It rained last night. That lovely big, fat, noisy rain that lulls you back to sleep everytime you start to surface. Because it is warmer now we sleep with the window open so it was especially loud and lovely, pushing cool freshness into our room.
It is hard to appreciate the rain when you grow up in Scotland, or any other rainy place. Everyone enjoys rainy days occasionally but when it is the norm, not so much. When you have no choice but to schlep out with boots on and umbrellas in hand it is a soggy annoyance. Don’t even start me on drizzle.
Living where we do, rain is very much an occasional occurance. So much so that we can go months with barely a drop. And when it rains visitors laugh as my kids press their faces up against the glass, or run outside to get wet. People tend to stay in and avoid it, as it passes relatively quickly, they would rather wait than get unnecessarily wet. At the first sign of a few drops parks and football grounds clear in minutes, as I drag my feet to call my kids in I am warned by helpful, horrified, friends ‘they will get WET!’ As if the rain will melt them into a puddle like the wicked witch. At school they are not allowed out to play if it has rained. Not only when it is raining but if the ground is wet from earlier rain. I can’t help compare this to our short stint in the UK when O was 6, when they played sports in short sleeves. Outside. In November. My own memories of watching cousins play rugby in pelting rain or snow. Warm weather makes people somewhat delicate, apparently.
We had friends over for dinner last night. A very yummy mix of Butter chicken, onion bhajis, tandoori chicken, rice and poppadoms. Photos do not do it justice.
The kids loved it, we loved it and we all ate far too much. Later we played pictionary which was great fun with Y resorting to near hysterical charades to supplement his pictures. It is the first time we have played the adult version with them and it was really good fun in between the inevitable tears “I don’t know how to draw a mooooonkeeeeeyyyyy”.
This morning I decided to tackle the massive bunches of cilantro I bought at the market yesterday. You may live in a city where you can find most ingredients most of the time. I do not live in such a place. Judging by the stock in the nearest shops to me, cilantro is a crazy-exotic herb which is ordered on a possibly biannual basis. I was actually shocked to find it in the market yesterday. At any rate a local shopkeeper urged me to buy lots when I do find it and to freeze it to avoid exactly the kind of runaround I usually find myself in. One exactly like, in fact, the one I was in the middle of and which precipitated said advice.
So. Two big bunches of cilantro and one Indian meal later I had to face up to my decision and take it in hand
Actually this picture does not do justice to the size of the bunches. They overflowed a carrier bag. Here it looks kind in unremarkable. Anyway above we have one bunch chopped (in bowl) and one to go. This is a very sanitised version of what really happened. I didn’t take pictures of the carnage on the counter where I did the chopping. Cilantro massacre.
Both bunches chopped and some olive oil added I popped it into some ice cube trays and a while later:
After my thrilling herb filled morning we headed off for the weekly family meal. ‘Only’ 16 of us today. And as always an absolute glut of food. We had ‘Tumbet’ which is similar to ratatouille, layers of vegetables first lightly fried in olive oil and then baked in the oven with tomato sauce.
We can all agree I am no food photographer but then people already look at me weird when I try to take pics of food at a table full of people so you will have to forgive the absence of food styling. The food is there to be eaten, not photographed! This meal is a firm mallorquin favourite. I am not big on meals that require hours of hands on prep, no matter how tasty but the communal effort is part of the fun. Whoever is cooking usually turns up about 1130 or 1200 and gets cracking. Then as others arrive; 1230, 1300 they pitch in with whatever needs doing. Its a really smooth operation with everyone kind of milling around, dropping in and out of the action zone, kids playing around and about. It could be chaos with so many people but after so many years (for me, a lifetime for everyone else) it all just kind of happens in a naturally easy way.
After THAT I dropped O at a friend’s and took Y to a birthday party. Where there. Was. More. Food. I have felt full to bursting since before lunch even started. And yet food. Food everywhere. At this point I have that post-christmas lunch feeling. Like everything will be okay if I can just lay really still on the sofa with my trousers unbuttoned. Unlikely to happen because NOW we have O back with friend in tow for a sleepover. Cue pizzas and crisps and no doubt later demands for popcorn or ice cream. Not that I have the slightest intention of eating another drop but even being involved in more food prep today is making me feel ill.
And on top of it all the movie the kids have chosen to watch is Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.
I am off to lie down…