By far the most comforting nourishment while feeling awful is soup. For Christmas, I was given a 10kg pumpkin, a massive thing. It sat on the floor in the hall until I realised a couple of weeks ago that it was starting to go off, whereupon I had to do something with it immediately, or consign it to the compost bin.
|My 10kg pumpkin looked like this|
For my second try, I took the bag of chunks out of the fridge this week (just before they went off), and added carrot, turnip and a parsnip to the pot. They made all the difference, and I ended up with a super-tasty, hearty soup which has kept me going at lunch times this week.
I still have two bags of frozen roasted pumpkin in the freezer, pumpkin that is responsible for the demise of my oven. At least, while cooking it, and indeed, once the pumpkin was cooked, my oven started making odd noises and at some point gave up the ghost. It was thirteen years old and much used so I can't complain. It didn't die during cooking Christmas lunch, or an important dinner party (not that I have any of those), or even half-way through a roast chicken. No, it was faithful to the last, and waited until the pumpkin was nicely roasted before expiring. Thank you dear oven.
I am replacing it with a French oven, a Sauter (let's jump!) which is the equivalent of my Sholtès and the winner of a Que Choisir ('Which') comparison of ovens. I could have replaced it with another Sholtès, but I read a review from someone who had done just that, and while they were happy with it, they remarked that the components have been made with shoddier quality materials than the old one. A sign of the times, obviously, so I decided to support French manufacturing and save 150Eur or so.
What else? Well, I've been making good use of Hotspot Shield by watching BBC iPlayer - 'War and Peace', 'Dickensian', 'Death in Paradise', 'Silent Witness', and also 'Endeavour' on ITV player. Sitting at the dining table (which is not used for dining) in my cosy dressing gown, in front of the computer with the earphones on, a cup of tea and a slice of Christmas cake to hand, and watching tele is a great way to be ill.
I've also completed the second course of Python and signed up for the third which is starting this week. As I fear I might not be up to the task of all this learning, I am doing, alongside, the CodeAcademy course on Python to give me another point of view, and more exercises. I have to keep at it as there's nothing easier to forget. As with all languages, the most difficult part is thinking in the right way. I can understand what's going on when I see it, but actually writing it down from scratch is much trickier. Exactly like people who say they can understand but not speak a language.
I will get there in the end. I will.