Every few months I pull out a Koan card. This card is something I keep in mind for the coming months and it’s always the perfect advice for me. A few months ago, when I was finishing writing my book (“Polska” is now available for pre-order), the Koans advised me: “I burn the books in my bag, but the verses written in my guts cannot be forgotten”. After all the research, this advice really struck a cord – it was time to forget about all the other books and create something new. Then when my baby was born the Koans said: ” The seeds of the past are the fruits of the future”. A reminder that every moment counts, because the baby is like a sponge. Today, I pulled out a new card. Right now my life is very busy – my baby is nearly 6 months and requires more attention than before, I am building a website for myself (something I haven’t done since 1999) and I have a very long to do list, which needs to be completed before my book launch (July in the UK, September in the US). I am also selling my flat and trying to buy a family home with my partner. So the Koans told me: “Water heats slowly and it boils suddenly”. They are advising patient perseverance. Perfect. Difficult, but really the perfect advice for me for now. Slow, consistent perseverance in the knowledge that everything will come in the right time and in the right way. In the midst of all these things I need to do, I also need to cook and eat. As I’m breastfeeding, I’m making an extra effort to eat healthy, nutritious, filling, food (because I am starving all the time). I made a risotto recently with local asparagus, which we bought in a farm shop somewhere in Sussex between London and Eastbourne. I also used local cheese instead of Parmesan. Apart from that the risotto recipe was the basic one – onion, arborio rice, vegetable stock added gradually. Then the steamed asparagus and some par-boiled peas. The cheese is added right at the end, once the risotto is cooked. The next day I rolled the leftovers into balls, covered them in breadcrumbs and fried them in rapeseed oil.

I bought beautiful carrots from that very same shop and shredded them. I juiced an orange and used that, along with good quality Virgin olive oil, Moroccan cumin and salt and pepper as a dressing. Finally, I tore some mint leaves from the garden and straight into the salad.