Forbidden Rice Porridge

imageThe once wild and lawless lands of Cudden Point, where smuggling was a way of life, are situated in the most south western tip of Cornwall. Here lie hidden coves tucked into the edges of the sea and protected by the shelter of  Mounts Bay. This dark and rich landscape, with its secretive history, combined with the treasured black rice of this post, made me think of all the summer holidays I have spent here with my children. The Forbidden black rice of this porridge echoing the colour of the black slate shoreline. Its an exotic and rare ingredient, like smugglers contraband brought in under cover of darkness from far off countries.

IMG_5277Now that my two elder daughters have left home I still meet in this beautiful and mysterious place, with my friend Cathy, her two children, and my son and niece every summer. We spend our time, making memories, and building on customs and traditions that grow as every summer passes. Even at the height of summer it is a demanding and challenging holiday and not one for sissies. A storm can whip up out of nowhere and tear your tent away and even when the sea looks calm, the strong undercurrents in the sea can snatch you out to sea when least expected. The weather can feel quite extreme and dramatic at times, but when the sun is shining and you watch your children gaining confidence as they jump higher off the rocks at each passing year, it is heaven on earth. 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


Turmeric Dressing

 This dressing is very simple to make and uses Turmeric which is one of my favourite spices. I find that having a jar of this dressing on hand is an easy way of getting this incredibly healthy ingredient into our meals everyday. A huge salad of some sort is always a part of whatever  we eat in this house and it tastes great when poured over lentils or quinoa and roasted vegetables.

Aside from it being delicious there is also a more important reason for making this golden spice part of a salad dressing, turmeric is very good for you! 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


Toast (Oas) Inspiration

FOOD+DRINK / OAS | FOUR WOMEN – TIFFANY JESSE – FOOD ALCHEMIST

vegetable fermentationIt was a huge honour to be asked to be part of this Toast campaign. The campaign was to highlight the launch of their new work wear collection Oas. I have loved receiving their catalogues ever since I first got one through the post 11 years ago. It dropped through my door having been recommended by a friend and I was instantly smitten. I swiftly bought a soft grey blanket and a pair of slippers, hoping to emulate the warm and cozy world they presented. They were the first company that I had ever come across that really sold a life style that captured the imagination so well. Always inspiring, with beautiful styling and photography.I have been thinking for sometime that I would like to write a blog. I wanted to share some of the things I have learnt over the years with my children and friends. It didn’t really occur to me that others might be interested. After this piece came out, I realised from the feedback I got, how many people were looking for answers. Not only where their skin was concerned, but also about fermenting and how it can help restore gut health and a sense of well being.I’m still wearing the clothes I was sent a few weeks before the shoot. They get better and better with each wash, becoming my good and treasured friends.

Read More