Category Archives: Managing stress

Rice-flour pancakes with coconut and spring onion


Cadged this from the ever-lovely, which was originally a chive and rice-flour pancake recipe. Rolled through the Anxiouscook Random Stuff In The Refrigerator Blender it came out as a spring-onion and rice-flour pancake. This parchment-thin tortilla strikes me as suitable for endless artistic experimentation though – am already rifling through the spice rack for inspiration. Have fun! 🙂


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Home Comforts


I’ve gone a bit bread-mad. My day-to-day needs are generally met by buying a job-lot of pitta breads from the supermarket and freezing them, to defrost for the breakfast scrambled eggs/lunch-time salad/handy carbohydrate-dippers for a dinner-time curry, stew or casserole. But suddenly I’m buying big bags of flour, plain and self-raising, bicarbonate of soda, yeast. Testing the milk-curdling powers of lemon juice, balsamic vinegar and cider vinegar respectively, for Irish soda bread. Sidling in and out of Holland and Barratt* in a cheap rain-coat, furtively clutching a bag of brown-rice flour like I’m in a vegetarian “Trainspotting”.

I haven’t even started on the myriad forms and styles of flat-bread yet. But I intend to, oh yeessss.

I suppose it’s understandable psychologically. A cooked, grain-based carbohydrate is the backbone of so many cuisines across so much of the world. The mediaeval trencher-bread, doused in venison stew, Mexican tortillas, hard sticks of traditional French bread, wraps and pancakes and cucumber sandwiches, crusts removed. There’s something very comforting about bread, it’s adaptable, filling, keeps well, travels well, and wraps up the flavours of other foods, from the watery green cucumber, to the hottest chilli, in a smooth, easily-digestible blanket.

It doesn’t take a lot of introspection to understand why now, of all times, it seems important that I know how to make it.

*UK high-street health-food shop

Lost in a Forest…


Returned to the campsite described in with a few additional friends, more wine, and (sod the firelighters) bags of amazing ready-burn charcoal, just add matches and stand back*. We battled rain, hail, thunder and madly-flailing low-flying pheasants (and that was just the first couple of hours). In return, New Rivendell delivered in full on its promise of campfire BBQs, impossibly-clear starry nights, and the opportunity to perfect your peeing-in-the-woods-at-2am technique.

Back to reality with a massive THWACK!! on Monday morning. My mother has recurring health issues, (which may or may not suggest a secondary cancer is now in situ). We await the results of her meeting with the consultant on Tuesday afternoon. My company is making redundancies, and whilst I think I’m reasonably safe, my manager, who has sweated blood, sweat, tears, bad coffee and fluorescent marker-pen to make this team a success that is recognised and name-checked at the highest levels of the company, is now also in the pool for potential redundancies (there’s gratitude for you). And no, I don’t want her job – do I look feckin’ stupid?

Whilst you ponder that question, I bring you a combination of BBQ leftovers and a Jack Monroe recipe (original at ).


*wood fires are still more fffuuunnnn though.

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In Which I Dice with Death


Work continues stressful. I toyed with booking a massage to try and unkink the muscle knots in my back and neck, although the poor masseuse might have more luck with a hammer and chisel than with, say, lavender oil.

But in the meantime here’s a classic bit of veggie cooking, and a great clearer of odds-and-ends; the vegetable and bean stew. Perfect summer-fare (when a fine June day in the UK has consisted of heavy rain and lashing winds, and guess who forgot her nice warm fleece this morning?).


Spicy Vegetable & Bean Stew