The Birds

One of the facets of our trip that I have appreciated the most has been the birds, and especially birdsong. It has been wonderful to see so many species from blue tits to  red kite and buzzards, to hear woodpeckers pecking, to wake to a proper dawn chorus. I kept saying that we must buy bird-feeders to hang out whenever we stop but somehow we did not get around to that. When we go long-terming we shall most certainly have bird-feeders and I shall make good use of the camera. The little feathered friends make for great entertainment.

Of course we have our own birdlife on Sanday and in fact the first thing that we saw on getting home was our resident short-eared owl on the hunt up and down the garden. We also noted two swans on the field with a host of greylags and the sound of larks on the wing was perfectly thrilling.

It’s just different, you know, and was so good to hear woodland birds as a change from snipe drumming and fulmars mewing. The trees themselves of course an absolute blessing. So restorative. But then, the sea here has the same uplifting effect. You pays your money and you takes your choices, I believe.

I now have the phone photos imported to my PC along with the ones from the Canon which I had been storing on the lappie. I confess myself daunted by the task ahead of me but I will get it done – or at least, I certainly intend to. Of course I always have the intention. I believe we have yet to see that intention carried out in full.

One other intention for today was the shopping. It turns out that neither of us can face something that mundane, not even Mr L who is currently out of milk for his coffee… It will make for some meal challenges… last night I pondered our meal choices, which were few, and managed to come up with a sausage casserole. Now, sausage casserole is not something that I have really “got” in the past. Sure enough, I have made a couple of assaults in the past, normally with apples and cider involved but can’t say that I ever saw the point or honestly enjoyed the dish. Necessity was the driver last night and Mama Invention played a blinder. I am noting it down now so that I can recall in the future how it was made and replay the trick.

Post-holiday Bare Cupboard Sausage Casserole

  1. Fry one 1 pack of Donaldson’s Pork Sausage with Mustard in a little olive oil until appealingly browned, lift into a heavy bottomed casserole pan or dish
  2. Introduce the healthier parts of the last couple of sliced onions and some garlic to the frying pan juices and cook until the onions become translucent
  3. Add some sliced carrot what can be salvaged of the last three carrots and some celery perform the same trick with the remaining part of the head of celery that we took away three weeks ago
  4. When hot, sprinkle over two teaspoons of 00 flour and stir to absorb all the pan juices.
  5. Add the last can of chopped tomatoes and stir until thickened
  6. Tip the lot in to the casserole pan with the sausage
  7. Deglaze the frying pan with a goodly glug of the red wine designated to accompany the meal and add to the casserole
  8. Chuck in a judicious handful of herbs (I used dried mixed), whatever tomato purée that might be mustered, and a stock cube (I had to use beef, no pork ones being available)
  9. Stir to mix, whang the lid on and cook on a gentle heat ( I used the hob not the oven as the oven wasn’t yet up to temp) until the veg are cooked to your liking and the whole is nicely hot and thickened.

We had ours with some very tired new potatoes and some even sadder purple sprouting.

It was wonderful.

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