Rushing brooks and refreshing fountains…
So mix some ricotta with freshest herbs,
And make a filling full of flavour that curbs –
Then gently drizzle wild flower honey over tender lamb,
To invigorate and sing merrily, "It's great to be exactly who and what I am!"
Nerves are precious things and like golden threads, when they're intertwined with happiness they give free flowing feelings of hope, well-being and inner peace. Nerves need nurturing and eating well is key to looking after them.
Another lovely way to look after them is by cherishing the newness that each day brings, finding a sense of vitality and purpose in simple daily acts. Everything you see, taste and do will feel better.
Pretty much everything is connected AND this is true for appetites as well, so if you're not feeling great there may be something missing in your diet.
Low energy, depression, lethargy, exhaustion and poor concentration are all linked to deficiencies in diet that then lead to cravings, which are further intensified by the “fight or flight” instinct and exacerbate further junk food splurges - Feeling Good becomes nigh impossible. Studies have shown that activity in the brain can happen in milliseconds after exposure to negativity and obligingly the body responds by producing stress hormones to trigger cravings! I read a play once, called “Crave,” written by Sarah Kane , she writes with glistening truth and raw eloquence on this unsettling longing. Here is an extract,
“And I want to play hide-and-seek and give you my clothes... and hold your hand and go for a meal and not mind when you eat my food... and give you tapes you don’t listen to and watch great films and watch terrible films and complain about the radio”
What has this got to do with cooking you may ask? Chronic stress is apparently on the increase and our brains respond to it by turning up cravings for sugar, high fat and salty foods. What foods have you craved? Cravings come and go with the help of hopeful healthy hearts and adventuress appetites that are willing greener and more fulfilling pastures. I'd love to hear what foods make you feel energised?
Open spaces bring me peace and when I think of mountains one of my favourite meals springs to mind. Roast lamb. My recipe for Roasted rack of lamb with herbs, honey and ricotta, is succulent, fragrant and delicately delicious. It will create feelings of harmony and juxtapose this modern phenomenon of living in the fast lane 24/7. By enjoying a delightful dinner, come lunch, or whatever suits you and letting go and letting things be, a calm is found and true nourishment ensues. This prime cut of lamb, is made up of eight ribs and is neatly trimmed of fat. It is best enjoyed pink, or at most medium. Two racks of lamb may be placed facing each other with the bones inter weaved, and served as a crown roast, so this recipe would be a perfect choice for the Diamond Jubilee celebrations or any special meal.
Lamb is rich in vitamins and full of the B complex variety in particular, which is great news for the skin and nerve tissues.
So bid adieu to annus horribilis stress and open your arms and hearts to all that is healthy and good.
Lots of love,
Roasted rack of lamb with herbs, honey and ricotta
Lamb racks, 2 (8 cutlets on each) French trimmed
Garlic, 2 cloves, crushed into a paste
Sage leaves, 7 finely chopped
Died oregano, 1 tsp
Dried chamomile buds, small handful, (or contents of 1 chamomile teabag)
Mint, small bunch, leaves roughly chopped
Wild flower honey, 1 tbsp
Extra-virgin olive oil, 1 tbsp
Black pepper, 12 turns
Maldon salt, ½ tsp
PRE-HEAT oven to 200’C/fan 180’C/gas 6.
CUT along the lamb racks, very close to he bones, 3cm deep.
MIX together the ricotta, garlic, sage leaves, dried oregano and dried chamomile.
SPOON into the centre of each lamb rack.
PLACE lamb in a roasting tin.
DRIZZLE with oil and honey.
SEASON with pepper and salt.
ROAST in the oven for 20 minutes, until lamb is cooked but slightly pink.
REMOVE from the oven, cover with foil and rest for five minutes.
SERVE with seasonal vegetables and buttery mash.
DRIZZLE with any pan juices.