Posts tagged March
The Year in Books: March

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The intermittent reading of poems is such a pleasure over the course of a month. I haven't read all of the poems from my February choice of the Virago Book of Love Poetry, but those that I have read have provided much needed creative inspiration and time for reflection on what is important in life; namely, love. Mr CC and I don't get to spend much time together, but we try and make the most of what time we have. This week we took Bella for a walk and laughed the whole way as we watched her scamper and frolic in the fields and it felt so joyous that I didn't want to return back home.

I had already read a number of the poems before, but nevertheless it was pleasant to peruse a few classics and some more modern selections. Despite a vast number of poems and many favourites among the bunch, I doubt it will be a book I reach for in the near future; rather a reference book should I ever feel the desire to read a love poem, or perhaps to utilise when we are choosing the readings for our wedding ceremony.

For the month ahead I'll be trying something a little more countryside-focused: The Old Ways by Robert Macfarlane. Following ancient tracks, holloways, drove-roads and sea paths, Macfarlane explores the stories of these tracks, the people and places associated with them and the landscapes which they inhabit. Professing to bring togther 'natural history, cartography, geology, archaeology and literature', it promises an adventurous journey and 'nourishment for the mind.' A hefty tome, it presents as the perfect choice with which to begin the Spring segment of my year in books journey, with positive energy and a renewed focus on the natural world.

What have you been reading this month? Any recommendations? As always, head over to Circle of Pine Trees for more inspiration and to share your choice for the year in books.

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Eat Seasonably in March

March heralds the start of Spring, and that means fresh new shoots and green vegetables emerging from the soil. But we are also still in the depths of the 'hungry gap', where the veg plot has little to offer that can appear on our plates. It is instead a time for waiting, nurturing and patience. With that in mind, a lot of what is seasonal at this time of year is either forced (rhubarb) or stored from the winter months.

If you can hunt out some early Spring greens, try them sautéed with bacon and mustard seeds - head over here for a recipe. Wild garlic should also start to surface soon - difficult to buy in the shops but available from organic veg schemes such as Riverford, it has a subtle flavour and is perfect in homemade pesto and pasta sauces. In fact, anything green and leafy is good at this time of the year; as the winter months come to a close and the stodgy puddings and hearty casseroles are left behind for another year, it is only natural to start craving nutritious, healthy foods.

Salads are sneaking back into our kitchens in many forms - add olive oil, mozzarella and a few nuts or sultanas to mizuna or rocket leaves and you've got yourself a nutritious side dish. I've been adding leftover grains from chillis and risottos to make a more substantial lunch.

Finally, if you're looking for ideas for a Spring feast, you can't go wrong with hogget. Not as well known or as popular as lamb, it is actually far tastier as the sheep is slaughtered somewhere around a year old and as a result the flavour and tenderness are much improved. Find cuts in good butchers or local farm shops (you won't find them in supermarkets!), roast and serve with fluffy roast potatoes.

March

March is all about… buds unfurling, dancing daffodils, hanging washing out on a bright and sunny afternoon, spring cleaning and lighter evenings.

Something to eat: For those of you trying to stick with your healthy eating resolutions made in January, or if you simply want a bit more energy to wake you from those afternoon slumps, try these almond and chia energy balls from Ella.

Something to visit: If you're in or around Lincolnshire on the 29th of March head to Countryside Lincs, a family day out with local producers, crafters, farmers and businesses all in one place. You can try your hand at sausage making, meet Lincoln Longwool sheep or be entertained by falconry demonstrations. Tickets are on sale now here, or you can purchase them on the gate on the day.

Something to make: Your own tea! We consume so many cups of the stuff every day, why not try your own herbal variety? For a huge list of links to recipes head over here, or if you want something very simple try this ginger tea recipe here.

Something to celebrate: The Spring equinox falls this year on March 20th, and is widely heralded as a time of rebirth. Why not revisit your resolutions and think about what you want to achieve as the spring and summer months arrive? I'll be planning out the garden and veg patch and can't wait to get started planting seeds in our polytunnel.

Something a bit different: Learn the essentials of bread making and you'll be set for life. There are so many courses available, but if you're in Lincolnshire try Manor House Stables where you'll learn how to make loaves and rolls, as well as pizza that you'll eat for lunch!

March in Pictures
March Collage

This summary is a little late but what's 5 days?!  I had a wonderful March and can't quite believe it's nearly been April for a whole week.  Let me take you through my month...

(From top left) St David's Day heralded the start of the daffodils in the garden, and now they brighten up every corner; I started planting seeds in earnest; homemade quiche - the recipe will be on the blog soon; the most incredible pancakes at Betty's in York; snowdrops still lingering; going back in time at York Castle Museum; a view and a statue; family birthday celebrations; York Minster in the sunshine.

I hope you had a wonderful month!

CC

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The Year in Books: March
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Mr CC got me this book as a stocking gift for Christmas.  I think he saw the title and thought it would be appropriate for our first Christmas as a newly-engaged couple, but he'd also done his research and thought I'd enjoy the different cultural perspectives the book offers.  He was right (as usual with his book choices).  The book did not only provide a different angle on marriage, it also made me consider how different our life values might be if we had simply been born elsewhere.  The protagonist's move from Bangladesh to marry an American man she met online, and her subsequent attempts to fit in with her new surroundings are thought-provoking and at times humorous.  However, it is the struggle of her parents to escape the life they have always know that forms the backbone of the story.

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This project has forced me to make time for reading; a hobby that sadly gets neglected when life gets in the way, but one that brings me great happiness when I actually get round to it.  So for next month I'm going to tackle another.  This book is one I bought in the best bookshop in the world - Shakespeare & Company in Paris (right opposite the Notre Dame if you are interested) - in 2010 and it has lingered on my bookshelf ever since, hiding away behind more recent purchases.  But no longer!

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The book I've chosen is Ernest Hemingway's A Moveable Feast.  Being set in Paris, I'm sure it will alight my passions for the city once again, and let's face it, anything with the word 'feast' in the title has got to be worth a read.

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Check out Circle of Pine Trees for more information about The Year in Books or for some more great recommendations.  Happy reading!

CC

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