Sunday, 21 August 2011

2 Mile Meals

So today, I have been mainly cooking 'off recipe', which might come as a surprise, given the self-styled 'junkie' moniker, but please know that I am not totally tied to my books and index cards.

I was in a particularly benign mood this morning, having been allowed a lie in, during which I managed to finish my latest good book - 'When god was a rabbit', by Sarah Winman. To be honest, with a title like that it was going to be great or really dreadful. Fortunately, it was great (well, I enjoyed it). My mood spilled over into breakfast, which on a Sunday means the kids get breakfast pancakes (drop scones) and I'm not too mean about how much maple syrup they slop over them. I didn't have HFW's preferred wholemeal self raising flour in the cupboard (from River Cottage Everyday) but they were fine with normal (just without the healthy bran element), but to be honest there are loads of recipes for this and I don't think they can differ that much. The Camper Van Cook Book has a good version which the husband valiantly created on our last camping trip, despite the lack of a non-stick pan (we didn't have any maple syrup in the van, but we did have appelstroop
 which is a kind of apple marmite - the translation is apple syrup I think, but it's more marmitey in texture than syrup - perhaps even more gelatinous, and slightly lighter brown, and very yummy. We discovered it this summer while we were in Holland at the Haarlem Jamborette with the local scout troop.The blue one liked to eat it with cheese sandwiches while we were in Haarlem)

(The van:


The only thing I'd say about all the various breakfast pancake type recipes is that Nigella's blueberry sauce/syrup concoction in Express is too sickly sweet for me. I did make it once but it's not very nice, and in truth, better to eat fresh blueberries & maple syrup with the pancakes rather than making them into a warm syrup.

The kids both love these pancakes - pink has them straight with maple syrup but blue prefers to have them with fresh fruit (more peaches), yoghurt, appelstroop and jam - not necessarily all at once, although at least one plateful had all of the above slopped on.

The morning passed in a haze of chores - Recipe Junkie mainly tackling Mount Ironing, the husband in the garden, blue and pink practising their piggy back technique, and after a very Recipe Junkie lunch of beans on toast (sorry to disappoint any of you expecting me to document some delicious and inventive dish - Lea & Perrins, tabasco and grated cheese available individually or in combination depending on taste is about as good as beans gets in our house), we set off for a walk, incidentally the last one before we are reunited with Fred tomorrow. More in hope than expectation, Recipe Junkie took a handy plastic box just in case we stumbled upon a suitable blackberry patch, and we came back with nearly a kilo of blackberries without even trying. It's looking like it will be a good hedgerow harvest in our corner of Hampshire as the blackberries are looking really good, the sloes and rose hips are abundant and we also found some 'wild' plum trees. Just need to get there before the birds.

Having got home, the husband gathered in the various produce ready for eating today, so supper consisted of: pork steaks that are the last cuts from the pig we purchased for a local smallholder, potato and onion salad, broad beans, fine beans and corn on the cob. the only elements not produced within 2 miles of the house were the butter on the corn on the cob and the mayo on the potato salad - which I think is pretty good if we're talking about food miles etc (and yes, I could have made mayo with the eggs from the chickens, but sometimes, life is just too short). Pudding was apple and blackberry (apples from the garden, blackberries that we picked this afternoon) along with some of the carrot cake I made on Friday - still keeping well, and Green & Blacks ice cream, so I can't claim total sustainability but still pretty good.

Tomorrow, I am heading north with the kids to visit Allotment Junkie (a.k.a. recipe Junkie's much loved mum) (and Dad of course) and to be reunited with Fred the dog who we have missed muchly. I am not sure Fred has missed us as much - Allotment Junkie is also Dog Junkie and I think Fred will be more resentful of us when we tear him away next weekend than he was when we left him there 5 weeks ago for his extended summer break. No doubt I will blog all about it, particularly as I will be out of my kitchen for a week. Sob. ...

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