Mixing words, water and leaves

Kicking goals

This week has been a mixed bag. The implementation of my 1,000 word a day writing target is working pretty well as a motivator. I’ve been getting up at 6am and hitting the computer till the Scrivener bell goes off to tell me I’ve met my goal for the day – and what a lovely sound that is! Having a word count target (as long as it’s realistic) gives you permission to go and play when the bell rings.

Working with frustration

The structural edit is causing enough confusion at times to make me want to throw the towel in. That set off a different kind of bell – the one that told me to go back to basics. I made significant changes to the opening of my novel which has had a ripple effect throughout the story so I have had to revisit my outline to help get my story and characters clear in my head again. When I am happy with the revised outline I will use Scrivener to chop and change scenes IMG_1019around in much the same way I would pieces of paper or cards then fill out the gaps I create. This is one of the features of Scrivener I really like.

Giving myself permission to take a break

The front garden has been weeded and the vegetable patch is almost ready for the summer seedlings to be planted out. I have even spent some time just gazing at my favorite tree in bloom – the quince has the most beautiful, delicate pink and white flowers at this time of year.

It became evident early on that destructo dog liked water – any water – puddles, the river, the water bowl – all fair game for play. Soon after the puppy arrived, I had to fence off the pond to protect the water life when her first act was to leap onto the reeds in the pond and pee! The other day I wondered why the living room floor was covered in water then turned around and there she was sitting innocently on the sofa with a now empty water bucket IMG_1031in her mouth. I had a dog pool in the shed (the kelpie wasn’t interested in it) which I set up on the deck this week on a warm sunny day and expect I will get hours of entertainment from it.  Destructo dog thought it was Christmas.

Good food

The warm weather we’ve had makes me think of summer salads, so we made tabbouleh with the large quantity of flat leaf parsley about to bolt in the garden. We ate it with a delicious pomegranate dressing, baba ganoush and some lamb – yummo! Here are the recipes…

Tabbouleh

  • 1 cup Bourghal (course is better, but I used fine this time)
  • Large bunch of flat leaf parsley chopped (I had about 4-5 cups when it was chopped up)
  • Handful of mint leaves chopped
  • Coriander leaves (I don’t always include this, but had some left over so threw it in. Remove the leaves and keep whole)
  • 3 tomatoes chopped
  • 2 cucumbers chopped

Pour two cups of boiling water over the bourghal, cover and leave to sit and absorb the water. Pull off and roughly chop as much parsley has you can add a handful of chopped mint leaves and coriander if you have any. Mix the leaves in a bowl with the chopped tomatoes and cucumbers. When the bourghal is ready break up with a fork, drain off any excess water and mix through the salad.

Pomegranate dressing for tabbouleh (this is delicious)

  • 1/2 clove garlic crush with good quality salt
  • Lemon juice
  • Pomegranate molasse’s
  • Maple syrup to sweeten
  • Pinch of allspice
  • Olive oil

Chop the garlic then crush it using the back of a fork and some good quality sea salt. Mix some lemon juice and pomegranate molasses together to taste and add a bit of maple syrup to sweeten it. Mix in a pinch of allspice and double the mixture with olive oil. Shake it up and dress the salad.

Baba ganoush

  • 1 medium sized eggplant
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 3 tbs tahini
  • 3-4 tbs lemon juice
  • Salt

Burn the outside of the eggplant over the gas ring on the stove to give it that nice smoky flavor then pop it in a baking tray in the oven on about 200C (fan) till it collapses. When it’s cooled scrape out the flesh and pop it in a blender. Crush a clove of garlic with a bit of salt and add it, the tahini and lemon juice to the blender. Blend and adjust to taste if needed.

We cooked up some lamb cutlets on a skillet and served them with the tabbouleh and a generous spoon of baba ganoush. There is enough tabbouleh to last about three days so only dress what you are going to eat now and have it again for lunch and dinner the next day with some grilled chicken or snags.

How are your writing and cooking going?

Main image: Quince flower

Inset images: Destructo dog (Harper) checking out the new pool

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