What Would June Do?

fish with asparagus & goats cheese-2

[dropcap style=”font-size: 60px; color: #9b9b9b;”] W[/dropcap]ithout a doubt, the saddest day of the year for me is the 20th August.

You see it’s the day that nine years ago my family huddled in a little hospital room and watched my Mum breathe her last breath.

I still really miss her.

This year I’m feeling it even more than usual. I think it’s because now that Fergal is getting more interactive I often imagine how much my mum would have delighted in spending time with him.

I also wish she was around so I could ask her questions about this whole motherhood thing.

But I didn’t sit down today to make myself or you cry.

I just wanted to share a trick that’s really helped me deal with the loss of someone so special.

Whenever I’m feeling lost and wishing I could call Mum and ask her for help, I ask myself a question instead. ‘What would June do?’

The funny thing is as soon as I ask it, I usually feel exactly what the answer is.

Just something that I’ve found useful. If you’re ever missing someone, try it. It might just help you too.

And of course I wanted to remember my Mum. So I have a little June-friendly recipe that includes some of her favourite things (asparagus and fish) and lots of her favourite colour (green).


fish with asparagus & goats cheese-2

Fish with Asparagus & Goats Cheese

It’s not quite asparagus season here, but this was a combo from last Spring that I just loved and have been meaning to share with you since then. I love it with fish but the mint and asparagus also work really well with lamb cutlets or chops.

takes: 15 minutes
makes: enough for 2

2 fish fillets or steaks
1 bunch asparagus, stalks trimmed and broken in half
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 bunch mint, leaves picked and torn if large
large handful goats cheese

1. Heat a frying pan on a medium high heat. Add a little oil and cook the asparagus, stirring every few minutes until it is just tender. About 5 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, combine lemon juice with 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil in a bowl. Season.

3. Toss the cooked asparagus in the dressing and leave it to stand.

4. Add a little more oil to the pan and cook fish until golden on both sides, 2-3 minutes each side.

5. To serve, divide fish between two plates. Toss mint and asparagus in the dressing and scatter over the fish. Crumble over goats cheese and serve warm.

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vegetarian – skip the fish and double the asparagus and goats cheese. Or serve minty asparagus with goats cheese and a poached egg.

vegan – skip the fish and cheese and serve the asparagus with chunks of avocado and roasted nuts such as brazil nuts or pine nuts.

dairy-free / paleo – replace goats cheese with roasted nuts such as brazil nuts or pine nuts or drizzle over a sauce made with 2 tablespoons each lemon juice, tahini, water and olive oil.

carnivore – replace fish with chicken thigh fillets, lamb cutlets or other lamb chops, or minute steaks.

not asparagus season? – no probs. Use green beans or frozen peas instead.

With love,
Jules x
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  • Funny, we had asparagus and salmon tonight- and I’ve been missing my dad and lately wishing I could ask him all sorts of question, large and small. Sigh.

  • It just so happens I am making June’s Chinese Chicken for dinner tonight – so I will think of your mum and remember mine too. xx

  • Jules,
    Thanks for sharing – this was a heartwarming tribute to your mum. Anniversaries are always hard – I lost my partner years ago, and my heart still aches on certain days.
    I’m sure your mum is watching over you and little Fergal from wherever she is now. And possibly eating fish with asparagus. Just because she can. :)

  • I’m sorry you had to lose your mother, but I like what you do when you wish you could ask her a question. She may be gone, but you still carry her with you. The people we have close associations with seem to become part of us.

    The recipe today sounds marvelous – for me, at least, when done with lamb. Definitely something I’ll have to try.

  • Beautiful tribute, my mom passed on April 24, 3 yrs ago. I look forward to healing to that place where you wrote from today. She loved fish and asparagus too. We will be dining with this tonight and fondly give thanks for my Nancy & your June??

    • Hi Jennifer
      Sorry to hear about your mum. You made me smile hearing that your Nancy loved fish and asparagus too.
      Thanks for getting in touch!

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