Summer Joy

Since our families found out that we are moving away from Europe we’ve been blessed with visitors. Yesterday my lovely mother-in-law arrived. Henry calls her Joynan which describes exactly how she is.

Our Joynan will be staying with us for a week, followed by my dad who hopefully will come from Moscow to visit us for a week end of August. Early September it then will be my mom’s turn and some of our close friends will be coming over to Switzerland too.

People come over because they want to see us the last time before we move and this makes these visits joyful but sad at the same time. I know I will be crying a lot when the time of the actual move will come.

I already warned Nigel that he will have to survive several weeks of tears now and then once we are settled in Australia.

As much as I look forward to a great experience I also am getting tired of moving around the world not being able to call any of the countries we live in – home.

But let’s not dwell on that for a moment.


I love ratatouille, so I was intrigued to find an oven-roast ratatouille recipe in the recent Fabulous Food Summer Special magazine. I am not sure it is a ratatouille. I would say it’s grilled veg, but it tasted great anyway.

You basically take your usual ratatouille veg:

1 kg beef tomatoes, halved,
500g aubergine,
500g courgettes,
2 red peppers,
3 red onion,
4 cloves garlic and
handful flat leaf parsley
some olive oil

Heat the oven to 220 C (I felt it was a bit too hot for the veg so I would recommend to may be leave it at 200). You arrange all your tomatoes tightly fitted in one baking tin. Brush aubergines with oil on both sides (you would need to cut them in big chunks). Arrange all the veg in one or two additional baking tins. ( I did 2/3 of the suggested quantities and got away with one tomatoes tin and one veg baking tray)

You will need to shuffle the veg several times as it bakes (not the tomatoes though). After about an hour it all will be ready to eat. Mix in with freshly cut parsley just before serving. Or you could let it cool down and take with you for a picnic!

To me the star of this dish – as well as of the ratatouille – is the aubergine. They tend to look a bit well, ugly, but they add the sweetness that works so well against the acidic taste of baked tomatoes.


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