Sontag with Green Soup!

Temperatures have dropped suddenly. Whether this will now be the norm for the end of summer and in to the bountiful month of September, is to be seen. Projects are being ploughed through during the long bank holiday weekend. There will be walking too.

Cooking as ever is on my mind and I have much greenery including a giant marrow (gifted to me from an allotment), the latter which will go in a pita sa tikva (search the post on my blog for recipe).

If you are planning on starting to grow your own veg I would heartily recommend perpetual spinach, purple broccoli, spring onions, chard, green beans and peas as easy and generous in yield when grown organically.

This weekend’s soup will be green – including the leaves and flower heads mentioned above, adding in the holy trinity of onion, carrot and celery plus garlic, some herbs. A handful of puy lentils too. Then cornbread with a little spinach.

I have steadily lost a few lbs this month, hurrah!

What else  –  I have returned to editing my manuscript.

Reading – Ishiguro and  work by Susan Sontag – lots of. There is an interview with her in the current Paris Review.



Yoghurt DIY


My Bosnian mother made yoghurt. It’s easy, mostly. This was her method.

Milk – however much you fancy, whatever kind you prefer

A small pot of plain yoghurt – any kind

A pan

A glass bowl

Pour your milk in to the pan and bring to almost boiling point,  gently whisking as you go.

Let it cool down slightly and then pour in to the bowl.

Add the yoghurt from your bought from the shop pot and stir.

Place the bowl somewhere nice and warm. Today in the heat of the heady sun, my bowl is outside covered over by a plate.

Leave it for a few hours to get all cultured.

There will be two layers forming in the bowl. The bottom white solid-looking stuff is the yoghurt. The top creamy-yellow water that’s slightly foamy on top is just that!

Once you have a yoghurt that you are happy with, you can pour away the water or mix some of it in. The longer the yoghurt is left to get all cultured the stronger it will taste. Once you are happy with it, pop your home-made yoghurt in the fridge and eat within two weeks.

You can start the process all over again then from your own yoghurt.

If you want to be exact, there are temperature guidelines, but it’s OK to go by intuition.






Chicken in white wine and dried fruits

Served up as part of the Monday night main course at Arvon Centre, Moniack Mhor  this is delicious. I’ve cooked it twice up at the centre now…

You will need for 6 people

1 onion peeled and chopped

A good handful of fennel seeds

6 chicken thighs skinned and tidied up

Then some:

Dried apricots

Dried figs




Half a bottle of dessert white wine or more

A cup of water

Firstly chop the dried fruits and soak and place in a bowl. Add the wine and allow to soak for a couple of hours.

Go and read for a bit.

Coat the chicken pieces in flour and fry in a pan to seal, then add them to the casserole dish.

Sprinkle on the fennel seeds.

Add the soaked fruits and wine and the cup of water.

Place in the oven and slow cook for approx two hours til the chicken is tender. Don’t let the chicken dry out – add water or wine if needed.

The fruit will go all soft and mushy and the whole thing will smell just divine.

Serve with roasted vegetables and a hearty salad.

So sephardic…