Thai Pumpkin Soup

The pumpkin soup with stuffed shells

Peter, Peter, The Pumpkin Eater – where are you when we need you?!

Deirdre and Joerg with The Pumpkin
Deirdre's (a very good friend of ours) pumpkin was the envy of the whole department. I even know of people who came from other departments to steal glances at her pumpkin. This pumpkin also had the courtesy to grow towards the road so that everyone could admire it's beauty – and there was a lot to be admired. A local police officer was worried about somebody stealing it, but we weren't. A drive-by-pumpkin-stealer was going to have to be a very big lad to lift this 150kg beauty.

Cottage Pie with Haggis

My Cottage Pie
aka Carol's concoction
“You're never too old to learn” and today I learned that Cottage Pie and Shepherds Pie are actually not exactly the same thing. It may be a case of splitting hairs here, but a Cottage Pie is a Shepherds Pie made with beef or pork and a Shepherd's Pie is made with lamb. Voila. You live and learn. I know, your life will never be the same again. (UPDATE: Please read the comments for the real difference between the two - thank you Frances!)

Carol's Concoction

Jörg practicing kiting
“Oh sh1t Jörg, your bike's been stolen!“ We were only 20m from our bikes practicing kite surfing techniques and after packing up we turned to our bikes to cycle back to our camper van and one of them was no longer there. Jörg said he would run back the 200m to our van so I set off in hot pursuit in the opposite direction towards the town of Sete 8km away. I do recall thinking, “Hell, wish they'd taken mine, then I could go back to the van.”

Hedgehog Sandwich Anyone?

Heddie the Hedgehog gets a ride
This was my first up close and personal with a hedgehog and I absolutely loved it. Smeared with a little butter and some crushed fresh garlic, it was deelicious. And it comes with its own set of toothpicks to get those last little niggly bits out of your teeth... Calm down, I'm just kidding. This must be just the cutest creature I have ever seen.

Lamb Shank Redemption

Today's recipe: Lamb shanks with olives & preserved lemon
The lamb shanks after the meal
Sigh, it ain't easy being me. Just this week I had to (1) get help opening the boot/trunk of my rental car – would you have known to press the VW logo at the top down to get the bottom up? And (2) did you know that you have to press the central lock button to get the petrol/gas tank to open? And (3) did you know that if your ticket says South Terminal, your flight probably isn't leaving from North Terminal? Groan.

Mirande Country Music Festival

Old style music man
I have something to confess: I am a closet Country Western fan. There. It's out. I've kept this secret long enough. I love country music. Not all the time mind you. Too much of it makes you want to jump off even low buildings, just to make it stop.

Vegetable Lasagne

Vegetable Lasagne
I haven't posted a recipe, or um, anything really for a while, so I have finally kicked myself into action and written down this super Vegetarian Recipe. We had the lovely Heloise staying with us for a week (a French student who is learning English) and she is mostly vegetarian, so I came up with this deelicious lasagne. Now don't you go turning up your nose, this is REALLY good. Even people who wouldn't normally eat this type of thing thought it was great so pull yourself together!

Farm Friday 9: Duckling Delight

The one and only duckling
“A man walks into a bank, pulls out a gun and demands that the cashier gives him all the money she has. She quickly hands over the money and puts up her hands in fear. The man turns to one of the customers in the bank and asks if he had seen what had just happened. The man says yes, of course he had. So the bank robber shoots him. He then turns to a woman customer and asks if she had seen anything. No I didn't, she says, but my husband did...“

Zucchini / Marrow / Courgette Soup

Zucchini soup
This is a quick and easy recipe but it has loads of flavor and is deelicious.