A slightly strange week, filled with carbohydrates and see-saw emotions…Monday: Exhausted from our day jobs, and suffering severe Monday-itis, we slung potatoes into the oven, defrosted leftover veg chilli, grilled sausages, chucked cheese all over it and ate. There was a definite correlation between the decline in grumpy silence and the progression of food consumption 😉
Tuesday: Savoury bread pudding made using left over olive bread and an onion bagel, layered with more olives and crumbled Stilton, then saturated with a savoury egg custard, topped with cherry tomatoes and grated parmesan, baked ’til golden brown.
Wednesday: Rich, meaty, wine steeped, mushroom studded, slowly simmered, Bolognese sauce served with Fusilli lunghi bucati (aka Rasta Pasta), with plenty of black pepper and freshly grated Parmesan to finish.
Thursday: Having been variously chopped, sautéed, simmered, blended and seasoned, these ingredients (plus some veg stock and cream) became…
…this delicious soup. A stack of door-stop style roast beef sandwiches rounded things off nicely. Petit Man has been suffering with a harsh cough and cold (a real one, not a Man one), so this worked well to soothe and comfort.
Thursday snacking: Gluten free shortbread – probably the quickest and easiest sweet baked snack you will ever make!
Here’s how to make them: You require three ingredients – butter, caster sugar and gluten free flour – in the weight ratio 2:1:3. I also use a small amount of baking powder (about 1 teaspoon per 300g of flour) as I prefer the more open texture this gives, but it’s not necessary.
Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Sift in flour (and baking powder, if using). Using your hands gently fold and knead the mixture until it comes together into a firm ball. Press into an appropriately sized, greased baking tin then chill in the fridge for about 10 minutes. Bake at gas mark 5/190°C until golden brown. Cut while still warm, cool on a rack and dredge with caster sugar before serving.
If you like a flavoured biscuit you can add lemon/lime/orange zest to the flour, or chuck in some vanilla, or drizzle with melted chocolate when cooled, or…whatever else you like. There are no strict rules 😉
Friday: Baked potatoes stuffed with tuna, sweetcorn and sliced black olives, served with beer battered onion rings and rather over baked cherry tomatoes. About as simple as it gets – I think the only way less effort could have been put into this meal is if it had been made into a sandwich. – nonetheless, satisfying. Sometimes simple is just what you need.
Saturday: We like cheese. We amass cheeses like a weird, hoarding, mischief of mice. We currently have 11 different cheese varieties in our fridge. For the dairy-curious amongst you, they are : Stilton, Gorgonzola, Parmesan, extra mature Cheddar, oak smoked Cheddar, farmhouse Cheddar, grated Mozzarella, Edam, Camembert, Cambozola and Halloumi.
It’s somewhat inevitable then, that some meals are nothing but cheese. And so it was on Saturday evening. With crackers, olives and a glass of wine, I’d call this a very well balanced meal 😀
Sunday Brunch: Fresh Cornish sardines, topped with a little crushed garlic and a good squeeze of lemon juice, then grilled until the skins were crispy. Served with lemon wedges and Staffordshire oatcakes.
Sunday Dinner: It was Mothers’ Day here in the UK – those of the family who were able to gathered at Mum’s house where Medieval, despite being in much pain with an injured foot, cooked an incredible roast chicken dinner for us all. He presented us with rosemary and lemon chicken, garlic mashed potatoes, roast squash and parsnips, broccoli, carrots, Spring cabbage and gravy – the only fault to be found was that it was so delicious and tempting, it was gobbled up before I remembered about taking a photo!
Just Something I Wanted to Say: Whether you feel that Mothers’ Day is just another commercially driven construct, or see it as a wonderful chance to express love and gratitude, it can, like any other celebration, be a difficult, sadness triggering time for many. Within my own small sphere there are people whose mothers have died, ones who have troubled relationships with emotionally distant mothers, ones who were brought up in care and who don’t know their mothers, ones who are estranged from their mothers, ones who cannot have children, those whose children have died…many, many reasons why a little extra love, thought and tenderness might be due to them on the day that is all about celebrating motherhood. So I send extra special thoughts and hugs to anyone who felt that tug of sorrow yesterday, whoever you are and wherever you are.