I realised recently that I desperately needed one day in the week to forget about work, not think about money, and just relax, get out of the house, take a few photos, eat cake and spend some time with my family. So, after visiting Bateman's in East Sussex, I decided that we should do this more regularly. We became National Trust members last year, so we really don't have an excuse!
I don't know about you, but I love a good snoop around other people's homes! I love to see how other people live, and how they choose to decorate their homes. My love of interior design and house renovation come from my mum and dad, who throughout my childhood renovated and decorated all the houses we lived in (and actually built the most recent one themselves!). My mum was always on the look for antique bargains, and my dad is Mr DIY. My mum has a great sense of design, and quite a unique style aesthetic. Everything I know about painting walls and furniture I learnt from her.
So now, after many years of travelling, renting and sharing, I find that I finally I have my very own house to renovate and decorate. My husband, Wojtek, and I moved down to St Leonards from London in December 2013 (yes, we are the dreaded DFLs!). Initially we had the mad idea of relocating to Cornwall (having had a couple of blissful holidays there), but after a few trips house hunting, viewing several tiny little cottages, catching a flat tire and getting stuck down a ravine in the rain in failing daylight, we decided to move a little closer to London! We decided Cornwall was really to rural and isolated for us in the end. We didn't want to be that far from all our friends, and I realised I liked Victorian houses with big windows and high ceilings a lot more than cosy little cottages in the middle of nowhere. We had friends living in St Leonards already that we'd visited several times, and so had already begun to get to know the area. We started our search in Hastings, but soon fell in love with its younger sister St Leonards. It has quieter cafes, galleries, lovely beaches, a friendly, casual, artistic vibe, fascinating architecture, beautiful (and cheaper!) Victorian houses, wonderful junk & antique shops - and, of course, the sea!
Ouma Christa is my German grandmother on my father's side. I basically grew up in her kitchen, more or less. Helping peel carrots, mixing cookie dough (but mostly eating it!), playing in the kitchen cupboards, planting vegetables and eating lots of amazing hearty German food are just a few of my memories from that time. My love of food obviously comes from Ouma Christa. I have so many amazing memories of days spent with her. I feel so incredibly lucky to have her in my life. To this day, I don't think she realises what a big influence she's been in my life... I love you Oumie!
3 English cucumbers peeled, deseeded and cut into half moons. You can also use the short fat cucumbers, just peel them, don't cut them.
1 cup white wine vinegar
2 cups water
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp mustard seeds
2 bay leaves
A few peppercorns
Pour one tablespoon of salt over cucumbers and leave overnight
Rinse the cucumbers
Put all the remaining ingredients in a pot and boil for half an hour
Sterilise a Mason jar (I stick mine in the dishwasher)
Place cucumbers in the jar, pour over the warm vinegar mixture and seal
Wait a couple of days and enjoy!
Here is a link to download and print your own recipe card: Pickled Cucumbers