Monday, 29 August 2011
There are quite a few recipes from all over the world that seem to fit into this category of food - and this is not to say that these meals aren't tasty, wonderful, nourishing, or classy when made with the right, and often expensive ingredients, but they can also be put together with whatever is at hand.
For instance, Minestrone can be made with so many variations of ingredients, you can pretty much always cobble something together that is at least approaching a decent soup with that last carrot, the onion at the back of the drawer, a tin of tomatoes and some stand-by pasta - hey presto Minestrone!
This soup is another version of that idea - a Tuscan version, but I'd love to hear what your idea of an 'end of the month' meal is, before pay day rolls around and you can eat extravagantly again!
Sunday, 28 August 2011
In the end, it all worked out fine - I decided to cook various curry dishes from scratch, all of which met with hearty approval (although the availability of large quantities of wine helped somewhat!) but it got me thinking about the relationship between parents, cooking and memory. Whenever I cook certain dishes, I'm only happy if they resemble the versions cooked by my mother (in particular, Steak and Kidney Pie, one of my all time favourite dishes) and when I'm thinking about planning meals, there are certain dishes that I always fall back on, and these are always dishes that I ate when I was a kid.
Does everyone do this? And what were your favourite meals as a child that you still cook reguarly - I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments (and also what you have cooked for your parents, and if you found it as intimidating as I did!)
Thursday, 25 August 2011
At this time of year, the brambles (or blackberries if you like - I'm not really sure if there is any difference really) are reaching the pinnacle of their flavour and ripeness, and a quick trip to any hedgerow, derelict ground or similar location will yield a healthy crop. They go really well in pies, crumbles, and also with pork.
Tuesday, 23 August 2011
As well as brambles, we picked more crab apples, to make jelly with (recipe coming soon) and elderberries and some more wild apples - a bit sweeter and larger than crab apples.
Monday, 22 August 2011
But now I'm a bit addicted to them, which is something I never thought I'd say, what with being a ravenous carnivore and all (like a T-Rex from Jurassic Park, but less likely to eat Bob Peck - he's all gristle anyway, I've heard...) and I use them in all sorts of things, from being the basis of veggie chillies, lasagnes and Shepards pies (is it still a Shepard's Pie if there is no actual Shepard, umm, meat in it? Answers in the comments section please...)
Monday, 15 August 2011
That said, I'm aware that there are as many ways to make soup as there are cooks making said soup! So here's my version of Cock-a-leekie.
Wednesday, 10 August 2011
Monday, 8 August 2011
After picking Bilberries and turning them into jams and crumbles, and seeing that the healthy crops of brambles won't be ready for another couple of weeks yet (although many plants are already laden with ripe fruits - I think we are in for a bumper harvest this year!) I turned my attention elsewhere.
Monday, 1 August 2011
500g of bilberries took two people about an hour to pick, and gave us a very pleasant afternoon out in the countryside. Also, for those of you not familiar with these berries, there is a nice article about them here