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Creamy Broccoli & Cheddar Soup [Recipe]

I quite enjoy being alone. I don’t think I’m a loner – I love good company. But I am also perfectly content to be on my own. I love to get lost in thoughts and dreams – places I might visit someday, famous people I’d like to meet, foods I’d like to try, books I might write. Silence doesn’t bother me. In fact, I quite like it. Silence is not empty to me, but rather it is peaceful. Read more

Vibrant

They say the camera doesn’t lie. I disagree. Sometimes I capture a scorching sunset only to find later that the photos don’t show the vibrancy and range of colour that my eyes saw. So I’ll admit it – I have boosted the colour in these photos, if only to better reflect my wine-tinted memory of the most romantic sunset I have ever witnessed. Photos taken at Budgewoi Lake, Jervis Bay, NSW (Australia) in the summer of 2012. Read more

A Difficult Week

It’s been a difficult week. A number of things went wrong in quick succession that have left me a little out-of-sorts. Firstly, my favourite jeans died. You know, that perfect pair you’ve had for years, that fit perfectly and that, between the patches and the fading, are like a diary of your life. If those jeans could talk, what a story they’d have to tell. They’ve been patched and repatched and now the material is so worn that the patches won’t hold. I have to accept that they are no more. I would love to go out and buy an identical pair, but given that they’re nearly 10 years old it’s unlikely they’re still available. Which brings me to problem No. 2 – shopping. Read more

Weight(less)

I could watch snow falling for hours. It’s so quiet and soothing, like looking at a lava lamp. Weightless flakes float down and settle on trees, windowsills and rooftops. If the sun later makes an appearance, the whole vista sparkles like diamonds. It’s beautiful and hypnotic. Until, that is, you notice that a large volume of snow has collected on the roof of your polytunnel. It is no longer weightless, but is instead causing the entire structure to buckle and bend. I spent a chilli hour yesterday scraping it off but the damage caused will require significant attention come spring. In the meantime, I am entranced by the snow. Read more

The Circle Game

Lithuania is truly beautiful at this time of year. The ground is covered with a fine layer of snow, the skies are clear and the sunsets are magnificent. We can watch the sun setting from the warmth of our conservatory. It happens to coincide with our afternoon coffee and we are both drawn to the rapidly descending circle as it approaches the horizon, steaming mugs keeping our hands warm. Read more

What Should I Eat?

Christmas is over and the New Year is upon us, bringing with it the annual profusion of “healthy” recipes. Clever marketeers prey on your lingering sense of guilt from any holiday over-indulgences with recipes or food products boasting to be gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free, low carb, low GI, vegetarian, vegan or paleo-friendly. I have nothing against any of these food types or diets, but it is when people slap the word “healthy” in front of them that I start to get irritated. Read more

The Christmas Cake

“Don’t slam the door!” my mother would yell as I walked into the kitchen. The Christmas cake was in the oven and in the early eighties, when oven seals weren’t quite what they should be, slamming the door could create enough draft to cause the cake to sink in the middle. Or so the theory went. Read more

Merry Christmas

To all of you who have read, liked, commented, shared, pinned, etc. over the past year – thank you so much for your time and your company.

Wishing you and your families a very Merry Christmas and wonderful things for 2016. Read more

Baby, It’s Cold Outside

One of the things I most looked forward to about moving to Lithuania was a white Christmas. The Lithuanian countryside is stunning when it is covered in snow – vast open fields surrounded by forests and dotted with deer. It doesn’t get more picture-perfect. This year, though, the weather has decided not to play ball. It was a balmy 9 ˚ C (48 ˚ F) here today – about 15 degrees above what would be expected in mid December. Read more

The Superser

Grandad tore a strip off yesterday’s newspaper and leaned down to light it off the gas flame. He lifted the burning paper to his lips and lit his cigarette before throwing it into the empty fireplace. It was Saturday, so the fire was not lit. My grandparents always went out for a drink on Saturday night and didn’t waste their time or their fuel lighting the fire when they would not be home. Instead, if it was chilly (as it was today), they would light the Superser. Read more

Lithuanian Sauerkraut | Rauginti Kopūstai [Recipe]

In our house certain things happen so often that they have been given their own name. One of our most frequent occurrences is “where-is-age”, a phenomenon whereby Arūnas can’t find something he needs, despite the fact that the item is exactly where it’s supposed to be. “Where’s my wallet?” “It’s in the drawer, darling. (Where it always is.)” “Where are my keys?” “They’re in the drawer, darling. (Where they always are.)” You get the gist. Read more

Lithuanian Cabbage Rolls | Balandėliai [Recipe]

Preparing traditional dishes is never straightforward as everyone has their own view on how they should be prepared. There is nothing more soul-destroying than spending several hours cooking a meal only to get a look from your husband that says “these are not as good as my mother’s”. I have received that look many times as I developed my recipes for šaltibarščiai, koldūnai and cepelinai. With my balandėliai, I a little fared better – I got “the look” for the first attempt only. After that, something unprecedented happened – I was told they were even better than his mother’s. Read more

Trio

I stumbled on these photos as I was going through my archives. For some reason they amuse me – I can think of twenty good captions for each of them. I’ve included a couple below. If you have a good one please share – what are those three boys thinking or saying? Read more

Deers & Goats & Backs & Things

I was sixteen when it first happened. I had been on a weekend school trip to an outdoor pursuits centre and come home with a stiffness in my back. I wasn’t sure what had done it – 4 hours downstream in a canoe, rock climbing a jagged cliff, lifting the heavy sail of a windsurf or jumping from port to starboard as we tacked and jibbed our way across a choppy bay. Read more

My Food Odyssey Calendar 2016

As the evenings grow ever shorter and the year draws to a close, I have been looking back on the last year and, indeed, over the last three years since this blog began. Both the blog and I have come a long way. Initially it was a food and travel blog, covering our journey through Europe discovering the wonderful food and drinks on offer. Then we settled here in Lithuania and it became more about our personal journey with food and our life here, growing our own vegetables and enjoying country life. Read more

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