Archive for September, 2013

30 Sep
2013

Sensation

  Yeah, right, I hear you mutter, as you look at a badly lit photo of something unidentifiable. Allow me to identify the object as a lamp post with a speaker attached. For a week or so it played different sounds everytime I passed. Turkish drum

26 Sep
2013

Ready in the morning

It took me a while to come round to the idea of overnights oats. I’d experimented with Bircher Museli at university, but grating apples before bed wasn’t a high student priority. I’ll leave you draw your own conclusions about pre-bed activities but let

24 Sep
2013

What’s in my lunch box? Autumn abundance

I had so many lovely things to go in my lunch box this week I had to really stuff them in. The market and my allotment have been an abundance of seasonal produce.Clockwise from bottom right:Potatoes fried up with onions, roast peppers, and smoked tofu

22 Sep
2013

Learn something new for September

  September is a month all about fresh starts, scanning for signs of autumn, and rediscovering a desire to learn. Essentially it’s a month to challenge yourself. To find out more. To take a look at where you are (after the distractions

18 Sep
2013

What’s in my lunch box? Embrace autumn soup

Who would have guessed that pea pods had so much fibre in them? So much as it turns out that even the mighty Vitamix was able cope. So instead I strained my pea pod and roast pepper soup. I’ve never strained soup before. It feels like I’m throwing away goodness. This, however, was extremely hairy goodness. On tasting, it seemed a little lacking so I threw in cooked new potatoes, oven cooked sweetcorn, allotment peas form the freezer, and some dried chili. The result is like a rather chunky hot and sour soup. I’m calling it embrace autumn soup. It seems more optimistic than end of summer soup.

Clockwise from top left:
  • Embrace autumn soup – just the thing for a grey and damp day
  • The Orchardist by Amanda Coplin. Beautifully written, with quiet, yet engaging characters. Reading it is like taking deep calming breathes
  • Plum clafoutis – I enjoyed last week’s so much I had to make more
Wishing you all things green,
Annastasia

16 Sep
2013

Saturday adventure

Gosh, I hear you say, that looks a bit bleak. Not surprised that you’ve been worrying about September blues. It may look a tad desolate but it was an excellent place to spend an afternoon, even with a bit of rain. I was visiting some family and they

11 Sep
2013

A tale of two restaurants

Dinning out should be pleasure. It’s an opportunity to enjoy food without having to think about what might go into it, labour over preparations, or worry about washing up. I intended to eat out twice last week and the experiences couldn’t have been more different.

Experience 1 – the Saracen’s Head Hotel, Dunmow
On Thursday I decided it would be nice to eat dinner out. The weather was warm. The forecast for the next day was rain. I thought it might be the last night of summer.

I choose the Saracen’s Head Hotel on Dunmow High Street. I‘ve eaten there on several occasions in the last year and always found them very accommodating. The chef made me a fantastic five mushroom risotto on Easter Sunday which I still recall with delight.

However on this occasion things did not go so well. Having ordered a drink I began to size up the menu for things that could by alteration or omission be made vegan. The mediterrrian platter with roast vegetables, hummus, olives, bread and halloumi seemed like an option (minus the halloumi). There was also a rather delivious sounding vegetable curry. When the waiter arrived I explained that I was a vegan and asked if he could find out if the curry contained any animal products.

A few minutes later another member of staff appeared . She told me that she had spoken to the chef and that everything contained eggs or dairy. The only thing they could offer me was a bowl of dry leaves. Or nothing.

I considered asking if they could manage an oil and vinegar dressing to go with the dry leaves. Or if the roast vegetables were cooked in oil. Or what animal products the hummus contained.

Instead I decided to take the ‘nothing’ option and eat at home. I began to finish drink. Before I could leave the staff member returned to reiterate that they had nothing I could eat, adding that I should notify them in advance in future.


Experience 2 – Giraffe, Chelmsford

Sunday evening I’d arranged to have dinner with some of my fellow burlesque enthusiasts, and those who taken part in the Change your life in 20 weeks project. We decided to eat at Giraffe simply because someone had some vouchers.

I was a little late arriving but my fellow dinners had already mentioned my vegan lifestyle to the waiter. He was extremely happy to go through the menu with me and suggest which dishes could be altered. He was also very helpful when other in our party wanted alterations to dishes.
I enjoyed a Falafel burger, followed by a sorbet sundae (yes – a vegan desert) and a soy cappuccino.

The staff were excellent. Cheerful, accommodating and good humoured.

The combination of good food, lovely staff, and delightful company made for a really good meal. Our party left Giraffe feeling relaxed, well feed and ready for the week ahead. I feel quite enthusiastic about returning to Giraffe in the near future.

Wishing you all things green,
Annastasia


9 Sep
2013

What’s in my lunch box? Fish and chips

I was so, so organised this week. Knowing I had a busy weekend and wouldn’t be home much I started my lunch preparation on Thursday. Then I had a big coking night on Friday. The result? A calm Monday with a nicely put together lunch. Clockwise from bot

7 Sep
2013

Something green – vegan mint choc chip ice cream

Summer might be packing its bags and leaving town but that no reason to think that the time for ice cream has gone.I made this delicious mint choc chip ice cream using a recipe from Mind Body Green. It’s vegan. It’s full of lovely things like banana, a

5 Sep
2013

Things I Love Thursday – embracing autumn

Riverside

Walking to work along the river – because it looks so lovely. It’s also good to note the seasonal changes day by day, observe the ducks, and reflect on how the river would have been such a central part of the town in the past. Given how well trafficked the footpath is I can only conclude that this is still the case.

Changing up my morning routine – because September is that wonderful month for fresh starts, and making changes. Also because one of my changes is…

Getting out of bed when the alarm goes off – This makes me want to embrace the day while pressing snooze makes me want to avoid life. As a bonus I have more time to…

Dance – I’m doing a bit of burlesque in the morning (post yoga, pre-breakfast). Not only does this free up some evening time but makes me feel energetic. So lively and smug as outcomes! My heads is full of moves at the moment. I’m learning new routines for October Cabaret and choreographing a couple of things for Hogswatch.

Cooking fresh food as I buy it – I’ve been inspired by the Everlasting meal and have started cooking immediately vegetables that would either require cooking before consumption or that I would be likely to cook before eating. As a result I always have a fridge full of food that is ready to go. There’s also added incentive to use the vegetables up. Evening meals suddenly seem to require less planning.

Other stuff – nettle tea – great books – a cosy chair to read in – the positive effects of lots of sleep – sunshine.

Wishing you all things green,
Annastasia

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Greetings! I’m Annastasia

I'm bit keen on the colour green and like to ramble on about food, cooking, veganism, refashioning, sewing, clothes, list making, music, reading and anything else that pops up in my overcrowded existence! I'm also one half of Ink drops boxes, stationery by the boxful, dropped through your letterbox.

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