Wild foraging and a Sea Cabbage Salad

image

It’s a bit overcast today which is almost a relief after five days of scorching early summer sun. We are heading home after a blissful half term break in Cornwall. It’s wild and untamed here, giving the children a lot of freedom. They can disappear for hours at a time scrambling over the rocks, exploring  the many grassy paths which lead down to the coves where they mess around skimming stones into the sea.

After our last swim we walk back to the house sandy and salty, foraging as we go for a few leaves of wild cabbage which we have been adding to our daily green juice. We pack up the house and empty the fridge and veg box to make one last meal. It’s is almost the best one! Boiled eggs, steamed asparagus, rye bread, Cornish Yarg cheese and a Wild Sea Cabbage salad. Read More


Making Kefir and a Blueberry Smoothie

image

Spring is in the air, the English countryside in East Devon is humming with bird song, the trees are suddenly bright with with electric green leaves unfurling from their sleepy brown branches. Blossom from the apple tree is fluttering down like flowery snow covering the ground like a carpet of petals, making everything feel brand new and fresh. There is nothing which connects me more to the here and now and with such gratitude than when England throws off her winter cloak and blesses us with a sunny day. Read More


Dill sauerkraut 

 


This a very simple and easy sauerkraut to make which doesn’t need any fancy equipment, it can be made in a large kilner type jar and with just a sharp knife and a cutting board. There are also only 3 ingredients, cabbage, salt and dill. Even if you omit the dill it will still be delicious. The addition of dill though gives the finished result a wonderfully clean and fresh taste which I love.

First of all do not be afraid! When I first got interested in the idea of fermenting I was quite nervous, making sauerkraut went against everything that that we are taught about health and safety. The thought of food being left on our kitchen counters for days on end at room temperature was very scary. As long as certain procedures are followed there is nothing to be afraid of. Make sure everything you use is clean. Wash hands, utensils and your jar. Straight out of the dishwasher is good. The salt to cabbage ratio is also important, 3tbs of salt to 5lbs of cabbage. You can halve this amount if you want less. Also the most important thing of all is that your cabbage stays submerged beneath the brine. Use the freshest cabbages, preferably organic. Also remember that preserving vegetables in this way has been practiced for thousands of years. Read More


Nightshades and healing psoriasis

image


Nightshades are a family of plants which include tomatoes, white potatoes, aubergine, peppers (all except black pepper), tobacco, goji berries and paprika. They go by the scientific name of solanaceae and includes over 2,800 plants, shrubs and trees. They all share in common alkaloids that are naturally occurring pesticides. These are thought to protect the plants from insects and viruses. It is these compounds which can cause an inflammatory response in the body, especially those who suffer from arthritis, chronic pain or psoriasis. When I first saw the list I couldn’t believe it, my favourite go to meal had always been a baked potato topped with ratatouille and melted cheese, I have often read that you are addicted to your poison, and this was never truer than in my case! Read More


Quinoa Salad

 I love this salad, I make it nearly every week. Its good to keep in your fridge if you are busy or need something delicious to take in a lunch box.

I was shown how to make it by my friend Flos. she also gave me my first batch of kefir grains, but thats another story. I remember Flos making it for her children’s birthday parties, a simple one for the kids and a more grown up one for the adults. I always thought that was so clever, just two bowls and everyone happy. Somehow in my household everyone has always wanted something different and sometimes it feels like I run a mini restaurant. One bowl meals are always a challenge here. Read More


A healthy Nutella recipe

IMG_6096

When I was a little kid we spent a lot of time in France during our Summer holidays. This was in the 1970’s and food at this time in France tasted very different to food we were given at home in England. For a start the milk in France at that time had a very odd flavour that we didn’t like it at all. I think it must have been something to do with how they pasteurised their milk, because years later when we spent our summers in France with our own kids the milk tasted fine. The plus side of French food was that we would get to eat fresh baguette, warm from the boulangerie with unsalted butter. It seems funny to think that unsalted butter was such a novelty to us, but it was. These were simple pleasures, and the combination of the creamy unsalted butter and warm fresh bread was divine. The other thing we found incredibly exciting was the discovery of  Nutella. It was a huge treat, almost as good as Butterscotch Angel Delight. Amazingly, Nutella was something which was not available in London at that time, (my son refers to this as the olden days, much to my annoyance).  For us, Nutella was a seasonal summer time treat that you could only buy in France. Read More


Fermenting day at Trill Farm

IMG_6206

Trill Farm lies nestled in a sheltered valley, surrounded by rolling hills and woodlands  just up the road from me in East Devon. It is a 300 acre mixed organic farm which the owner Romy Fraser runs as an education centre and hosts a community of small businesses complementing each other and making use of the amazing resources the land has to offer.

I’ve done a few courses here over the past few years and have always come away feeling both inspired and grateful.  When the opportunity came to do a day course on preserves and fermenting with the new chef in residence Chris Onions I leapt at it.

Read More