The Green in June

June already and a wet one it has been so far.  While the rain has hardly been absent I can’t help but think that it is here for a reason and that we must accept it.  Yes it was a wet Coldplay concert but good it still was, yes all the plans to celebrate our birthdays in the great outdoors were shattered we still laughed with friends – we are still enjoying walking  and visiting our wet chickens (now aloud allowed to roam free).  I look at the windows and sight many times and move on.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summer salads from the garden have been replaced by soup

On minus temperatures, friends, coffee & Biscotti

The last week or so has plunged us in minus temperatures,  a true January at last with a blue sky and bitter cold air.  The views from the windows raised high expectations for photo hunting.  I took my camera along with my friends and we headed to the Broxbourne Woods for a taste of Narnia and immersed ourselves in the depths of the woods.

The sun was low and painted the perfect picture of golden pine trunks contrasting with grey frosty moss and vegetation.

 

 

One of the highlights of last week-end has been the move of our friends who made a big decision to leave France behind and settle here in Hertfordshire.  I am happy to have them nearby and excited to show them the beautiful walks and green landscapes that surround this beautiful part of UK.  When we first met it was in a forest so it felt just right to take them to a pine forest nearby.

We all came back frozen to the bone and it wasn’t long before the kettle started whistling on the Aga.

I played the perfect host with homemade biscotti and fresh coffee.  Kopi the monthly coffee subscription service sent me a bag from their selected gourmet range.  Mexican Terruño Nayarita Reserva is described as a Grand Cru when it comes to coffee with the finest quality coffee bean Mexico can produce.

Kopi is an interesting concept for all coffee lovers, different plans and pricing are available each one will guarantee to expose your palette to serious coffee from the most unexpected places.

I think this would make an ideal and meaningful present for anyone enjoying coffee and eager to finding out more about it in general,  a descriptive leaflet explains in great details where the coffee is from, how it is produced and why this particular coffee is qualified as a Reserva.

I found this coffee extremely rich in flavours with a zesty twist to it, all my guests noticed a sharp difference with ordinary coffee.

With coffee goes biscuits – I am officially on the search of the perfect biscotti recipe.

Here is my latest biscotti recipe:

6 cups of self-rising flour

2 cups of butter

4 cups of sugar (brown)

4 eggs

2 tsp vanilla

1 cup of ground almonds

Mix all the ingredients well having softened the butter first and place small scoops of dough on a tray laid with baking paper and cook on a low heat 130c for 3-4h.  The biscuits are crunchy but round unlike the typical rectangular biscotti.

If you have a good recipe for biscotti please leave it as a comment if I like it I will most definitely dedicate a blog post to it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The mushroom and photo hunt continues

For the last 8 weeks we have spent most of our week-end walks with our heads firmly stuck on the ground, hoping that we may just this time find he holy grail of all mushrooms:  cèpes also known as porcini.  We found  1.  Not quite enough as a side dish but plenty to remind us that they are there.

I once picked kilos of bolets and cèpes and remember drying them all around the house on radiators, in the airing cupboard. Once you have experienced the joy of finding them, preparing and eating them you ARE hooked and casual walks in the woods are never the same again.

While we haven’t really picked anything that substantial or exciting  this season, this autumnal obsession has given us the opportunity to discover our surrounding woods, Hertfordshire is full of them and we are really lucky to have access to them so easily.  So no mushroom joy but plenty of photo opportunities.