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 twenty-fifth week:
I am planning and preparing for Christmas, as I am keen to make several food gifts and to keep the food we have “slow” and stress free – I am hoping to enjoy the whole process. The dried fruits for the Christmas puddings are now in the largest mixing bowl we have, soaking up the stout and brandy.
I seem to have been all over the place this week and did not organise my food as well as usual. Consequently my diet suffered and I noticed the difference in my now usual feeling of well-being. I did however have a very special and delicious lunch of oysters and a steak at the Galvin Brasserie in Edinburgh – expensive though but it was after all for a 21st birthday. We also tried some very good, creamy white and crumbly, Anster cheese which is made in Scotland by the St. Andrews Farmhouse Cheese Company.
By Friday there was still quite a stash of vegetables in the fridge. - I scrubbed and cooked the potatoes to keep for use at the weekend and they ended up in a delicious omelette with softened onions and sage. The remaining vegetables comprising a leek, some Brussels sprouts, carrots, a swede, and a parsnip, were washed, peeled and shredded for even more of the delicious salad with dressing (see below for details), and finely sliced red onion and chopped parsley that I have been making regularly over the past month or so. I have made a large bowlful, as experience has shown that it will keep extremely well for several days.
I added two new things to the usual bag of fruit and vegetables at the Farmers Market – some sorrel
and some Jerusalem artichokes – I just have to work out what to do with them now.
A Sunday lunch for family of Phill Truin’s free range roast chicken and giblet gravy with sage and onion stuffing – there is still lots of sage in our garden – cauliflower in a white sauce seasoned with nutmeg, roast potatoes and parsnips, and some spinach leaves tossed in the usual dressing of rapeseed oil (3tbsp), white wine vinegar (1tbsp), a little honey and a little mustard. For pudding we had a pear and almond dessert cake, which was followed by lots of washing up.
The lemon vodka started in week 23 tastes good so it has been strained into bottles. I bought some cut glass decanters from a charity shop for a few pounds each and have used them but I have also used other smaller and less glamorous bottles. These will make fun presents.