Summer Fire & Feast with Sophie Orloff

We combined two events in one on Wednesday 27 July at Lewes Community Allotment. Local chef Sophie Orloff came to show the group how to cook vegetables from the allotment in an outdoor setting. But since this was also the last session before the summer break, we combined this with an end of year 'fire and feast' celebration with all of those who have been coming throughout this first year that our project Flourish has been running.

We'd been having lot of lovely sunny weather, but on this morning, the sun hid from us and it was a bit breezy, with an occasional shower. But Allotment Co-ordinator Sarah had set up the tarpaulin to enable partial shelter, and we got the fire going in the firepit no problem.

The group from St Nicholas Day Centre arrived with their support worker, plus some members came. We were pleased to meet a new person, Mary, who wanted to see what we do.

Common Cause director Topsy fired-up the recently repaired bread oven. As she did this, Sophie sent the group to pick and pod peas, so we could make pea bread (literally, bread dough she had brought mixed with fresh peas! The idea had come  from something Sophie had seen about ancient bread recipes using peas). Allotment member (and bread maker) Susan helped make the rolls.DSC_1498

Some people picked edible flowers with Sarah for the salad, plus some herbs for some potato salad. In the meantime, Sophie showed the group how to make two kinds of fritters  - one from grated courgette, and one from grated carrot and parsnip. In both cases she asked the group to help her mix the veg with flour, eggs and salt and pepper to season.

DSC_1490 - CopyTopsy put the bread rolls into the oven and Sophie started frying the fritters in oil over the open fire. She also made a chard omelette. Emma worked with some of the group to mix fresh herbs and dressing into the potato salad, carrot and parsnip salad and green salad. We added the flowers to that and they looked beautiful.


More visitors arrived. We were delighted to welcome friends and family of the St Nicholas clients, as well as other Allotment Members.

Lots of people brought food to share including a pizza pastry, a tray of wonderful cupcakes and a moist beetroot and chocolate cake.We all enjoyed our delicious shared lunch and the weather even perked up!sophie event

There were about twenty of us in the end. It was a lovely event, and wonderful to see everyone enjoying themselves.Thanks to Sophie for an excellent job under challenging circumstances and for some delicious food. Thanks to Topsy for excellent fire-tending, and to Sarah for organising everything. And thanks everyone who came.

Emma Chaplin, Project Manager

Read more about Flourish here