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 seventeenth week:
There are times when it seems as if we are still in the middle of a lovely Summer and times when it seems we are not. This makes planning what to eat a bit more difficult. On Friday I made a lovely soup with bacon, leeks, garlic, courgettes and the brilliant standby of canned butter beans but I will keep it for another day, as the weather was so lovely. Instead I stir fried some leeks, onions, garlic, mushrooms, all finely sliced, in a very small amount of rapeseed oil and splashed in a little bit of water to prevent burning and to help soften the vegetables. Then I added some finely sliced rump steak (one medium sized piece was enough for two), a little salt and some spinach leaves. and finally I stirred in a dressing made with oil, vinegar, one tablespoon of creamed horseradish and a tiny bit of honey. This all tasted very good and it meant that I used up several bits and pieces from the fridge.
I have been trying to think of some interesting ways to prepare carrots as they are cheap, plentiful and available all through Autumn and Winter. They are not my favourite vegetable (although I really like them in soups). I found a good method for leftover boiled carrots, which you slice thinly and toss in a dressing of oil, vinegar, mustard and a little honey, lay them on a tray and bake in the oven (180c) for five to ten minutes. They really are transformed by this treatment, especially with some thyme leaves scattered over them.
Earlier in the week I made a steamed bacon, onion and sage suet crust pudding – not as hefty as you might think: in fact it looked quite delicate on the plate and it was really very good. We made a watercress sauce, and some of the lovely carrots mentioned above, to go with it. There is still lots of watercress around and I am also making the most of it as a mustardy alternative to other salad leaves.
The British cheese we have tried this week is Wensum White produced by Fielding Cottage in Norfolk. It is a soft goat’s milk cheese and it is exceptionally good.
The book on how to make sourdough bread has finally arrived and I hope to report progress in this regard very soon.
Two meals out with family this weekend, unremarkable food on Saturday but good on Sunday.
Other good things were some fresh Cromer crab, Conference pears and Cox’s apples.