Perfect Sundays: Food & Fiction

Austin Clarke tried to encapsulate the beauty of The Planter’s Daughter by describing her as “the Sunday in every week”. The metaphor works for any of us who believe Sunday to be the jewel in the week’s crown.  It is a day where laziness seems appropriate, as the day stretches out in front of us, allowing us time to reflect on the week that was and look ahead to the one that will be.  Of course we all spend it differently but here is a little flavour of my perfect and thankfully, pretty typical, Sunday.

After coffee and a browse through the papers, the dog generally gets a longer walk than normal in a nearby forest.  We are lucky to live very close to two stunning woods, where the dog can run freely and we can stroll behind watching random squirrels scamper up nearby trees.

Unsurprisingly, today our woodland friends were mostly invisible, hibernating no doubt in some cosy hollow somewhere. But sleeping squirrels aside, on dry crisp days like today, it makes for a pretty perfect start.

Although my church-going is sporadic at best, I do like to feed the soul a little on Sundays.  To this end, I usually try and find a few minutes to indulge my passion for poetry.  Today, I cleared a few minutes to revisit the work of Pablo Neruda, the wonderful Chilean poet immortalised in the classic movie, Il Postino.  Neruda’s work makes me wish I could read Spanish, for as wonderful as it is in translation, the romance must be a surreal notch higher in his personal vernacular.

The choice for today was Sonnet 17, where Neruda considers love.  From my very first reading, I really connected with Neruda’s view that love is a feeling, not an entity to be explained or described.  There is something secret and intensely personal about the way we love someone…something that is ultimately inexplicable to anyone else, even the person who has made us feel such intensity.

The soul looked after, time must also be devoted to nourishing the body.  I like to plan a little for the week ahead.  Today that involves preparing a batch of healthy and delicious granola.  I am currently favouring this recipe from The Little Green Spoon,  and enjoy it during the week with Greek yoghurt and fresh berries.

On weekends, I generally favour simple lunches that leave time for long, slow-cooked dinners.  So on this winter’s afternoon, we had simple tomato bruschetta, made with cherry tomatoes with a sprinkle of finely chopped red onion, garlic and lots of fresh basil.  This was seasoned and marinated in Italian extra virgin olive oil and a little aged balsamic vinegar.  We served it spooned generously on toasted sourdough bread, drizzled with olive oil.

As for the rest of the day I am reading this book, by a blazing fire, possibly with a steaming cup of coffee and a delicious slice of chocolate Swiss roll.  I will listen to a little of this while preparing dinner, a very traditional bacon and cabbage.  Later  I plan to curl up with Netflix in something like this pyjamas with these slippers. Love Mint Velvet xoxo

How do you spend your Sunday?  Here’s hoping it is fabulous  – the perfect blend of relaxation and productivity x



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