The Mint Shop

The Mint Shop

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Dining al fresco

...and another summer is almost gone! To tell you the truth I am not entirely sure we even had one this year. June and July have been wet and windy and August has mixed some sunny muggy days with rain and clouds. I knew I should have planned a Spring baby and fly away a few months after! Lesson learnt for the next one!

In the meantime though I don't miss any opportunity to sit in the garden and enjoy a glimpse of sun. This lunch we put together at the last minute opened a window onto a luminous pier we were strolling along this time last year in Liguria, enjoying the singing of the seagulls and the screams of children running for their third ice cream of the day.

Linguine con le cozze is a "must" in our family in the Summer. And it is not the mussels cooked in the French style; oh no, they are as simple as possible with just those few ingredients that enhance the smell and taste of salt and sea. I can almost hear the waves crushing against the rocks.


Friday, 10 August 2012

Perfumes of Lavender

It is certain that if I say lavender you automatically think of the south of France. Fields of purple waves touched by warm sun and busy bees. True that even the word itself derives from Old French lavandre and that therefore this association would not seem entirely wrong. However, also England can claim a large handkerchief of its land of this blue flower that fills up the air with its pungent and distinct smell.

And here goes also with its uses. Added to sage, rosemary and thyme it enriches the meat of a chicken roasted in the oven or, if the temperature dictates, on the barbeque. Mixed to the flour it makes some classic scones a surprise to enjoy for a truly Summer tea. And like in this case, infused to milk transform some banal cupcakes to something new.