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.