In search of the rural idyll

By Organic Surge

Six months ago, writer Lindsay kicked off her high heels and left her fashionable London life in search of a slower pace in the English countryside.

Lindsay also finally realised her long-term ambition of starting a food blog – Lindsay’s Feast. Lindsay says: ‘I’m endlessly inspired by food stories, from the person who grew it to the person cooking it. Flavours are so unique to each individual and speak volumes about people’s personalities.’ Starting her blog was the opportunity to tell her story and interact with people who share her obsession with food.

We caught up with Lindsay to discover more about her search for a rural idyll.

OS: Have you changed your beauty routine since moving from the city?

Lindsay: I definitely wear a lot less make-up now I live in the countryside and it’s been wonderful for my skin. I’ve also shifted to more natural, plant-based products, so Organic Surge is perfect for me. Now that I have a small garden, I spend much more time outside in the vegetable patch using my hands. Being exposed to the elements means I need something that’s going to soothe my skin and the Organic Surge Gardeners Hand Scrub and Hand Cream have been a godsend. I use both products daily and I love the lime, basil and rosemary scent.

OS: Which Organic Surge products would you find it hard to live without?

Lindsay: I’m particularly addicted to the Extra Care Brightening Hot Cloth Cleanser. I use it in the evenings after a busy day outside. It’s a very gentle product and leaves my skin feeling wonderfully fresh and vibrant. It works especially well with a soft muslin cloth.

OS: Are there things you miss about city life?

Lindsay: I miss having everything on my doorstep. I loved being able to meet friends for a spontaneous brunch or popping into a favourite deli on my way home from work. Having said that, I wouldn’t trade my current lifestyle. I love the simplicity of country life.

OS: What does your typical day look like?

Lindsay: At the moment I share my time between writing and working for the National Trust. When I’m working from home, I tend to wake up early to take my Labrador puppy, Jambo, for a long walk on the heath. One of the joys of our new life is sitting down at the table for meals on a regular basis. When I was working in London, I’d often have breakfast on the go and lunch at my desk but now we really take the time to enjoy our food and start the day with a healthy breakfast, like bircher muesli. I try to be disciplined and log a good few hours at my desk, but all too often good weather tears me away and by late afternoon I’m foraging in the countryside or working on the garden. The light evenings mean we can (weather permitting) enjoy dinner in the garden. I’m obsessed with cooking seasonally, so at the moment we’re eating lots of asparagus and artichokes.

Eat natural

Lindsay has created two super-easy seasonal recipes for us:

Bircher Muesli with Fresh Strawberry Coulis (serves 2)

For the muesli:

100g oats
1 tablespoon sunflower seeds
1 tablespoon flax seeds
350ml almond milk
Drizzle of maple syrup
Dash of vanilla extract
Squeeze of lemon juice

For the coulis:

A handful of fresh strawberries (or any berries you like)
Squeeze of lemon juice

The night before, put the oats, sunflower seeds and flax seeds in a bowl, pour over the almond milk, and add the maple syrup, vanilla extract and lemon juice. Mix well, then cover and put into the fridge overnight. In the morning, mash up the berries and lemon juice with a pestle and mortar or in a processer and drizzle over the bircher muesli.

Butternut Curry (serves 4)

1 large butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and cut into chunks
2 large onions (chopped)
3 cloves garlic (chopped)
2 x 400g tins chickpeas
100g red lentils
1 x 400ml tin chopped tomatoes
500ml vegetable stock
100g block of creamed coconut
2 teaspoons each turmeric, cumin, paprika, coriander, chilli powder, curry powder
Olive oil for cooking
A generous handful of coriander

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan and then lightly fry the onions and garlic for about 15 minutes until transparent. Transfer this mixture to a side dish then heat some more olive oil in the same pan, put in all the spices and gently fry for 2–3 minutes. Return the onion and garlic to the saucepan and mix with the spices. Add the tinned tomatoes and vegetable stock and bring to the boil. Simmer for 5 minutes then remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly before blending it into a smooth mixture. Return to the heat and stir in the coconut block until it is completely dissolved. Then add the chickpeas, lentils and butternut, put the lid on the saucepan and simmer gently until the butternut is cooked to your liking (roughly 30 minutes).

Serve with rice and a sprinkle of fresh chopped coriander.

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