Keep calm and travel
If you live in East London, there’s a good chance that you know this special lady. You’ll either have seen her running, riding her bike, walking on the beach or you have had children taught by her (or perhaps even have been taught by her!) She is a very dear friend of mine, one of the funniest people I know, a phenomenal teacher, an amazing chef and baker, an absolute ‘foodie’, a world traveller and my ‘classroom neighbour’ for thirteen years.
Introducing….. Kerry Sorour! Kerry lives with her gorgeous husband, Greg and their two adorable Jack Russells, Minx and Mojo. She is a teacher at Stirling Primary School and I have no idea how she does so much (which is probably the reason she looks at least 15 years younger than she is!) And anybody who has ever been through her class knows about ‘Butch’ – the sweetie jar in her classroom that looks (and barks) like a dog!
Here are some things you might not know about Kerry:
How long have you been teaching for?
How many countries have you visited?
Twenty-four countries – that’s a lot of squashy economy aeroplane seats!
Which have been some of your favourite destinations?
Switzerland is picture-perfect gorgeous, Maldives is a stunning island getaway and cycling in France along the Loire takes a lot of beating!
Where to next?
Still to be decided… We might go cycling in Italy or maybe somewhere in Eastern Europe
Where would you never go to again?
Probably Egypt – it was incredible, but it was just SO HOT!
What has been the most exotic/weirdest food you have ever eaten on your travels?
The yukkiest food was definitely some revolting jelly stuff we ate in Thailand. It tasted like creosote!
Have you had any funny moments while travelling?
Well, who can forget the time I fell into the water feature in that flashy mall in Turkey?!
What foods do you always have in your fridge/grocery cupboard?
Cheese, butter, cream, decent stock sachets, pesto, pasta, baked beans!
What are some of your favourite things to eat?
Good old roast chicken! I’ve been loving Jamie Oliver’s pesto meatballs lately, carrot cake, your chocolate cake – how can I choose?
Do you have a favourite quote?
Don’t make excuses. Make it happen!
Recipe for today
(I was really spoilt for choice when it came to Kerry’s favourite foods and ingredients in her kitchen, so I have gone for one savoury dish and one cake)
CHICKEN WITH LEEKS AND CREAM
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 chicken breasts, cubed (skinless and boneless)
3 medium leeks, sliced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon wholegrain mustard
Juice of half a lemon
Salt and pepper to taste
Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Heat the oil and fry the chicken until browned. Remove from the pan. In the same pan, fry the leeks and garlic until softened. Add the cream, mustards and lemon juice and allow to simmer for a few minutes. Return the chicken to the pan and mix around until the chicken is coated in the sauce and heated through. Serve with rice or starch of your choice.
(This cake makes me think of Kerry, because it is bright and sunshiney!)
4 seedless mandarins/naartjies, skins on
100ml olive oil
180g ground almonds
2 teaspoons baking powder
Juice and zest of 1 large lemon
Grease a 24cm round cake tin and line with baking paper. Put the mandarins/naartjies in a medium sized pot and cover with water. Bring to the boil and simmer for 30 minutes until the fruit is tender. Drain and place into a blender (yes, with the skins on!) Blitz until smooth. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Whisk the eggs until frothy and then beat in 160g of the sugar, until creamy. Beat in the olive oil and then the fruit puree. Fold in the ground almonds and baking powder. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 45-50 minutes (check after 40 minutes). The cake should have shrunk from the sides and be a golden colour. Leave in the tin to cool. In a small saucepan, put the remaining 40g sugar and juice and zest of the lemon. Simmer until the sugar has dissolved. Use a skewer to poke small holes in the cooled cake and pour the lemon syrup over. Leave the cake in the tin until cold, then turn out onto a plate and serve with whipped cream.