Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Roast pepper and tomato soup

Made this tonight - perfect winter weather food. Diet friendly, delicious and easy. Adapted from an Asda recipe.

  • 900g Tomatoes, halved
  • 2 red peppers, quartered and de-seeded
  • 1 medium red onion, finely sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2tbsp olive oil 
  • 1 stock cube (veggie or chicken)
  • 1tbsp Sweet Chilli Sauce
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 4tbsp creme fraiche
Preheat the oven to 200C/180CFan/Gas 5. Put the tomatoes, peppers, onion and garlic cloves in a roasting tin and drizzle over the olive oil. Toss the vegetables so that they're well coated. Cook in the oven for 50 minutes, turning the vegetables half way through.

Dissolve the stock cube in 500ml of hot water. Puree the roasted vegetables with the stock in a blender or food processor (you may need to do this in two batches), then pass it through a sieve if you prefer the soup without the tomato seeds and tiny flecks of skin

Pour the soup into a pan, add the sweet chilli sauce and Worcestershire sauces and reheat gently. Serve with a swirl of creme fraiche.

Snowed in again

Well wasn't expecting this much snow again. Apparently nor were the council who managed to not grit ANY of the main roads. I realised I wasn't going to make it in by 7.30 and called my colleague who was in with an early client - she agreed to take my client (who apparently didn't show up anyway). Attempted to make it in for my 9.30 but scared myself when driving in so stopped, turned around and drove home. A 20 minute round trip took over an hour.

Most people were driving really sensibly, especially the lorry driver behind me who was keeping a 100 yard distance. Apart from a couple of UTTER numpties - like the German woman in a mini who pushed in and cut me up and thought it was funny. She had a child in the back. Did she not realise that the reason everyone was driving slowly was because it was DANGEROUS? Idiot. It's just not worth risking your life or someone else's?

Any way home and safe now. Was amused by this - cheered me up anyway!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Argh - frustrations abound.

The snow still is hanging around and is starting to get annoying now. I'm over it. Am am very glad that we invested in a wood burning stove - it's making a big difference to our winters. And contrary to popular opinion, it's not a bad thing to have one either. There are enviormental benefits - we are using less gas as the thermostat is lower and we are keeping our main room very toasty; even though our area is a smoke control area, the stove is so efficient and clean it's fine for us to use, we use seasoned wood which burns more efficiently and most wood you get here is from sustainable sources.

Yes you do have a bit of work to do (well Matt does in our case) in keeping it clean, but it's not much as there's very little ash. And you do have to keep an eye on it - but that's fire. There's very little better on a horrible cold winter's day than lighting a fire and cuddling up with the cats.

And this morning I'm doing invoices - very boring but at least I get paid at the end! Need to do my tax return this week, which is more boring and does not involve payment at the end. Some times it's depressing being grown up!

I got a bit pissed off last week having been so pleased about the MacMillian report (see last post) I posted it on Jo's and promptly got told by another poster that I might be scaring people who might then not take treatment. You know, it's really really important that we talk about these things. When I had treatment I made sure that I was well researched and knew my options, BUT there's very little known or published about radiotherapy side effects.

I know a few people who have had cancer and are dealing with side effects, or recurrances and need to talk about these issues and I know that as an organisation Jo's is really supportive of that. It was set up as a support for people dealing with cancer. Sometimes, because of the Jade thing, it seems like the focus is on CIN, but we should not be afraid of talking about cancer related issues. WE HAVE TO, it's so so important. Ultimately I'd rather people make informed choices than get half truths, and in the end to have or not have treatment is a personal decision.

The fact is that cancer is terrifying, but if you have a diagnosis of CIN you've not got cancer and frankly it's easily treatable. When we talk about what has happened to us POST cancer it should never ever be an excuse not to have treatment. And I think that those who are going through the cancer treatment should also have honesty about what might happen afterwards. I think sometimes these things are glossed over by the consultants because really they want to get us well.

When we saw Dr Andreyev talk at the Let's Meet it was very informative - he has a huge waiting list of people who have had pelvic radiation and need after care on bowel damage. He's only one of FOUR in the world (I sound like Jeremy Clarkson) who specialise in this. I think that's dreadful. So for me to see this article was a celebration. And I know that Dr Andreyev is very frustrated that the oncologists work so hard to save our lives but forget about what happens afterwards. (as an aside I know of men who have had prostrate cancer and have had major problems with this)

In the end treatment is about working so hard to save lives and it's incredibly important to have that in perspective. I am so glad that I'm still here and am very very mindful of those of us who are not. I absolutely refuse to stop talking about the fact that cancer can kill and that being a survivor is a wonderful wonderful thing but it also brings heartache and other issues that are hard to talk about with people who have not been through it. And I'm not, absolutely not, going to stop talking about those things.