This is my little patch of radicchio.Â Those who love this salad vegetable will know just how hard it is to find in English shops, unless it is mixed (in very small quantities) with other salad leaves in plastic supermarket bags.Â Those of you who regularly read this blog will also know that because of this, I’m growing my own this year, and decided to try to protect it from the slugs and snails with copper tape.
Well, one of the things making me very happy this week is the fact that it is growing nicely, and there is still no snail damage!Â In case you’re saying to yourselves, ‘well, d’uh!Â It’s too dry for snails, of course there’s no snail damage’, here is a picture from an area very, very close to the vegetable ‘trug’ thing:
A stray piece of oilseed rape plant, reduced to lacework by the attentions of molluscs.
Now you can see why I am so chuffed about the radicchio and why it deserves a place on ‘How To Be Happy’ this week?Â Yep – I’m happy!
Actually, there have been so many things to be happy about this week that I hardly know where to start.Â At the weekend, for instance, a very good friend of mine, Heathrow Jenn, came up to stay with us, bringing another lovely friend, Pinky, with her.Â Pinky acquired her nickname because for a very long time, she has dyed her hair pink … otherwise, let me tell you, it would be almost white.Â At the moment it’s quite a delicate hue, but most often it’s very pink indeed.Â Think neon.Â Here she is in 2006 when she came with us to the London premiere of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest:
What a great day that was, despite nearly dying of heatstroke! Anyway, we had a great time this weekend, too, andÂ HJ and Pinky brought me two beautiful pot plants, a lily and a stephanotis.
I love stephanotis because it reminds me of jasmine, and the smell is wonderful.Â It really smells like summer in here now!
Also this week, I have at last perfected a recipe using olive oil to make biscuits (that’s ‘cookies’ to our friends across The Pond), and produced a nice loaf of rye/wheat sourdough bread, despite the hideous heat in my kitchen.Â To be fair, on the sourdough, I’m ready for a lighter loaf and I think I’ll make it with all wholemeal wheat flour next time, but still using the sourdough starter.
Turned out nice though, didn’t it?
Oh, and here are the cookies.Â The long one is chocolate chip, the round one with dark pieces in it has dried apricots for flavour, and the other is rather nice and is the result of an experiment with ‘Fibre Flake’ breakfast cereal.Â Contrary to expectation, the flake pieces were chewy, rather than crunchy.
I used half and half wholemeal and white flour, and reduced the quantity of sugar by a third.Â For one batch, I had run out of egg (the recipe uses just one) so I added a couple of tablespoons of plain goat yogurt and I think I actually prefer those ones!
There.Â If that’s not enough to make you happy, well … ! I can only suggest that you look around your own life and write a post of your own!Â Take the little smiling dog badge and link back here – it’ll be fun!