Minou turned seventeen on Sunday. She put in a request for sunshine and a tub of coconut yoghurt to help her celebrate, and both her birthday wishes came true. I put cushions out for her in her favourite sunny spots on the balcony, and made sure that there were steps – carefully positioned chairs and an upturned flower pot – for her to use as she’s not got much strength in her back legs these days. She whiled the afternoon away on the bench, enjoying a couple of teaspoons of coconut yoghurt as the sun moved around. A good birthday, I think.
There’s a Turkish shop on Smallbrook Queensway that we often stop in at when we go to the market or walk to the station. It came into its own during the early weeks of the shutdown back in April and May, as the shelves are densely packed floor to ceiling with all sorts of essentials including dried beans – which we struggled to find in the supermarkets – and other goodies like tahini – a staple in our household – as well as treats like tins of stuffed vine leaves. Ed and I call stuffed vine leaves ‘Tamek’ because that’s the brand the Turkish shop sells.
I have to laugh at myself for fitting the stereotype of my generation. In my defence, my collection of succulents is quite small and only takes up a tiny corner of one room of my home. I can also put them out on the balcony when it’s warm. I never thought I’d be interested in houseplants – chuckling at the couple who live opposite and have blocked their entire window and all natural light in their flat with a collection of huge plants – but I found myself craving something green while both botanical gardens were shut during the first wave of the pandemic, and so here we are.
Saturday is treat day, and so yesterday afternoon I made a strawberry cheesecake. I’ve made a raw vegan strawberry cheesecake before, but I couldn’t find the recipe for it and so I looked online for some ideas. I found this recipe on the Sainsbury’s website, and loosely followed it to get an idea for proportions. The final cheesecake is very different to the Sainsbury’s recipe though, so I thought I would write it down and share it here on my blog so that I can remember the changes I made next time I want to make one. It’s a very simple recipe and you can’t go too far wrong. I’ve also included suggestions for ingredient swaps if you don’t have something on the list. The basic idea for this cake is a smoothie poured over a pressed almond and date base, and then frozen to set. You don’t have to use strawberries, you could also make it with blueberries, peaches, blackberries, or any other soft fruit you have to hand.