Sitting in a packed, sold out, concert hall watching the Philarmonia Orchestra play the soundtrack to Planet Earth, spending the day in London trying to find a bridesmaid dress for these guys wedding, having the most fantastic afternoon tea at The Haymarket Hotel, drinks in my brothers new pub, trying to manoeuvre a 20 tonne steel boat backwards in 40 mile an hour winds, Sunday lunches by the river, lazy afternoons in front of the fire. This weekend has been all these things and more. Way to pack a weekend in. It was the best.
This porridge is just what you need for a slow Sunday morning. Pre-soaking your amaranth the night before will help your body be able to soak up all of its goodness. 1 cup of amaranth contains 15mg of iron! How good is that?! Cherries are perfect this time of year, added a deep red juice and a sweet tang to this warming breakfast bowl.
My scales have given up the ghost, and I’ve yet to invest in a new set, hence the measuring in cups here. If you don’t have a set of measuring cups, this is a useful page to bookmark to do your conversions.
The boat is currently moored in a nice secluded woody area, surrounded by humungous trees and fields of horses. It also appears to be a bit of a black hole, connection wise. No internet, no phone signal. Just me and my mind. It’s been both good and bad. I don’t like feeling disconnected. But I also know that this current world is full of too much information. My brain feels like a matrix of words and news sometimes, forever buzzing and processing all the information we have access to. Social media has made switching off and being present much harder. Anxiety levels are on the rise in everybody, because life has turned into one big popularity contest.
It scares me a lot, how much this world now relies on constant sources of information and technology. We’ve forgotten how to appreciate the simple things in life, like the birds singing their songs, fresh from their migration back to the UK, fields of yellow popping up as the warmer weather arrives, the crisp morning air. We need to revel in the marvel that is this beautiful planet. Put down that screen and look outside, and around you. Breathe life.
When I am stressed, I bake. When I am worried, I bake. When it’s all getting a bit too much, I bake. I don’t know if I necessarily find it therapeutic, but it seems to be my go to thing when I’m having a dark-grey-cloud-over-my-head kinda day.
I try to live in the present, the now, the very moment. However it isn’t the easiest thing to do, especially when you have spent 26 years of your life worrying. Baking somehow manages to change my thought process. The focussing on the ingredients and method is almost like some kind of meditation for me. It just manages to push those worries and fears aside for a while, to re-adjust my blurry head, pushing the dark cloud away.
We are blessed that we live on the water, just seeing the ripples and reflections through the windows, even on a grey day, can help push the negativity away. There is nothing better than cooking with a view, to whip up something magical whilst looking out over the canal and to the fields beyond.
Now, this isn’t your run-of-the mill jam recipe. It’s simple and doesn’t involve any cooking. My kinda jam!
I’m not a massive toast fan anymore, so tend to not eat too much of this fruity, sticky treat. I like a dollop of it on my porridge now and again. But since making this recipe, I can’t stop eating it, thickly spread over a good bit of toasted bread!