What a gloriously sunny morning . I was feeling so guilty (and still full!) from the previous days over-eating I just had a nectarine for breakfast. A perfectly sweet and juicy nectarine.
Mid-morning we headed off to the British Wildlife Centre which is on the A22, halfway between the M25 and East Grinstead. What a delightful little place this was, especially if you have young children.
As the name of the place suggests, this is all about British wildlife. When you arrive you are given an itinerary and every half hour, they feed one of the animals and give a talk about them. It was not too crowded and we leisurely strolled around, from one enclosure to another, enjoying the talks and the animals. We started with some otters.
We met Jeremy and Helen here with their 2 boys. After an hour or so we sat and had a picnic together.
I had taken a tuna salad (tuna, sweetcorn, tomato, celery, cucumber and mayonnaise) and also ate some nuts and Licquorice Allsorts.
Often the talk involved the keeper standing outside the enclosure but the hedgehogs were in a pretty little area called ‘The Dell’. You could get really close to the hedgehogs which look so cute.
And just chill for a bit while the children played.
There was plenty to look at.
and wished it would come closer
which it did. In fact it came so close it ran up Jeremy’s leg! Having got over the shock we all found it hilarious.
This was such a lovely place, we were surprised to realise we had spent 5 hours there. We stopped for a cup of tea and an ice-cream but spent the rest of the time strolling round. There was lots to see and we all enjoyed it.
What is in this pond?
Lentils and seaweed . Yes, having arrived home I set about making supper. Harvey decided he wanted to be a vegetarian today. After he had enjoyed his BLT that is ! We negotiated and have agreed that he can mainly eat a vegetarian diet (which we do really) and have meat occasionally.
Aubergine and Lentil Bake
Ingredients (serves 4-6)
200 g puy lentils
800 ml water
Several strands of dried seaweed (optional)
3 – 4 aubergine
1 tbsp oil
1 large onion
1 green and 1 red pepper
2 stalks celery
1 heaped tsp turmeric
1 heaped tsp sweet smoked paprika
salt and pepper
1 can tinned tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato puree
2 tbsp oil
Cheddar and natural yogurt/sour cream to serve
Place lentils, water and seaweed in a saucepan, bring to the boil and simmer covered for 20 minutes, by which time the water should have been absorbed but the lentils will still be moist.
While the lentils are cooking, chop up the aubergines, place in a colander with salt and place a heavy weight on a plate on top. Leave for half an hour.
Turn the oven on to 180 ° C.
Heat oil in a frying pan and gently fry the onion, peppers and celery for about 10 minutes until they are becoming soft.
Add the turmeric, paprika, salt and pepper and fry for another 5 – 10 minutes.
Add the tomatoes and tomato puree to the lentil mixture and bring to the boil.
Add the remaining 2 tbsp oil to a frying pan and lightly fry the aubergine in batches.
Place the aubergine in the base of a large oven proof dish.
Top with the lentil mixture.
Cover and bake in the oven for an hour.
Serve with natural yogurt or sour cream and Cheddar.
I like this spicy so I ground some dried chilli flakes on too.
This was delicious. I served it with rice for the others but I just had the lentil and aubergine bake.
My little animal lover enjoyed his vegetarian meal which he had without the dairy accompaniments and was even happier to know he had a vegan meal. A good ending to a lovely day.