Oh it was an exciting few days at the Grandpoops. 

We went to John Lewis and Mister Baby had his first bit of scone and cream (no jam, obviously we are middle class enough to be holding out on the refined sugar). 

He was bamboozled by his introduction to the world of soft play (I was SUPER excited because soft play is excellent and I can’t wait to have the excuse to tear round it with him). 

He took after his father and was crap at the countryside. Here he is being terminally underwhelmed by pigs.

He went to the playground. 

He also had a bath in the garden but we’ll spare his blushes and not have a photo of that one. 

And of course, I had enough coffees to fill one of the smaller Great Lakes. 

Once reunited with the Patriarch in London, we wanted something easy for tea. Having bastardised all the Italian dishes I know (Alla Norma, Primavera, Alla Liguria and others), this time I ruined a Middle Eastern classic: mejadra. Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi have a great authentic version of this recipe in their cookbook Jerusalem, so head over there if you fancy a go at the real thing. This is the super easy alternative.

TIME 30-40 minutes



1 mug of brown rice or a brown rice and quinoa mix 

1 mug of green lentils

2 red onions

4 cloves of garlic

2 teaspoons of plain flour (gluten free, if required)

2 tablespoons of olive or rapeseed oil 

2 teaspoons of cumin seeds

1 teaspoon of smoked paprika 

1/2 teaspoon of tumeric

1/2 teaspoon of allspice

Salt and pepper 


If you’re being organised, soak the rice/quinoa and lentils for a few hours before cooking – this will speed the cooking process. Not to worry if not, just leave it simmering for a little longer.

Set the rice and lentil mix to simmer on the hob until soft – this will take 15-30 minutes depending on whether you soaked them.

While this cooks, slice the onions into ribbons (a mandolin will do this perfectly, if you have one). Toss the onions in the flour. 

Heat the oil in a frying pan and the add the onions. Cook for five minutes until beginning to crisp and then crush in the garlic. Stir frequently for another 3-5 minutes until golden brown. Take off the heat.

Drain the rice and lentils. Stir in the spices and return to the hob for another 5 minutes, stirring frequently. 

Stir in the onions and garlic and serve with a big spoonful of hummus and perhaps some sev. 


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