Autumn walks, comfort food & gratitude!

11

Hello everyone and thanks for popping in for a read of the blog. Well, autumn is well and truly here with it’s splendiferous array of colours and rosy cheek inducing crispness. Many people I know claim autumn as their favourite season. I’ve always been slightly indifferent to it, favouring Winter, specifically the festive season. Mmm, I really do love Christmas and the run up to it. Having said that, I think this autumn is the first I’ve deeply appreciated.

I’ve been off work for four weeks after shoulder surgery. This has given me a lot of time to notice the changing season. In truth, being off so long left me very unsettled and I couldn’t wait to be back. QVC is like my home and I feel a sort of separation anxiety when I’m away for more than a week or two. Last week I went for a wonderful walk with my son. Walking in nature always recharges my batteries and makes me feel re-energised.

We live close to some stunning National Trust woodland with lots of pretty little paths and far reaching views. We walked for several hours. On our travels we saw plenty of happy dogs, relaxed owners and cyclists enjoying the autumn sunshine. One little dog had us in hysterics. It was running circles, literally, around its owner and barking as she walked along. She saw us smiling and said “He’s cross with me because I forgot the ball”. I don’t know why but this just tickled me so much!! It’s like he was a cheeky teenager.”Oh mum! How could you do that? It’s so unfair!”

We also saw some gorgeous cows. They regularly graze in this area. There are no fences keeping them in, I always wonder what the story is with them. I’ve walked the area for years and always see them. Of course, they could be different ones but they look the same. Usually four of them, not far from each other. They are enormous, too! Lovely creatures. If I thought they’d allow it I’d love to stroke them but they are rather huge and I’m not bold enough to try. It’s a treat just to stand and look at them, though.

As the nights draw in and get chillier I think it only feels right to have the odd bit of comfort food. That’s just what we’ve been doing. My son, Tom, is a fantastic chef. Obviously, many of you will know that I have been a vegan since January so this is my first vegan autumn. I’m a massive pie fan but it has been a bit hit and miss with shop bought vegan pies so Tom decided to create one for us.

Recipe is top secret at the minute (as we are compiling some recipes together which will be revealed later) but I can tell you he used a chicken substitute and a cream alternative. Tom is almost vegan but eats fish. So no dairy, no meats and the occasional batch of eggs if we can source some which we know to be ethically produced. A close friend of mine keeps rescue chickens and they lay eggs. He gifted us a box and Tom had them. I just don’t fancy it anymore, myself, but it would seem a waste if they just got thrown out.

So the pie was fantastic! It was, essentially, a vegan take on a creamy chicken and mushroom. Wow! Such great comfort nosh. We had a little pastry left over so made the vegan symbol for the top of the pie, too. I’m a member of The Vegan Society. They are really helpful if you are either considering veganism, have recently decided to try it or if you have to cater for vegans when you’re cooking.

My mum bought me a great vegan cookbook for cooking Christmas dishes. It’s by the Avant Garde Vegan. I’m really looking forward to using it over the festive period in addition to experimenting with our own ideas. Cooking is such great therapy. I find it quite meditative in the way it makes you focus and takes you away from everything for a while. I quite like having some music on to sing along to whilst I’m indulging in some cooking time.

I try to be grateful every day for all that I have in my life. Family, friends, the cheeky cats, my work, beautiful walks, good food, health… I could go on. I’m so grateful to everyone who not only stops by here to read and comment but also to everyone who follows me on my Facebook page, Twitter and Instagram. If you don’t then please do, details are below. This blog is a weekly occurrence but I’m on the social media almost every day, sometimes many times a day!

A couple of weeks ago someone on Twitter was upset with me. They felt I had replied to lots of people but that I had only ‘liked’ their post to me. I totally understand that it can feel as though you’re being ignored or, perhaps, slightly overlooked. I really don’t want anyone to feel that way at all. I did try to connect with her to apologise for the way she felt but I haven’t seen her again since. It did cause me to think a little deeper on the issue, though.

I don’t have someone answering comments left for me here or on social media. It’s all done by me (apart from the private messages on Facebook which is an automatic reply asking that people post on the main page so I’ll see it). There’s just one of me and thousands of kind folks to reply to. For example, if I get 30 comments on Instagram, I might take at least a minute for each reply. That’s half an hour. Then I may have another 20 or 30 to respond to on Twitter and the same on Facebook. Before you know it that’s around an hour and a half to two hours. If I make several lists in a day then I think you can see how it would be virtually impossible to do more than a quick like for each one. That’s before even thinking about the blog replies.

Don’t get me wrong, I feel so blessed to have people who care enough to write and interact with me. You’ve all made me laugh, cry and smile with your senses of humour, your personal stories and your kindness. I would be so sad if the comments stopped. I really do read them all. Because there are so many sometimes a few have slipped through without me seeing them until I get a little nudge to ask if I’ve seen them. I will always do my very best to answer any questions but if I don’t comment please don’t take that to mean I don’t care or am in any way blasé about the fact you took time out of your day to get in touch. I think you are truly wonderful for doing so. So don’t stop because I won’t stop reading what you have to say.

I just had to get that out because I don’t want anyone feeling a sense of being ignored or isolated. Hopefully the lady who originally felt sad, and who inspired me to write this, is reading, too. We all matter and deserve to feel heard.

I wish you a very happy week and look forward to writing again next Wednesday.

Facebook: Catherine Huntley TV
Twitter: @TheHuntley
Instagram: @catherine_huntley

Lots of love,

Catherine xx

11 Comments

  1. Karen B November 7, 2018 at 6:59 am -  Reply

    Lovely blog as ever Catherine. Glad you are recovering from your op. You are so right about enjoying walks. I have a lovely park near me and theres nothing like enjoying the fresh air for the feel good factor and so lovely to see the dog owners and their dogs. It did make me laugh about the dog you saw. Some dogs are so funny with their antics and many dog owners love to chat about their beloved dogs. Always cheers me up. Wow how lovely does your sons pie look, delicious. Continue to recover and look forward to seeing your shows soon xx

  2. Deborah Robinson November 7, 2018 at 8:23 am -  Reply

    Hi Catherine,I always read your blogs but don’t often comment,after reading your latest it’s clear that everyone would love you as a friend,and by reading your blogs and seeing you live we feel we are,it’s lovely to have you back…however I do feel we have a special bond,in the fact that our favorite CD for Christmas has got to be the smurfs!!!…haha..big hugs Debbie xx

  3. Karen Whenman November 7, 2018 at 8:40 am -  Reply

    Hi Catherine, lovely to see you back at Q! That walk you took looks stunning, great scenery and it certainly makes you feel good when you take a nice walk, even if you don’t initially feel like it! I have a dog so have to go twice a day whatever the weather, but she’s worth it. This has been a spectacular Autumn, the colours everywhere have been so beautiful, but I think Spring is my favourite season, knowing that hopefully we will be able to be outside more than inside…..although I do also love being snuggled up indoors on a cold Winter’s day…..so guess I am not quite sure lol!! Take care xx

  4. Hazel Snowden November 7, 2018 at 1:07 pm -  Reply

    Hi Catherine
    You asked on air about the black and white cattle you saw. You may have been inundated but I think they may be Belted Galloways. I think they may be a rare breed. Anyway, hope this helps. Good that you are back and well again. I enjoy your presentations on QVC. Always humerous and helpful. PS I don’t expect a reply!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. Margaret Tully November 7, 2018 at 7:59 pm -  Reply

    Hi Catherine, could you please advise me from what range your cobalt blue dress is from that you were wearing on the Style Channel Tuesday 6th November. Thank you

  6. QVC ADDICT November 8, 2018 at 2:37 pm -  Reply

    Great to see you back and well on QVC Catherine, Hope you are felling much better, you did look lovely the other day in your blue dress (I forget the shows’ name) Any chance of the Mitaratondo heels making an appearance? Those heels suit you and your personality perfectly!

  7. Marie November 8, 2018 at 4:48 pm -  Reply

    Hi Catherine, such a lovely read and I too love walking my dog in the afternoon’s at this special time of year. The comfort food to me is a bonus!! I became a vegetarian two years in January and i can honestly say that I do not miss meat one bit. I also stopped eating eggs and dairy but unfortunately i like Tom still eat fish. I am trying to give it up, but its a gradual process. There is nothing like home made pies but i also love the pie range by a company called Fry’s. They are a family of vegetarians/vegans who produce a range a foods which are very nice. The peppered steak pies are lovely! They contain no MSG’s either which is another thumbs up for me. So far, I can only get the Fry’s range from Ocado and Holland & Barrett but I am hoping that more supermarkets will stock them soon. Giving up meat and dairy was one of the best things I have done and I just wished I had done it sooner! Hope your shoulder is feeling better xx

  8. Sue Owen November 8, 2018 at 10:32 pm -  Reply

    Hi Catherine
    Looking at the cows they could be ones saved from slaughter. Most die before reaching four so bigger means older. Highly likely they would be free range too. Check if you have any rescues or Buddhist centres that may care for them. Most people never see older cows so their size can come as a shock. Sue & Pebbles xxx

  9. Alyson Macnamara November 11, 2018 at 5:19 pm -  Reply

    Hi Catherine trying to be vegetarian.The pie looks delicious.Maybe you could set about writing a book on easy to make meals with the help of your talented son.There is a niche in the market for simple to make vegetarian meals.Glad you have recovered well, Being out in nature has such a healing effect. With kindness Alyson

  10. Suzanne Wiseman November 13, 2018 at 4:20 pm -  Reply

    Hi Catherine, what beautiful countryside.
    Cows are such gentle beings ♡ they would naturally live 25 years if they are the lucky ones.
    Tom is a fantastic cook, vegan food is so tasty. I eat more variety now than I ever did when I wasn’t vegan.
    I also have a vegan daughter in Bristol, and I’m hoping to move to Pembrokeshire one day, so as well as being vegan we have a lot in common 🙂 Empaths I think.
    Hope you are recovering well now. Lots of love ♡ xx

  11. Karen Jones November 17, 2018 at 3:50 pm -  Reply

    I’m at home recovering from an Operation Catherine. I have to be off work for 2 months. Its two weeks since op and I’m already going stir crazy! My son doesn’t bother with me. I live alone so its very very hard tho some kind people have brought me meals round.

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