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  • Rachel Ramsden

No two weeks…

Are remotely similar really.

This week the weather was crazy.  For several days it was hotter than the hottest summer days.  We had topless sunbathers on the riverbank (male and female), children and dogs in the river, barbecues smelling gorgeous and a massive queue for ice cream. Then the temperature dropped ten degrees overnight and the rain came but with May being a double bank holiday month, people came out on Monday despite the grotty conditions.

I started the week in the Lakes with Phil and Hector where I made giant quantities of test salads from a really lovely book, Falafel for Breakfast.  The chickpea salad was our favourite so that’s the one that made it onto the menu – briefly – and that’s been a big learning from this week.  If I want to put a lovely fresh salad on every day (and I do), I have to get up slightly earlier and get ahead of myself before anyone arrives on the riverbank.  The salads aren’t simple, but that’s what makes them special.  They involve toasting nuts and cumin seeds and chopping fresh herbs like Chervil (couldn’t even find dried Chervil in Booths so I eventually bought a plant from RHS Harlow Carr and it’s been installed now – in amongst the bedding plants on the way into the car park!).  And so I’m continuing to inch towards my vision…  Fresh delicious salads are part of that vision but an earlier start is essential!

The lengths one has to go to for fresh ingredients!


The lovely book these new salads come from


Chickpea, nut and dried fruit


Cauliflower and cranberry


Then, it being May and all (the month of madness), the Morris Dancers arrived.  These two were happy to pose for a picture.  I think (hope) the one on the right is a chimney sweep.

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