Pea and mint risotto, gourmet cats, cremated glasses, and orange dust

Pea and mint risotto

Our cat, ‘Minou’, is feral. When he first came to stay, he, conveniently for us, caught mice to eat. Luc quickly decided he was easy on the eye, and useful (possibly the same appraisal as when he met me), so started to buy him cat food to encourage him to stay. (I feel I should point out here that he didn’t entice me to stay with cat food.) Minou quickly went off the original cat food, so we upgraded to premium tinned cat food, which appeased him for a little while. He quickly went off that, and Luc thought that home-cooked things ‘in a sauce’ would probably please him. Which they did, and still do. This meant that I spent yesterday evening, after having made and served human dinner, cooking Venison Bourguignon for Minou. I think the next logical step will be starred Michelin restaurant fare, because the only way he’s going to even consider a mouse now is served ‘en croûte au foie gras’…


Apparently some people are NST (not safe in taxis); I’m NSG (not safe with glasses). I’ve always had issues with glasses, and we frequently part company. Unfortunately, searching for glasses is boring, time-wasting, and difficult because you can’t see properly because you’re, err, looking for your glasses. Last Friday I lost them properly. The whole house was in upheaval, with everyone involved. Luc inadvertently found them on Sunday evening in the embers of the fireplace. WTAF? It would seem I’d had a rare tidy freak moment, and thrown everything of a combustible nature within reach into the fire, glasses included.

Cremated glasses

Last week everything in our area had a pinky red tinge from dust blown up from the Sahara; this week we’ve got fluorescent yellowy green from pine pollen dust. In our case everything is orange, a combination of the two, as I still hadn’t got around to removing the Sahara when the pines put in an appearance.

Recipe for pea and mint risotto (serves 4)

  • 40g coconut oil (you could use olive oil)
  • 400g Basmati rice
  • 4 shallots, finely diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 200ml dry white wine
  • 800ml vegetable stock
  • 300g garden peas
  • 100g garden peas, pureed
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Handful mint leaves, finely chopped
  • 4 tablespoons grated parmesan

Heat the coconut oil in a large frying pan, then add the shallots and garlic and fry for about 8 minutes until soft is soft. Add the rice and continue to heat until translucent. Gradually add the wine and keep stirring.

Add a ladle of hot stock and turn down the heat. Keep adding ladlefuls of stock, stirring constantly and allowing each ladleful to be absorbed completely before adding the next. Add the peas when there are a couple of ladlefuls left. Stir until the rice is soft but still has a slight bite, then season with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat and add the freshly chopped mint and the Parmesan.


  • kristenann

    Beautiful pics! The risotto sounds and looks delicious. I’ve never heard of pureeing some of the ingredients, peas in this case, for risotto but that makes such good sense! I hope you can get your glasses replaced during the current restrictions. 😎

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