Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Vegetable Box Soup

I would not say that we ate an unvaried diet before we started getting our organic fruit and vegetable box delivered, but even after just three deliveries, we are definitely eating a much wider selection of treasures!

One of my favourite things is the coming up of new recipes with which to use up the treasures. Especially towards the end of the week, where some of the treasures are really ready to be used up. I had a big bunch of kale to use on Monday, and a friend coming to supper. What to cook? I remembered a rather tasty kale and turkey meatball soup that I used to make, but I had no turkey nor any other kind of meat with which to make meatballs. There was rosemary in that soup though, and that would definitley go with kale. What else, though, what else? A quick rummage through the box, and this is what I whipped up:

Vegetable Box Soup

On with a pinny! I have a Cath Kidston one made out of really heavy fabric...and big 70s style flowers. This kind of cooking calls for a more rustic pinny!

Peel and chop an onion, and soften on a low heat with a splash of oil or whisper of butter.

Peel and cube three medium potatoes, and throw in with the onion. Sprinkle over a good shake of dried rosemary, and stir it all together.

Add enough stock to cover everything, and more besides.

Simmer for about 15 minutes, until the potato is softening. Snip up the kale and throw it in, simmering for another 3 or 4 minutes.

Turn the whole lot into a liquidizer (I used my beloved Vitamix!) and whiz. It will be really too thick, so thin with some milk, grind in some black pepper, add a whisper of nutmeg, then whiz again.

You should have the most wonderfully vibrant green soup. Pour back into the pan to heat through. I served mine with croutons and grated cheese....bliss!

PS when it is time to do the washing up, you will of course need a pretty tea towel to make you smile. There are some gorgeous ones free with Easy Living magazine this month!

A Wet Wednesday in October

Sometimes, wet rainy days are gloomy and dull, but happily the soft pattering of rain drops against my windowpane, and the soft rain-scented breeze that drifts in serves only to make me feel more cozy.

When I woke up this morning to the beep-beep-beeps marking the hour on Radio 4, it was grey and blowy, but not yet rainy. In my nightie, I cooked up a vertiable feast of an Autumn breakfast, the perfect start to a midweek day off.

Bramley Apple Pancakes with Pear, Rum and Cinnamon Compote, and Ginger Marscapone Cream

Rubbing the sleep from your eyes, and sipping tea from a flowery mug, peel and chop 2 pears and throw into a little milk pan along with a large handful of raisins, a walnut of butter, a sprinkle of cinnamon, a shake of vanilla sugar and a splash of water. Pop on a gentle heat to bubble away.

Meanwhile, peel and core a bramley apple, throw into a small pyrex bowl with a little water, and microwave until soft (or if you have another small pan, cook on the hob). Measure about 4oz into a food processor along with a sprinkle of cinnamon, 4oz plain flour, 1/2 tsp baking powder, 1oz caster sugar, and egg and 75ml milk. Blitz until you get a thick batter.

Making the ginger marscapone cream is easy peasy- stir a small tub of marscapone with a similar sized tub of double cream (about 200ml). When the marscapone has stopped feeling lumpy, pour in a glug of syrup from a jar of stem ginger, put in an electric whisk (or a regular one if you are feeling energetic so early in the morning!) and whisk until it becomes a beautifully thick billowing cloud.

Lightly coat the bottom of a small frying pan with oil, spoon in some batter and cook your pancakes, one by one. The mixture should make about 8.

Make a stack of 4 pancakes on each of two flowery plates, then spoon a generous heaping of compote on top, and add a swirl of cream. Take back to bed with a cup of vanilla coffee, and eat while listening to the radio, and contemplating the delights of the day yet to come.

After a hot shower, I left our little flat, glad that it was not raining, and went into town to meet a friend for lunch. While we were in town, I picked up the Halloween issue of Martha Stewart Living Magazine, which I have been waiting to come out for ages. Knowing that the Abel and Cole man was going to be delivering while I was out, I also bought some ingredients to make dinner. I have some chard to cook, and I found a recipe for chard and salmon cooked in coconut milk. I am going to add some courgette and carrot, and make a thai inspired supper.

On the way home, the drizzle started, so I put up my polka dot umbrella. I got home, and was slightly astonished at how dark it was, and only just past 3 o'clock in the afternoon! Feeling cold and chilled, I decided a hot bath was in order, and after that repaired to the living room in my dressing gown with a Hercule Poirot novel and a cup of tea. It seems ridiculously indulgent to have the lights on so early, but I will be switching them off before Carl gets home and lighting candles instead.

Later on, I plan to sit and knit the rest of my hot water bottle cover (it is destined to be a present; it is in a soft grey cashmere) and watch the first episode of the BBC adaptation of Emma, of which I have heard mixed reviews.

I like to think on rainy days, we make our own sunshine...and the lovely people who come and visit me here are definitely rays of sunshine in my day! To Nita, I have not seen Housewife 49, but my Mum has (and read Nella Last's War too), and she loves them both. If you decide to get it, do let me know what you think!

I hope very much that your Wet Wednesday is just as scrumptious as can be!

Love, Mimi xxx

Thursday, 1 October 2009

Things I Love Thursday

One of my favourite blogs to read, also happens to be written by one of my favourite friends! Most Thursdays, she does a TILT post...Things I Love Thursday. Such a lovely idea, and as I have been reading Sarah Ban Breathnach's wonderful Simple Abundance again, and thinking of things I am grateful for before I go to sleep, this is good practise! Although I am going to try and make my TILT posts about things that give me joy, rather than just things I am grateful for (although the two lists would often be very similar!).

So, without further ado, pour yourself a cup of tea, and enjoy my very first TILT!

I love...

...the first day of a new month. Wondering a little wistfully where September went to, but adoring writing out 'Thursday 1st October 2009' just to see the words on the page

...the bunch of pale pink, shocking pink and deep purple dahlias that my Mum bought for me at the WI market this morning

...wearing my new damson coloured tights with a purple jumper, black skirt and silver ballet shoes...and a man stopping me in the street to say he loved my look!

...a hot shower that makes the whole bathroom steamy new fringe

...the prospect of an early night

...logging on to blogger to make a little post and finding such kind comments waiting for me

Love, Mimi xxx