my own birthday :-D

And now you have made me hungry -but you've also made me feel nostalgic.... *smiling*

Kathryn Magendie said...

Ps I don't think I said HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Kat .. you're a coming up .. but January is just as bad - way too much entertaining .. and it's snowy (usually!) .. so no-one can travel. I've usually made plans to enjoy mine .. but I've a few to catch up on!!

Thanks for the thoughts - good food and nostalgia .. good word .. and me too I'm *smiling* back ..

Have a great time when your birthday comes along .. thanks for the visit .. Hilary

Paul C said...

This post is a feast for the senses and for life! There are many joys in those every day celebrations.

Chris Edgar said...

Hi Hilary -- yes, that is a striking fact, isn't it, that slavery has been the norm in all cultures throughout the vast majority of human history. It definitely highlights how remarkable the time we live in is.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Paul .. thank you - good to see you .. and as you rightly say .. there are fun times and memories remembered right here .. even my mother remembered some of them! Have a good week ahead .. Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Chris .. thanks for picking up the slavery bit .. exactly as you say slavery has been the norm.

It's interesting how much our thoughts have changed in the last x years .. since communication has got better and people, if they're prepared to, can understand more of the background etc

Really lovely to see you - enjoy the week ahead ... Hilary

Ella said...

Belated Birthday Wishes; Your picnic sounds fit for a Queen~ I love tasty
tidbits, makes the taste buds happy!

I loved reading about birthdays past and how inventive and fun your family was!

Deborah Ann said...

Wow, Hilary, what a glamorous life you lead! You have divine taste for things such as books, movies and food. I'm one of those faus gras wannabees. Sounds glamorous, but it's way over the top for me.

Julie Musil said...

A belated happy birthday to you!

Liara Covert said...

You write as if you feel the spirit of the food you write about. Love how you choose to share these reflections. Its so delicious. That which we call food tantalizes the tastebuds.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Ella .. how lovely to see you and thank you for commenting .. the day was a good day despite the long drive .. but we certainly enjoyed our picnic fit for a Queen: I think my aunt felt that way. Simple, no hassle, and deliciously tasty ...

Ella - another batch of memories coming up .. so enjoy part two .. it's important to remember and make everyone's birthday special if we can.

Thanks for following too - and see you here or there .. all the best for the week - Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Deborah Ann .. well - really? Certainly not as glamorous as many others .. We were just kids growing having the odd splash out, giving us a taster of life - new things ..

Thank you - I know what I should be reading, watching and eating - well definitely tasty things .. but I'm a simple girl at heart and all the other days .. home cooking!!

Ah - a faux gras wannabee .. sounds a good title to have .. it's good to have a taster of these things, so we know what's around ..

So from one home buddy to another .. it's usually way over the top for me! Enjoy your week happily .. that's more important! Cheers Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Julie .. no worries -thanks for calling in to give me the thoughts .. good to see you - Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Liara .. thank you so much - you always manage to add a perspective in your comment .. which drills down into the physical soul and I love the way you describe my feelings so accurately.

Wonderful to see you and for the heart-felt comments .. Hilary

Evita said...

Hello Hilary,

Happy Belated Birthday!!!!
It was actually my birthday a few days ago too, so we share a winter birthday :) And yes I can relate to trying to figure out something fun to do in the middle of winter... can't be too comfortable for long outdoors, like in the summer, even going places can be quite tougher amid snow storms, etc. But it is all good. In fact, over the past few years I don't really celebrate my birthday anymore (hence why I don't really share it with anyone). Now days I seek the celebration in each day and live with gratitude for being alive.

I can imagine though how lovely, a sunny day by the pool was for you! Thank you for sharing your memories from South Africa. I have never been to any part of that continent, and not sure if I ever will... so hearing your stories is at least a small way I can experience that.

And I am thrilled that you ended up having such a lovely picnic!

To your health and happiness Hilary, today and always :)

Patricia Stoltey said...

This post is so full of things to talk about...but I'll zero in on today's tendency to suppress or rewrite history, including the classics books that reflected the times. It's a sad trend.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Evita .. what a lovely long comment and brilliant to see you - Happy Birthday to you too - winter girl! A good long walk is possible and then back for a delicious tea, crumpets and birthday cake .. and log fire and a sleep - finally!

I tend to try and do something on my birthday .. so I can celebrate in a small way .. as no-one else tends to do it ...

.. but you're right about celebrating every day and living with the fullness of spirit that we've been given .. passing our gratitude on to many others .. so they too can live life to the full.

Those few birthdays in South Africa were bliss .. no worries re the weather, or friends travelling, or dark nights etc etc - so I'm glad that you enjoy catching a few of those memories too.

Oh we had two good picnics .. and that was the best bit - excellent conversation about yesterday, the now and the future .. my aunt is full of ideas .. it was wonderful to have those times with her.

Thanks Evita .. you and Marcus .. enjoy your journey to fulfillment, health and much happiness .. tucked away in your evergreen retreat - sounds bliss! Lots of thoughts - Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Patricia .. things are being rewritten for political correctness - perhaps because 'we can' in this day and age .. but it does seem a little unnecessary - I agree absolutely.

Yes - I did rather pack it in .. but it's good for me as a record, and different bits will interest us all .. stimulating conversation I hope!

Have an excellent end of the week .. Hilary

Linda said...

Hi Hilary,

Apparently my previous comment is floating around cyberspace somewhere. At any rate, I hope you had a fantastic birthday.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Linda .. I'm afraid it did .. nothing outstanding .. and it floats on!

Thanks so much for the birthday wishes .. a long day, but wonderful spending time with my aunt .. looking forward to the year ahead!

Enjoy the weekend - sorry about your lost comment! Cheers Hilary