It is exactly one year since I retired. What a brilliant year I have had and I may have said it here before, and I have certainly expressed it many times out loud, I haven't had such a good time since I was ten years old. It's just so blissful to realise you have time to be doing anything you feel like doing and not cramming it into an hour for lunch. Just to be free to do what I want to do, or even nothing (not that that has happened much in the past twelve months) has been just fantastic! I am very blessed.
Today my young walking companion, Grandson M, and I went for a wonderful stroll through a wood which nestles into the Lammermuir Hills. There was a stream, a lake, a trail for little ones to follow with Glingbobs and Tootflits to look out for, and an awful lot of peace and sunshine. It was magic. But the best bit for me was just appreciating that I had time to stand and watch my grandson doing his best to clear some of the little dams made by twigs, leaves and winter debris along the stream to allow the water to run and gurgle more freely. He was doing what all young boys should be doing, messing around with sticks and water and we didn't need to be anywhere else, there was no rush, we had all the time in the world.
I was not able to take any photos today as my camera has been hijacked for a trip to London by Grandsons J and C. They are having a belated seventh birthday treat, although I suspect the Beefeaters at the Tower of London will be the ones in for a treat - those two boys have some very good lines. However, using a photo from a different day I can tell you about another brilliant feature of our walk this morning which was the abundance of young wild garlic leaves. What joy! Wild garlic pesto will be forthcoming by the end of the weekend, and I will leave you with the recipe for wild garlic pesto. It's totally delicious, great with pasta, obviously, lovely served in a dollop with roast lamb, splodged on top of a minestrone type soup, or just as a dip with some good bread. Enjoy!
Wild garlic pesto
2 large handfuls freshly picked wild garlic leaves
50g shallot, spring onions or leeks
50g nuts (can be pine nuts, walnuts, mixed nuts - whatever)
200ml olive oil, sunflower oil or rapeseed oil
50g grated cheese (Parmesan, goats cheese, your choice as long as it is a well flavoured hard cheese)
half teaspoon of sea salt (to taste)
half teaspoon caster sugar
Unless the garlic leaves have been picked from the roadside don't worry about washing them but do pick them over and remove any coarse stems, other leaves or bits of grass you may have picked at the same time!
Put all the ingredients with 150ml of the oil into a food processor and blitz for about one minute until everything is finely chopped.
Fold in the grated cheese, salt and sugar.
Store in a clean screwtop jar in the fridge. Pour the remaining oil ((50ml) over the surface of the pesto to stop it discolouring. You can mix the oil into the pesto before using it.