Why is gathering and preparing food so intrinsic to finding harmony?I am not a chef, by any means, but rather a foodie. I grew up learning about food and cooking and watching Rick Stein, Ansley Harriot & Jamie Oliver craft poetry in their hands. Using tools and skills that made cooking seem like a well-trodden dance.
My dad was also a chef. He began his apprenticeship when I was 8; an age where we have a sponge-like ability to hone our interests. I would sit by him, watching food documentaries whilst he studied. I was entrusted with knife usage tasks and assigned as sous chef making roux’ from a young age.
Cooking – having been added like an ingredient into the recipe of my life – has always been second nature to me as an adult. The kitchen is my alcove, ingredients my alchemy. I am at home here, amongst the spices, textures and tastes and have developed an intuitive knack for creating foods.
You are so welcome to come and join me as I prepare and cook, and even cook alongside me – completely up to you, aligned with a relaxed learning style. This will be my first time ‘Zoom-cooking’, so please be gentle with me if we encounter any technical difficulties (tech is not so intuitive as cooking to me, so it would appear).
I would love to interact with you, chat, answer (and ask) any questions that may arise, whilst I prepare some summer-centric meals for cooling and refreshment. Using only seasonally fresh ingredients, I cook to aid mindful living by following what is currently in bloom.
SUMMER SEASONAL SUGGESTIONS
Stone fruit, cooling herbs like rosemary and mint, zucchini and capscium are all in abundance and inspire this month’s cooking class. We will explore these recipes in our live cooking class
450g plain/bakers flour
2 teaspoons instant yeast
2 teaspoons sugar
6 sticks rosemary
2 teaspoons extra flour
320ml lukewarm water
30ml extra virgin olive oil
1. PREHEAT OVEN TO 180*C
2. Prepare your warm water in a bowl, and gently add the yeast.
3. Add also, the sugar with 2tsp extra flour, and set aside, until the mixture becomes foamy. This should be about ten minutes, a perfect little time to brew a cup of tea and prepare the next element of the recipe.
4. Flower your benchtop in preparation of step 6, sprinkling some flour with your fingertips. Grease a large bowl and set aside for dough.
5. For the next element, add the flour, salt and oil in a bowl together and mix.
6. Once mixed, add in the yeast mixture and stir until it forms a soft dough.
7. You must then either take a dough hook or use your mixer, to knead the dough on the floured surface until it is smooth and pliable. Set a 5-7 minute timer before you begin kneading.
8. Once ready, place the dough in the greased bowl and cover with a damp, clean cloth. Mark the level of dough with a fingertip of flour on the side, and allow to prove until it doubles in size (around 15 minutes)
9. Remove back onto a floured surface and mould into the shape you wish. This is where you will place your bread in the baking tray, allowing it to prove for a further 10 minutes.
10. Garnish the top with rosemary and sea salt flakes, seeds or nuts of your choice.
11. Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes, until golden.
12. To serve, pour a splash of olive oil into a small dipping saucer, with a splash of balsamic vinegar. Enjoy!
ZUCCHINI AND LENTIL SOUP
1 tsp ghee or oil
1 cup water
⅓ cup Split Lentils
Pinch of salt
1. Cut the Zucchinis into medium chunks
2. Add Zucchinis to heat with ghee or oil and cook on medium heat until soft
3. Add the washed lentils.
4. Coat lentils in ghee and then add water and a big pinch of salt.
5. Once lentils are soft, blend the mixture together until smooth.
Like lemonade but calming. Cardamom and lime are your cooling and calming companions in this hydrating drink. Pair together they help balance the irritability of summer.
1-2 teaspoons coconut sugar or honey
¼ tsp cardamom powder
Pinch of Salt
Squeeze limes into a small glass jar and add your desired sweetener then shake well. Add a small pinch of salt and cardamom powder and shake well again. Pour the lime concentrate into a tall jug and fill with filtered water.
4-5 Sprigs of fresh hand picked rosemary
Rosemary is a cognitive enhancer and helps to soothe the mind and improve memory. It is a simple tea to prepare at home. All you need is dried rosemary, preferably some that has been handpicked.
Sprig of Rosemary
Add a splash of elderflower syrup to each glass with a few frozen blueberries. Smash your mint leaves together in your palm then add to each glass with soda water. Stir together with a sprig of rosemary.