West Coast Sky

Happy weekend to you all.

I’m off to the Borders for a couple of days.  Wanted to share this beautiful time-lapse with you before I headed off though.  It was captured by a friend (who has some stunning photos here) and I can’t stop watching it.

The Marathon

Just three months after being diagnosed with a brain tumour, my mum, Beth Harrison, died earlier this year.   Though those months were horribly difficult for her, Mum faced her illness with tremendous courage and, as always, never stopped thinking of others.

Just one example of this was her request that I run a marathon to raise money for charity.  Quite honestly, I’m not convinced she entirely understood how far 26 miles is!

“That’s like running from Aberdeen to Insch, Mum,” I explained.

“Yup.  That’s fine.  Do that,” she replied breezily.

And so that’s what I’m going to be doing: running all 26.2 miles of the the Loch Ness marathon on 2nd October, 2011.  Gulp.

The charity I’m raising money for is Cancer Research UK.  Again, this was chosen by Mum.  She selected this charity on the advice of the wonderful community nurses who cared for her in her final weeks.  More research could result in reduced cancer rates, earlier diagnosis, improved treatments, increased comfort for terminal patients and more people making a full and lasting recovery.

I’m very proud to be supporting Cancer Research UK and am going to do my very best to reach my target amount.  One Pound, One Euro, One Dollar… If you are at all able to contribute, I’d be extremely grateful.   This is my Just Giving page where you can donate easily and safely:

http://www.justgiving.com/Wendy-Harrison

Watch this space for updates on training and fundraising progress!

Post-Run Smoothie

Today I’m off to run the Nairn Half Marathon.  13 miles is a distance I’ve done a few times now but I always feel a little nervous about running in events beside real runners.  I still feel like an impostor runner, for some reason.  Why is that???   I mean I move at a pace considerably faster than a walk. I sweat.  I pant.  I even make my own recovery smoothies, for Goodness’ sake!  So why don’t I feel like a proper ‘runner’?

I don’t know.  What I do know is that this is my favourite post-run smoothie and I’ll be having one today.

Post-Run Smoothie

(very rough amounts)

1 banana

250ml milk

50ml yogurt

1 tblspn peanut butter

1 heaped tblspn rolled oats

1 tspn honey

  • Whizz all ingredients together in a blender or with a hand-blender.
  • That’s it.

Pretty Little Raspberry Soufflés

I’ve left this post rather late.  Raspberry season (and summer) is fast coming to an end.  There are still a few berries to be found in the raspberry hedges though and bramble time is just around the corner .  Brambles would work perfectly here too, I’m certain.

Light and fluffy, sweet and pretty, these little desserts are like a cross between a soufflé and a meringue.  Just make sure your serve them right away so their puffiness is at its best.  :)

Pretty Raspberry Soufflés (adapted from Nigel Slater’s Real Fast Puddings)

(makes 4)

400g raspberries

25g caster sugar

4 medium egg whites

50g caster sugar

Butter

Icing sugar

Mint

  • Use a food processor to whizz together 350g of the raspberries and 25g of caster sugar.  Strain through a sieve.  Reserve juice and discard seeds.  Set aside.
  • In a clean bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form.  Add the sugar a little at a time, whisking very briefly after each addition.
  • Pour half of the raspberry juice into the egg whites and fold gently.  Do not fully combine!  You want a ripple effect rather than a uniform raspberry flavour/colour.
  • Spoon the mixture into buttered ramekins and bake in a 180 oC oven for 10-15 mins until risen and golden on top.
  • Serve drizzled with the remaining juice and sprinkled with mint and the leftover raspberries.

Lake Garda

Austria was fantastic; the weather was not.

In a bid to find some warmth, we took a trip across the Italian border to Lake Garda.  It was a three hour journey there and a three hour journey back in one day.  A lot of travelling but 100% worth it.  Lake Garda is stunning.  Would go back in a shot.