Monday, 24 September 2012

I'm in a culinary cul-de-sac...

I'm bored!
Oh No.... Not AGAIN!

It is just so easy to get into the rut of cooking the tried and tested.

This weekend I decided to experiment.

The daily menial chores of farm life, eons ago, left my head free to fill of
the marriage of different foods and flavours; would they work? 
Visitors and helpers on the farm were amazed at the speed at which
I could knock-up a tasty meal.
The aroma of cows added unknown to me, a certain piquancy to the dish!

This was the start of the Masterchef, daytime telly, cookery book,
radio, Royals, talks and demo's chapter in my life.

The downside to all of this was, I discovered there was a life
not overlaid with hard, hard grind and cow muck.

I packed my bag and in my little 30's Austin 7
roared off into the sunset.

Before you jump to the wrong conclusion there was no man
in this particular recipe.

I digress...

This weekend as we'd been working hard all week,
I thought our taste buds needed a tickle.

Friday night I made us a dish of 
scallops, scallions and free range lardons
in a wine and creme fraiche reduction,
served on a bed of linguine.

Saturday we came in from the garden with stiff joints and
soil encrusted finger nails...
Comfort food...
in the form of
Oxtail cooked in port and five spice
awaited us in the slow cooker.
Served with creamy mash and cabbage quarters
gently steamed with pepper.
A starter of sweetcorn anointed with a suspicion of butter,
decided me not to make a pud!

After my too successful, some might say, naked rain dance,
we smugly, snugly tucked ourselves up.
Sunday papers, glasses of wine, nibbles and dips
were the order of the day.

Dinner was a crispy roasted duck stuffed with
clementine halves and enrobed in sticky
cherry in kirsch coat.
Potatoes roasted in duck fat - what could be better?
Organic broccoli and french beans all Abel and Cole of course!

The pud was a home-grown fig and toasted almond tarte tatin.
Now here's the rub...
I poached the figs in marsala with local honey...
all good you might think, however I now know why the lady I buy my honey from,
suggested I try before I buy.
Raw the honey tasted fine; different I'll admit, and before you ask, I can't for the life of me remember what the bees had been working.
Trouble was on cooking the honey, it now had the slight aroma and flavour of

The only slight downer on a weekend well scoffed.

Just re-read this...

'Is it any wonder I'm so damn FAT?'


  1. Your post made my mouth water - very difficult as I was half way through a home cooked ham and pease pudding seeded brown sandwich, beetroot (home cooked of course) and a few crisps to garnish. You make gorgeous food Linda, I have some lentil and butternut squash soup cooking in my slow cooker which I use a lot. I have had disasters with honey too, some taste just awful! Love to hear your stories, cheered up a very wet and windy north east. jayne x

    1. That sandwich certainly sounds like a sandwich with attitude Jayne. Home cooked beetroot my all time favourite... crisps too, although we won't go there!


  2. well, on re-lighting the Rayburn (YAY!!!!) yesterday I also decided to experiment, but not to the grand scale on which you seem to dine...
    an oven omlette
    with garden veg and the remains of the curry
    sounds simple
    was simple
    (make your omlette, don't put it on the ring, put it in the oven)
    tasted blimmin awful
    tasted even worse cold the next day
    now I know whay you cook omlettes on the hob

    1. Our stove is oil fired, so apart from central heating and hot water I do try to use it sparingly, hence the use of the slow cooker and electric hot plate. When I do fire it up, the oven is stuffed from top to bottom with edible goodies. We enjoy oven baked omelettes, the recipe I use is a Slimming World one using chive and onion cottage cheese'n eggs. The addition of ageing and forlorn forgotten ingredients, adds a certain frisson of excitement to the finished dish. Crumbs we do know how to live!


  3. Sounds totally wonderful to me - very good to eat & very healthy too. I can't help wondering what you'd make of Mr N * - everything MUST be served with gravy, or he stamps his size nines.

    * Perhaps a nice casserole?

    1. A tasty addition, call it gravy, is a rich and thick tomato sauce made from the abundance of tomatoes (that is if you grow them) throw in a couple of green ones, no one will know! Sweat onions in olive oil, add the tomatoes, a tin as well if you wish. Salt, pepper and sprinkle of sugar, glug of wine, (pass on the wine if you're feeling particularly parsimonious) tomato ketchup, basil or parsley to serve. Voila! Mr N is one happy boy - healthy too!

      Got a funny feeling I'm teaching my Granny to suck eggs here?


    2. Oops... should have said Nana!


  4. The sound of Oxtail in port with five spice sounded divine to me............
    I am hoping postie comes before I leave to wave my feather duster about again - I have another cookbook coming. Tomorrow I shall go for my blood pressure check and wait for the scales to say "one at a time please!".

  5. 'Have Feather Duster will Travel'. This far I idly wonder?

    More dirty stories please, only of a dusting kind you understand.