Pan Roast Salmon. Chilli Courgettes. Lemon Fennel and Rocket. Oven-Dried Tomatoes.

After a sumptuous 90 minute bus ride on the regal 55 bus in 30 degree heat next to a 60 year old Nigerian woman who had what I can only assume was a conference call with her most mortal enemies directly into my ear for the duration of the journey, I wasn’t exactly feeling chirpy.

When I got in, Fern told me about some top secret ideas she has had about making the world a bit happier.

I’m not the first person to be won over recently by the unrelenting Trelfa brand of optimism (  Having combined this with some much needed restoration from the ever brilliant Snooman, who manages sweaty, deafened, late, grumpy boyfriends with unwavering aplomb, I felt reinvigorated and we decided we should get cooking a cheerful summer dinner.

The tomatoes become a zillion times sweeter and stronger from an hour and a half drying in a low heat brushed with basil oil.

Yellow courgettes fried with chilli and garlic, lemon zest and fennel quickly tossed in a pan with rocket.

Salmon pan roasted for not much more than a minute in a little butter to develop a crispy brown skin.

Happy, empty plates at the end – even though I think I overcooked the salmon.  Another reason that it’s good to have optimistic friends and generous girlfriends – they like your food even when it isn’t perfect.


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