Slow Food London set a challenge: could regular Londoners go slow for an entire year? Would it be easy? Would it be hard? Would there be times when it would (slowly) start to go wrong?
Here, Susan Paul talks us through her third week.
I am trying to have a broad idea of what to eat each week with some possible alternatives just in case particular foods are not available or something else that I hadn’t planned to buy looks good.
Chicken and barley soup, from our freezer, for supper, which has survived freezing well, and is delicious. I am so glad I took time to make it.
Lunch is an omelette made with potatoes, cheese and chives. I am trying a new British cheese each week if possible. This week it is a Welsh Per Las (which apparently means blue pearl), which I bought from the Cheese shop in Barnes –it is lovely.
Spinach and bacon soup with some grated nutmeg for supper – it is simple but really delicious.
Made some things in advance of friends coming next week: crispy herb crumbs for squid and some stuffing (flavoured with lemon and nutmeg) with the rest ofthe bacon offcuts - very inexpensive.
We are enjoying all the strawberries, raspberries and some small Braeburn apples (14 for £1) and I am thinking about getting some gooseberries and squid for the weekend.
We were in Norfolk today – have Brancaster oysters with lemon, shallots and vinegar and asparagus with a poached egg and hollandaise sauce. Slow food can be easier in Norfolk!
Still in Norfolk and have some local lamb and peas and some local strawberries, which, not surprisingly, are much cheaper than in London.
Back in London and make a type of British alternative to risotto; with crab, barley, courgettes and chives – it is very good. The cost of this meal is around £2.50 per serving.
Friends for supper:
To start we had grated tomatoes on toasted potato and rosemary sourdough toast rubbed with garlic. Followed by leg of lamb roasted with garlic and thyme, new potatoes, mint sauce, broad beans, peas, spinach and asparagus – just a little of each, blanched in boiling water and then stirred together with a little butter. For pudding; gooseberry crumble and cream. It was a good supper but I over- cooked the lamb, which is a pity. I have made a mental note to be sure to treat all food preparation with more respect. I spent about 2 hours on the preparation of this meal, which included shelling the peas and beans, topping and tailing the gooseberries and making the mint sauce. The cost of the meal was around £9 per person for all three courses.
Our middle son is staying with us. We have griddled squid with some savoury breadcrumbs and lettuce for lunch and leftover lamb with onions and a mint dressing for supper. Despite the lamb being a bit over-cooked the added moisture from the onions and the mint dressing make a very good meal.
Week 3 summary
Food is taking over my life! I find I am thinking about it more than ever and mainly in terms of what to buy and where and when to buy it.
I continue to be surprised at how delicious leftover food can be. I am thinking that all good food should be treated with the utmost respect and it should be dealt with accordingly.
There are so many good things to buy at the moment, fruit and vegetables are generally cheap (for London) at the farmers market except for tomatoes, - I am wondering if this is because they are not ripening outside yet?
I am getting used to the new regime but still find it a challenge at times. I wish I had great shops within walking distance.