i think that one takes the award for intriguing title!!

I have a few photos to share with you tonight (behind the cut), but first, today’s progress.. or rather, lack of it..

I didn’t make the apple cake. or the apple pie. i didn’t make the skirt, or the handbag. Instead..

I cleaned! And tidied! Actually, worked on the bedroom. There’s this one corner that never gets cleaned, its behind the dirty clothes basket and it needed sorting out. So i did that. took the dirty clothes basket out. Pushed the chest of drawers over. Got a bookshelf from the bathroom, put that in the bedroom where the chest of drawers was, so i can put towels and bedsheets there (we have a severe lack of storage space in the bedroom). then i raided the kitchen for a bookshelf to replace the one i nicked from the bathroom. We have a lack of storage space in the bathroom too, so the bookshelf holds things like spare loo rolls, the sudoko book that Michiel likes to work on, the book i like to read.. (what, we can’t be the only ones that like to read on the loo?), and a few other odds and ends. That bookshelf in the kitchen had a bunch of pots of dried herbs on, so i had to sort those out, chuck empty ones, refill other containers, which was well overdue, and a bunch of empty glass jars i’d kept for ages, “just in case”, which went in the bin (i’ve others, elsewhere). of course, i cleaned as i went, and before i knew it, three hours had gone and i had made a lot of progress. of course, it meant that i didn’t have time to do the apple cake i had intended to make, but never mind. there’s always tomorrow for that. I’m pleased with the work i put in though – i found my national insurance card in an old handbag (never a good idea to lose that), a bunch of receipts to prove we’d paid the gas, electric, water and TV licence (prepayment cards), which i was happy to see as i could put them into the spreadsheet that i keep, and they would join the rest of the receipts that i keep for those things in various envelopes (keep everything, that’s my motto). I found a pair of sunglasses (not that i’ve really needed them this year!) and the bedroom looks much better now. Even better, we now have space to put some books from the living room shelves (which, frankly, are absolutely groaning with books) in the bedroom and free up a little space in here, which is always a good thing.

(cut for length)

Dinner tonight was lovely. I served up the “around the world in 80 meatballs” dish i talked about, and it worked really well. The actual meatball recipe could do with tweaking some, so i’m not gonna post it here just yet, but it does work very well, and i think, especially if you make this in bulk, its a quick and easy meal. It took me just 15 minutes to serve this up tonight. There’s lamb, beef and chicken meatballs, and each meat has been divided into three, and each portion has been flavoured differently. some work (very well, the chinese version was absolutely gorgeous – just simple chinese five spice, oyster sauce and honey), some are so so and could definetly do with improving (the thai one was simple sweet chilli sauce, and could’ve done with some fresh coriander and lime juice to pep it up a lil), but when you combine them, just pile a heap of meatballs in the middle of a tortilla pancake with lettuce, plain yoghurt (or similar cooling sauce), hot salsa and cheese and wrap the whole thing up, its quite simply absolutely gorgeous. The meatballs are bite sized, so what you effectively get is a different flavour every bite. and it actually works very very well.

the meatballs!

the meatballs!

Definetly one to try again, and even the economics aren’t too bad on this – i bought 500g each of minced chicken and beef, 1kg of minced lamb, and the lot cost me £16 – and i only used 250g of each to do this dish, and there was easily more than we could eat – i ate two wraps, Michiel ate four (and he was struggling by the end), and there’s enough meatballs to do another meal, i think. if i work it out, i think the economics of the meat meant it came to around £1.50 per portion, then add the cost of the makings ontop of it – tortilla pancakes, salsa, cheese etc. Not the cheapest meal ever, but certainly not prohibitively expensive.

table set for around the world in 80 meatballs

table set for around the world in 80 meatballs

In addition, you can easily use the meatballs in other ways as well – the classic way, of course, with tomato sauce and spaghetti, in a sub, are the two that spring quickly to mind, and i’m sure there are others if i really think about it. But the “around the world in 80 meatballs” wraps are a hit with us both and i’ll be doing it again (and probably for my mom and dad when they come to visit next.)

Speaking of Mum and Dad, i caught up with Mum tonight. They had a great holiday (in Orkney), and we were able to catch up and have a good old chat. Sorted out a few of those questions too. I’m visiting Gran for her 90th, as a surprise. Heading down to Mum’s on 25th, since Mum doesn’t work on fridays, so i can spend the day with her alone (and she can teach me to crochet), going to Gran’s on 26th, then home again on monday 29th. Should be a fun weekend. September is a wierd month for birthdays – there’s Gran, of course, Dad i mentioned last night, and my other grandmother as well, all in the space of 10 days. Makes it easy to remember though!

Birthday card i made for one of my grandmothers

Birthday card i made for one of my grandmothers

Anyway. I thought i’d share a photo of the card i made for her.. and confirm that Mum said yes, if i want to make christmas cards for her firm charity christmas fair, go for it, so i’ll be shopping around for the makings for christmas cards soon (and she wants a xmas pud. not sure about the christmas cake yet).

And finally, when we were in the Netherlands, my two adorable nieces gave us each a present from the Netherlands, they gave me an apron and Michiel a teatowel, all Dutch style of course (says a lot about who does what in this house too!). The older of the two girls, S, was so very taken with her “Auntie Keth from England” (and she very proudly counted to 10 in English for me, about all she knows in English, but she’s young enough yet that we could play together without needing a language in common, most of the time, and when necessary, her Mum translated) that i thought she’d like a picture of me wearing the apron, so i asked Michiel to take one of me to email to her.. and then i thought i’d share it here too. I hope you enjoy as much as i know she will!!

me, proudly wearing my Dutch apron - its the colours of the Dutch flag, of course, and theres a little ceramic clog at the base of the teatowel!

me, proudly wearing my Dutch apron - its the colours of the Dutch flag, of course, and there's a little ceramic clog near the hem of the apron!