The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry

For my recent book club meeting at my house, we had read (my selection) a book by Rachel Joyce called "The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry". It is a sweet read.

And we had a great discussion about the book.  We learned a lot about each other in the process too.

The story is about Harold who gets a letter from an old friend who tells him that she has cancer and is dying. Harold hasn't been in touch with this friend for years, so he sits down to write her a letter.  He goes to mail it in the postbox, but then keeps on walking, and then keeps on walking....He decides that he will walk the length of England (ill prepared) - from his house in the south, to where she is being cared for in the north and hand deliver the letter.  Over 600 miles. By doing this, he believes she will stay alive.

The story tells of his pilgrimage and how his wife deals with it, how she is supported by Rex, the neighbor, and all the people Harold meets on the way.

It is lovely.  Rachel first wrote it as a play for British Radio, at a time when her father was dying of cancer.

For our bookclub, I charted out Harold's journey on a map and decided that I would make goodies to eat that were all goodies "to go" - ie Harold could have taken them on his journey!

I made buckwheat and lemon mini-pots - perfect for travelling - you could even carry it in your pocket, and then also wrapped up some all-day-long oat bites and some oat flapjacks.

A hedgerow gathering, as Harold would have done, of edible pansies on the buckwheat lemon mini-pots

They went down well :-D

I recommend the book. Harold's pilgrimage and how he changes is delightful.

Nutmeg and Cinnamon coffee

I'm the speaker at a luncheon this week in Kenwood.  My topic is "spicing up your life". I will be talking about how spices are a great way adding flavor to your foods, are a good alternative to salt, and that they bring many health benefits too.

You may have read my previous posts about using spices in drinks such as golden milk, and chai tea - without the tea, and chai hot today I tried spices in my coffee.

Now, I don't like flavored coffees. They are very popular in the UK, with coffee flavors such as:

  • amaretto coffee
  • chocolate truffle coffee
  • toffee cappuccino coffee
  • hazelnut coffee (my dad's new favorite)
  • irish cream coffee
  • chocolate caramel coffee
  • maple syrup walnut coffee
  • sticky toffee coffee
  • chocolate cherry coffee
  • chocolate chip cookie coffee
  • caribbean rum coffee
  • Christmas pudding coffee
  • creme brulee coffee
  • malt whiskey coffee
  • mocha orange coffee
  • pecan pie coffee
  • rum baba coffee
To me, they just don't sound like coffee!  They all sound terribly sweet and sickly! Ugh - just the idea is pretty repulsive!!!  I want coffee to taste like coffee....

So it was with this in mind that I gingerly tried the idea of adding spices to my coffee.  I put enough decaf coffee in for four cups and to that added 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg (both ground) to the coffee grinds.

The result still tastes like coffee!  The spices are quite mild - so there is room for more....I think next time I might add cloves as well.  And surprisingly enough,  I enjoyed it.

It's another way for us to vary what we drink, and add some nourishing spices to our life.  Spices also seems to make a drink feel more like food - its  more satiating and I feel like I've eaten something.

So are you a flavoured coffee drinker? What is your favorite flavor?

PS Don't you just love my new orange coffee maker!  With it's little cup warmer on top too :-D