Sunday, 25 January 2015

Lovely Heart surprise!

Hello everyone, hope you are having a great weekend.

We had a very busy day yesterday, with in-laws visiting us, so cue a big clean up operation and a big cooking session.  I will show what I made at the end of this post as first of all I would like to start off with what definitely cheered my day amongst all it's hectic-ness.  My dear friend Betsy sent me a lovely package all the way from the United States - just look what was inside:

Betsy has made this lovely felt heart brooches for me and some of our other dear blogging friends...

I love the sweet embroidery of this flower...

and isn't the card adorable?

I shall be wearing this tomorrow on my return to work...

Betsy, thank you so, so very much for this gift and your sweet message, you really are a sweetheart!
And the arrival of these lovely gifts were such a pick-me-up: I don't mind cleaning and cooking marathons, but have to confess that I do find these things a little stressful when having to complete them to a set deadline.  My work life is what you might call "an extreme deadline environment" so in my everyday life I choose to be on a slightly more flexible timetable.
But thankfully everything was done and dusted (literally) with 30 minutes to spare before the visitors arrived.
And this is what I had spent 3 hours making:

A traditional dish from the Caucaus region...
To give you some idea of the quantities, it requires 2 large bags of flour, 4 pints of water, and a lot of elbow grease and patience!  The trays (of which eventually there were three in total) are large enough to cover almost a third of my dining room table - that is each tray is that big!  Yes, we are talking of industrial quantities here.  Does my family have a healthy appetite?  You bet!!
The flour is wholemeal, but has to be sifted to take the larger pieces out.  Then, it is mixed with water to form a stiff dough.  About 6 years ago I had surgery on my hand and found kneading the dough too painful, so DH treated me to a Kenwood Chef Major so that I can use it with the dough hook for this dish.  Yes, it is a family favourite and worth investing in such a piece of kitchen equipment!!  Then the dough is rolled out (by hand) into long sausage shapes, about the diameter of my little finger.  These are then cut into pieces about 2 inches long and hand rolled into the shapes you can see above.  The good news is that any left over pieces can be frozen before cooking, so every time I make this dish I freeze some.  This means that on average, after 4 times of cooking I end up with a 5th batch in the freezer for "emergency visitors".  Or when DH wistfully says "I really feel like having Galnish for dinner"...
A soup is made with meat (the relatives) or onions and milk (me).  The meat (or onions) is taken out and put on one side, then the Galnish pieces are cooked in the soup in the same way you would cook pasta.  The cooked pieces are served with the meat (for the meat eaters) and a garlic sauce.  It is a very rustic but delicious dish, and although I sometimes groan when I am making it, the eating of it makes it all worthwhile!
Today I am taking things a little easier, just a big pile of ironing and some paperwork tidying later on.
Have a lovely Sunday!



  1. Pretty heart. The Galnish looks interesting.
    Julie xxxxxxxx

  2. Pretty heart. The Galnish looks interesting.
    Julie xxxxxxxx

  3. Helen, glad you got a heart from Betsy, she is amazing. So wonderful your lovely food was a hit and that you can get some much earned relaxation time today.

  4. The closest thing I have cooked like Galnish is egg noodles, but Galnish looks a bit more complicated. It is fun to find a recipe that is such a hit with one's family. I have just enjoyed getting caught up with reading your posts, and am so glad you enjoyed a Happy Birthday since I last visited you. I sent you a card after Christmas which was returned to me because it needs to be sent as a package and I will try to get it resent soon. I came down with a virus last night, but am already starting to feel better and hopefully will make it to the post office later this week. I hope you and yours are well and have a happy week xx

  5. I'm so glad that you like the heart. I'm feeling very blessed to have so many friends online. My goodness the galnish looks really good but very time consuming. I make lots of homemade noodles but the galnish looks like lots more work.
    Have a lovely weekend my friend.

  6. I was happy to see that Betsy sent you one of her adorable heart pins. I've worn mine when going out in public since I received it. What a treasure! Your galnish looks hard to make but so nice of you to have such a special family recipe.. you are good to make it for everyone. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

  7. What a lovely gift to receive through the post, it's gorgeous. The Gainish sounds good although have to admit I've not heard of it before. P x

  8. It's lovely to be able to cook something that everyone really enjoys. Makes it all worthwhile.

  9. Love those hearts... so darn pretty!!

  10. Wow so happy you got the cute heart from Betsy she is such a special friend to send her love in a heart to you. Your dish looks delicious and I'm glad you got all of your cooking and cleaning done right on time. What a relief .


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