I’m not done with you

I need to have a talk with the trees.

No, I’m not a tree hugger. Nor do I have conversations with my root vegetables to help them grow better. It’s just that the trees surprised me yesterday, in a sneaky kind of way. They changed on me.

Why start changing colour now? Is it reasonable to be orange so soon? It’s just August, for the sake of seasonal smoothies! I need to hang on to the last dregs of summer.

I need a few more days of cherries, and mango kulfi.

A few more picnics, with baguettes, cheeses and olives, and wine in cheap plastic glasses.

More trips to Holkham with buckets and spades and fishing nets.

More barefoot walks in the grass.

I’d like the long hours of light, just a little bit longer.

I’d like to unpack the woollens just a little bit later.

I want to leave the windows open a few more nights.

I’m not done with you summer!

I love autumn, with it’s warm rusty colours and cold whipping winds, but I’m not ready for it just yet. And until I am, I’ll ward off the odd cold, wet day with a steaming hot stew. Of lamb and coconut milk. Of kaffir lime leaves and coriander. Of spicy shrimp paste and tangy tamarind. Flavours from a warm place.

Lamb in Coconut Milk with Spicy Shrimp Paste

500 gms boneless lamb
1 onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic
1 1/2 inch ginger
1/2 cup chopped coriander
1 green chilli, more if you can take the heat
1 star anise
2 cups coconut milk
3-4 kaffir lime leaves
2 tsp shrimp paste
1 tsp black peppercorns

Put the onion, garlic, ginger, coriander and chilli in a mixer and blitz into a coarse paste.
In a cooking pan, mix the lamb, the paste, coconut milk, kaffir lime leaves, star anise, peppercorns and salt. Bring to the boil, then immediately lower the heat, cover and simmer on medium till the meat is cooked.
Stir in the shrimp paste and tamarind paste, and simmer till meat is very tender. Add water, if needed, to adjust the thickness of the gravy.
Serve hot with steamed rice and slices of lemon.

Serves 3-4

8 thoughts on “I’m not done with you

  1. I must admit Pia, that I keep checking your blog a few times during the week secretly hoping that your next one is already there. So what if I know when to expect one, I guess it's like mini countdown with a hope that sometimes 3..2..1 might turn into 3..1 🙂
    I know I told you many times how much I love the way you put words and food together into one amazing perfection but I guess too much sometimes is not really too much 😉
    And you always catch it, that moment or thought or flavour and share it. It's generous!
    And I missed you guys. So start planning your trip to us in Autumn and let's all hope for golden days – those last kicks summer offers before giving the way to long wait for another spring. No, dont get me wrong, I love crispy winter days and hints ( or sometimes more) of snow, but I guess I am too so not ready to let summer go.

  2. I agree. Autumn may well be my favourite season, for it's wonderful colours and golden light. The only downside is the shortening days.

    But I don't want it to come before its time!

  3. That looks divine… I know what you mean about autumn sneaking up on us. I have a long drive through the forest each morning and already spotting golds, reds and browns!! Emma xx (a verified tree hugger. Don't talk to vegetables yet though!)… 🙂

  4. Anita, it really does taste as good as it looks. you must cook it if you like lamb!

    Dalia girl, it's YOU who are generous – with your comments, and with everything else that you do and say. And autumn will definitely see us taking a long drive to your end of the country! Must create one long, crazy weekend. Soon.

    Thanks so much, Paula, Tim.

    Kavey, it's just been a day since this post, but the leaves are already browner! There's no stopping it now, so I'm just going to sit back and enjoy it. I do love it too, but I'd love it more next month.

    Emma, as an aside, I do tend to talk to the food in my fridge.

  5. Pia, I am with Dalia!

    The funny thing is, I love fall and it's my favorite season. But just the same, I want the the light longer. A few more early evening bike rides with my son…

    I haven't had my fill of mango just yet.

    Thanks for sharing!

  6. Ah, a summer evening bike ride sounds lovely, Anna! Can't wait to have my daughter riding her bike next to mine. Will have to wait for a couple of more summers before she's old enough to do that!

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