Smelling the Roses

 I have combined my blogs as I realised so profoundly that my professional pursuits and my personal ‘journey’ are inseparable. The travel blog in Colombia was an entirely self-indulgent exploration into self, spirituality and my relationship with these things and the wider world as I weave my way through it. However, realising that self-indulgence is not a selfish thing is important, as these journeys enable us to be better for ourselves and everyone else, as long as we listen to our lessons.

Starting Luna Limón was my way of channeling the passions and beliefs I hold into my professional capacity, but somewhere along the way I got a little lost with it. Settling in to a different environment is challenging on a spiritual, creative and personal level, and so sometimes trying to start a project whilst marking out your ‘hows’ and ‘whys’ in a new space can prove too much. This is not to say that Barcelona did not teach me many things. For one, I learnt and explored my love of direct trade coffee. Professionally I know where I am heading, it is now about having the patience before I am ready to arrive there.

So, I find myself back in my hometown of Cambridge. Still baking. Still invested in that vital connection between producer and consumer. My relationship with SlowMov has followed me here in the form of a determination to explore these avenues on my turf. Regular blog updates will hopefully be a result of my explorations into local produce, projects, businesses, interesting tidbits, to the inside of my neighbour’s beehive. And of course my continuing passion for recipe creation.

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I have landed back on tierra madre at the best time. Everything is bursting and calling out to be picked, baked, stewed, or simply stared at. Seriously, if you want to smell the roses there’s no better place than Cambridge in June. Yes, the Spring showers have predictably shadowed our days. However, as an English person I have fully accepted and even embraced that I will obsess over the weather around 70% of the time. So with this in mind I skipped down to a common green space and picked myself some elderflowers in the rain. I’ve brewed up my first batch of cordial, and from this created my own recipe for Almond, Lime and Elderflower drizzle cake.

The Elder tree was once known as the ‘medicine chest of the country people’, as practically all the different parts of the plant can be put to use. Anyone familiar with England will know that the elder is unmissable on any roadside, common area or country lane. It is a popular addition to many a herb garden, as folk lore would have it that all herbs are under the protection of the ‘Elder Mother’ or ‘Spirit of the Elder’. It is believed that if you stand under the tree at midnight on Midsummer night, which happily happens to be today, you will see the King of the Elves go by. I’m definitely giving it a bash later!

I shall report back on regal elf sightings, but for now, here is the recipe for aforementioned cake…

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Almond, Elderflower & Lime Drizzle Cake

100g almond flour
200g spelt flour
2 tbsp chia seeds
150ml almond milk
100ml mild oil, such as groundnut
150ml agave syrup
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 1/2 tsp lime juice
1 tbsp lime rind
1 1/2 tsp elderflower cordial

100g icing sugar
a dash of elderflower cordial

As a vegan cake, thus having no eggs, this recipe is very simples! Preheat the oven to 175°C. Line a 20cm baking tin. Sift the flours together with the baking powder and soda, then mix in the rest of the dry ingredients. Whisk together all the wet ingredients in a separate bowl. Making a hollow in the middle of your flours, tip in the wet mixture and give it all a stir. Do not over mix, as this is where the cake mixture will lose it’s air! Pop in the oven on the middle shelf and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Leave to cool for 10 minutes before removing from the tin, then cool completely before decorating with the elderflower drizzle.