All posts filed under: News

Roasted chestnut and mushroom pate recipe

Chestnuts are now in season, don’t wait for December, they are good enough to eat now. They are a great source of vitamin C as well as vitamins B1, B2, and B6 and folic acid. Choose firm, shiny chestnuts to create this delicious recipe. Roasted Chestnut and Mushroom Pate; This recipe makes a big bowl of pate, which will keep in the fridge for 3 days. Ingredients: 1 small onion, finely chopped 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped 1 medium parsnip, peeled & diced 2 tbsps olive oil 250g cooked chestnuts, chopped 250g chestnut mushrooms, sliced 150g shitake or wild mushrooms, sliced 25g butter (optional) 2 tbsps brandy 1 tbsp lemon juice handful of flat parsley, chopped freshly ground black pepper sea salt Method: Pre-heat the oven to 200C/Gas Mark 6. Roast the parsnip in 1 tablespoon of olive oil for 20 minutes, until soft and beginning to colour. In a large frying pan, fry the onion in 1 tablespoon of olive oil, until soft, but not browned. Add the garlic and fry for a minute. Add …

Around Dulwich: October news!

The biggest mistake I made this summer was booking our holiday in the last 2-weeks of the school break. By the time our departure date finally came around we were all knackered and already starting to think ahead to the new school year. My next mistake was flying home the day before our son was due to start his final year of primary school (sobs) and I went back to work. It’s only now we’ve been home for a few weeks that I feel a bit more on top of my inbox and ready to get on with the overwhelming task of selecting a secondary school for my Year 6 ‘baby’. I still have a huge pile of laundry that I never seem to make a dent in, but this seems to always be the case no matter when we go away! There were also some really exciting things to look forward to on my return! After a brief hiatus in August, my Film Club resumed with a visit to ED Picturehouse to see the …

Fitness Tips: Simplicity

This month I want to talk to you about simplicity. I think one way that we can get more time, more freedom, more headspace, therefore more simplicity in our lives, is to have a bit of discipline around mobile phones. I’ve recently read a great book called ‘How to Break Up With Your Phone’ by Catherine Price, a journalist based out in the States who I interviewed for my podcast series several months ago – it’s a brilliant book which I’d recommend. It is literally dog-eared from the notes I’ve taken from it for my interview, but also our rescue dog Kami got her teeth into it – so we’ve both read it, both enjoyed it, and both got through it. I was talking recently to a client of mine who said that he lost his phone last week and therefore wasn’t going to have a mobile phone for at least another week. He was describing the extra freedom he felt he had – after a bit of anxiety, a separation anxiety from the phone …

Pets Corner: How dogs learn

Getting to grips with the way dogs learn can be a source of immense frustration for many new dog owners. We humans have a great tendency to anthropomorphise and expect dogs to learn and memorise in a similar way to ourselves. Many owners do not understand how a dog can appear to understand a training cue in one session but seem to have entirely forgotten it by the next. It is thought that dogs learn primarily by association and have an association memory of around 2 seconds. Quite simply, any given stimulus is either rewarding, punishing (a perceived danger or threat) or neutral. Dogs will seek to repeat experiences that are rewarding and avoid those which are punishing. Clearly these values are subjective. Most dogs find rolling in fox poo intensely rewarding, whereas most humans would find it punishing. Given the choice, I suspect most dogs will forgo the average dog treat if the option to roll in fox poo is available to them. The key to great training is to build a strong, rewarding …

How to create a wildflower meadow

Wildflower meadows may be decreasing in the countryside, but they’re on the rise in urban gardens, giving a fashionably relaxed, naturalistic feel. They also attract a host of wildlife and increase biodiversity. If you’d like one, now is a good time to start the process. The great thing is you don’t need a huge garden to enjoy the pleasure of a mini meadow – just a strip across your lawn with an inviting path meandering through it, or an area of any shape, oval, triangular, will create an attractive contrast to a neat lawn. A friend of mine has given over the end of her lawn to meadow with wildflowers such as ox-eye daisies, white and red campion, field scabious, yarrow and meadow buttercups popping up amongst swaying grasses. She loves the birds, butterflies and bees it attracts and the fact that, as opposed to traditional borders, it’s an ever-changing tapestry of colour from spring to autumn. It even changes from year to year so you never quite know what to expect. For annual meadows, …