Sunday, September 30, 2007


So the bags are packed and we’re off. For the next three weeks I’ll be trying not to empty the entire contents of my wallet at Kitchen Arts and Letters, eating my way around New York, Madrid and the Basque region and meandering through various art galleries full of treasures the likes of which we rarely see here at home. Cy Twombly here I come. In London, at the Tate Modern, I cried in front of his Quattro Stagioni. It started slowly, but soon there was audible sniffling followed by loud nose blowing. Let alone what happened when I turned the corner on the top floor of the Musee d’Orsay and found, to my astonishment, a room full of Redon’s.

Let’s hope I can maintain a little more composure this time around. At least I have packed tissues. I can’t promise not to embarrass you Susan. But I will try.

Though I usually order the vegetarian meal on a flight, I’ve ordered the vegan option this time thanks to Kathryn’s invaluable advice. In an effort to use what’s in the pantry and the last of the oranges I can comfortably reach on the neighbour's tree, I’ll be bringing along a few of these little sugar-free, fibre-rich treats. If, that is, I can get Edward (elder of the two step-sons) to stop eating them.

Date and nut balls – makes 12-15
Based on a recipe from Aine McAteer’s very modern take on macrobiotic cooking, Nurture. Vegan, sugar-free, dairy-free, egg-free, gluten-free. Not exactly pretty. Delicious nonetheless.

Zest of ½ and juice of 1 large orange
Good pinch of cinnamon
½ cup of chopped, pitted dates
½ cup of mixed seeds (pepitas, flax, and sunflower seeds)
¼ cup of almond meal

Place the orange juice, cinnamon and dates in a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Give it a stir, lower the heat right down, cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes.

Meanwhile toast the seeds in a non-stick frying pan until they start to pop, tossing constantly. Remove to a plate and cool.

When cool, grind the seeds to a fine powder in either a clean coffee (or spice) grinder or with a mortar and pestle.

Give the dates a good beating with a spoon. Add the zest, ground seeds and almond meal and mix well. Using a teaspoon and wet hands form the mixture into balls. Rest for a few minutes before eating.

And this photo? Well, it’s just for me. I won’t see this little expectant face at the top of the stairs for a bit and might want to check in from time to time.


Susan said...

Well, Lucy...luckily there is only one work currently at the Met that puts me hysterical. The others are in Paris and Washington. So at least one of us will be relatively dry eyed. See you soon!

Lucy said...

Can't wait to actually SEE you dear Susan. I will try...just for you!

Anh said...


All the best for your travel. I can't wait to hear it all!

Another Outspoken Female said...

Have a great trip - it sounds wonderful.

shula said...


The little face gripped me, and I'm not going anywhere.

Figs Olives Wine said...

Lucy, what a fantastically exciting trip you have ahead of you! I can't wait to hear about all your discoveries. Do let me know if you have a chance to try any of those NY places - no pressure though! I know how last minute things can be on big trips like this! Have an inspirational, rejuvenating trip and come home safely.

winedeb said...

Lucy, enjoy your travels to some great places in our wonderful world. I so look forward to hearing and seeing what was in store for you!

Cynthia said...

Have a great trip!

Wendy said...

Have an absolutely wonderful time, Lucy. And thank you so much for that final gorgeous picture. He's adorable.

Rosa said...

Not your most decadent recipe ever, but I love the look of it nonetheless! Your trip sounds fabulous. Can't wait to hear about it.

kathryn said...

Have a wonderful trip Lucy. The date and nut balls look delicious and great for travel.

A big "aw" at the little face in your last picture - so hard to leave the little creatures behind isn't it?

Anonymous said...

Safe and fun travels :) Your dog is precious, so cute. I'm familiar with this date recipe. It's a good replacement for candy.

Truffle said...

Oh what a lovely trip you have planned! Have a wonderful time.

Magic Cochin said...

Hope you see lots to inspire you on your travels.


Anonymous said...

That is SO sweet that you put a photo of your puppy to look at while you're away! We'll be traveling for the holidays in December and I'll have to remember to do the same for Oreo.

Have a safe trip!

Ari (Baking and Books)

Susan said...

I hope your trip is magical, Lucy.

Julie's journey said...

I'm a lurker - it's official. Love reading your food journies but that little expectant face at the top of the stairs won me completely. Have a great trip, it sounds wonderful.

Susan said...

Better to cry in front of a Twombly than kiss one. Did you hear the story out of Avignon? I'll bet they didn't try hairspray. : /wwiz

Lucy said...

Thank you, all of you, for your warm wishes - the holiday is great, and the art has been breathtaking. The food is wonderful (no surprises there, eh?), but the Spanish eating hours take a little getting used to!

Susan, how funny! Great minds think alike. I was just reading about it in the International edition of the Herald Tribune! I promise it wasn´t me...nowhere near Avignon...but it´s a reaction I completely understand!