Spring pastels, warm sunlight, unnatural weather patterns and mini rye soda breads to set you on your day

The weather is going crazy. Last weekend began a sweet array of sunny days and mild - not so mild today, it's kind of scorching where I live - temperatures, perfect for having me dream in pastel colours and take long walks after I drop the kid at school, only to come back home sneezing my lungs out with the polens. But it has been a few glorious days, and I sure took full advantage of them, by changing my exercise routine to include said walks and shooting tons of recipes under this beautiful Spring light. I have even been to the market and I managed to come across wild asparagus, what a treat!! If it weren't for my allergies, Spring would be such a joy.

I've been wearing skirts and dresses and short sleeves, I leave my coats at home or bring a cardi along, I wear my shades all the while and my feet are sporting dainty little shoes, I even considered going bare legged. I drink tons of water, and gorge on fresh fruit, I feed myself asparagus and tomatoes, quiches are a given, of course! I chill all my whites and greens and rosés and partake of those instead of the reds, because it's warm, and it's sunny and it's so good outside and one craves for lighter fare and cold, cold drinks. I drown myself in a tendency to style everything pastel, but manage to refrain from it, still, some shoots just beg for a dreamy feel to them and a very girly vibe. I indulge in this, because I fea it will be short termed.

Because you see, it's not meant to last. Rain is expected tomorrow, and a drop in temperatures from tonight. Skies are certain to turn grey and dull, and Spring will seem to be gone. I will have to go back to sturdier footwear that can take the heavy showers we're expecting, I will have to force myself into a trench coat or a windbreaker, I will have to carry an umbrella and forego my morning walks, coming back home as soon as possible, to my dumbells and my stepper. Pastel flowers and teacups will be kept inside my credenza and if I do come to photograph anything at all, I know the mood will be dark and gloom and textured and gothic. Which isn't bad, as it happens to be my prefered way of shooting and styling food. But I was having a blast with this sweet, romantic mood I embarked in, you see. I was loving this mild Spring weather and all the sunshine.

If we bloody well think about it, come on, we know this ain't right, this ain't natural. We know we are destroying the world, what with this crazy weather and these climate changes. I mean, it is not normal to have Winter only come up mid January and not leave us untill well into the end of April. It is not normal to be wearing sandals smack in the midst of November. It is not good, for this planet and its inhabitants. We should all keep in mind we are guests here, we with our progress and civilization and culture of more is more is more. We with our polution and our ambition and our disrespect for life, whatever kind of life. I wish we would change our mindsets and start taking a proper stand. I wish we wouldn't simply bow down to the god of capitalism and corporate America as we do. I wish.

Still, I try to do my part and teach my son to do his. These are private matters, to each and everyone of us, this is personal, the way we feel and think of these issues, and to each their own. I am quite aware that turning on my oven constantly so I can bake breads and cakes and roasts and quiches is certainly not a good thing. I am aware of this. But I am also aware that waking up to a couple of homemade soda breads, filled with mixed nuts and rye and cereals is a treat I long to have. Not often, no, but once in a while I do indulge. Because I love a good soda bread, I particularly love a good rye soda bread, and if I manage to pop a scatter of hazelnuts, walnuts, almonds and cashews into it, well, the more the merrier, I always say. (I actually don't, I hate crowds.)

So let me be bad, just for this once, and lemme bake my mini soda breads and enjoy them with a milk and coffee as I wake up with the birds chirping away outside my window. Maybe you'd care to join me? Here's how:
  • 250 gr flour
  • 100 gr rye flour
  • 50 gr multigrain and oats mix
  • half a cup mixed nuts, chopped roughly
  • 1 tsp soda bicarbonate
  • 1 level tsp salt
  • 2 plain yogurts
  • 50 ml milk
  • 1 egg
  • lemon juice - just a squeeze
Start by pre-heating your oven at 190º. Make the buttermilk. I developed - I hate this word when it comes to cooking! - my own recipe, one that I find turns bread fluffier and soft and so tasty, and it goes like this: onto the 50 ml of milk drizzle a few squeezes of lemon juice and let it set for about a quarter of an hour. Then add the two plain yogurts to this and there's your buttermilk! Back to the soda bread, place the flours, the salt, the soda bicarbonate, the multigrains and the mixed nuts in a bowl and stir with a fork, to combine everything together. On another bowl whisk the egg with the buttermilk and combine. Then pour into the former bowl, and mix it along with the fork. As it begins to come together, pour the whole lot onto a previously floured surface and using your floured hands and a floured dough cutter, cut this mix in two, and each one in two again. This will provide you with four separate, small soda breads. Shape each one onto a disk, fluffing together so it turns round, place each disk onto a baking tray covered with parchement paper and dust with flour - I use rye flour on the dusting, it tastes better. Now, using the cutter, score a cross or a star across the top of each soda bread. Bake untill golden and hollow sounding, allow to rest for ten minutes before you serve. They keep for a whole week, without going stale or loosing flavour, and they're such a good start to the morning! Hope you do enjoy these.


  1. Que delicia, ficavam perfeitos no meu pequeno almoço :)
    Beijinhos ...
    Guloso qb

  2. adoooorei-tudo! fotos, composição, receita...oh e essas chávenas divinais!

    1. este serviço enche-me as medidas, adoro-o!!


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