Winter comfort food

Cooking mixed vegetable pasta while outside is sleeting with temperature -3C.

1. Chop mixed vegetables of choice (or what’s left in the fridge), into preferred shapes and sizes. These are mine :

  • Courgettes ( thinly sliced )
  • Red and yellow peppers ( squares )
  • Celery ( short sticks )
  • carrots ( short sticks )
  • Aubergines ( chunky cubes )

Dice garlic, put into pan with olive oil.  Add mixed vegetables, quick stir fry.  Add stock  ( a few spoonful of water ) and simmer until tender.

2. Coarsely slice large chestnut mushrooms.  Dice garlic and put into pan with olive oil. Quick stir fry mushroom slices.

3. Cook pasta of choice according to instructions on packet.  I like pasta twists or spirals.

  • Boil large pan of water with a pinch of salt.
  • Follow packet instructions. For comfort food, cook longer. ( al dente pasta good for summer salad with this recipe )
  • Drain, put pasta back into pan.
  • Coat pasta with extra virgin olive oil.
  • Stir in vegetable sauce, and let it soak into pasta for a few minutes.
  • Pour in cooked vegetables, and mushrooms, with all the juice in the pans.
  • Mix well and dish up.

Not a proper recipe?  That’s how mothers cook, isn’t it?  Improvise and use up what’s left in the fridge.  Waste not.  Mouths to feed.

Meanwhile, wrap up warm and dig in.



I read, I like, I share (22) : Sylvia Plath



I am silver and exact.  I have no preconceptions.  

Whatever I see I swallow immediately  

Just as it is, unlisted by love or dislike.  

I am not cruel, only truthful —

The eye of a little god, four-cornered.  

Most of the time I meditate on the opposite wall.  

It is pink, with speckles.  I have looked at it so long

I think it is a part of my heart.  But it flickers.

Faces and darkness separate us over and over.


Now I am a lake.  A woman bends over me,

Searching my reaches for what she really is.  

Then she turns to those liars, the candles or the moon.  

I see her back, and reflect it faithfully.  

She rewards me with tears and an agitation of hands.

I am important to her.  She comes and goes.  

Each morning it is her face that replaces the darkness.

In me she has drowned a young girl, and in me an old woman

Rises toward her day after day, like a terrible fish. 




I read, I like, I share (21) : Liv Ullmann

” Let me tell you a story:

There was a man who was ninety years old and he was planting a tree.  Three young boys passed him and they looked at him and they ran around him and they mocked him.  They said to each other, ‘I could understand if he was making something with his hands to help the time go by, but to plant at his age!’

The man behaved as if he didn’t hear them.  Silently, he dug a hole and planted his tree.  Not long after, he died.

Thirty years later, the young boys had turned into middle-aged men and, passing a tree, they took delight in its ripe fruits, which they picked and shared — without recognition.”


— Liv Ullmann 《Choices》


I read, I like, I share (20) : Randy Pausch

“When you’re screwing up and nobody says anything to you anymore, that means they’ve given up on you.”

“The brick walls are there for a reason. They’re not there to keep us out.  The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something.”  “And once you get over them — even if someone has practically had to throw you over — it can be helpful to others to tell them how you did it.”

“Experience is what you get when you didn’t get what you wanted.  And experience is often the most valuable thing you have to offer.”

“Showing gratitude is one of the simplest yet most powerful things humans can do for each other.  And despite my love of efficiency, I think that thank-you notes are best done the old fashioned way, with pen and paper. ….. It’s just the nice thing to do.  And you never know what magic might happen after it arrives in someone’s mailbox.”

“Halfhearted or insincere apologies are often worse than not apologising at all because recipients find them insulting.  If you’ve done something wrong in your dealings with another person, it’s as if there’s an infection in your relationship.  A good apology is like an antibiotic ; a bad apology is like rubbing salt in the wound.”  

“Sometimes, all you have to do is ask, and it can lead to all your dreams coming true. ….. Ask those questions. Just ask them.  More often than you’d suspect, the answer you’ll get is — Sure.” 

“So my dreams for my kids are very exact : I want them to find their own path to fulfilment.  And given that I won’t be there, I want to make this clear : Kids, don’t try to figure out what I wanted you to become.  I want you to become what you want to become.”


— Randy Pausch  《The Last Lecture》