After such a wet winter and gloomy grey skies isn't it lovely to have a bit of spring sunshine to lift our spirits? It also means the start of the gardening season for me and for the first time in three years I have a garden of my own to tend. It will be exciting to see what the former owner of our cottage has planted as everything comes into bud and leaf.
I am so grateful to have Richard Jackson on hand to offer me advice on adding to the planting and it was such a pleasure to launch our Today's Special Value with him last night. I am definitely buying it as slugs and snails will abound this year after all the rain and I'm all for getting rid of other garden pests in a non-chemical way. I also need the weed-killer as we have moss growing through the stones of our patio, and compost, and container magic, not to mention some of our high quality plants …
Could be an expensive month but it will be worth it for the pleasure it will bring. I am going to try and grow some vegetables this year too, time permitting, maybe even tomatoes (I know technically they are a fruit) to make Tomato Soup with ….. I have been asked for my recipe and will put it at the bottom of this blog although I am not sure I will be using it so much any-more as I ordered the Vitamix TSV last Saturday so the method will be different from now on.
Usually I just grow flowers because I love them both outside in the garden and indoors so what a lovely surprise to receive this basket from Chris's mum, Audrey, as a thank-you for organising her party. She really didn't need to but I'm very glad she did! Chris's sister, et al, go back to Australia today and I think she will miss them terribly.
I also promised you a photo of the painting that Uncle Dave did for us … clever isn't he? As those of you who have seen my sketches when designing jewellery pieces know I simply cannot draw … at all! I like to think I am creative in other ways.
Today is my last day on air for almost three weeks as I have to use up my annual leave. I am looking forward to a bit more house organising and plenty of time to write. I think I am one of those people that never really relaxes, unlike Poppy and Wilfie who clearly have no such problem … I think I'd like to come back as a cat. So I won't be live on QVC until April although I expect I'll pop up on QVC Beauty, Style or Extra from time to time.
My two shows today are Fashion on Friday featuring Earth Spirit, with a couple of EMU styles too, followed by Decleor with our lovely Fiona Brackenbury. I have had one or two really kind comments about my skin lately and I can attribute it in part to using Aromessence Excellence under my morning moisturiser, which at the moment is L'Occitane Divine Cream, and Elemis Bliss capsules followed by Oxygenating Night Cream in the evening.
By the way I had my latest appointment at the hospital yesterday. I have to wait for the results of the test which measures how the CML is responding to the medication, but my Prof was really pleased with my white blood count and hinted that he may be able to reduce my dosage if the test results are good … keep your fingers crossed for me. So here is my recipe (haven't done one for ages):-
- 450g Tomatoes (I usually use plum tomatoes for flavour)
- 1 small potato
- 1 medium carrot
- 1 medium onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 tbsp tomato puree
- 50g butter or marg
- 750 ml vegetable stock (made with 1 cube)
- 10-12 fresh basil leaves
- salt and pepper to taste
Peel the tomatoes by cutting a cross on the bottom and immersing in boiling water for two minutes – the skin should then peel off easily. Chop into quarters. Chop the onion, potato and carrot. Soften the onion in the butter or marg until transparent then add the carrot, garlic, tomatoes, tomato puree and basil. Cover with the stock and bring to the boil adding a little salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for 20 minutes and then blend.
Before you blend it will look very thin and watery – don't panic it will come out of the liquidiser creamy (even though there is no cream in it) and paler in colour than tinned varieties. I hope you like it Carol Ann (as requested on twitter) and anyone else who tries it.
Must dash, much love,
p.s: Make sure to check out the interview I did with Will about Liz Earle's 18th anniversary which is coming up next week – have a look at this collection of clips from over the years!
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