Monthly Archives

July 2017

Ate, Food, Recipe

Peaches & Cream.

 

When a fruit is in season, it is truy in its element. That’s how nature works. Winter strawberries never quite taste the same as luscious English strawberries do in July, plucked during their natural period and delivered to your plate exactly how nature intended. There’s a lot to be said for the benefits of eating in season, not simply taste alone.

This week I received my first organic fruit and vegetable box from Riverford Organic. When I lived in London I regularly had Able & Cole boxes delivered but sadly they appear to have forgotten ‘The North’ exists and have yet to extend their offering past the Watford gap. Riverford Organic however, are more than happy to venture into the cold, unforgiving climates of ‘The North’. Arriving freshly plucked from the earth at a local organic farm, this week’s box was to include a punnet of perfectly ripe, perfectly peachy donut peaches. Oh how I love a good peach.

I’ve nothing against eating a peach as they are, but when they’re grilled? Magic happens. Pure peachy magic.

Slice the peaches in half, remove the stones, drizzle with honey and scatter with thyme leaves. Grill until the surface starts to brown and the honey has a thick caramel-like quality to it. Mix thick Greek yoghurt – or coconut yoghurt if you prefer to go dairy free – with a good dollop of honey, spoon over the grilled peaches and roughly chop some pistachios, roughly scattering them over the yoghurt. It’s simple, yet it’s dreamy.

 

 

The few remaining peaches made their way to the following day’s breakfast bowl; sitting atop an acai berry oat smoothie. Add a banana, some frozen mixed berries, acai berry powder, oats, honey and almond milk to a blender, blitz into submission and serve with coconut yoghurt, pistachios, flaked almonds & a smattering of desiccated coconut should you desire. Again, simple yet scrumptious.

 

|1.| The White Company Porto Roaster |2.| Kelly Hoppen Zen Cereal Bowl |3.| Ferm Living Fein Brass Serving Spoons

Leave a comment
Found, Shop

There’s always time for tea.

 

Tea was always my thing. In the hedonistic tea days of my youth I may well get through ten or more cups a day, fuelled by life perched behind an desk and a team that enjoyed it just as much as I did. But even before that it played a part in my life. I would take excessively milky tea in my Beatrix Potter mug, sitting beside the fire with a colouring in book.

There are many ancient customs and rituals around the world that involve tea; but for me the English ritual is all about the simple act of comfort? We drink tea to make things better, to soothe or to calm us, we look for solutions in the bottom of a mug. We also drink as a social past time and as a bonding activity. We walk into our office kitchens in small packs at preordained times to all stand around a kettle as it boils, discussing the most pressing gossip of the day. We may not have invented, discovered it or even perfected it, but tea will always be a very British past time.

For me the ritual has changed now. I removed diary from my diet a few years back to help with my highly sensitive skin, successfully I might add. There are milk alternatives out there that would certainly mean I could go back to the tea as we all know it but if truth be told, I’ve moved on. Peppermint, hibiscus, green. The options are far and wide. It is most definitely still a ritual however, demanding time and care. Patience and peace.

 

 

About a year or so ago I stumbled across JING Tea whilst on a mission for a peppermint tea that wasn’t the expected supermarket issue. To say tea is an art form in the world of JING is quite the understatement. They believe your brew requires care and attention, directions are provided on the best temperature at which to infuse the leaves and precise timings are assisted by the most beautiful little sand timers. It’s the modern day issue of the ancient ritual.

This weekend’s discovery is Silver Needle. A white tea, delicate and fresh in its flavour, it quietly infuses for three minutes. That’s precisely the amount of time required to thumb through to where I last slotted the slightly odd brandy label bookmark I use in my well-worn copy of The Shipping News, tuck my feet under the blanket and prepare for a perfectly quite afternoon.

 

 

If you find yourself a believer in the art of tea then I feel it’s only necessary you indulge yourself in the world of JING Tea. I highly recommend the Lemon Verbena for a balmy summer’s evening in the garden, soaking up the final rays of the day. I don’t have that garden as you may have already read, so I pull a chair to a window and play a game of make believe. Because sometimes, life is just like that.

 

|1.| Glass Tea-iere |2.| Silver Needle White Tea |3.| Glass Tea Cup & Saucer |4.| Tea Timer

Leave a comment
My Home

Green ambitions.

As a child I had a thing for gardening. I imagine it was spurned on by the arrival of Ground Force on our screens which in turn would lead to a rather strange summer where I took it upon myself to buy Gardener’s World magazine each month. I convinced my mum to let me dig up lawns to create flower beds, only to then not have any plants to fill them with and move on to creating a rockery from the only pebbles I had managed to claim from our drive way.

Only one of my houses after that has ever given me a garden. It was a ground floor flat in Ealing that I dubbed ‘The Cottage’. Seemingly ordinary from the outside, inside was original Victorian floorboards and drafty panelled doors. At the end of the truly tiny kitchen was a barn-like door onto a garden covered in roses. They trailed down the iron pillars that supported upstairs’ balcony and all along the fence. In the summer it was like a kind of heaven in that garden. I had pots of geraniums and herbs everywhere, a little table to sit out at with my breakfast and a rickety wooden bench that was positioned perfectly to sit in the evening sun. I miss that garden.

There are so many things to love about my current home and in some ways it’s absolutely perfect. In others, sadly it isn’t. There is no outdoor space here to spend the summer in, no beds to plant up and no lawn to lie in on a Sunday afternoon. The only bit of space I have is the tiny concrete path that leads from my front door to the gate. Presently that space is occupied by a series of terracotta pots filled with lavender and herbs. It really is a tiny space but it’s now a little greener at least.

Inside, things are getting just as green. My dream is to one day have a vegetable garden with a fully stock of herbs that will service my busy kitchen. It’s a dream that’s quite a way off at the moment, but for now my window sill is filled with basil, rosemary, thyme and bay. I’m almost loathe to snip anything from them to cook with, they’re so small and unestablished, rather defeating the object of having them. But they sit there, their soft scent filling the room when the sun hits the glass.

|1.| IKEA BITTERGURKA Watering Can |2| The White Company Chartwell Planter |3| Sophie Conran for Portmeirion Herb Pot

 



Leave a comment