August-in-a-blog-post …

… or something that attempts to sum up what’s happened in my month!

My August got overtaken with illness. Yup, it’s me that’s ill. It’s a long-term thing – been around for too long and not going away anytime in the near future. Some days are better than others and August has been a collection of mostly bad days. Life has been a struggle and finding the energy for the every-day essentials has been flakey, so my blog has sort of slipped …

I wanted to tell you because my blog and the blogging community I’ve found online has become very important to me. I love sharing my photos and life with whoever is reading these pages and getting to “meet” some of you fellow-bloggers and share my passions with you has been an amazing experience! Even though I have not been commenting on your blogs, I’ve been keeping in touch with what is going on in your lives, praying for you when you’ve had tough times and loving all the photos, recipes and fun! So I guess it’s my turn to ask for the prayers and/or thoughts. Not something that comes easily to me, but even though I don’t post as regularly as I want to, I’m not giving up!

Here are a few other things that happened in August …

I cooked a fish meal for the first time! I baked salmon in foil parcels with a sauce of chilli, garlic, ginger, soy sauce and oyster sauce, and lots of spring onion, red pepper and fresh coriander (cilantro). I served it with rice and green vegetables and it seemed to be a success! ๐Ÿ™‚

One of L’s cousins got married in a country manor house in Shropshire! The staircase used for the bride’s entrance was amazing! They handed out homemade dried-rose confetti and had a beautifully done afternoon tea for the first part of the reception! The couple was obviously happy, despite it pouring with rain most of the day and the bride’s vintage-style lace dress was pretty. There were some photos of L and I taken, but my father-in-law still has these! ๐Ÿ˜‰

My youngest sister had her 21st birthday!! Eeeek! Makes me feel old … ๐Ÿ˜‰ I had a lot of fun planning and creating a special gift for her. T has quite a number of pen-friends and writing letters and keeping in touch with them is important to her. I found a Jane Austen-style writing desk which I painted with her favourite flower – daisys! I also covered a box with old stamps from around the world (I love Ebay! ๐Ÿ˜› ) and filled it with notepaper and cards. My other two sisters had informed me that T was very set on having cards with 21 on them … so the card, some of the wrapping paper and a key-ring made sure she wouldn’t forget how old she was turning!! ๐Ÿ˜‰ My sisters and I have had this tradition of giving each other number badges for big birthdays and this year I got to buy the badge – I’ve been assured it will be pinned on her bag for a while! ๐Ÿ™‚

Just this past week we had some good friends of ours round for supper. E and S got married just 7 months after L and I did and L and E had lived in the same houses for 6 years and have been in a prayer-triplet together with another guy for nearly as long … so yeah, they go way back. They have had us round for dinner twice and we really wanted to have them round to our house – once we could find a date that worked for both couples, that is! ๐Ÿ˜‰

I kind of went a bit over-board on the cooking front … not at all common forย  me ๐Ÿ˜‰ I like to cook something which is ready ahead of time and just needs putting in the oven, so I baked Chicken, Leek and Cider Pie. It comes from this amazing pie recipe book that my sisters gave me for my birthday last year. I decided to replace the whole chicken and homemade stock with chicken pieces and chicken stock cubes and made a classic mistake – the recipe called for a chicken weighing 1.5kg so, of course, I bought 1.5kg of thigh fillets … let’s just say that not counting in the weight difference for a whole chicken made a massive quantity of filling! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Apart from that little slip-up, everyone seemed to enjoy the individual pies, sweet potato wedges and vegetables. For pudding we had lemon-curd biscuits, fresh fruit and homemade ice-cream. I’d been wanting to have a go at making my own ice-cream in ages and I found this recipe that just need me to whip up condensed milk, double cream and vanilla, then put it in the freezer and forget about it … until pudding time! ๐Ÿ™‚ So simple!

A few weeks ago L surprised me with this gorgeous bouquet of flowers – he knows how to make me smile! ๐Ÿ˜€

I hope to be writing again soon!

What has happened in your August?

The day I cooked a chicken

I’ve missed you guys!

Life has been really busy, with many big changes going on, which have affected all areas of L and I’s life. Some good changes, some not-so-good changes.

You know those times when you have so much to handle all at once that something has to be put down? Sadly my little corner of the internet was one of those things that had to be temporarily abandoned. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

But hey, we’re still here, God is still faithful and L completed his first week in his first “proper” job! Oh yeah, I survived a week where I did more ironing in seven days then I have done in the last 4 years … ๐Ÿ˜‰

Today, I cooked a chicken!

Two chickens, if I going to be absolutely exact about it! ๐Ÿ˜›

In the last four years I’ve gone from cooking entirely vegetarian food to cooking meat-eating-man-food – quite a journey! ๐Ÿ˜‰

The Big Thing was a roast chicken! I’m not sure exactly why, but it seemed like a very scary undertaking. Roast beef, sure. Just about any kind of chicken joint, fine. But roast chicken? A big, squidgy, cold, pink thing that I’d have to touch … this dead bird with a big hole in the middle … slimy skin and pointy bones … shudder!

I was shopping for a week’s worth of my hubby’s lunches and these little chickens had just been reduced … somehow they found their way into my basket and into my kitchen … by the way, for those of you who don’t have to carry their food shopping for a 20 minute walk, dead birds are pretty heavy! ๐Ÿ˜‰

I got these two girls in a roasting tin, rubbed olive oil, lemon juice and a mix of herbs and salt and pepper over their skin and put them in the oven for an hour. Oh alright, so yes, I did do this with the help of latex gloves … I needed all the help I could get, alright?! ๐Ÿ˜‰

I used my meat thermometer for the first time and got clear-running-juice, crispy-skinned roast chicken!

Yay! So what was all the fuss about Mrs M?! Easy, right? Worst part over and it really wasn’t that bad, right?

Wrong!

By the time I had this massive bowl of shredded chicken, I learned that it’s better to start with the legs than the breast and that I’m still a lot more squeamish then I hoped … I didn’t feel quite right in my stomach after picking meat off the skeletons of two whole chickens, trying not to think what the brown gunk inside the carcass was and tearing the sockets of legs and wings apart … sorry if I’m being too graphic here! ๐Ÿ˜›

It’s done. I did it. I cooked a roast chicken!

This amount of chicken is rather too much to expect one boy to get through in one week, so I see curries and pilaf coming our way … ๐Ÿ˜‰

Have you roasted a chicken? Do you have a “dreaded food” you’ve never been able to cook yet?!

He did it!!!

My husband has got a job!! ๐Ÿ˜€

After the hard work of the PhD, graduation, countless application forms, interviews and rejections, so many prayers and hopes from us, our family and friends …

And today L got offered an associate research fellow post at an institution where he really wants to work!!

He “stood out” from the other candidates and has received the best recognition for all his hard work and enthusiasm – the job!

I’ve only just stopped dancing around the room and jumping up and down from excitement!! ๐Ÿ˜›

I am such a proud, proud wife!!! ๐Ÿ˜€

Winning in inches

I’ve missed being around and posting here. I’ve missed sharing my photos, thoughts and laughs. I’ve missed you guys.

Right now I don’t have the head space for a full post, so here’s some thoughts that I’ve been finding helpful.

Victory is won not in miles bit in inches. Win a little now, hold your ground, and later, win a little more.

Louis L’Amour

Jesus will keep you strong until the end so that there will be no wrong in you on the day our Lord Jesus Christ comes again.

1 Corinthians 1 v 8

God began doing a good work in you, and I am sure He will continue it until it is finished when Jesus Christ comes again.

Philippians 1 v 6