Today, the 1st of October, I am starting my version of Stoptober. A month to eat clean, letting the wine bottle remain corked, and not adding any extra sugar to my diet. I can’t not eat natural sugar this month, the garden’s most productive on the fruit front. But I plan to think even more carefully about what I’m eating in order to rebuild my strength after the last few weeks.

Pears on the tree

I haven’t been feeling hugely creative recently and have decided to revisit some of the recipes that I have previously posted, seeing if they can be improved upon, and just enjoying what I have been happy to blog about.  This morning, on my way back from Hampstead to Sussex, I bought beautiful fresh pomegranates for my watercress, fennel and pomegranate salad tonight, dark red earthy beetroots to juice with my homegrown apples.  The greengrocer, Artichoke in Hampstead’s Heath Street, is a wonderful fresh fruit and vegetable shop and juice bar selling some produce that it is less easy to find in Sussex. So, although I like to eat as local as I can, I am buying a few treats from further from home, to excite my imagination.


A delicious juice of 3 beetroot, 3 small apples and half a cucumber.

Beetroot, Apple and cucumber juice

I’ve also been reading about the health benefits of fermented foods. Today I bought myself a jar of Sauerkraut and immediately, on popping the lid and digging my fork in, I am transported back to my holidays in Germany as a child, my Grandmother feeding us potato salads, sauerkrauts, pickled red cabbage, and her wonderful kitchen pantry filled with home picked and home preserved produce to last the whole year. It’s amazing how you can rekindle a memory so keenly.  I can feel the chill of her cellar and remember sitting in her fruit trees gorging myself on plums and cherries, the dull thud of escaping fruit from my small hands onto the sandy soil below.


So expect to see some exciting juices, warming autumnal soups, and lots of vegetarian suppers this month.  Wish me luck!


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