Entries from February 22nd, 2014

February 22, 2014

Palm trees swaying in Marrakech

Palm trees swaying in Marrakech

Desperate to escape the epic flooding and rains that have berated England for the past three months we escaped to Marrakech.  Sunny, relaxing and dry.  We returned to such gale force winds that planes couldn’t land and were sending out MAYDAY signals to Heathrow as they circled and fuel meters emptied. After that harrowing evening  re-entry the daylight view of our garden was littered with massive tree branches.

I don’t know what’s going on with the world but it is wearing everybody out.

So fast forward to the view out the window today.

Tree surgeon at work

Tree surgeon at work

Tree surgeons extraordinaire sadly taking down a heaved pine tree that was so old it only had pines at the top.

Majestic swaying pines , one about to come down

Majestic swaying pines , one about to come down

 

The tree surgeons are working non-stop trying to clear up the mess mother nature has left us in England. Two times the normal recorded rainfall, ever,  in January and February.

So we think about the blue skies, sun drenched roses and lovely people of Marrakech.

roses everywhere

roses everywhere

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Yves St Laurent Gardens, donated by the designer to the city of Marrakech which he called home

Yves St Laurent Gardens, donated by the designer to the city of Marrakech which he called home

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 Our guide said the oranges are very bitter, but beautiful to look at.The trees line the streets.

Our guide said the oranges are very bitter, but beautiful to look at.The trees line the streets.

Inside the doorway of one of the many Riads available to stay in. Lovely old homes that have been turned into small hotels.

Inside the doorway of one of the many Riads available to stay in. Lovely old homes that have been turned into small hotels.

Shopping anyone?

Shopping anyone?

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The TV cracks me up. Gotta have the old with the new.

Amazing hand carved doors everywhere. They are often sold to be remade as tables.

Amazing hand carved doors everywhere. They are often sold to be remade as tables.

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Many women's initiatives and co ops.  Here they are making argan butter out of argan nuts. Delicious taste of combination almonds and peanuts. Argan oil is an important commodity for the country.

Many women’s initiatives and co ops. Here they are making argan butter out of argan nuts. Delicious taste of combination almonds and peanuts. Argan oil is an important commodity for the country.

Richard Branson magical mountain retreat, Kasbah Tamadot, in the foothills of the Atlas mountains

Richard Branson’s magical mountain retreat, Kasbah Tamadot, in the foothills of the Atlas mountains

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ommmm

ommmm

 

 

 

February 3, 2014

The Family Dinner Cookbook

The Family Dinner

This morning started out with workout clothes on, the school run and absolutely no drive to get out of the car and workout WHATSOEVER. Call it fatigue, too much rain, February blahs, it’s all so pedestrian but the raging truth. Tossed in the backseat of the car were two cookbooks I had brought along to scan in the grocery store parking lot for tonight’s dinner.

First off, The Family Dinner by Laurie David. 

For some reason I was motivated to pull into the school lot and start paging through The Family Dinner, hoping that during my reading interlude somehow, somewhere the energy/desire/motivation to go and workout would bubble from the inside out and take me where I needed to go. Two hours later, happily tucked into Costa with a massive cappuccino at my side I discovered newfound motivation for my family’s dinner and for myself.

Laurie David writes with warmth, sincerity, humor and refreshing honesty. Feeding our children is one of the all time top responsibilities and guilt inducer  that is bestowed by genetic pre-conditioning mostly on us mothers. I have three children to feed. The oldest has been the poster child for picky eaters since he was three. Before that he would eat anything. Then one night at a  dinner party I sat next to a man who commented that his 5-year-old would only eat  fast food from McDonald’s. I assumed he was being facetious .

“What do your children eat?” he questioned.

“We  have one so far, and he will eat pretty much everything.”

“Just wait, that will go away.”

I swear that ogre put a hex on me because one month later food refusal began and has never changed to this day. The other two kiddies are average eaters, i.e., feeding everyone is WORK.

I love Laurie David’s book and what it represents. Thank you Laurie!

 

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