Seeds, food and Invitations

Good Morning! I’m sitting writing this on what is the fifth day of Meteorological Summer and the first day since Summer’s beginning that has felt like you could really call it that. My toes are still a little cold but the balcony door is open, a pigeon is sat on our balcony table eating seeds and the sun is streaming through the trellis-balustrade making patterns on the floor.

Pigeons are the most recent addition to our limited urban wildlife collection; we also have starlings and crows – perhaps not everyone’s favourite birds but they are very welcome here! The only other birds that we see flying this high up are seagulls, if they join then we might well have a full house of London’s least favourite feathered miscreants.

We’ve been enjoying a little gardening recently; my uncle Dick gave me a grow-your-own kit with a mix of coriander, cumin and chilli seeds a few months ago which has been a real joy. We started it off in the pot it arrived in and then moved the seedlings into a windowsill tray (where the few puny cumin plants swiftly died) and from there onto separate pots for the chillies and a couple of big pots for the coriander. The coriander did very well and has all now been eaten and we are left with nine very happy looking chilli plants just starting to flower. Mum gave us a couple of tomato plants too – adding to the greenhouse feel.

We’ve been enjoying delicious and extremely healthy food recently, more influence of the wonderful Anna Jones. Nick is a recent salad convert and so it’s been a total pleasure.
There’s a particular joy in fresh green food at this time of the year; looking out of the window across London you can see new eruptions of green in every direction, our window sills and balcony are overflowing with green, we have pots of delicious green herbs on our kitchen table that you can pick and scatter straight onto your food and even the food itself is fresh and good and green.

I’ve been starting my days with either banana bread or fruit and yoghurt or occasionally pea, mint and lemon mashed on oatcakes.

My lunches are usually big tasty salads – mostly variants of the following:

quinoa/cannelini beans/chickpeas + sometimes a little giant cous cous
shredded spinach leaves
avocado
a little soft goats cheese or feta
raisins
roasted pumpkin seeds
fresh chopped herbs
sometimes chopped preserved lemon

But a couple of weeks ago I remembered the existence of broad beans and made an even more delicious lunch! I started with bulgar wheat cooked in ham stock (probably not great on the salt front but oh-so-good) and mixed in some chopped preserved lemon, then a layer of steamed broad beans, a big dollop of broad bean, pea, mint and lemon juice mash (done in the whizzer), a few roasted cherry tomatoes, feta and chopped mint on top. It’s unbelievably good.

We’re having lovely suppers too but I’ll leave those for another day..

In other excitement Jess and Ben’s invites have gone out! They gave me free rein on these and it was really fun trying to keep the feeling of a Wedding invitation while also making it undeniably Jess and Ben. I’m very pleased with the result and they’ve had lots of positive reactions which is nice. Here they all are fresh from the printers..

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..and this is how they look inside.
N.B. I’ve had to blank out a few bits to allow for internet publication – hence the odd blank spaces!

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Only 6 weeks until the celebrations begin, we are VERY excited.

I’ve got plenty more to tell you but that can wait, I’m off out to enjoy the sun.

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