Happy New Year!


We Scots call New Year’s Eve – 31 December – Hogmanay – the big night that marks the arrival of the new year. Its origins reach back to the celebration of the winter solstice among the Vikings with wild parties in late December. The Husband and I went for a quiet one this year and had a meal at our favourite Thai restaurant and home (a bit of a change from when I was in my teens and we used to work out whose house we should make for the last one to have breakfast!). However you spent yours, I hope 2020 brings for you good health and much happiness.

We have had a wonderful Christmas, spread over a few days, with family – and (obviously) too much food!  I absolutely love the Holiday and all the cooking (daughter, Alice and son-in-law, Ben, cooked up a storm on Saturday night, though) and now all I want to eat is something fresh and clean and sharp – and this salad has it all. It’s all about the sourness. The combination of lemon and sumac really packs a punch and wakes up your tasting!

Fattoush salad –

  • 50ml olive oil
  • 1/2 lemon, juice and zest
  • ½ garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon sumac (a sour-tasting ground spice)
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 pittabread, torn into small pieces
  • 4 plum tomatos, seeds removed, quartered
  • 1/4 cucumber, peeled, cut into 2in batons
  • 1/4 green pepper, cut into strips
  • 4 radishes, sliced
  • 1 small shallot, sliced
  • small handful rocket leaves
  • 1/2 little gem lettuce
  • handful fresh mintleaves

For the dressing, place the olive oil, lemon juice and zest, crushed garlic and sumac into a bowl and whisk together to combine. Season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper. (You may not need all the dressing for this recipe, so set the remainder aside in the fridge for up to a week). For the salad, place the torn pitta, tomatoes, cucumber, pepper, radishes, shallot, rocket leaves, Little Gem lettuce leaves and mint leaves into a large bowl and season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper. To serve, pour the dressing, to taste, over the salad and gently mix together to coat the salad evenly.

PS Hetty hen continues to make good progress and is back with her friends, just a little limp to show for her trouble


And it’s a MEOW for 2020 from Pookie 

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