Archives for posts with tag: Autumn

This month I wrote a piece for the NCF. It will be published as A cook’s meditation and it is about my own personal experience, and the cooking during the wonderful 10 day Koan retreat  last September, led by Simon Child. The piece will appear in the next New Chan Forum Journal and these are a few photographs to accompany the piece of writing…

 

ImageTiny Pears

ImageMaenllwyd Trees

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Fruit Chutney

ImageBrowniesImageWOnderful Welsh ProduceImageBeetroot and FennelImageThe orchard’s bountyImageCeleriac

Preparing BreakfastImageiImagePlum CakeImagePink Lentil Cottage PieImageImageImageStuffed AuberginesImageWalksImageAfternoonsImageA window to cloudsImageWe want to play too…

ImageImageImageAutumnImageImagetiny pear compoteImagenutty roastImageImageImageImageDawnImageImageImageImageSalad

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Late September is often when we get the best weather, foliage colours are rapidly turning and the visit of warm sun gives a kick to the ripening of things that are still hanging on tress or buried in soil.

I just got back from cooking on a 10 day retreat in Wales ( post and recipes to follow) and still benefiting from high energy and open heart, so every detail in the landscape moves me, makes me smile.

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After a day of catching up with friends I have hardly seen all summer, a free lunch at Wagamamas and a round of Maté tea at home, we went to Mariela’s allotment yesterday, where she proudly showed me her wonderful bounty. She has been transforming this big plot into a lush ever-growing wonder of edible plants and flowers, vegetables and the new dug up patch where she and some friends are planning a small orchard.

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I picked borage and marigold flowers which I am currently drying on a colander on top of the Rayburn for some late summer colour in winter dishes…

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Every plant was fat with fruit, some parts turning into seed. Plump squashes loitering  the ground as we walked, basking in the late afternoon sun. Big towers of runner beans which multiplied as we plucked them. Beautiful fragrant celery bunches with deep dark green leaves which tasted of the earth.  ImageImage

We picked giant marrows, and discussed ways of making them taste by stuffing them. Small courgettes  and flowers with their prickly softness. The herb and flower beds she planted to attract bees and butterflies were so alive and inviting.

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Towering sunflowers the colour of autumn. Sweet peas in pyres with heaven scent. Marigolds scattered around everywhere. Bliss.

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The sky light was turning, dusky pinks and blues, the ending of the day.

Beautiful.

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At night, when I got home, I cooked a light supper, using some of the vegetables. I look forward to blanching and freezing some of the beans today. Image

Autumn Glory I have been reminiscing today on the retreat I cooked a few weeks ago in Mid-Wales. A Western Zen Retreat in which I was given a question by the teacher: What is letting go?

My question kept working after I finished the retreat , resonating as I began the preparations for launching the book. I was highly anxious about public speaking, about people not liking the book. Big tears and apprehension  What is letting go? Just like the beech tree in all its glory was letting go of its beautiful golden leaves when I was in Wales, I was letting go of my story, putting it out into the world. Now I feel happy and light,  and slowly receiving wonderful feedback from readers which I am hoping to blog here.