As you can imagine, with N's Mum ill, we had some weeks of quietness, panic, worry and bad eating because he certainly wasn’t interested in food that required thought, preferring to opt for toast with things on, or takeaways. But you can't carry on that way forever, so I pulled my socks up and set to, aided by a trip to the farm shop.
Farm shops are great for inspiration. Not so great on the old wallet, so I tend to limit my visits. They are a treat rather than how we usually shop, but what a treat they are. I even love the way they smell. In no order of preference, I came back with:
- a Romanesco cauliflower, all spiralling turrets and vibrant green. Plus many other vegetables that were mainly normal and everyday, for e.g. carrots. You don't need me to describe the carrots
- Mango chutney and caramelised onion chutney. Because, chutney goodness. I'll stop saying chutney now*
- proper honey from a local bee keeper
- a loaf of bread stating "takes 3 days to make". It was crustier than a crusty after a week protesting a bypass from a tree top
- late plums and early rhubarb
- strawberries! So so early but not flown in from overseas, grown within 5 miles of the shop! They smell amazing
- purple sprouting broccoli.
- A giant bag of red potatoes that roast beautifully
- a crumbly, buttery-feel blue cheese that just slightly puckers the taste buds
- Eggs with golden yolks from formerly free-range but still definitely organic hens
- a made-on-site coleslaw that creamy and delicious
- sausages made from pigs raised and butchered locally
The plumbs and rhubarb became a compote for adventures with muesli. To cut the sharpness, I added the honey rather than reaching for the sugar. I mean, honey is sugar, but marginally less so and it meant the compote has a more satisfying flavour than if I'd just bunged caster sugar in.
Did I mention I make my own muesli? Well I do *pauses to polish halo of smugness*. Oats, sultanas, dates, pumpkin and sesame seeds, ground hazelnuts and almonds. Spiced with ginger and cinnamon. Cheaper than standard muesli from the supermarket (but only because I buy in bulk). Trying to do that from a standard shop where every individual ingredient is tiny-ly portioned and wrapped in plastic for our "convenience"? Forget it.
Tonight, when we come back from college, I'll make an omelette with spinach, mushrooms and the rest of that blue cheese. We'll have it with tiny roasties, made from those red potatoes, and the coleslaw. Just right for a day where the temperatures have dropped and we'll have been outside planting parsnip seeds.
Which reminds me, I have a giant parsnip I need to turn into soup. Before I go, I need to tell you that comment moderation has been switched on after a veritable swathe of spam comments for casinos, dodgy Viagra and so on. Is it just me or does the internet just feel like a lot of work these days? Easier to make soup.
*No I won't