Sunday, 25 April 2010

Canal Walk

Had yesterday been lovely and sunny as the whole week had been, we were going to go to the Botanic Gardens. The weather didn't seem good enough to warrant the trip, so we settled for a walk along the canal, and Cranberry, Orange and Walnut muffins for lunch when we got back. We were entertained for a good length of the walk by six little mallard chicks (four brave ones venturing ahead, one mother, two laggards pottering along and investigating things along the bank). When he saw the speed the moved at, C realised it wasn't that surprising he hadn't found the ones in town on his lunchtime walk on Friday. And I think he also realised why I had told him where the video setting was on my point and shoot - I got very few shots worth keeping. They just scoot along so fast, and never stop moving. We finally got to a stretch where I could climb down to the canal edge - and the whole family turned back just before they reached it.

We had a lovely light, spicy Hyderabadi curry for lunch today:
Lamb with Onions and Mint  serves about 6
2 lb diced lamb pieces
1 lb onions, peeled, cut in half and sliced thinly
2 tsp salt
1 tsp cayenne (hot chilli powder). I buy mine from Seasoned Pioneers and it is HOT, so I reduced this by half
2 tsp freshly grated ginger
1/2 clove crushed garlic
1 tsp turmeric
3 tblsp vegetable oil
1/2 cup / 4 fluid ounces firmly packed fresh coriander (cilantro) and the same again of mint
4-6 fresh green chillies, coarsely chopped
3 tbslp lemon juice.

Put all the ingredients down as far as and including the oil in a large pan, and add 3/4 pt / 2 cups water. Bring to the boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for an hour. Remove lid, turn up the heat and reduce the liquid. C likes runny curries, so I skipped this step.
Blend the mint, coriander, lemon juice, fresh chillies and 2 tblsp water to a fine purée. Add to the meat and simmer for about 5 minutes.

This recipe comes from Madhur Jaffrey's A Taste of India.

Acclimatising one of the robins to feeding from my hand proceeds apace. Soon I think I can get C to try taking a photo, as one of them will now perch for over a minute on my hand, nibbling away, before flying off. It's so light that if you didn't feel the claws on your palm, you'd barely know it was there. They're only about 20 grammes according to one source I looked up. That's around three quarters of an ounce! Poor things, one of them looked very bedraggled after a heavy shower today, it made its breast look much more speckled.


  1. Gosh, I do love the coloration of those ducklings. They look almost tipped over in the water. I bet they were entertaining scooting around. It looks like it was a pretty good day afterall. And your lunch sounds delicious.

    I can tell that little robin has touched your heart picture or not.

  2. Awwwwww! Look at those fuzzy-wuzzy adorable babies! How cool that you were able to capture the photo. Maybe it will happen with your robin, as well. How awesome that he lands in your hand!