People often ask why I blog. It takes up a lot of my time and I don’t make any money from it; in fact it costs me money! Everyone has their own reasons for writing a blog. Some people do it to share information with their families, others to enthuse about their hobbies and some do it professionally to earn their living. I blog because, living in Provence, it gives me the opportunity
to be nosy and take photos of unsuspecting locals explore a different culture to my own and to share the recipes, customs and lifestyles that I find along the way. Blogging is generally an isolated pastime, you write up your piece, attach a recipe with some photos and press the publish button. Sometimes people comment, which is always very rewarding and you can go into Google and look up your analytics (how many people have visited your blog and where from) and get a thrill that someone in Russia or India has looked at your blog, but that is often the extent of feedback or interaction with others that you get.
So last year I signed up for FBC 11 (Food blogger Connect) to try and meet up with other food bloggers. The weekend, which I faced with some trepidation (was it going to be like going back to school, was I going to be faced with a room full of foodie nerds, or WI bossy busy bodies?) turned out to be a great success, for my growth as a blogger and for the people I met who a year later I am still in contact with via twitter and Facebook and sharing blog-posts.
During the weekend there was a great variety of speakers from Tim Hayward telling us how he started his quarterly magazine Fire and Knives to Fiona Beckett talking about the difference between journalism and blogging. There were cooking demonstrations by Anjum Anand (I am now a definite fan of her Indian cookery books) and Caroline Mi Li Artiss, there was a food photography workshop with Beatrice Peltre of La Tartine Gourmande and techie talks on how to make your blog more user and SEO friendly. The weekend was presided over by Jaden Hair of Steamy Kitchen, one of the most successful US food blogs and all the while we munched on home-made chocolates, from Leila Brandão, olives from Spain, goat cheeses from France and guzzled Chateau Ksara, Lebanon Wines!
So when I heard that Vitamix were giving two lucky winners the chance to win a free ticket to FBC12 (coming up the end of this month, September 28th, 29th 30th) with an opportunity to feature their recipe and participate in the Vitamix Total Nutrition Centre with Chef Bev Shaffer at the FBC12 Market. I decided to put my shaking cap on to come up with a smoothie that would define the taste of late summer in Provence. This is what I came up with.
At this time of year there is often a glut of ripened summer fruit in the markets in Provence, and you can often buy a tray of peaches for a few euros.
Also if you are lucky to have a fig tree in your garden, you will have more figs than you know what to do with at this time of year.
So I decided to combine both these ingredients along with almonds and honey from the lavender fields of Mont Ventoux.
Here are the ingredients for my Late Summer Provence Smoothie
For 2 thirsty people you will need
- 2 Glasses Almond milk (250 ml)
- 3 figs, you can use them whole, but the peel will make the shake a dull brown colour
- 1 large or 2 smaller juicy peaches, peeled (if you can be bothered)
- 1 tbs ground almonds
- 1 tbs lavender honey or according to taste
- a handful of toasted almond flakes (you can toast them in a dry pan)
- 3 ice cubes
Put everything except for the almond flakes into a blender. Whizz it all up, put into tall glasses, garnish with a peach slice and top with the almond slices and imagine you’re in Provence!