Hi, my name is Sooze.
Well, formally it’s Suzannah, but to date only my late grandmother and my mum (when I was headed for a spanking), have ever referred to me as that.
I can usually be located in Highbury, North London, with my husband Dan, but after our Facebook Development company was acquired last year, we decided to take stock and re-think about what it is in life that we are actually looking to achieve. So after reading several books focused on working remotely and leading ‘a life of adventure and purpose,’ (including The Four Hour Work Week and The $100 Startup), on the 27th August 2013, my husband and I fled the UK winter for a six month sabbatical to mull over our next venture in Barbados. Two months into our adventure, we are busy working on several projects, and one of mine is creating a recipe blog for the health conscious, but discerning diner. It’s healthy, elegant dining on a budget.
Desert Island Whisks. What is it all about?
Back home in the UK I am passionate about only using fresh, (preferably local), healthy ingredients and want to maintain that in Barbados. However, given that the island produces relatively little of its own produce and imports vast quantities from America, this is no easy task.
My blog is all about finding the best quality fresh produce, wherever I am, and producing inexpensive but beautiful and healthy suppers, to prove that eating healthily can be affordable and fabulous.
My first thought was to simply live off the land, which sounds like an incredibly rustic, romantic and virtuous thing to do, but alas there is little grown here with most food imported accompanied by fairly eye watering import taxes. Fortunately for us we hail from London, so the prices here are slightly muffled by the fact that we are used to paying over the odds, but still if I can find cheaper, I will. So I’m all about seasonal produce grown on the island and hunting down the farmers and fish markets, where, if anything like the markets in London, I will probably end up spending several hundred pounds of my hard earned (well, earned) money. Being virtuous comes with a price, this much I know.
Having been forewarned about the island’s high prices, I brought with me my trusty staple items: 1 kg of quinoa and 1kg red lentils. They are both rich in essential nutrients, have long shelf lives and a little goes along way, so great for budgets. I also jammed all my worldly spices into shoes and socks in case they turned out difficult to track down. Once you have a good variety of key spices, all you really need to buy locally is meat, fish and veg. Two months on and they are still serving me as faithfully as ever.
Kate Moss once famously said ‘Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels.’ I love to cook, but I also love my skinny jeans so the recipes are low fat, low GI and packed with as many fresh and healthy ingredients as possible. And, if fit for little else, the recipes should prove particularly useful should you find yourself stuck on a desert island and tasked with holding healthy, elegant dinner parties!
All recipes post lunch (excluding those on days of celebration when there is always room for a cheeky Mimosa with your muesli), will be paired with a wine of my suggestion and honestly, that is the one piece of the whole thing I have any in-depth experience in (albeit drinking it), so I should hopefully hit a home run on that part. I would also recommended cooking with wine. As in drinking it whilst you cook. Creativity peaks when accompanied by a decent bottle.
I decided that as my current situation saw me foraging for healthy suppers on an island, it seemed befitting that the blog should play homage to Radio 4’s ‘Desert Island Discs’ and see its recipes paired with a song previously chosen by a ‘castaway’ on the programme. I used to listen to the programme with my mum, most likely in the kitchen baking, and hopefully the majority of you will have understood the reference in the blog’s title. I’m sure Radio 4 are kicking themselves for missing out on that one… If you haven’t listened to Desert Island Discs before, you should really should; it’s a solid piece of British Broadcasting history.
I hope that you enjoy the blog, and if you want to get in touch with your thoughts, recipes or ideas, I would love to hear from you!