Friday, 31 October 2014

A Lurcher and Two Bull Terriers Playing Football on the Beach - Video

As it is Halloween today, and I don't like Halloween, I felt I needed something to cheer me up.
Usually I'd play with Barley, our lovely Lurcher, because he always make my heart happy, but he's fast asleep in front of the fire - and I don't want to wake him.

So, a quick search online and I found the video I shot a few months ago of Barley playing on a local beach with two of our friends Bull Terriers, Mandy and Gracie.
Not surprisingly, the football didn't last very long before it was punctured, but the three dogs had a really fabulous time running, chasing the ball, and generally playing with each.
It was a really lovely and enjoyable morning for all of us.



I wish it was Summer again, I'd love to be back down on the beach with Mr.R and Barley.
I love the big sky, the clouds, the salty air, the sand, everything about being by the sea.
I also love to watch our boy zoom about all over the place, it's always such a beautiful sight to see Barley running around free.
Does your dog like the beach?
Is he/she any good at football?

Halloween - I don't like it!

It's Halloween, and I don't like it.
I don't really understand the excitement that Halloween seems to induce in everyone. Everyone except me it seems.

America especially enjoy celebrating Halloween in a seriously big way, with parties and fancy dress costumes.
Now it is also very popular here in Britain too, and becoming more so each year.

I know what Halloween is supposed to be about, but as I tend to ramble on and on, I'll just say this-
Or, better still I won't say anything, I'll quote what the Encyclopaedia Britannica says about Halloween -

'In ancient Britain and Ireland, the Celtic Festival of Samhain was observed on October 31, at the end of Summer.......
The souls of the dead were supposed to revisit their homes on this day and the Autumnal festival acquired sinister significance, with ghosts, witches, goblins, black cats, fairies and demons of all kinds said to be roaming about. 
It was the time to placate the supernatural powers controlling the processes of nature. 
In addition, Halloween was thought to be the most favorable time for divinations concerning marriage, luck, health, and death. 
It was the only day on which the help of the devil was invoked for such purposes.'

The main thing I don't like about Halloween is being disturbed by the knocking on the front door, the ringing of the doorbell.
I spend all evening unable to relax because I'm waiting for the knock on the door.
It's not that I begrudge giving sweets to children, I am more than happy to do that, although I always feel slightly uncomfortable handing sweets to the children of complete strangers.

I mean, when we were children, weren't we all told not to accept sweets from strangers? I know I was.
And yet at Halloween people take their children out and let them take sweets from strangers.

I suppose it's not so bad if you live in a close-knit community where everyone knows everyone, but I'm a Londoner, and it's pretty 'normal' for most Londoners not to speak to their neighbours unless they have to. And we wouldn't know our neighbours children if they stood up in our soup, let alone if they're dressed up in Halloween costumes and turned up uninvited on our doorsteps.

If I lived in a small friendly village I'd happily leave loads of sweets outside our front door so that any passing children could help themselves without knocking on the door, but as I'm unable to do that, I guess I'll have to grin and bear it.

Church loomed over us as we sheltered from the rain. church. rain. Building. Religion. Architecture.
I don't have a relevant Halloween photo, so here's a church. 
It's gloomy - like my feelings about Halloween.
I was going to doodle something more Halloween-esque, but it seemed hypocritical - so I didn't.


You may think I'm a misery for not enjoying Halloween.
Maybe I am. But just because everyone else likes something doesn't mean I have to.
I'm looking forward to tomorrow evening, when Halloween is all over, and I can sit and relax without any disturbances.
Are you a fan of Halloween?
Do you dress up and party?
What will you be wearing this year?



Thursday, 30 October 2014

Poached Pollock in a Coconut and Fennel Sauce, with Basmati Rice, Courgette, and Lemon

Fish!
Brain food. 

Mr.R is the cook in our home, thankfully, as I don't particularly enjoy cooking. 
He prefers to be in the kitchen on his own, so I don't see much of him in the hours before lunch, because he's busy in the kitchen preparing and cooking our lunch. 

We eat our main meal of the day at lunchtime nowadays. 
We always used to eat our main meal for dinner, in the evening, but when we moved to France, for some reason we never felt hungry in the evenings, so we wouldn't eat anything all day other than lunch, which was usually a sandwich or something light. 
By sandwich, I obviously mean baguette - we were in France. Eating baguettes is the law. 

So, we swapped our main meal from dinner in the evening, to lunch - at lunchtime. 
Mr.R busies himself in the kitchen with all manner of things; grinding spices, chopping vegetables, making sauces, baking bread....... 
You name it, he does it, all in an effort to make us delicious, nutritious healthy lunches. 

I say effort, simply because that's how I view cooking, or anything that involves spending time in the kitchen. Mr.R says it's no effort at all, he says he enjoys cooking. And I enjoy the fact that he enjoys spending so much time making food for us. 
The way to my heart is most definitely via my stomach.

Yum! #blog #blogger #blogging ©http://laurasdiatribe.blogspot.co.uk #food #lunch #whatieat #fish #pollock #turmeric #rice #basmatirice #basmati #courgette #fennelseeds #lemon #wine #whitewine #Glenelly #Chardonnay

This photo is of a lunch Mr.R made us a while ago. 
It was during the warmer weather, and it was very tasty.

Poached Pollock in a Coconut and Fennel Sauce, with Basmati Rice, Courgette, and Lemon
Mmm, delicious!
We had a bottle of Glenelly Chardonnay 2012 with our lunch.
It was a pleasant wine, and a change for us as we very rarely drink white wine. 
Are you a fish lover?
What's your favourite fish dish?

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Barley the Lurcher Loves to Eat

Barley, our lovely Lurcher has several favourite things in life.
Eating.
Playing.
Sleeping.
Not necessarily in that order.

Barley would happily spend all day, and night, in bed sleeping.

He would also happily spend hours playing, with his toys, and with me and Mr.R.
By playing with us I mean nibbling, he likes to nibble - especially me.
I guess I must taste good.

Mmm, thank you! Treat time!  #blog #blogger #blogging ©http://laurasdiatribe.blogspot.co.uk #Lurcher #dog #sighthound #rescuedog #food #beefknuckle #dogbone
Barley is always obedient when there's food on offer, he instantly sits.


And that nicely leads me on to eating.
Like a lot of dogs, Barley loves to eat. He will eat anything, literally - it doesn't even have to be food.

We feed him a healthy balanced diet of two home-cooked meals a day. He also has the occasional treat.
This huge bone was a freebie from a local butcher. We'd popped in to buy some ox hearts for Barley, and lamb chops for our lunch, and the butcher asked if we'd like some beef knuckles for Barley.
Barley barked a loud, Yes!
He didn't really, but I like the thought of it.

I was standing outside the butcher shop with Barley, while Mr.R was inside making the purchases.
As soon as we got home Barley got to enjoy gnawing on one of the beef knuckles.
He was a very happy chappy indeed.
Do you give your dog raw bones?

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Les Jamelles Syrah 2011 - Wine Review

I never know what to write, I mean I don't know how I want to start a wine review whenever I do a blog post about wine.
Ah, there, that's it. Done! Haha!
So, now I've got the first couple of sentences I'll get on with the wine review.

Mr.R bought a bottle of Les Jamelles Syrah 2011 a while ago, and we drank it.
We drank it straight away, but I've only just got round to writing this wine review.
So many wines, not enough time to drink and write about them all. Hehehe!

Les Jamelles, Syrah, 2011. Red wine. French wine. Wine.

Les Jamelles Syrah 2011 won several awards in 2012 including -

Gold Medal, SMV Canada 2012 
Silver Medal, IWSC 2012 
Silver Medal, Decanter 2012 
Silver Medal, Syrah du Monde 2012 
Bronze Medal, Challenge International du Vin 2012

What did I, we, think of it?
It was a pleasant fruity wine with a lovely flavour of berries; blackcurrants, gooseberries, raspberries, cinnamon, mint, a hint of pepper, subtle anise, and vanilla.
This wine had an earthy vegetal taste, decent length; silky finish, nice amount of tannins.
It's not a particularly complex wine but for the money, about £5, it's surprisingly smooth, and very drinkable.

Random fact, I also really liked the nice swirly lettering on the label of this Pays d'Oc wine from the Languedoc-Roussillon region of France. It's resembles a hand-written label, which made me think of small independent winemakers....... blah blah blah.
No doubt that was the intention, but whatever - I like it!
It also reminded me of home. It had me reminiscing about our old life in France, and wishing we were living there now.......

Les Jamelles, Syrah, 2011. Red wine. French wine. Wine.


From the label -
This Syrah was made with grapes grown in Southern France's Pays d'Oc region. 
This is a wine with character. It is intense and spicy with aromas of blackberry, violet and garrigue complemented by a hint of pepper. 
Full bodied on the palate, it is best served at 17-18c with Mediterranean cuisine, spicy dishes, stewed or barbecued meats, game and deli meats. 
Have you tried Les Jamelles Syrah 2011?
Did you enjoy this wine?

Saturday, 25 October 2014

Home Baked Bread, Made Using Sharpham Park Organic Spelt Flour

I love bread.
Mr.R loves baking bread.
Together we are perfect.
Well, maybe saying he loves baking is a slight exaggeration, so I'll say he likes baking - bread.
But I really do love bread.

Organic spelt flour. Bakers blend. Flour. Food.

IMG_2441

Recently we visited a local farm shop where we bought a few things, one of which was a packet of Sharpham Park Organic Spelt Flour. It is made from British grown spelt.

Mr.R wasted no time using this flour, he made a seriously delicious loaf of bread.
I wasted no time in smothering the freshly baked loaf in a generous amount of butter. Yum!

Second Proving. Spelt bread. Bread.


                  IMG_2448
This organic spelt flour from Sharpham Park was actually really lovely, it made a very tasty bread, which despite my heavy handed use of butter did not need any butter to improve its flavour.
I just couldn't resist, I love butter almost as much as I love bread.
Do you bake your own bread?
Do you use spelt flour?
Have you tried Sharpham Park Organic Spelt Flour?

Fortezzi dei Colli Chianti Classico 2012 - Wine Review

Wine - the blood of life.

I usually drink in the evenings, and this wine was a bottle I enjoyed with Mr.R a few nights ago.
Fortezzi dei Colli Chianti Classico 2012 is made using a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Sangiovese grapes.
This wine has a lovely ruby red colour, and a pleasant aroma of anise, cherries, mushrooms, and plums.
On the palate it is quite dry with a pleasant amount of tannins.
This 2012 wine was drinkable, but a little weak in character and not particularly complex.
I suppose you could keep it for another couple of years, but personally I think wine is for drinking when you buy it, and not for the cellar. ;)

image

From the label - translated from German so may not be entirely correct.
The Gallo Nero ( Black Rooster ) is the symbol of Chianti Classico . 
The Classico Chianti features the oldest areas. Of dark red color with a tendency to Granattonen, berry fruits and cherry on the nose, with velvety flavor and soft tannins, this wine goes well with red meats, game and mature cheeses. 
We recommend decanting the wine before serving. After opening please consume within 3 days.


image


We enjoyed this wine, it was fresh, fruity, and as I can't think of another word beginning with the letter f, I'll finish with drinkable - drunk quite soon after we opened the bottle - the wine was drunk, not us.
Have you tired Fortezzi dei Colli Chianti Classico 2012?
Did you enjoy it?