Wednesday, 23 May 2012

we made the fire.

You know, I was going to babble you about the fishing trip that my dad used to take me to when I was younger. I tried hard to jog my memories back and tried my upmost to write them all down here, so I can share those magical moments with you. But I found it hard. It's proven rather difficult.
Such a moment, that has been wrapped up tightly with so much emotions, isn't the kind of thing you can share by talking perhaps.

Growing up, I didn't have very good relationship with my dad unfortunately. 
It wasn't until very recently that I have learnt to understand him for who he is really. I'm pretty sure he will say the same about me.

I think we were two strong characters with very different ideas about way of life. 
We used to argue day in, day out until he shouted 'Under my roof, my rules!'. 
I was so desperate to get away from that roof, the roof that sheltered me for all the wrong reasons. What he expected of me seemed so far from what could be achieved or what I wanted to pursue. I just wanted get out and do my own thing so desperately. And that desperation eventually brought me here, to London.
I remember my dad yelling at me once, that he didn't believe I will be able to last here as I have been a quitter for all those years he remembered. He more than often used say I give up things too easily. It was so harsh things to hear, I know. But that was my dad. And I know why he said that. 
He knew if he said that, I would work harder and make sure I last, just so I can prove him wrong. He knew his daughter too well.
The man with very few words congratulated me on my first return visit home, almost 3 years after landing in London.

My first camping trip few weekends ago reminded me a lot of the fishing trip. 
Being out in the wild with very little convenience, gave us a chance to appreciate each other's company. Hearing nothing but the birds singing, we could hear our voices better. Looking after the fire that kept us warm and full, we learnt to be patient. Searching for the stars in the dark, we found each other in different light. Walking along the muddy woodlands, we spent time helping each other. We made an effort to talk. Not to upset each other, not to demand anything but just to keep each other's company happy. 

Sweet lentil and goats cheese salad
serves 2

for the salad
80g puy lentil
1-2 shallot, finely sliced (save little bit for the dressing)
some cooked and pickled beetroots, thinly sliced
some mild goats cheese
some olive oil
salt and pepper

for the chilli and coriander dressing
some finely chopped shallots
1 1/2tbsp cider vinegar
1tsp caster sugar
pinch of salt
pinch of crushed chilli
handful of fresh coriander, finely chopped
1tbsp olive oil

This is simple and humble plate of food that is perfect served on its own as a light lunch or as a side with beautifully grilled meat. Gently fried shallots add lovely sweet flavour to the lentils whilst shallots in the dressing keeps the dish fresh and light.

First of all, cook your lentils with plenty of water and pinch of salt for 20-25mins. You want them to be cooked through but still have a bite to them. Once ready, drain well.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix all the ingredients for the dressing except the olive oil. Set it aside. Add the olive oil in when you are ready to bring things together.

Now, gently fry the shallots in little olive oil until dark golden. 
Add the well drained lentils to the fried shallots as well as the sliced beetroots.
Bring things together by dressing them generously with prepared chilli and coriander dressing. Season with black pepper.
Plate up, add your goats cheese, drizzle little more dressing over the salad and tuck in.

I treasure the fishing trips with dad. It is one of the very few memories that is not tainted with anger. Every moment I can picture of those trips has an ordinary father and daughter loving each other the way that I saw in others.


  1. I found this post though Pinterest. The photo was so beautiful that I just had to come here to read the recipe! Love it! And love your site :-).

    I would like to invite you to share this post (and other posts :-) ) on a new photo based recipe sharing site that launched this month. The idea is simple: all recipe photographs are published within minutes of submission. And, of course, the images link back to the author's site.

    It's called RecipeNewZ (with Z) -

    I hope you get a chance to visit and to share some of your delicious posts with our viewers. It would be a pleasure to have you on board :-)

    1. Hello RecipeNewZ,
      Thanks for dropping by and also for the very kind invitation.
      S x

  2. Made this salad yesterday and am eating the leftovers as I type - so so tasty! Just right for this weird autumn/winter/summer weather that can't seem to make up its mind. I mentioned the salad in one of my blog posts and have linked back to your site,
    Thanks for the lovely pictures and a yummy lunch, keep up the great work, your blog is lovely!