Happy Easter

P8260941It’s Easter weekend. Normally the roads would be crammed with camper vans, tourists heading to the coast and especially this year when the weather is so exceptional. We’d be hand painting eggs and thinking of our Easter egg hunt tomorrow with friends and family. Eggs are hidden throughout the entire garden, the hiding meticulously planned and recorded by Roddy so that no chocolate gets left out for the dogs to find. This year it will just be us. Because don’t you agree, nothing should stop us from continuing with a little Easter celebration in whatever way we choose.P8260975

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We are still going to plan a lovely meal, albeit with certain limitations. We’ll get the children to decorate the table with any flowers they can find in the garden. If you’re on your own, treat yourself to breakfast in bed.

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Now is the time when we have to adapt and find new ways to do things and to help other people. If you have an elderly neighbour or someone you know who is struggling in your street, maybe leave a dish you have prepared on their doorstep (but stick to covid-19 restrictions and precautions), or take them a bunch of flowers if you have surplus in your garden.

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Make use of the internet and the luxury of video calls. We will be sharing our meals with our two eldest daughters not with us with the phone propped up in the middle of the table, not normal at all but vital that they are included when usually they would be with us. There is no normal anymore.

I went to an all girls boarding school, looking back it was quite frankly hideous, the food was practically inedible, it was freezing cold in the winter, baths were once or twice a week. We were taught to be tough, to make do, to not complain and to always find a solution and get out the other side on top. Our school motto was “sempre fidelis” Always Faithful. The food was so awful the highlight of the day was a sugar sandwich at tea.  I was in the hockey and netball teams and perhaps even better than a match victory was the tea that followed, the luxury of a chocolate biscuit!

So despite some foods being hard to come by, some ingredients lacking and let’s be honest for a lot of us in the hospitality business, the coffers being severely stretched right now, we can still prepare some great Easter food. It’s all about improvisation and being flexible.

We currently do one shop a week. We order online at our local supermarket and collect at the drive through. It is very hit and miss, because we don’t get exactly what we order. It might be in stock online but that doesn’t mean it will be available when someone makes up our order, an hour or so before our allotted pick up time. So it’s a lucky dip and we just have to hope for the best! This week no broccoli and no bananas, I ordered one tub of ice cream for the children as a treat, but that too was missing, out of stock. No flour of any sort and no loo paper. But the first French melons of the season have arrived in the store. I’m sad not to be buying these in the market from our friendly stand, where they select several in varying degrees of ripeness. But right now a melon is a melon, they are French, local and they will be a HUGE treat.

Flour seems to be the most sought after ingredient in many countries. In France I read that demand has increased 300% and I believe it’s the same in the UK too, with mills working around the clock to try and meet the demand.

If you cannot get flour then all is not lost. Try this flourless chocolate torte and just decorate with a few rose petals or any edible flour or even some fresh herbs. Serve with some fresh cream. The rich dark chocolate flavour is very intense but it’s not too sweet, in fact it’s quite decadent, just as it should be.

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Ingredients

100 grammes / 4 ozs dark chocolate, min 70% cocoa.
110 grammes / 4.5 ozs unsalted butter
150 grammes / 5 ozs cup sugar
3 large eggs
50 grammes / 1.25 ozs  cocoa powder plus additional for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 180C / 375F and butter an 8-inch round baking pan. Line bottom with baking paper.

Melt the chocolate with the butter in a bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water. Stirring until smooth.

Remove the bowl and put on a cool surface. Whisk in the sugar and then add the eggs and whisk well. Add the cocoa powder and whisk until combined, but don’t over whisk.

Pour into the prepared baking tin. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Then remove from the oven and leave to cool slightly before turning it onto a serving plate.

One final word, just to keep you up to date, our new vegetable bed is progressing. It’s back breaking work but a lot of fun! I’ve now planted melon seeds in my mini greenhouse and this will be the melon bed this summer, I’ll keep you posted!

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I’ll sign off with a short stroll around our garden, I wish you could join me, every day it gives me a good dose of serenity and it symbolises hope.

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P8260960For sure it’s going to be a very different Easter for all of us, but let’s still make it special, be strong and be positive.

Wishing you a very Happy Easter and sending you enormous amounts of love Susan xx

57 thoughts on “Happy Easter

  • Such a generous post, sharing all that you can to uplift our spirits. And it worked. Thank you.

  • https://windice1.io/?r=Qsxjkqk108

    Сб, 11 квіт. 2020, 17:08 користувач Our French Oasis пише:

    > ourfrenchoasis posted: “It’s Easter weekend. Normally the roads would be > crammed with camper vans, tourists heading to the coast and especially this > year when the weather is so exceptional. We’d be hand painting eggs and > thinking of our Easter egg hunt tomorrow with friends and ” >

  • Love seeing your pretty home for Easter. Enjoy this special day. Your outdoor space is fabulous.
    Hugs,
    Kris

  • Your garden looks lovely! And, I am envious of your melon bed (sigh). I did notice in a previous post that you are growing leeks and fennel. I may try to grow them; they are hard to find at my grocery store, especially the fennel. Happy Easter to you and your family.

  • https://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-8195823/Andrea-Bocelli-stream-special-live-concert-Duomo-di-Milano-Easter-Sunday.html
    Just a heads up Susan, Roddy & Family—Sunday concert—check your area Today I will be making for the first time your “Melting Moment” biscuits to enjoy w/our Lamb-Cake (Austrian/German) & we will ask God for protection over your family as we recall happy days w/you last Sprig. We plan to visit again, God willing, time still undecided. 🙂 I LOVED walking your garden today—such a beautiful spot! Much love from Central Texas.

  • Happy Easter to you too. Your garden is looking lovely and I’m so envious of your beautiful wisteria. I’ve fortunately not been troubled by any shortages, not flour nor toilet paper. TBH I’m rather enjoying the peace and quiet. Take care.

  • Hang in there!!
    I feel your pain….we have shortages to….
    TP is still a shortage and we rely on our son-in-law to get it for us as he works for Target.
    If I go online for orders….whether it is bread or flour or certain veggies…it is also hit or miss…..
    My husband and I have resorted to a couple of companies that you order your produce a week ahead and maybe you can get some of the things….milk, meat and some staples are always out of stock.
    Our kids (all grown but live nearby) have sternly told us not to go anywhere. So, we haven’t been anywhere for three and a half weeks….
    Even getting fabric for quilting projects has become difficult.
    Hopefully this will end soon.
    Happy Easter!
    Nancy

  • Thank you for the positive outlook and the glorious garden pictures. It is wonderful that in the midst of all this craziness Spring still comes, the flowers and trees still bloom and mature, and the birds sing beautiful songs. We will get through this. Happy Easter!

  • Happy Easter to you all too…we get our shopping delivered but you have to book the slot 3 weeks in advance but you can change it multiple times. Flour is a problem too…you are allowed one bag (that is if you get it)…i resorted to Almond flour at 6 times the cost on Amazon but need must…we can only get 3carrots or 3 potatoes or 3 bananas which is not really enough for a week for 2 people but never mind…we adapt. Loo rolls are a problem too …stay safe.

  • I know that you will make this a special Easter that your family will always remember. Love those blue eggs and the iris! Happy Easter to us all!

  • Joyeuses Pâques! We would normally be in our French house at Easter but, as is this is not the case, I have loved seeing your stunning photos instead. The recipe looks delicious, definitely one for me to try – thank you!

    • Lovely post Susan.This is a weird Easter but we have to improvise as best as we could especially with family estranged abroad . Hope you have a fun virtual lunch with your daughters. We’ll be doing the same with our children in the UK. At leadt the weather is lovely 😍

  • Absolutely beautiful, I have planted wisteria in hopes that it will travel up and provide beautiful color and scent. Thank you for sharing your Easter.

  • Sending you and family a Happy Easter!!! I enjoy your pictures so much & your iris look gorgeous! This is my first Easter in my life that I am not spending with family. However my reward will be that all is healthy and in good spirits. Love and good wishes sent also!!

  • Susan your garden is just beautiful and your post filled with great suggestions on how to make the best of things. Happy Easter Friend!!

  • I loved the walk with you – it looks more beautiful every time I go out with you….
    I bought a lot of organic yoghurts, fresh eggs, a nice bread and croissants to bake in the oven for a few minutes for Monday – we have 150g of salmon each (wild and farmed), some Swiss cervelats, a choice of various cheeses (incl, a brilliant mature Blue Stilton!!!), salads, and lovey fresh tortelloni with mushrooms…. We have our fresh orange juice, all sorts of tea and coffee, we have wine and water – we are happy with this. I meant to do a special with green asparagus, but we ate them yesterday and they were delicious. We haven’t bought a single choco bunny, no choco eggs but I’m sure by Tuesday we’ll have such a ‘crave’ that we’ll raid the shop for some. We noticed that not much was sold – people cannot visit and spoil their godchildren, grandkids, no surprise visits of mothers and elderlies in their homes with some pralinés etc…..
    Happy Easter egg hunt tomorrow and a very happy meal with all your kids and skype! Greetings to all of you from your faithful friends, now from Switzerland.

  • Thanks for a breath of fresh air, Susan! I’ve got some roses that need to be picked and brought into the house. This will be a quite different Easter from last year’s when we watched an Easter egg hunt in our son’s backyard. So tonight we’re going to have a virtual cocktail party with both our sons and their wives, who live far away. Not sure if it will be a Zoom meeting or Face Time or some other way.
    Happy Easter to you all, across the hemispheres! –Judy S.

  • Your blogs are always a pick-me-up, especially so in this isolation. I live in New Zealand and have been an avid fan of yours for two years at least, maybe longer. The richness of your environment and the fullness with which you describe it, always leaves me with a sense of belonging, however vicariously. Thank you. Enjoy your Easter isolation.

    • Thanks Trudee, as we love NZ, (our youngest daughter was born in Auckland) we are so happy to see that things are doing very well there and the country has stayed out of huge danger, I hope it continues for you all. xxx

  • Dear Susan,
    Happy Easter to you and your family and thankyou for your lovely message and gorgeous photos of your garden … a true oasis of beauty!
    Here in Adelaide, South Australia we too are experiencing shortages of flour, yeast, pasta, toilet paper and all sanitising products. Luckily our major farmers markets are still operating with social distancing which is a blessing as the supermarkets are not terribly reliable with their stock.
    What changing times we live in. I feel the world is resetting and hopefully when we emerge from this ghastly pandemic we will all live life a little slower and kinder.
    With love and Easter blessings,
    Susie xox🌷🌷🌷

  • Happy Easter to you, too! I’m sure you will make do superbly. We have increased demand for flour as well, but I was able to find small, organic mills and get some. Thanks goodness. And thank you for the flourless chocolate dessert! Yum! I may try to make it tomorrow. Enjoy the holiday.

  • Happy Easter to you and your family. I really enjoy you’re e mails and beautiful photos.

    Sent from my iPad

    >

  • Happy Easter to you all .We manage to get all what we need in Melbourne but not in the quantities we normally buy. UHT milk besides toilet paper have been a bit of a challenge but we have a plentiful supply of fruit and vegetables.
    At the moment we are allowed to go outside but the weather is getting colder and wetter which makes it easier to stay inside with our wood fire.
    Thanks for the photos as it takes us back to when we stayed with you.

  • We have been lucky enough to stay in the cottage on various occasions and look forward to returning some time in the future!
    Such a beautiful garden and a lovely family…..Happy Easter to you ALL! XX
    Yvonne & Neil

  • my family and i send easter and spring greetings to you…how blessed we are to enjoy all that mother nature has to offer at this gorgeous time of year and i love the pix of your garden…i was raised to “make do” no matter what and the resilience it taught me has served me well this past month…we also are dependent on tourists for our business and after 30 years are wondering if cape may will have a summer season…but we are grateful in all circumstances and we look every day for the fun and beauty surrounding us…our easter is different also as is everyone’s …but it still came!!!! and we rejoice in the promise of better days coming….keep up your positive attitude and lovely posts and pix xoxoxo ❤

  • Lovely post Susan, so nice to see your lovely garden in it’s spring glory. Thank you for the chocolate cake recipe I will be giving that a go. We are planting vegetables for our winter/spring as well as flowers. Mind you the weeds are taking off with the light rain and then the full on sun but at least it isn’t the scorching heat of our past summer. We are unable to travel out of Australia at the moment, we can’t even go and see my parents but everyone is in the same predicament, it is a reminder of how much we need each other, whether it is our family or our community. Stay safe all of you.

    • We’ve had rain for 6 days now, non stop and I know when I venture out for more than a cursory glance around the garden there is going to be days of weeding!!! xx

  • Gorgeous. We are still pretty brown and cold in Chicago! Tell me – while digging, have you found anything interesting that was buried in the ground?

  • Bonjour Susan ! Merci pour ces magnifiques photos de votre jardin. Un vrai plaisir quand on n’ a qu’ un balcon pour prendre l’ air. Un petit conseil pour vous aider à trouver de la farine : demander à votre boulanger de vous vendre un ou plusieurs sacs, il en a certainement en stock ! // Hello Susan! Thanks for all these amazing pictures of your garden. A real pleasure when you have only a balcony to take the air…A little tip to help you find some flour : ask your baker to sell you one or more bags, he certainly has some in stock! Prenez soin de vous / Take care .

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