I am cooking in Andros again.
It's my fourth year at Melisses, the beautiful stone house built into the hillside run by my friend Allegra and we are hosting a food and flower-themed retreat. I've taught some pasta-making and together we have catered for a group of guests from all over the world.
The island is in full-bloom, wild poppies flowering all over the landscape, floppy and flailing in the spring wind, vivid vermilion, pink snap dragons sprouting out of cracks in crumbling stone walls. We went hiking and found spiky green mulberries to be revisited in a month or two, wild watercress in a spring which we picked and ate in a salad with young broad beans. Melisses' gardens are carpeted in pink.
The weather has been mixed, wild winds and rain showers, but the beauty is un-phased; swallows wheeling overhead, the two white churches perched on the peninsula fixed points on the horizon, unshakable.
When not cooking we have eaten in a roadside kiosk, a crisped potato omelette lifted with local mint, a candied piece of ethereally fragrant bergamot, eaten alongside thick yoghurt and sooty black coffee. And then I made these doughnuts for merenda.
A lovely, coconutty custard filling perfumed by spring fig leaves, and a spin on a classic Bomboloni.
Hope Spring is with you too. I'll write more about Andros soon.