We’ve been seeing some pretty strange behaviour here over the past few days – perhaps the effect of the sudden inferno-style heat? First I caught my husband chatting to one of the hens: ‘hello gorgeous, how are you today?’. I thought initially, rather immodestly, that he was talking to me, but quickly deduced he wasn’t when he went on to ask: ‘have you laid an egg today sweetheart?’. Since this blatant come-on, she’s hardly left his side (does this mean he has a chick on the side ;-)); I found her perched on a chair in the kitchen this morning while he ate breakfast.
An unknown rabbit gave birth to five babies in the horses’ hay a few days ago – luckily we realised before they got pitch-forked. Don’t rabbits have tunnels or dens or something to use as maternity units? Or is this the equivalent of giving birth on the hard shoulder of the motorway? Maybe she was caught short. Now of course I have to keep rushing over every half hour to check they haven’t been terrorised by our psychotic mare (she has rabbit issues).
And then last night, just to tip me over the edge and despite lengthy negotiation, Hugo steadfastly refused to go to bed, preferring to sleep on the electric cables under my desk. I obviously haven’t escaped the brain-melt either though because I made this piping hot soup for dinner the other evening when the temperature hadn’t dipped below 35°C all day.
Ingredients (serves 8)
1 sweet potato, peeled
1 red pepper
3 cloves of garlic
4 tablespoons of olive oil
1 teaspoon paprika (or piment d’Espelette)
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 sprigs of rosemary
1.5 litres organic vegetable stock
5 fresh basil leaves
Chop the vegetables into chunks (leaving the cloves of garlic whole), toss in the olive oil and arrange on a roasting tray. Add the seasoning and rosemary sprigs and roast in an oven preheated to 180°C for about 30 minutes. Once roasted, transfer to a large saucepan/casserole dish, add the stock and bring to the boil. Cook for a further five minutes, add the basil and purée.