Saturday, 18 April 2015

Following a dream costs prayers,..., ... & Isolation

A lot has happened since the last time I posted something on this page. The Bank Cook went beyond my expectations and a year on I am still having interviews requests about it. Yesterday, I was informed that It might actually be part of the Church Urban Funds for Poverty Sunday. See details here

Hope & Prayer
Today is 18th April. It is exactly 2 months since I started my latest project. This book is in fact the one that I should have worked on before The Bank Cook. I guess God had a purpose for that one to be done first.
 
The current project I am working on is draining and challenging. I can see the end, but I can’t see how it is all going to happen. The project is almost like a “ministry through food” book and linking Jesus 40 days fast to the Daniel's kind of fast.
 
With the struggles and unplanned hiccups, it seems I cannot involved anyone else on the creative process. I rely a lot on the moods of the sun to take the best food photographs and because it is unpredictable, I cannot book anyone to help. I can only cook when the sun is out. Photos have to be taken of dishes when they are still fresh and vibrant.
Gathering tools
The fact that I am investing part of my salary in it doesn’t help as when the budgeted cash runs out I have to stop until next pay day pending on my bills for that month.
 
At first I felt awkward admitting this to myself. Given the magnitude (in my mind) of this project, I should have saved first, but…
 
The low disposable income is forcing me to create the recipes, cooking, create scene with props, taking the photographs review them, write the texts and come up with the book concept. I am also the administrator and the accountant for this project, which gives me the free dome to do anything at any time even if it means cancelling my plans just because the sun has shown up when I opened the curtains.
Keep moving
 
We are Saturday today. This week, I went to see an independent film followed by a Q&A. I wasn’t expecting to feel so close to the man who put it all together. The film is called Tea & Sangria and was written, produced and acted by an Englishman who lived in Spain for 7 years. See the trailer here
 
The film was shot in 50 days over 2 years. What Peter Domankiewicz said during the Q&A touched me. He had written few scripts before and they all were rejected. Tea & Sangria was one of his first scripts and he loved it so much that he decide to direct it. Peter couldn’t afford a leading man so he decide to become the leading actor of the film. That saved on hotel bills for the actor. He also had to change crews so many times because he couldn’t afford to keep them on full time.
 
The filming also completely depended on his finances so, when he ran out of cash the filming had to stop. But he persisted and finally shot the whole movie in 50 days over 2 years. The film is about an English man who packs everything in the UK to move in with the woman he loves in Spain. She, being Spanish is very volatile and he ends up sleeping on one of her exes’ sofa while he is looking for a job and another place to live. Some parts of the film are autobiographical, there is a lot of swearing but, ultimately hearing the struggle behind the making of this film is an encouragement to me.
 
Peter Domankiewicz had a dream, and had to make it happen. The film will launch in Empires cinemas in the UK in the next few days… that is one blooming achievement!
 
Dive in
As I continue to plod on with my project, I am not sure how is going to be received. I am focusing on coming up with the recipes, taking the photos, writing the texts and laying it all out on paper. To date I’ve got 30 recipes waiting to be written. I intend to do a minimum of 70 so, technically I am half way. Once I have written and laid out the 30 recipes I will be looking for editors and publishers. If I don’t find one who takes me seriously, God has a plan and has just granted me a pay rise just yesterday. That rise and the £300 I have been saving to put towards self-publishing, will help printing the book samples. I think I could self-publish to start with.
Rise in the heat
At this stage, I am looking at launching it all for my 40th and God willing, it will not cost me an arm and a leg.
 
If it all happens, pray that you who are following my progress since the start will buy at least 1 copy of the book.
For now, please pray that I don’t flap or give up as I detest the writing process.
Stay in touch and hopefully see you on 8th December 2015 when I will shout out HERE IT IS! While brandishing the book.
 
Until then, I’d like to leave you with this: If you have a God given dream, however big or small, start working on it. Don’t wait for that extra £, that special job or whatever you are waiting for. Following a dream requires, pray, courage, strength, isolation and hope. So, set a date, pray about it and take the first step!
 
Thank you for reading. God bless. Keep dreaming and keep going.
This is how the finish looks like....This dish will be in the book

Monday, 7 July 2014

XL Vegan update July 2014 - A year later

So! Nearly 12 months since my last update.
I think it is good to document Things that happen when you pray…

Last year after the fast, I was published in a National glossy magazine… on first January, while I was praising God for what had happened in 2013 with the whole vegan experience, the New African Magazine, The new blogging path (thefoodnutter.com and http://beenthere-reviews.blogspot.co.uk/ are mine too). One thing I wanted to achieve was to have a mention in a national new paper… I was thinking of the Metro or Evening Standard… I didn’t even know what the subject would be, but I wanted that to be my achievement on a personal point.

I also prayed for better finances and for my boss to recognise the value that I am… Well… Stick with it I am coming to it.
The vegan experience inspired me to do many things including doing something for the homeless or for foodbanks. Since God had blessed me in this way, why not give something back using those skills? The blogging kind of took over and as I was doing well at creating dishes I started to think that I should write my own recipes book… A vegan recipes book… So the part about the homeless or the foodbank got lost in my busyness and me me me me projects…

The Book
As I started to think of Lent 2014, I was once again prompted about a charity related project then one day as I did my devotion, I was given this Bible verse “Honey sees tasteless to a person who is full, but even bitter food tastes sweet to the hungry”. Prov 27.7

Reading that bible verse in February reminded me and told me what lent project should be… A cook book for foodbanks’ users. I concluded that, that was what God wanted me to do in his name. See, in the UK, currently, there are 900 000+ foodbanks users, a gazillion of TV chefs, but there is no TV cooking shows those queuing at the food bank… It could only be a God project!

So, I did my researches, included the expense on my March budget and did the shopping before the 1st day of lent and was ready to create the whole book in 40 days of lent and night. I completed the project on Easter Monday at around 2.30am. Since I normally wake at 5am for work, I did not bother going to bed. Instead, I decided to blast twitter with the references to the book and the DotCom I had purchased to go with the book… I found few news editors’ email addresses on the web and sent them emails about the book. Within 48 hours, I was contacted by my local paper, a week later, I had appeared in THE Times yes, THE Times! That’s is amazing!
The article in the Times

Since then, I have been in the Church Times, the Croydon advertiser and an interview with few other magazines, I have also had a 20 minute feature on a National Radio.

Often when we achieve such project we start doubting ourselves, and I said to myself, if this is God’s then, the book will get to where it needs to end up. If it wasn’t God, then, I have done it any way. 

But God by his blessing on this project has proven that He asked me to create such resource and I am humbled to be His tool.
The article in the Advertiser

Working for a charity myself, I do not have the resources to print the book and distribute, but it free to download and copy for anyone who has the means to. So, if you are able to, please print a copy for a friend who is on low budget. If you are financially blessed, print few copies for your local food bank and may God bless you for that.

The Bank Cook is available to download from here
The printing guidelines can be found here.
Stay tuned… as you follow my journey since the XL Vegan blog.

Thank you for reading.
Be blessed, hold on to the Anchor, because when you fall or are let down, the Ancor will raise you up.

Hortense

Twitter: hjulienne 

Sunday, 4 August 2013

XL Vegan - Update August 2013

Well hello everybody!
It has been 3 months since I last posted something on this blog. I have now come to give you an update.

God has been so good to me. I have carried on eating vegan meals and not that much products of animal origin. I have managed to open the eyes of few sceptical people… in my office in particular; over 1 week, had cooked and made vegan tasters for 10 people in my office and all of them liked what was presented to them. Few rediscovered some vegetables that they thought they hated and few definitely change their mind about vegan foods… I have realised that it is definitely possible to live without meats and dairies.
Few of my dishes were submitted to 3 national lifestyle magazines and one of them published my recipes over 4 pages… This was completely unexpected… and I say this is God’s work.

If you are not of a God-believing disposition you would think that I am a nutter for believing that God is the strength behind everything great that is /has /will happen to me this year. Well let me tell you… I am a NUTTER, a God fearing and God believing woman and everything is down to HIM.
Had it not been for him, I wouldn’t have been able to keep up with the 40 days of Creating, Cooking, Photographing, and Blogging daily!

Had it not been for God, I wouldn’t have had the gut to submit my dishes to the magazines: Delicious Mag,  Stylist magazine & New African Woman. The latter published few of my recipes in their June/July edition covering  4 PAGES!!!  And a mention on the cover What an amazing thing to happen!!!
Thanks to God, I have dared to make tasters for 10 peoples during 7 days in the row while doing my day job full time organising events.

Had it not been for God, I wouldn’t have had the guts to submit my dishes to food pro directors who are now chewing over my ideas…
THAT is all GOD and to him I give the Glory and cannot wait to see how the rest of this year pans out.

I’ve also now got better tools to get me going with more creative stuffs and can’t wait to see what random dishes I am going to cook up.
If you haven’t visited it yet, I have started an all vegan blog with just vegan recipes  http://all-vegan.blogspot.co.uk/2013/07/home-made-orange-sorbet.html where there are fuller recipes of the dishes from the 40 days fast and also new ones.

To see the Magazine article click on this link or copy it on your browser…
The journey continues… and the dreams are getting bigger…

To read the full article from New African June/July 2013 edition, please copy this link on your browser
See you soon.
Nash.

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Day 0… Thank you

As I write this last post, I am still buzzing at the realization of what I have just achieved. It may not be much for you dear reader, but for me, this is big and might just be the start of something new.

During these last 40, I have discovered a lot about myself about food and about life.
The experience has thought me that whatever you start, your first motivation must be the reason you are doing it and your number-one cheerleader must be YOU. Many will promise to join you on the way, but will find ways to stay away. Those you value are sometimes the first to shout you down or fail to encourage you. Just a handful of people will truly stick and follow your progress.

You must also know that failing is never the end of it all and you must therefore try your best in everything you do. Some may try to discourage you along the way, but you must know your reason for doing what you are doing. Above all, commit whatever you are doing to the Master.

As I write this, this blog has had 1033 views in 40 days. How amazing! And you are one of those thousands plus. So THANK THANK YOU.

Thank you to @joriejay (Jora), to @mimicaroline (Kemi) @radiogeyser (straight talk Luke) @audigeist (Sharon) and @lisamainwaring (food lover Lisa) my biggest cheerleaders and guinea pigs. I didn’t want to be the only on saying the food was good so, I have shared some of them at work.

Here is a video that have recorded for you all; the tooth fairy owes me some cash…lol

The charities I mentioned are:

 “Les Enfants du Nde”: this charity is my family charity and it is now 10 years old. It was originally created as an excuse for us to link up all every 3 months, but soon enough the £ collection got too big for our gatherings an feastings, so we decided to do something in the back villages of Cameroon where our ancestors were born and now buried. We have since financed (and staffed) some public toilet in Bangoua in Cameroon in the Bamileke territories. We have also created some public water pumps for the poorest to use. We have sent medication to those villages’ hospitals and notebooks to primary school children… to see more please click here.

The Desmoid Tumour Foundation & Research. I have suffered from a recidivist desmoid tumour my 20. Very few people suffer from this, but it can be very dangerous if not treated. Mine left me lightly disable… read more from here.

ASLAN based in Waterloo London. It is a homeless charity created by Allsouls church London where I lend a hand from time to time… see more here.

Nightwatch is my local charity. I lend a hand as much as possible 2 or more nights a month. It is a soup run service for homeless people in my town. We prepare and distribute soup to rough sleepers & those who cannot afford food. Donations come from churches, local cafes including Pret-a-Manger, or individuals. More here.

CRISIS. At Christmas, when I am not travelling to see my family, I do few shifts there during the festive period. Click here

If you can, where you can, please support those charities; donate cash, clothes, food, or time. I believe that I have been spared to help and I do what I can. How about you? Where can you help?

Thank you again for keeping up.
 
back to normal breakfast

Friday, 12 April 2013

DAY 40! :-)

This is day 40 and the end!
My extreme vegan lent is over! Yay!
There is bible verse that says “through Him (God), who gives me strenght, I CAN do all things". Phil, 4:13. I must say it  has been a challenge and I have realized today that I had even cut out butter can you believe it? This feels like I have achieved something big. I don’t think I have ever challenged myself on a personal level to this extend. So, yes I am thanking the Master for being my anchor always.
I have managed to stay off caffeine, cow’s milk, all meats, sugar, all refined foods, white rice, pasta and others that I cannot remember. I have managed to present a new dish every single day, blogged every single day … IN ENGLISH! The fact that I have just published over 40 blogposts… is a surprise even for me with French being my first language. I am amazed by this achievement. I admit there must have been some really annoying Franglish and misuse of the English language, but I am not sure that they were irritating enough for an English speaking person to point it out.
Ingredients for the pounded plantain
 Any who! Today for lunch I revisited my old friend the pounded plantain with black beans and palm oil. This meal would be the one I’d eat if I was to die and someone offered to cook me a last meal. It is simple uncomplicated, comforting and delish. I it a really stodgy meal though not really recommended for lunch at work as you might feel sleepy in mid-afternoon see full recipe in day 21's post.
 For dinner I had a big beautiful salad that I hadn’t planned. The one I wanted to eat was a bag of crunchy ready cut salad from Morrison’s, but I had it in the fridge for too long and it started to spoil. So, I decided to replace the crunchy leaves with some fresh broccoli. 
To make this salad, you would need pickled beetroots, onions, oil, 5 chestnuts, green peppers & a tomato.
Start by blanching the broccoli florets. Chuck them in boiling water for literally 2 minutes. Drain them quickly pour really cold water over them to so they’d stop cooking. Put aside.
Chop half an onion and the chestnuts. Fry the chestnuts on hot oil until crisp, then add onion with a bit of chilli pepper add salt. Take off fire… if you can, put a bit of water to create a bit of liquid that will serve as vinaigrette in the salad.
All you have to do now is chop your tomato and beetroot, add the broccoli then, the fried onion and chestnut. Toss and serve.  Done.
If the salad seem too dry, you can drizzle a bit of olive oil on it or just a squeeze of lemon.
Tomorrow’s post will be the last of this blog, but I will be replying to comments and questions posted by the blog visitors.
Thanks again for your support.
My dead crunchy salad - binned



Thursday, 11 April 2013

1 day to go

I recall of a story that I heard on Radio France Evangile, the story of marathon runner  frog (STOP IT! No frog legs jokes please).

So we are going to call the main frog Sandrine… yes it has to be a female frog. So, Sandrine was part of a group of frogs (all females) that decided to climb a high mountain running. They all chose to go via the main street of the town (called Chataigne). A lot of other frogs lined the streets to encourage the runners frogs on their way. The closer they got to the mountain, less there were people to encourage them, some where even enjoying discouraging them. Then the group of runners frogs  started to diminish. The further they went more the discouragements came and less there were runners. 
Soon enough, Sandrine was the only one running. You could hear the “supporters” shouting and mocking saying things like: “ahhh she’s never going to make it to the top! Just you watch she will give up really soon. She’ll give up soon”. Sandrine kept going and kept going and kept going. She made it to the top of the mountain.
A journalist came to interview her wondering how she did it, where she found the strength to go on… Sandrine wasn’t responding, just staring, he tried again. Nope, nothing… Sandrine was simply deaf. The reason she kept going is because she didn’t hear those who were discouraging her… She couldn’t hear a thing!
So, here we are with only one day to go, just one more step. I think I might keep this going, and cook dishes that will last 2 or 3 days so I won’t cook every single evening…
For food today, a friend and I shared a mushrooms & cauliflower soup topped with grated roasted Brazil nuts at lunch. My friend had hers with a toasted mini baguette just like I would normally eat my soup. I had mine on its own, in a fuller bigger bowl.
To make the soup you will need every thing on the photo to the right.
*Cauliflower, chopped
*lots of closed cup chestnut mushrooms peeled and chopped
*potatoes peeled and cut in 6 to 8 to serve as the creamer agent,
*celery, spring onion chopped
*onion, garlic chopped
*dried Herbs de Provence & tyme
  • Start by frying onion, thyme and potatoes until the potatoes are brown… this is going to bring an added flavour to the soup. Once the potatoes are browned, chuck in all the rest of ingredients in the pot and cover with water, stock and leave to cook for 20 minutes. You may want to add more water before blending. I blend mine while the pot is still on the fire. Because as I blend and it becomes creamy, I can still add water before taking the pot off the fire…
For dinner I tried to make a rosti of suede and carrot (for the first time) with a ginger tomato sauce. I am not sure that I have seen it anywhere but I figured, If you can do a rosti with potato, you could do it with any root vegetable. The problem is, neither the carrot nor the suede have binding agent in them unlike the potato which Is full of starch.
When I saw that the rosti wasn’t maintaining its shape in the frying pan I just scramley all of it and stir-fried  for 5 minutes, Then chopped some fresh parsley, keept frying for another 2 minutes to soften then parsley.
I will call this dish riced suede and carrot with ginger tomato sauce.
Next time I will try yam or cassava rosti, they are full of starch and might just hold.
That’s all folks! Suits is about to start sorry, must dash!
Ciao!

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Just 2 days to go

Funny how at times when you are getting nearer a goal, it seems people around you gang up and are suddenly against you. I am not even sure they realise it. As Christians, we think that “it is the work of the Devil” who sets up people against you so you would fail, usually closer to your “breakthrough”.  
If you have never read the bible just look for the book of Job, it makes an interesting read. Just read it as a book you have picked up. It would make you ask a lot of questions about life, choices and why somethings happen to good people. Click here to read Job’s story in Wiki, or here to go to the story.
Today I got really near to loosing my rag and ring someone’s neck, but a kind colleague reminded me that I was so close, which helped calming me down. I am bracing myself for more confrontations as I get closer to the end of my lent. Few of my prayers have been answered and I have faith that more will be after I have finished… Faith is hope! 
My Lunch today

Onto the food then. For lunch I had some home made houmous with a platter of vegetables. The houmous could have done with a little more salt. The only reason i made the houmous is because I opened a tin of chick peas and I would have wasted it if not used.
To the chick peas, I just added rapeseed oil, garlic and yellow peppers, blend. Food is served. 10 minutes to prepare.
For dinner it was just as simple. A pulses party: Chick peas again ( yes I love them) green lentil, black kidney beans, sweet corn, toasted sesame seeds, sundried tomato, salt & black pepper plus a little drizzle of flavoured oil. Ideally I would eat this with a fresh baguette… banned in my diet for another 2 days. Rice cakes will do.
I am stopping here because I am trying to watch this Centrafrican film on the Africa channel.. it is showcasing pygmies and it is in French too. Those films are rare here in the UK but are are much more popular in France as old colonies are part of the fabric of French society. You will those film regularly on national television (to know more about Franco African films check out FESPACO)…
The film tonight is called the “Silence of the forest”. They are eating pounded Cassava and caterpillars… yikes!
So, see y’all tomorrow.

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

3 days to go

Only 3 days to go, temptation is everywhere. Today at work, somebody kindly bought me some chocolates, I was proposed some sweets and also some Jamaican bun... I am not sure if they did it on purpose but, I kindly took whatever came and put it in my bottom drawer... only 3 days. If I’ve done 37 days, 3 days aren’t going to be that difficult would they?
It is 8.20pm, I am so full it is unbelievable.

Mix grated vegetables
At work I had decided what I was going to eat tonight, but on my way home I saw one of my colleagues with some ravioli, and it gave me an idea. I am not a big fan of pasta and they contain eggs anyways, I decided to find an alternative and cook a vegetable Pappardelle with soya meat balls and garlic (very garlicky) tomato sauce. See about Pappardelle pasta here.
I love colours in my food so the vegetables had to be very colourful and hold their shape in cooking.
So I popped into the shop and got 1 courgette,  2 aubergines (1 deep purple and the other very light purple and slender).
Variety of aubergines
To make the dish, you will need one of each of the above, plus a carrot, or any other vegetable that will hold their shape after 3 minutes in boiling water. A small onion, 3 fresh tomatoes, 5 chestnuts, 5 garlic cloves, oil obviously, salt & pepper.
For the “pasta”, prep and grate the courgette, both aubergines and carrot. To grate the
This is what graters look like
vegetables you will need to use the side of the grater that cuts like a potato peeler. But the grater cut is slightly larger.
You will obtain a mix that looks like the top photo once all the vegetables have been grated.
The shape we are aiming for is like 4 centimetres flat pasta (Pappardelle). On the grater on the image to your left, you would use the middle bit to obtain the type of cut we want.
I also discovered that my grater was really rubbish and not sharp at all, which made the cuts really untidy and slightly ugly.


To cook your veges, boil water with a bit of salt just as you would with pasta, chuck in all your vegetables and let boil for another 3 minutes. Remove from fire, rinse as you would with pasta. Leave on the side.  

my new comfort dish
For the sauce In a hot pan, fry onions and soya meatballs until brown. Add in the minced garlic, chopped tomato, chopped chestnuts, salt and pepper. Leave to cook for 10 minutes. Remember to soften the soya meatballs first in boiled water for 10 minutes then squeeze out the water before frying.

I mostly use fresh tomatoes in sauces when they are going off. I only buy them for salads.
The result may look ugly, but, I think this is the best dish I have made so far. I will definitely do it again, prettier. I have found a new comfort dish!

I guess we’ll have to cook the suede tomorrow.
Sorry about the Franglish!
Nite!

Monday, 8 April 2013

4 Days to go

Today I walked from Stockwell to Pimlico twice took me 25 minutes each way. I am planning to do that all this month… I really ought to lose some weight. According to my BMI I am 10Kgs overweight with my height, I should weight 75kgs, but I can’t shift the pounds. So from time to time I take on heavy exercise or gentle ones like walking. My problem is, I tend to bulk up really quickly so must be careful that I don’t turn into a 5ft7 black women with muscles like Mike Tyson… Might scare my future husband away…lol
So. Have you ever tried rice in salad? Well, here is one that I made for my lunch today.
You should have noticed by now that I LOVE my greens. For this beautiful rice salad you will need the following:
* Red Camargue and wild rice from Waitrose (cook for 30 minutes with salt as normal leave to cool down, rince to remove any remaining starch)
*1 carrot grated (don’t use the thinner side of the grater)
*1 tomato really finely chopped (try matching the size of the grated carrot)
*Broccoli (just use the very green heads raw – same size as the above)
*Half a red pepper cut finely preferably same size as the tomato
*Roasted salted peanuts chopped in the same size too.
*2-3 tables spoons of black poppy seed (just because I like them and love the way they crunch)
Mix all the above to with a bit of salt and black pepper. Done!
The salad can be eaten just as it or with a squeeze of lemon or even balsamic vinegar. The sauce must be kept simple as the salad on its own is already full of flavours.
For dinner I just had a soup based on a dish I found in Waitrose:  noodle soup with no noodles (I don’t like them), and without soy sauce (contains sugar).
So to make this you will need some green and red sweet peppers, onion, baby corn, leek, celery, green beans, mange tout, 1 chilli pepper and stock, garlic..
Since I didn’t have the soy sauce to give it the really dork colour it needed, I fried chopped onions in really hot oil and stock cube. If you fry it long enough, you should obtained some kind of darkish gunk to which you will add the vegetable and enough water to cover them.
Cover the pot and leave to cook until the French green beans are cooked to preference. I base the cooking time on the French green beans because I cook them often and if they are cooked, the baby corn will definitely still have a great crunch.

In this soup, the prep takes longer that the actual cooking, but all can be done within 30 minutes. While eating it I was reminded how I hate the mange-tout! Note to self, never buy them again, too much energy wasted on getting rid of the strings… KMT
See you tomorrow for day 37! Nite nite zzzzzzzzzzzzz all that walking? yeash!

Sunday, 7 April 2013

5 days to go

Today was pretty uneventful. There was a special healing service and I went to the 9.30 m service. But our friend the stalker was there too and I had to duck out pretty sharpish and change my road home. The last time I tried rush out to avoid him, I left my bible at church. I think I should definitely change my church time for a while (See the I lost my bible post).
Since I have not been home for few days, so, I had a lot of “tâches ménagères” to do including planning meals for next week. I had a very late lunch at nearly 3.30pm. it consisted of left-overs from yesterday: left-over dessert and roasted potatoes with the left-over tahini sauce.
To make the sauce, please see yesterday’s post. As for the roasted potatoes, use the smaller salad potatoes. They don’t event need peeling. They are much easier for me to use as I can’t really peel many potatoes due to a slight disability on my left arm (see cause here). The day I learn that I could eat some potatoes without peeling them I was really pleased as the peeling pressure on the left arm can cause me some real pain forcing me to have a break after peeling 2 or 3 potatoes.
So for this dish, I have just rinse and cut the potatoes in 2, added salt and black pepper. A spay of vegetable oil, shoved in the oven for 30 minutes. Once cooked, I reheated the th tahini and mustard sauce, adding more water to make it more fluidy, then I chopped some fresh parley and added in the sauce just before serving. Voila!
For the dessert which I made yesterday, I used some strawberry which were going off, 2 apples, 1
banana and a handful of Red Camargue & wild rice.  I have never come across this rice before and found it when walking around Waitrose purposelessly after the trip at the dentist on Friday. This compote is inspired by one of my preferred childhood compote from
Andros.
So, prepare and chop all the fruits, add the red rice, cover it completely with water and cook for 30 minutes until the rice is cooked. Then blend, leave to cool at room temperature, then in the fridge to refrigerate before serving.
The compote tasted good, but I will need to do it again later adding whole milk, more strawberry and perhaps 2 table spoons of sugar.
Compotes and yogurts are very popular in France and often used as desserts or as replacement for mid-morning snacks or even the Gouter (the mid afternoon snack at 4 pm). It is also at around 3.30 4pm that time that the baker will be bringing out of the oven the last set of viennoiseries  so the children can buy a croissant aux amandes or chausson aux pommes or even a mini tarte aux fraises on their way home from school. I really missed that (click on the coloured words to be directed to corresponding website).
If you would like to try a real croissant, chausson aux pommes and creamy hot chocolate, head to Paul in Wimbledon village, Regent Street or Knightsbridge, They also do a weaked beignet au chocolat (Nuttella filled doughnut). The later cost £1,95 each, but it is worth it. Do try it.
Tonight dinner is light and simply tomato and home made pesto.


Ingredients for a simple pesto: fresh basil, salt, oil, roasted almond flakes.

Ready pesto!

Happy Sunday! :-)