Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Food glorious food!

After a good few weekends gallivanting about the UK, we welcomed the chance this week to stop, take stock, and "catch up with ourselves" a bit. No plans whatsoever, not so much as a rugby match! Much as we enjoy being busy, and going off doing things, from time to time you do need some time to slow down a bit and get the little stuff covered. We certainly didn't spend the whole weekend doing nothing though - far from it! Saturday morning was spent sorting out the cars - both had blown headlamp bulbs and mine had both sidelights out -although one of those sprang back to life with a bit of twiddling. We also got the shopping done, popped a couple of bags of decluttered "stuff" into the charity shop, and popped to the bakers for bread and a rather delicious pudding!

After lunch we turned our hands to some cooking - first cauliflower & macaroni cheese, a double batch which will provide two nights weekday dinners with no more effort than popping the dishes into the oven.

Then it was time for breakfast prep - MrEH's muffins and my favourite "Flapjacky Thing" - oats, fruit, nuts and honey and absolutely delicious. Both of these are dead easy and quick to make too. 10 muffins and a tray of flapjack = 2 weeks breakfasts, cheap, healthy and tasty.

Sunday also had some food-based shenanigans. Firstly there were the last of our potatoes to dig up - I really wish we'd weighed these as we'd harvested now, we've done really well from the bag of seed potatoes that cost us (I think) £2.75 - fabulous to get such wonderfully tasty treats from such a little investment.

 Then a slow-cooker full of beef stew - using up the final swede and the last of the beetroot we bought at Ludlow Food festival, the last two potatoes we bought in Norfolk, and a slab of Ox Cheek I bought in devon last weekend. A wonderful cut of meat this - the one I used today cost just £1.71 and will make meals for two of us for two days.

The final culinary experiment of the weekend was to use some of those Quinces we were gifted. A rather sensible friend suggested that as we had such a glut we should make "Jam, Jelly & Gin!" - well we already had two of those sort-of covered with the jelly we'd made previously and two jars of Quince Vodka infusing in the larder - however the jam idea appealed, so we researched a bit and eventually found This Recipe - however it would have been too simple to just follow that!  During the research we'd done we had spotted that due to its aromatic nature, quince goes well with spices such as vanilla - now vanilla is something that we have rather a lot of, thanks to generous quantities brought back from India by the in-laws. A pod was split and the seeds removed and the lot thrown into the pan with the fruit for its initial cooking. After a couple of hours simmering, the sugar was added, and the final result was the most beautiful jam...

...a delicate pink, with small chunks of fruit in a slightly paler colour, and speckled throughout with the vanilla seeds, and the flavour is just amazing! It also had the advantage of leaving the entire flat gorgeously perfumed with the most glorious aroma!



Scarlet said...

Definitely a foodie kind of weekend! Everything looks so tasty, nd it's so much cheaper to cook it yourself isn't it? I made 2 Gardener's pies today, and a huge quantity of chili.

Robyn said...

I reckon the jam cost around 30p a jar - and if it was being sold in the supermarket it would undoubtedly be a "premium" product with a price tag probably 5 times that. Added to that, I know exactly what's in it! Very happy with that!
Mmmm to your Gardeners Pies too - not made that for ages!

Alison said...

I am a regular lurker, who loves your photographs and news of your travels, and just happens to live in Ludlow!
Do you have a recipe you can share for the flapjacky thing, I am struggling to produce such a thing that is not too oily and yet will hold it's shape and cut into bars, I have masses of healthy seeds, nuts and dried fruits, but haven't managed to crack it yet.

Robyn said...

Alison thank you for commenting - always lovely to meet a lurker! Lucky you living in Ludlow too - what a lovely town it is.
The Flapjack recipe has been added to the post I have put up tonight - let me know how you get on with it! (Oh, and although it says mixed dried fruit, I think it's even nicer with dried apricots or cranberries.)