At first glance, the above picture and my title today will seem a little confusing. You may be thinking - what IS she going to make?
Well, our youngest child, our son, now 21, is setting off on the adventure of a lifetime, going solo backpacking in Europe, starting in Budapest in Hungary and making his way through Croatia, Italy, Spain and France. He has done a lot of saving, much research and planning, and when he gave us a copy of his travel plans yesterday, I was delighted to see that all those formative years of dragging the children around castles, old house and archaeological sites seems to have made a favourable impression as he has castles, museums, a Fleamarket (all those years of car boot sales!), and climbing Vesuvius, visiting Pompeii and Herculaneum on his list.
Needless to say, his adventures are also viewed with some trepidation by his mother, as I am inclined to get my knickers in a twist and imagine worst-case scenarios (something which needs to be swiftly nipped in the bud for the sake of my sanity over the next 4 or 5 weeks!), so I took myself off to the friendly little wool and sewing shop in Llandeilo yesterday. I had ordered a zip so I could mend my middle daughter G's skirt. Then I wanted some sand or sky coloured material to edge my seaside patchwork blocks which I hand-sewed a few weeks back when this chest infection stapled me to the sofa. I ended up choosing this bright and cheerful yellow which echoes the colour of some of the beach huts in the material, but have made a rod for my back by deciding to do Mitred corners - the hard way. The two skeins of pretty embroidery floss were to repair a cushion, and I would have sworn they were the right colours, but when I got them home they are too jade and not enough deep turquoise/marine blue. What a shame - I will have to pop in there again then!
Anyway, I have plenty to keep me busy. He has phoned to say he'd reached London yesterday, then Stanstead last night, and this morning phoned to say he was about to board his plane. Now I won't get to speak to him until he is on his way home next month, and will have to make do with e-mails from him. I was NOT allowed to get a Facebook account as that would infringe his privacy!!! It is very hard, giving them their freedom and waving them goodbye, but I am so proud of him for having the guts to do this on his own as I know he had his own reservations over travelling alone. I am sure he will make friends for life at the youth hostels along the way, which will be full of young folk from all over the world, doing just what he is doing. The hard part is sitting at home and letting him do it.
Edited to add a recipe for you to try. I need to keep busy today, so I have a three seed plaited loaf rising, and this is in the slow cooker:
1 pound minced beef
2 medium sized onions, chopped
1 green pepper, halved, seeded and choppped
2 tblspns vegetable oil
1 16 oz can whole tomatoes, with liquid
1 can (14 1/2 oz) condensed beef consomme (I just used a beef stock cube and 1 pt water)
2 tspns chilli powder
1 can (3 1/2 oz) pitted black olives, sliced (I omit this)
1 cup long-grain uncooked rice
4 oz Cheddar cheese, grated
Saute beef, onions and green pepper in oil in a large pan until meat all browned - about 5 minutes. Pour off excess fat. Add tomatoes, consomme, chilli powder and half the olives. Bring slowly to boiling, stir in rice and cook for 5 minutes. Cover dish.
Bake in casserole dish (I use my Le Creuset) in a moderate oven (375 deg.) for 30 mins. Uncover, stir, top with remaining olives and cheese. Continue to bake for 15 mins longer.