When was the last time someone read to you? Read to you out loud – the only noise beautifully crafted words spilling from their lips? Were you a child tucked away under the sheets in the safety of a bed, in someone’s arms, hanging on to every last word as you slipped into a deep sleep – your last conscious thoughts consumed in the web of a fairy tale story? Or were you slightly older; having been read to by teachers at school in English lessons as you meticulously acquired the works of Shakespeare? For my peers: when was the last time you read a book because you wanted to; not just for school?
I’ve been reading much more now that I have time to myself. In fact, I’m becoming entirely lost in the books I’m racing through and I’ve probably been a little boring to be with as a result. It just feels so good to be reading again – for leisure, not for school work – and I’m overjoyed to have fallen back in love with it. This free time, however little of it there may or may not be, is an indication of one thing for certain.
My fellow peers and I are on the home stretch to the end of the academic year; the long summer holidays are just within our reach and I can almost taste the sweet freedom on the tip of my tongue. I am just so damn excited for the summer holidays. I feel like I’m ten years old again.
Summer nostalgia aside; the weather is glorious and all I’m craving is fresh, sweet, summer salads. The markets and shops are full of bright, gorgeous produce that I can scarcely bear to leave behind. Greens, reds, vibrant yellows, rich shades of orange. Throw ’em all together for a raw, crunchy vegetable salad with minimal fuss and effort to prepare – tossed in zesty lime juice and lots of hot chilli. Some nuts such as almonds or cashews would be a lovely addition to this salad, too.
SHAVED ASPARAGUS, MANGO & COURGETTE SALAD (serves 2)
- 10 stems asparagus
- 1 courgette
- 1 ripe Hass avocado
- Juice of 1 lime
- 1 ripe mango
- Chilli flakes
- Use a peeler to shave the raw asparagus and courgette. I used a regular peeler for the asparagus, but I julienned the courgette.
- Prepare the mango. Using a sharp knife, slice the mango lengthways on either side of the stone and score a lattice into the flesh. Gently push out the flesh, slice off the cubes and discard the skin.
- Toss the prepared asparagus, courgette and mango with the juice of the lime, then season to personal taste.
- Garnish with a few slices of ripe, buttery avocado and crushed chilli flakes.