Christmas aftermath and my foodie highlights of 2015


New Year's Eve. Was thinking of doing a bit of an inventory of the year, but thought I'd call my parents first. In the aftermath of my English Christmas they came to enjoy here Dad has been taken to hospital (pneumonia) and mum is incarcerated at my sister's after being judged unfit to stay at home alone with the dog.

The main incriminating circumstance for mum was that she lost her phone immediately after dad was taken to hospital (it later resurfaced in the laundry basket) and none of us could get hold of her so we all got really worried of course and had to alert the neighbours to check she was ok. Never better, said the perky lady. So my ever decisive (=scary) younger sister went and abducted both her and the dog and took them to hers until dad is released from hospital.

Mum didn't answer her phone again. Where she's put it this time is anyone's guess, but I managed to reach her at my sister's number and we had a good chat. She was all chipper and explained to me that she's visiting my sister and might stay until dad gets home from hospital. She thinks she has a choice. It's called Stockholm syndrome.

I called dad at the hospital where he was sounding croaky and horrible, but was quite optimistic about his chances of survival. He admitted he didn't hear most of what I said and what he heard he didn't really understand, but was glad I called.

So on a personal level it's been a year of ups and downs. I've had a great year at work. This is our first full year of marriage, and although we have been together for a long time we are still in a lovely love bubble and so happy it's ridiculous. But it has also been a year of heavy stuff, a seriously ill child of a friend, my mum's diagnosis, husband losing a sister, my beloved doggie friend getting cancer, some other health scares and seeing some of my friends go through the same thing with their loved ones. Bloody middle age. Tonight I will raise my glass to all the good things that these special people have brought into my life hoping they will continue to do so in 2016 and for many years to come!


My 5 best dinners of 2015

1. Anyone who's ever read this blog is probably completely fed up with my Provencal duck legs, but they are BLOODY AWESOME.

2. Yippee - not long to go until it's BBQ season again - these are my favourite barbecue meats, chicken in orange, saffron and yoghurt marinade and succulent marinated lamb.

3. If you thought fish soup is nasty or boring THINK AGAIN - this Bouillabaisse will change your life. OK, it won't change your life, but it tastes really good.

4. If you don't make this gorgeous Greek chicken, orzo, rice and feta dish you are crazy. CRAZY, I tell you.

5. With these Persian spiced lamb shanks I rest my case for 2015.

And special recognition for being a bit pretentious with foam and stuff but still delivering utterly lush nosh goes to:

6. Gordon Ramsay's Maze and our Anniversary dinner

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  1. Happy new year and I hope 2016 is good for you and yours. Those recipes all sound fabulous. x