Monthly Archives: July 2010

Strawberry no egg ice-cream

>Now, who could ever tire of ice-cream! Well, I am no big fan normally but this homemade strawberry one could give me a change of mind… Strawberries and cream in a soft, cool cup with the added bonus of Pimms… Even I can’t resist. I had a big bowl of it tonight with some fantastic butter biscuits baked by my youngest – more on this next time!

Ingredients list:
3 sprigs of mint, chopped up
Strawberries 250g
Creme fraiche 250g
Syrup made up of 100g of fructose and 1 small glass of water
1 small glass of Pims or Creme aux fraises des bois (by Giffard)

Make the syrup then let it cool while you rinse the strawberries and cut off their tails. Blend all ingredients then put in an ice-cream maker or in the freezer, depending on your favourite method. I got my ice-cream maker as a wedding present and I have used it so frequently along those long years of wedded bliss that I would recommend the whole thing (marriage and all) wholeheartedly – worth keeping as well in case of divorce.

Perfect after a splash in the really cool new V&A paddling pool ! Go to the cafe for a nice cake and tea ; then catch up on your tanning in the lovely inner garden and let the kids splash about.

Summer in London has its up sides.
Re-reading the whole Adrian Mole series in conjunction with the children and laughing out loud at all the jokes certainly is another one! I had forgotten how funny the Secret Diary was. I first read it aged 18 and WHY did I not read the sequels I can hardly understand… No time to lose! Thanks for delayed planes and boring train journeys, we might actually go through the whole lot by the end of summer!!!

Dandelion and pear country salad


Ingredients list:
A few young and tender leaves of dandelion
A few leaves of rocket
One sliced pear
Handful of walnuts
Dress with lemon juice and olive oil

Best to pick this in a field but we found our leaves by the edge of strawberry plants. It is a lovely feeling to think that we are competing with rabbits for that salad! The bitter edge of the dandelion is nicely rounded by the pear and nuts.

I love the fact that the most delicious things in life are free: dandelion salad, sunshine on a beach or a run in the woods when the heat has just gone down and the cicadas start again…

Lemon granit√© with mint


A recipe for the heat! Cooling lemonade with mint superlative for
Ingredients list:
Juice of four to 5 lemons
Handful of fresh mint
Syrup made with one tall glass of sugar and same quantity of water,
boiled and cooled
Two trays of ice cubes

Chuck everything including the cooled syrup into a blender that can
handle ice and serve immediately in tall glasses with fresh fruit
sliced and some local cakes: for us today, with “coca de patata” a
light mallorquin puff cake made with potato flour and dusted in ice

Cool cucumber and mint gaspacho

Ingredients list:

  • 1 large peeled and seeded cucumber
  • 1 garlic clove, pressed
  • Greek yogurt 300g
  • Small glass of olive oil
  • Small glass of White wine vinegar
  • Black pepper to taste
  • Handful of chopped mint

Peel and seed the cucumber – I run the tip of a spoon along it’s
center. Chop it in small chunks then put in a blender with all the
other ingredients and whizz to a smooth soup. Add a few ice cubes
before the end if you are to eat it straight away.
Nutrition notes: the yogurt and vinegar make this very digestible and
cucumber is a good detoxifier. Very low fat recipe .

Sent from my iPhone .

>Sunday at a car boot sale: London is your oyster!


If you have not sampled the delights of the summer day car boot sale, then you simply haven’t lived! It is worth getting up early in the morning to set up stall in a sunny field and watch as two proper Surrey ladies haggle politely with each other over a second hand cake stand you never wanted in the kitchen in the first place…
We had a clearance of toys and bric-a-brac from several family attics in order to bring a couple of cases full of bounty that the children tried to sell for pocket money. It was lovely for me to browse the other stalls while my junior street traders learnt to earn hard cash. Meanwhile I departed from mine: a Sherlock Holmes hard back for the price of a lollipop is now gracing my mystery-lover book-worm shelf and I almost plunged for a whole china service at ¬£1 the lot! 
Morality: car-boot sales are great places to buy, not too sale… But it is fun, educational and it makes a great family day out either way! Next time we try Battersea, we reckon Londoners will be more cash-rich than the charming old ladies of the Surrey set. Check out Time out for a list of car boot sales near you! Trust me : this is one of the pleasures of an English summer…