The end of summer and beginning of autumn may be my favourite time of year — it’s warm and beautiful, with enough summer sunshine left over but also a breeze of coming change and exciting new beginnings. I only have a few lazy weeks left before officially embarking on adult life, aka the world of work, but on bright, warm September days like this one I can almost believe I’ll be young and free forever.

It’s also the most abundant time of year for fresh produce and therefore one of the most exciting months for foodies; there is just so much in season! Stone fruits are some of my late summer/early autumn favourites, though, as they’re so sweet and succulent and flavoursome. Roasting brings out even more flavour, and with a little coconut sugar to caramelise them and a splash of balsamic to really enhance the tasting experience, they really are perfect. I served this warm for breakfast alongside homemade coconut yogurt (recipe here or here or here, take your pick!)  but it would work equally well as a dessert with ice cream, and maybe a sprinkling of granola. View Full Post

It’s the first of September, and that makes it officially cookie season. I know what you’re thinking: cookies don’t have a season. Cookies are for all year round. And that’s true – but isn’t there something slightly autumnal about cookies?

Maybe it’s because freshly baked cookies — so fresh that they crumble as you hold them and burn your fingers and tongue — always remind of the fall semester I spent at Princeton. The campus there had an underground cafe serving free tea and cookies during certain hours of the afternoon, and again late at night; there was nothing better on chilly autumn days — especially when it was -10 celsius outside and the icy wind cut like daggers against any exposed skin — than to come in out of the cold, stamp the snow of our boots, and warm our frozen hands with steaming mugs of tea and buttery cookies. We English girls may have balked at the way the Americans made their tea, using warm rather than just-boiled water and adding honey to English Breakfast, but they certainly know how to make chocolate chip cookies. View Full Post

Remember all those currants I told you about? We picked so many that those not destined for the crumble had to be frozen, along with our rhubarb crop. When we were blessed with some warm weather and sunshine this week, frozen fruit became an attractive prospect, and I took the opportunity to jump on the raw ‘cheesecake’ bandwagon. I’d seen a lot of recipes for raw, vegan desserts of this nature but was always somewhat sceptical — after all, it can’t actually taste like cheesecake, can it? — so I decided to give it a go.

Here’s what I learnt:

  1. it’s a more time consuming and complicated thing to make than an actual cheesecake, but isn’t especially difficult
  2. it doesn’t taste like cheesecake
  3. it tastes really good in its own right
  4. worth it.

While I might therefore dispute the use of the ‘cheesecake’ term, it did turn out as a really delicious dessert which my very non-raw, non-vegan family all enjoyed, and one that we could feel good about eating. (According to MyFitnessPal, one slice contains 17% of your GDA of iron, 11% of your calcium, 16% of your potassium, 21% of your protein, 21% of your fibre, and 121% of your vitamin C.) View Full Post

We’ve had a pretty impressive crop of fruit and vegetables from our garden so far this summer. One grey morning last week, as the clouds gathered together menacingly, my mother and I harvested everything we could, to prepare and store away before going on holiday. We filled several plastic tubs with produce, resting them on the soil as we picked, trying to avoid being stung by the obstinate nettles. Courgettes, mangetout, runner beans, rhubarb and currants were gathered – along with various spiders and caterpillars – just as the first drops of rain began to fall.  View Full Post