My Special Place

Do you have one?  For me it is Avebury. Older and larger than Stonehenge, and yet so much more intimate, maybe because you can still walk in, and around the stones.  Avebury is in Wiltshire just a mile from where we used to live, and about 20 minutes from my mom’s house…

2003 -Niamhy and Jojo stare down a sheep


2010 - Niamhy and Jojo head up to the top of the ridge


Andy and the girls are always happy to come with me to walk the circle and wander up the avenue, no matter what the weather.  Sheep still graze among the stones and although the ditch is very shallow compared to its original depth, it still amazes me that the builders of Avebury dug it out with deer antlers and ox shoulder blades as tools.

It is a place where people still make offerings


it is a magical place


a place of mystery

Before we came to the States, the local restaurant in Avebury was called ‘Stones’.  It was a hippy, veggie kind of place, but boy, the food was good!  Sadly they have closed now and the restaurant that took its place, serves food that does not come even close.

I do have a Stones Restaurant cook book and the other day, I decided to cook a meal from it.   Ever had one of those days where you are slaving  away cooking a meal, wondering why you are doing it, because it looks horrible and no one will eat it anyway?  That was this meal!  It looked terrible, had some weird ingredients and as I put it on the table I resigned myself to making sandwiches later in the evening – except they ate it!  They really did!  So maybe it wasn’t so bad after all.

It's kind of oozing...

Mushroom and Spinach Romanoff

12 oz tagliatelle verde (yeah, right.  I used whole-wheat rotini)

2 cloves garlic, crushed

4 tbsp. olive oil

1 1/2 lbs. button mushrooms, thinly sliced

1lb. spinach, chopped

2 oz whole-wheat flour

1 pint milk

handful fresh basil, chopped

salt and pepper

1 1/2 lb cottage cheese

1 tsp. freshly ground pepper

2 cloves garlic, crushed

handful parsley, finely chopped

1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper

Cook pasta in boiling water with a little oil until just al dente.  Drain immediately. 

Saute garlic in oil for 2-3 minutes, add mushrooms.  Add the spinach and cook quickly, stirring continuously.  Stir in the flour and cook for a couple of minutes before adding the milk a bit at a time to produce a thin sauce.  Add the basil and season to taste.  Stir in the pasta and put into an oiled dish.

Mix together the cottage cheese and other ingredients for the topping and spread over the pasta.  Bake at 180c for 30 -35 minutes.


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