Monthly Archives: July 2013

The handbag 5:2 – make up

My initial plans for the 5:2 handbag project were to go absolutely minimal 2 days each week. So I’d pretty much be carrying keys, purse, phone, glasses and handkerchief. However the thought of continuing to cart so much junk for the other 5 days becam… Continue reading

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What’s in my lunchbox? Best in the sun

Lunchbox on grass

Given the amount of meals I base on pantry, fridge and freezer clearouts you could be forgiven for thinking that I either have massive amounts of food hoarded, or that I buy so much food I can’t keep track of what I’ve got.

I must confess I’m pretty amazed myself when I consider what to make for lunch, and uncover ingredients that compliment each other beautifully. It’s almost like I planned it. Maybe I’m subconsciously batch cooking!

Clockwise from top left:

Pasties made with sesame seed pastry and filled with home-made vege burgers (made from tofu, soy mince and …who knows). Both pastry and burgers were in the freezer just waiting for me to put them together.

Salad dressing (in red pot) – a blend of Safflower oil and balsamic vinegar.

Twiglets – I was given a box of these last week and decided they are excellent nibble sized food.

Snack mix – my favourite combination of dates, salted almonds, pistachios, dark chocolate.

Salad with spinach, rocket, red pepper, cucumber, hazelnuts, and the last of the Field Roast meatloaf. Utterly glorious sprinkled with dressing.

Best eaten in the sunshine. Preferably with grass to sit on and a cool breeze from the river.

Wishing you green ink and good food,


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Presumed having a good time


Tofu burger and potato wedges

I had a fantastic weekend. It started with lunch at Pogo café on Friday lunchtime. I was delighted by my first visit to this vegan café, run by very chilled out volunteers. A tofu burger and wedges, was thoroughly enjoyed. Desert followed in the form of gooey chocolate tart.

Then I headed into central London for the annual reception for Friendship and peace held at the Japanese embassy. Never mind the UK having a special relationship with the yanks; we’ve got one with Japan too. The Ambassador’s beautifully crafted speech touched on the five pioneers, and William Adams. I had a marvellous time reminiscing with other Pacific Venturers, and chatting with embassy staff about home-made tofu.

I spent Saturday with my burlesque troupe, The Paper Dolls, at the Fling festival in Chelmsford. We were hosting a tent with a mix of performances, crafts and opportunities to dress up. I also managed to wander round and spotted Juke Box Jenny, a beach, the Legs Akimbo sports day, a silent disco, trash to treasure craft (an opportunity to create fabulously crazy home made hats), and a cabaret tent (with performances from Helles Belles burlesque, and Ginger Blush). Happily we were right next to the acoustic stage so I got to enjoy live music throughout the day.

Late on Saturday night I waved goodbye to the fire garden, loaded the equipment into my car and drove back across the deserted park weaving between tents. It was eerie but beautiful.

I then proceeded to spend Sunday picking large quantities of allotment produce, making lots of jam, reading in the sun in the garden, and playing Bass in a hot attic.

And the only photo I took all weekend is the one at the top of this post which is my lunch on Friday. During the busiest and most exciting periods of my life I’ve often failed to keep a diary. Hence I can only assume that this weekend I was lost in the moment. Just too busy enjoying myself to record anything.


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Are you coming to the Fling?

My burlesque troupe, The Paper Dolls, were asked if we fancied doing our stuff at The Fling. As the Fling is a fabulous festival of music, arts and curiosities for over 18s we said ‘yes’, despite the rather tight time scale. If you are going to the Fl… Continue reading

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Things I love Thursday

  • My new spectacles – great service from Braintree Specsavers, especially Julie. I’ve never enjoyed choosing glasses so much.
  • Getting ready for The Paper Dolls to appear at the Fling – 59 and a half minutes of burlesque here we come.
  • Fabulous produce from my allotment – strawberries, rocket, spinach, and oregano.
  • Nettle and Plantain tea – still loving the taste and think it is helping with my hayfever.
  • Mexican millet – another amazing recipe from Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Veganomicon.
  • Reading in the sunshine – something I need to do more of (sunshine permitting).
  • Being complimented – on my speed and efficiency at tyre pressure checks by another driver!
  • Dark shadows – I found time to watch a little TV and this was a most amusing take on vampires (and it featured Alice Cooper).

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What’s in my lunch box? With extra ingredient

Food and a book

There is something momentous about the dessert in this lunch. It’s not that my allotment is having one of the years where it produces mounds of fantastic strawberries. Or that this is the first time I’ve tried Field Roast meat loaf, and it is as good as I’d heard.

No, this is to do with the Gingerbread rhubarb pie. I’ve made this recipe (based on the apple version from Vwav) many times, and it always tastes delicious. However, I’ve never actually put ginger in it because I’ve never had any to hand. Well no more –this time ginger was present as indicated in the recipe and I must say it did add a certain tang to the mix of spices.

Clockwise from top left:

Gingerbread rhubarb crumble and strawberries – home grown strawberries and rhubarb

Dates, pastachios, salted almonds and dark chocolate – I still can’t get enough of this combiantion

Salad with new potatoes, rocket, spinach, asparagus, spring onions, red pepper, cucumber, Field Roast meatloaf – this was an awesome combo. When I was ready for lunch I tipped it into a bowl to mix it up and poured the dressing over.

The passage by Justine Cronin – reminding me of Stephen King but with less hope

Salad dressing – cold pressed Safflower oil with cider vinegar and garlic powder

Bowl of food


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