Wednesday 16 May 2007

Locked out

Oh, what a foolish Z. I had, as a responsible person does, taken out unnecessary stuff from my handbag - a couple of name badges for different organisations, extra credit cards, various keys etc. I'd left a neat pile on the landing. This morning I went to visit Dilly and the children.

They had a dreadful weekend. The children were very itchy and, although they weren't really ill, they couldn't sleep. The baby had a big chickenpox spot on his lip and a couple in his mouth, so he didn't want to eat. Luckily, Dilly is still breastfeeding (Pugsley is nearly 8 months old), so could up from the usual morning and evening feeds and, at least, keep him nourished. Squiffany was restless and irritable and DVDs at 3am became a life-saver.

However, by this morning, the worst was over and most of the spots were healed. I took through presents, received a warm welcome (not just for the presents, whatever did you think that for?) and stayed a couple of hours. I used the 'house' key to lock up and, when I went back, replaced it. This afternoon, I went to my High School meeting (pupil disciplinary committee, I'd love to tell you about it - really, I'd appreciate your comments - but it's confidential), came home ... and remembered I hadn't picked up my own key and the Sage was out (a business call in Woodbridge, an hour away) and so were Dilly and Al. I could have gone to the supermarket and bought groceries. Hm. Pfft. Pshaw. I went to the splendid local teashop (it will be mentioned in BD's meme) and had coffee and walnut cake and Earl Grey tea.

I rang Al. They were in Norwich and had lost our house key anyway - mislaid, I should say, it'll be somewhere around. It was 4 o'clock. Ro would be home at 5.30. I ordered another pot of tea.

Darling friends, their lovely daughter, who is Ro's age, and Mrs DF's beloved father were great company as always. My friend B (Mrs DF) was gracious and fun as ever, but admitted after her father had gone to bed that it's tough. I know, I looked after my mother until she died, and I confided things that made her realise that I understood her situation. I also apologised for not visiting before - the Sage has, as I said earlier, but I've been so busy. From now onwards, I'll call in frequently. Her father and I get on. He's more than 20 years older than I am (B is my age), but there's always been a spark between us.

I gave B one of my precious packets of dried mushrooms. Polish mushrooms are divine. Polish soup is delicious. Go to Poland and eat soup. I ate onion soup, tomato soup, mushroom (made with dried mushrooms) and pasta soup and sorrel and cucumber soup with horseradish. They were gorgeous, every one. Yummy. I only bought two packets of dried mushrooms; to give one away is a sign of love. I also gave them a pack of dried plums (yeah, prunes, but how attractive does that sound?) in delicious chocolate, but I'd bought an extra couple of bags to give away, so it was not such a sacrifice.


irreverentmama said...

Suddenly Poland hops up the list of places I want to visit. I can't imagine how far down that list it was prior to this post, but I love soup, and all those types sound wonderfully appealing!

Poor Dilly. My children managed to get only mild cases of chickenpox, lucky for all of us! Nowadays, all children here are being vaccinated against it, so you rarely see it any more.

Ah, well. The children have now been vaccinated against it - the old-fashioned way! Glad the worst is over.


dharmabum said...

poland reminds of the girl from the novel 'the prize' from irwin wallace. was absolutely in love with her ;)

The Boy said...

Mmmm, prunes in chocolate, mushroom soup... mmmm...

Last Saturday I think I left my head in bed. I took the kids into town and managed to leave something behind at every stop. Thankfully my kids are troopers, and we retraced all our steps to pick the bits and bobs up.

Z said...

I know a few people who have visited Krakow and they all loved it. As a bonus, the food was so good and nowhere near as heavy as I'd expected.

Db, you've caught me out there, I haven't read the book. An omission to rectify, it seems.

My friend Sue left her new and expensive jacket on the train when we went to a meeting in London last week. She was very gratified to discover that it had been handed in.

I have an entertaining mental image of you scattering possessions in your wake. You didn't lose any children, that's the main thing

Chairwoman of the bored said...

My grandparents came from Poland, and my grandmother made wonderful soups.

She made tomato soup with rice, barley soup which had potatoes and tiny meat balls in it, Huber Grits soup with dried mushrooms, borscht, cherry borscht, and something she called 'white stew' which was an egg and lemon, chicken based soup, that contained boiled potatoes and shredded chicken.

Served with good bread, usually rye bread or black bread, these were all meals in their own right.

Now that we have such a large Polish population in London, the dried mushrooms are readily available, I have no idea where she got them when I was a child, but she did.

For the real Polish flavour, you need to put Petrushka (Parsley Root) in your soup. Ask your son to order some for you, it gives a delicious flavour.

Z said...

I'd like to go back, not quite five days was nowhere near enough. And I'll eat soup for every meal (not that the rest of the food was anything but delicious), but during the soup course, I let the conversation flow unregarded around me, I just concentrated on the flavours.

You don't have any recipes you'd share, do you? Or can you recommend a book? I don't know how to replicate those subtle flavours and I'd be vastly grateful.

Z said...

Oh, and as for parsley root, I've got last year's parsley in the garden which I'll be pulling out soon as it'll be going to seed. I can use that, but how?

Chairwoman of the bored said...

I'll have to work the recipes out, Z dear, as I'm pretty much a 'that looks about right' cook. As I can't cook myself at the moment, I tend to experiment by shouting instructions to Katy. Strangely enough, this works pretty well, and all the things she's cooked using this method have tasted almost as though I'd cooked them myself.

As for the parsley root, I must admit to have never actually seen the root of parsley, so I don't know if this is just the name for it, or what it actually is.

Petrushka looks pretty much like a parsnip, with lots of green frondy bits growing out the top. If this is what the root of parsley looks like, then you use it like any root vegetable, and you use the green frondy stuff as well. This would be used in Barley and Hubergrits soups.
'White Stew', is very similar to Katy's Egg & Lemon Soup, only leave out the rice, add a dessert spoon of white caster sugar, and add boiled potatoes when serving. I think she mentions shredding the chicken and putting it back in the soup. If she doesn't, then I will :-)

Z said...

what a darling you are - thanks!