It has been over a week without a single post. For this apologise. A combination of technical malfunction on the computer front and a few days away are to blame. I'm enjoying a week's 'holiday'. Or at least I should be. I had scheduled in a week off but seem to be spending more time than I would choose catching up on work... Hmmm. Doesn't seem quite right, somehow.
But all is not bad. Far from it. I've had the most lovely few days catching up with my parents on the Isle of Wight (where they live). The break had involved a lot of this...
...and I have returned to London with more plants than I have space for in my garden. On Friday, I was lucky enough to visit the Chelsea Flower Show. I've never been before but always gaze at the gorgeous gardens from the comfort of my sofa via the joys of television. This year, the 'in' colours seemed to be white and green with the odd hint of purple. Just thought you'd like to know. My favourite garden by far was the Daylesford Organic garden. This featured the kitchen garden of my dreams - bed after bed of fruits and vegetables surrounded by wicker. There was even a fireplace with a seating area overlooking the pristine produce - heaven!
After Chelsea, we went to eat at a great restaurant that happens to be just along the road from me. For some reason I've not been before, even though the restaurant is run by 'celebrity' chef Nancy Lam. The Indonesian-inspired dishes we tasted were extremely flavoursome and it was great to meet Nancy herself after she had finished in the kitchen. I shall most certainly be back. Sadly I took no photos of the food but I do have a few more of the fabulous flowers at Chelsea...
Lily-of-the-Valley are favourites of mine - I tried to grow some recently but it ended in disaster. 'Disaster' is perhaps a little strong. Let's just say they didn't grow. These were snapped in the Molten Brown garden which was (unsurprisingly) heaven-scented with fragrant blooms, all in white.
In case you are worried (or, worse, hungry), I am planning to share a recipe here too. I love coleslaw. But until last week I had never made my own version. I think that perhaps I thought that if I made my own, I would actually realise just how unhealthy it was and it might ruin the pleasure I get from a big dollop of the stuff. But then I spied a recipe for a slightly more healthy (or should that be 'less fattening') version and thought I really should give it a go, especially as my weekly veg box had been good enough to send me not one, but two different cabbages. This version used yoghurt mixed with just a little mayo to creat a tangy and delicious dressing.
I really didn't miss the copious mayonnaise. I found the yoghurt actually gave a more interesting flavour and red cabbage was a pretty and flavourful substitute for the usual white variety. I'm not sure I'll ever go back. Though there is something quite moreish about the overly vinegary shop-bought variety too. I've changed and tweaked the recipe somewhat to my liking - a little less dressing, a few more carrots and a final sprinkling of chives which is entirely optional but seemed a good idea seeing as they were growing in the garden.
I always think that coleslaw should be served with ever-so-slightly trashy food: a fish finger or sausage sandwich, barbecued ribs, burger and chips. I'll leave that to you though. I'll keep quiet about how I ate mine. It is just a touch too embarrassing to admit publicly.
Pink healthy-ish coleslaw
Half a white onion
Half a red cabbage
4 medium carrots
6 tablespoons low fat plain yoghurt
1 tablespoon low fat mayo
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Handful of chives (optional)
1. Shred all the vegetables either using the shredder on a food processor or a grater. If the onion is very strong, you may want to use a little less.
2. Stir in yoghurt, mayo and mustard. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Cover with cling film and place in fridge for at least an hour if possible to allow flavours to mingle. Garnish with chopped chives if wished.