Ready, Steady, Snack and my Ode to Rhubarb (plus 2 new classes)

I am deep in January snacking mode over here. An early adopter of the work from home gang, I was in the distinct minority amongst my peers until recent years. Running my Interior Design Consultancy from my kitchen for almost two decades gave me (self proclaimed) snack expert status. I learned very early on that baking and cooking while designing was a good use of time and that treats at site meetings miraculously ensured well tempered teams and smooth running jobs.

These seed clusters are a firm WFH favourite – quick to make, they keep happily for days, packed with nourishment, smugly delicious and the perfect mid morning pick me up. I shared the original recipe early on in my Building Feasts adventures and they swiftly became a staunch staple in many other kitchens (remember them flying off the coffee bar counter in the Panzer’s Deli renovation launch in 2017?). 

Now that we all snack from home constantly, I thought they deserved a makeover and a nut free tahini packed cousin so things don’t get dull. And because nuts are problematic for some and tahini is a global obsession I thought the new version, alongside the 2024 makeover of the original, would sing to many peoples songbooks. For those who are not already in the seed cluster club, here’s the invitation to your 2024 snack solution (and video).

For all of you who are still here and paying attention, you asked, and I delivered. There are 2 more classes the pre-Easter schedule now live and ready to book. (This is also a little test to see how many of you read beyond the first paragraph of the newsletter). Join me on 28th February for a Vegetarian Bonanza and on the 20th March for Salads Galore. Get in quick as the last classes sold out in a record 12 hours flat (and you, the lucky and attentive subscribers, get a 24 hour booking head start). Ready, steady, book!

In other news, it’s a pivotal week in my kitchen when rhubarb comes into season and replaces cranberries in all the baked treats and toppings. I just love the tarty tang rhubarb brings to both sweet and savoury dishes, plus it pairs so beautifully with my other great love of the season – citrus (and blood oranges in particular). Thank you Mother Nature for a flavour marriage made in heaven. 

You will find a plethora of rhubarb recipes on these pages (I’ll link my favourites below) and there are more on the way (yes, I am behind the ball this week), but probably my hero of all time is Nigel Slater’s Rhubarb Cinnamon Polenta Cake from Tender Vol II. It is tea time perfection personified. And if you have a rhubarb recipe that’s close to your heart, please do share it with me. Because if you love it, I want to make it.  

For a little inspo: Rhubarb Crumble Bars, Spiced Roast Rhubarb, Pickled Rhubarb

That’s all from my kitchen on this chilly January morning.  My next instalment will be from the sunny shores of Southern California where I’m decamping at the beginning of February for a week of eating and working and sticking my feet in the ocean (but mainly eating and drowning in citrus). If there is anywhere you think I shouldn’t miss in the LA area, please shout.  

In the meantime, happy snacking, relish in all your rhubarb glory and pray for sun.