The week before leading up to my MA graduation, my family and I decided to brave our warm, Indian hearts and tour a bit of the Scottish Highlands. It was still lush and green and surprisingly enough sun to entertain us a bit when things got a bit too cold. It was a holiday that paralleled none of our others and for that the foreign lands of Scotland felt so majestic and each moment with one another was ever more precious. The night before my trip out to The Lake District instilled a bit of anxiety. I felt incredibly anxious considering I had been traveling for a good 5 weeks straight before that. Trains were nothing new for me, but my heart beat deeper and more dramatically than it is used to. Upon reaching my carriage, well before time to depart, I felt a bit at ease and so I started to pen my thoughts about the trip. About 2016. About my future goals. And about my feelings about just about everything. I realized that The Lake District brought upon this anxiety because it reminded me so dearly of my family’s trip and I wasn’t sure how anything would top that. As the train continued to trek more and more north and buildings were replaced with hills, greens and sheep, I found that though I conceptualized The Lake District as similar to the Scottish Highlands, the landscape was notably different. The way the wind flirted with leaves, patches of trees made me believe that this experience was going to be different.
on each day
Everyday, we met the morning sun (which was very unusual) and would make our way to different parts of the incredibly vast Lake District. To Keswick to enjoy the very British high street and sun’s reflection on Derwent Lake. We meandered around and through the villages surrounding Penrith. And every few meters the view changed ever so slightly that is begged for a photo opportunity. Since the sun set into darkness almost as quickly as it came out from the night sky, there were many hours sitting next to the fire with a cuppa in hand and discussing about our hopes and inspirations for 2017. In the background was usually something simmering in the kitchen perfuming the air with the rustic wood burning aroma and it felt just right to escape to a cabin into The Lake District.
Every morning, Katie made sure that the coffee was brewing. During the time she opened the curtains of the windows that overlooked the hills in the distance (and some sheep too), I put together bits of pieces of our favorite ingredients and would whip up breakfast. Something that held us over a bit after lunch so we can put our daily caloric intake towards a cheeky slice of cake. With the natural sweetness of the peppers, a bit of kick from the paprika, an earthy vibe from the mushrooms, and a proper mediterranean feel from the iberico…
- 8 eggs, whisked
- 1/2 cup milk
- 3 tbs butter
- 1 small red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 small red onion, chopped
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 6 slices of cured ham, jamon
- salt & pepper to taste
- feta cheese & chopped parsley to top
Place a skillet over medium heat and belt butter. Add the pepper, onion and oregano and stir until fragrant and onions translucent.
In a separate bowl, combine the eggs and milk. Add salt and pepper. Bring the heat of the skillet down to a medium-low and spread out all the vegetables so it coats the bottom of hte pan evenly. Top with the egg mixture and cover for about 5-8 minutes. Top with the ham and then cover again for a few more minutes or until a pierced fork comes through clean. Top with feta cheese and parsley.
On the night of my arrival, Katie gave me a little taste of the local gastronomy. Cumberland sausages, though nothing new to what I’ve seen in my local shop, is something that comes from the region. Katie assured me that what I was about to eat was far more impressive than my local Waitrose has to offer. We knew that the quality was great as she baked the sausages for a casserole as there not an ounce of fat on the pan. The meat was incredible and fresh. So I was on the hunt for having a bit more. One day, after a long and cold trek, we decided to pick up a few ingredients and an extra bottle of wine. Spent the evening cooking and gazing out at the snow that started falling from the night sky.
- 3 tbs olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, crushed
- 2 cups mushrooms, sliced
- 3 large tomatos, chopped
- 1 tbs dry italian seasoning
- 1 tsp red chili flakes
- 1 cup red wine
- chopped parsley
- 500g pasta of choice
- 100g fresh breadcrumb
- 100g grated tasty cheese, such as mozzarella or Gruyere
Heat the oil in a heavy skillet. Add the sausagemeat, parsley and lots of salt and pepper and saute until tender. Remove from the skillet and onto a separate plate. In the same pan, onion, garlic, mushrooms, tomatos, Italian seasoning and red chili flakes. Cook until the onions are translucent and then deglaze the pan with red wine. Cover and simmer for about 20 minutes. Then stir in the sausage and some of the juice from the plate.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot to boil and add the pasta. Cook according to package. Preheat the oven to 200C. In a prepared baking dish add a helping of the pasta sauce you made and spread around so it covers the bottom of hte baking dish. In the skillet you made the sauce, add the pasta and mix. Add the the pasta mixture to the baking dish. Top with breadcrumbs and cheese. Bake for 30-45 minutes until the top is bubbling and golden.