Since the first Leon cookbook arrived at the cottage, it hasn’t been allowed to leave the kitchen. Crammed with whole food ideas and healthy, seasonal dishes, all the food is tempting and very, very tasty. The Indian Parsnip Soup is one of those recipes that is in constant rotation, Little Missy loves the Sweet Potato Falafel and there’s always a stash of smoked fish in the fridge for a Magic Mackerel salad.
Tagged: of course
In our house we really like pizza, especially when the parents aren’t about and the cottage turns into the Sunday lunch stop for the Sister, Little Sister and Small Brother. It’s easy to make the dough and sauce ahead of time, leaving the final assembly for when everybody turns up. That way they also get to choose their own toppings, which keeps everybody happy. This is how it works:
So, we didn’t win last night – but, as my producer said, that doesn’t mean that we aren’t great! An Australian show – The Main Ingredient: New Years Day which was presented by Kelli Brett and produced by ABC Radio – took the award for Best Food/Drink Radio Programme.
Sometimes, in this house, baking is not just for the bigger members of the family and, along with the Flapjacks and Shortbread, there’s even a tin marked with Little Missy’s name. It’s currently filled with these twice-baked Banana Spelt Biscotti, which I love because they are easily made, contain no sugar and it’s up to you about the kind of flour you use. These, along with LM’s favourite rice cakes, are perfect afternoon snacks – and easily portable – but she is quite happy to munch on them at any stage, and especially loves a small smear of marmite on the biscotti when we’re at home.
Pancake Tuesday came early at the cottage this year. I always love to have friends come over to eat pancakes but with the Husband getting home from work late and a Little Missy who is decidedly not at her delightful best in the evenings, lunchtimes are a much better time to entertain. Sunday became our Pancake Tuesday so we were able to invite our three Rockmills Neighbours and, as one of the Husband’s English Engineer friends was staying with us for the weekend, he – as well as doing a lot of washing up! – also got fed.
For generations, perhaps scarred by the shared memory of starvation, Irish eating habits were simply about having enough. Food was plain, but plentiful: steaming piles of potatoes, well-boiled vegetables (often home-grown) and meat from the local butcher.
I’ve always liked to bake. As soon as I was old enough to co-ordinate reading recipes and using a wooden spoon, I was anxious for any cake-making excuse – and most of them involved copious amounts of chocolate. Over the years there have been many good chocolate cakes, from my early attempts using chocolate-flavoured cake covering and marg to (when I started paying for my own shopping!) butter and 70% dark chocolate. This cake, however, although it may not look like much, stands head and shoulders above the rest.
Five days in the Lake District didn’t give me as many opportunities to try local food as I would have liked but I did manage to eat vicariously after picking up Jane Grigson‘s authoritative English Food in a second hand book shop in Cockermouth. Reading it with the help of an English map helped me to properly place its regional references so, after a few days, I was getting much better at understanding where dishes like Dartmouth Pie, Cumbrian Tatie Pot and Grasmere Gingerbread came from.