Thursday, 10 September 2009

Late Summer sunshine food

We're enjoying a last blast of sunshine here with Autumn fast approaching. Last week we harvested the first of the vegetables we've been growing in our small raised bed, a good crop of beetroot and some lovely sweet carrots.

harvesting our first veg

The carrots were served Peter Rabbit-style, just pulled from the earth, rinsed and eaten with the green leaves still attached. The beetroot was made into a delicious beetroot relish with capers and balsamic vinegar and eaten with salad and cold meats.

making red pesto

Today I picked great handfuls of the basil flourishing in pots on the decking and made some homemade red pesto. It was so simple to make, but 100 times nicer than the shop bought jars. My 'recipe' involved throwing a few handfuls of basil, half a clove of garlic and 50g or so of toasted pinenuts into a mini blender with 7 or 8 sundried tomatoes and whizzing them for a bit, then I added parmesan, salt and pepper to taste and some extra virgin olive oil till it looked like it had the right consistency. I served it with my new favourite De Cecco Mafaldine pasta and some extra pinenuts and basil leaves strewn over the top and it was demolished by adults and small people alike.

homemade pesto

I've also been spending some time lounging in the garden watching the plum tomatoes ripen, mostly drinking this, my attempt to recreate the amazingly refreshing citrus fizz I had at Wahaca with my friend Sarah last weekend:

Officially the most thirst-quenching drink ever

I bashed up some mint leaves in a glass with a couple of lime quarters, added lots of ice and topped up with sparkling mineral water. It doesn't quite measure up to the Wahaca version, but it'll do until I go back.

Much as I'm enjoying the end of the Summer, I'm looking forward to Autumn, definitely my favourite season of all. The pumpkins are showing great promise.

Giant pumpkin

Pumpkin soup and apple crumbles are just around the corner!

Thursday, 3 September 2009

Back to school

What a slack blogger I've been this Summer! We spent the last week of the school holidays in Devon with my family - a party of 8 adults, 2 children and 1 dog staying in a vast 16th century manor house. In spite of the rain, we managed beach days, barbecues, croquet and garden chess. It was also nice to just relax in our lovely holiday home and read, bash out hymns and suchlike on the piano (I play like Les Dawson, only without the humorous intent), and cook lovely meals in the Aga (I'm now a convert, and sad that I can't shoehorn one into my galley kitchen). There was also one very entertaining morning spent doing some whole family face painting.

Now it's back to school for the other three members of the family, and back to housekeeping (haha!) and sewing for me. I have a major catchupathon due on everyone's blogging over the Summer - my google reader is showing a scarily high number of unread posts!
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