Got up really early to tweak the recipes from last Friday’s shoot before Celia and Liz arrived for a day’s teaching.
The sky was doing a marvellous impression of a Turner painting, the flowers in the garden were being charitable and behaving like a perfect Monet. Honey did a small pirouette in middle of the lawn trying to catch a fly; I’m sure she was doing her best to imitate one of Degas’ famous ballerinas. However, I thought it looked more like one of the tutu clad hippos out of Fantasia. I didn’t say a word as I didn’t want to upset her too early in the day!
It had the appearance of the perfect summer’s morning... hot, a little sultry but quite dazzling. Until, I glanced in the mirror. The reflection looking back at me was a doppelganger of the infamous painting – The Scream.
That’s what a bad night’s sleep does to you. It had been very humid, and for some reason I was dreaming about buying measuring jugs. I just couldn’t get enough of them – lots of different sizes, makes and colours. I was unable fit them all into my shopping bag. They kept falling out.
Not sure what this means, not sure I want to know.
So, after my recipe fine-tuning, a non-surgical cream induced face lift and general panic over how many measuring jugs I actually had and, where the hell I had put them anyway, Celia and Liz arrived.
We had a lovely day cooking, Celia and Liz were stars because the temperature in the kitchen must have topped 100F and the pastry was playing up! I made us a big salad for lunch, full of goat’s cheese, bacon, soya beans, patty pans from the allotment and herbs and flowers from my garden.
I love being able to make a salad from herbs and vegetables that I have grown. A green salad can be terribly boring – but gather fennel herb, mint, lemon balm, chives, sorrel, roses, calendula, borage, chive flower, nasturtiums and lavender - and a green salad becomes a dish which is a riot of colour, and every mouthful of herbs and leaves tastes unique.
I’ve only discovered frozen soya beans in the last couple of years. They can usually be found by the spinach and the peas. Blanch them in boiling water for three minutes, refresh under cold water and then add to the salad. I also use them in risotto and casseroles.
Apparently – soya is really good for alleviating the symptoms of menopause. By all accounts, a natural form of HRT. Of course, not something I need at the moment- but...
Oh, Lord, you don’t think my sleepless night and nutty measuring jug dreams are the onset of - tum tum tuuuum - the change?!
Nah, I’m far too young and silly.
Recipe for and English Salad of Goat’s Cheese, Flowers and Herbs – and half a ton of soya beans....just in case. - Available Soon.