My Weekend Inspiration….

21 May

A lot of people ask where I get my inspiration and ideas from. It’s usually the first thing they ask me if they know about my blog. Apart from being influenced by all the amazing restaurants we visited in Cape Town recently, I get inspiration every day when I go out running with Rufus (the dog) and occasionally The Washer Up comes too.

It’s when I get time to think about ideas and things come together somehow. I’ll try to explain: on Saturday I saw this apricot on the ground as I was running past a field that normally has a Shetland pony in it. The pony is not there anymore but we always look to see if he’s come back.  I noticed that there were two apricot trees laden with fruit that were just about ripe. One had fallen on the ground so I took some pictures of it. I wanted to take some more close up pictures of the tree with the fruit on it but I am a bit short and would have to climb on a fence to get the shots. A job for The Washer Up definitely.  He was coming running with us on Sunday, I would have to wait.

Further on I saw these roses and had to stop to photograph them. The coral one is so beautiful I can still smell it now when I look at the picture, can you?

These apricot roses caught my eye aswell. It must be an apricot thing. So now we have apricots and roses, in my head I mean, not physically. I didn’t steal them, honest.

Next I noticed that the almond trees have started to bear fruit (or nut) and you can see little furry green pods all over the branches. These protect the young green almond inside. So almonds join the apricots and roses in my head. What does apricot, rose and almond say to you? To me it says, Moroccan, Middle Eastern exotic, floral, sweet pastries. Or even slow-cooked fragrant tagines sweetened with dried fruits and topped with crisp, toasted almonds. Or lightly aromatic Tabbouleh or couscous salads studded with jewel coloured fruits and crunchy nuts and flecked with bright green fresh herbs. So that is where my mind is going on that one. Watch this space, I am getting apricots in my organic veg box this week.

Oh and he got the apricot tree shots by the way….

Sunday was all about photographing baby fruits and getting excited about future summer recipes. The creative process begins now. There are baby persimmons to think about.

Watching pomegranate flowers turning into fruit before your eyes.

Baby quince with their furry skin just beginning to show.

And tiny little bunches of grapes peeking out from under the vine leaves. Lots to think about.

We also saw a farmer harvesting his red potato crop on the way round.

Very exciting, we had been watching them grow for a while but had no idea that they were red until now. Aren’t they lovely? He also had some enormous spring onions growing next to the potatoes. So I’ve now opened a new file in my head that contains red potatoes and spring onions.

There are also some beautifully vibrant green lettuces that are desperate to be included somewhere too.

On the way back home we went to a new organic farmers market that is held every Sunday morning in Coin. My friend Judi had told me about it, so we went to have a look. It’s a local initiative to encourage people to buy fresh fruit and vegetables from their neighbours rather than supermarkets. All the stallholders live in Coin and have private small holdings. Some are organic and some are not but it is all clearly marked.

And guess what the first organic stall we came across was selling?

Oh yes, red new potatoes. It’s the little things that make you happy isn’t it. We bought a kilo, I have no idea what I am going to do with a kilo of new potatoes but they were 50 cents, so I couldn’t ask for half could I?

They also had some young garlic at the back there. So this file now contains, baby new red potatoes, spring onions and spring garlic. It has got to be a potato salad with those ingredients. But not a rich mayonnaise heavy potato salad, I’m thinking more of a light wine and stock cooked potato salad with olive oil, herbs, spring onions and garlic. It’s a French thing, I’ve seen it on Barefoot Contessa. I may have to try roasting some too as I have bought so many….

It’s only a small market but there was a local potter doing his thing and we also bought some of these deliciously sweet little organic strawberries.

They have a special destiny in a separate mental folder that I will share with you tomorrow…….

11 Responses to “My Weekend Inspiration….”

  1. dassana May 21, 2012 at 7:26 pm #

    that really an inspiration for me too. simply awesome. the pics tells so much than what words can tell.

  2. tony ward May 21, 2012 at 7:32 pm #

    Natalie guapa I am sooooo proud of you and the way your mind sweeps over the miracles around you(that you were too busy to even notice before) If that isn’t enough you create the most amazing meals/recipies/indulgencies. Great photos too.
    Keep up with your daily escapades, blame your Mother for the fact that you are under tall !! besitos. xx

  3. ceciliag May 21, 2012 at 7:48 pm #

    I can see how you would be inspired and that big garden with the potatoes looked fantastic.. you have a great run!! c

  4. Smallpeace May 21, 2012 at 7:56 pm #

    Growing up in San Diego, I had access to fresh apricots…and avocados, and just about every kind of fresh citrus. These photos make me nostalgic for the days I’d take a book and nestle in the fork of one of our fruit trees and just munch away. Beautiful photos of a beautiful place. You are so fortunate!

  5. kellieanderson May 21, 2012 at 9:49 pm #

    It was lovely to see inside your mind in this post. You articulate very well your personal creative process & how little things that others don’t notice, or think incidental, can lead to beautiful recipes and words. Great post.

  6. Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide May 22, 2012 at 1:38 am #

    You certainly wouldn’t get inspiration running with the other Rufus. Love all the photos!

  7. Kate Abbott - Clifton Kitchen May 22, 2012 at 8:18 am #

    Good morning Natalie, visiting your blog has provided a lovely start to my day. I adore all the pictures. The little mental meander that you have taken me on is wonderfully refreshing and I am sure that your ‘prompts’ will deliver something interesting to eat too.
    Take care

  8. peasepudding May 22, 2012 at 12:47 pm #

    Hi Nat, such a beautiful journey your morning jaunts take you, there is always some new produce to see, very inspirational indeed. I look forward to seeing your creations.


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