Pumpkin Pie

Winter coats, collecting kindling and home made soup have all been indulgences this week. Hurricanes rather than heat waves are occupying the front pages, seasons have changed and we have finally crossed the line into Autumn. I can't say I'm disappointed always having been a blustery walk kind of girl rather than all beach and bikini's.

Pumpkins and squash are prettying up shop windows, supermarkets & coffee shops and the colour orange dominates.They are so cheap at the moment, pumpkins. So big, so yummy and so cheap!? Don't just see them as a container for your candles but more a canvas to some cooking. Whizzed into soup, roasted in maple or, of course, transformed into the all American pie.

It was an average Tuesday in our house but I made this to make my boys happy. I've written the recipe down for my book so I'll tell you the recipe just as soon as it comes out in print, it's not too long now. 


Silo, Brighton

Moving away from London wasn't an easy decision. We left red buses, enormous branches of Topshop and a raging foodie scene that I was proud to be a part of.  Brighton beckoned and occasionally we reverted to feeling wistful and nostalgic for our spent days exploring the capital. I would read the opening of new restaurants, markets and coffee houses hoping, just occasionally the postcode began BN.

But oh the excitement as places have opened, existing restaurants have upped their game and we discovered the plethora of places that already exist. The latest addition is Silo, hidden in the Lanes but not more than a 5 minute walk from the station. 

Opened last week, the building is outrageously cool with a raw, stripped back feel that I love. This particular restaurants POS is quite an impressive zero waste policy.  

Flour will be milled on site, yoghurt made and chocolate created.  Loos will be flushed using waste water from coffee machines. There is an enormous food composter just inside the restaurant. The compost will be given away to customers, completing the cycle from food to soil. Mushrooms proudly grow on the wall, sitting in used espresso granules. To solve the problem of takeaway coffee cups, Silo will offer customers a free coffee for every five cups they return and the cup will be shredded and composted.  

Douglas McMaster is the man behind the Silo and he's put together a sustainable, seasonal and very reasonable menu. One fish option, one wild, one meat, one plant and one dairy. Beautifully simple. 

Go and visit, I think Brighton should be really proud of Silo and I for one will enjoy sitting and sipping coffee whilst the rain pours down outside. 


Panda Box @ Itsu

I like to think I work quite hard on Jasper's diet - the fear that my little boy will only eat salty crisps and something resembling a fish finger makes me a little sweaty under the collar. I'm not winning by any means, we have plenty of days that pizza is the only answer, and only once the tomato bit has been scraped off but just occasionally I feel quite proud of both his appetite and willingness to try. 
Itsu, owned by Pret, is hoping to expand dramatically over the next few years, hopping on the health bandwagon as it clatters it's way down the high street. It has always been one of my secret pleasures and I dream of the day we can visit, the two of us, and happily enjoy a box of sushi together. 
I'd heard they have developed a new children's 'Panda' menu and so we visited; mummy, hopeful and Jasper, hungry. I'd say it wasn't a total failure and he loved playing with chopsticks, dipping chicken in sweet hosin and popping endame beans. Frozen yoghurt was a hit. Detox drinks were drunk with the same enthusiasm he approaches lemonade. And chocolate rice cakes were special enough to mean he would try my miso soup. We had fun, sitting and enjoying a new taste or two. I love the thought he was playing with new textures and unfamiliar flavours. A success I think?