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-eighth week:
The British cheese we have sampled this week is Keen’s Cheddar, which is made in Somerset with raw milk. It has a good flavour and we ate it toasted on thickly sliced sourdough bread with plum chutney.
We also tried “Howgate Wonder”- a variety of cooking apples - which I stewed with a little sugar. These have an exceptionally good flavour and texture (they hold their shape despite the cooking) and were a welcome addition to breakfast.
I tried roasting some Brussels sprouts by tossing them in a little oil and salt and roasting them in a hot (180c) oven for 30 minutes (I was using the oven for a casserole so it was an economical use) – they taste very nutty done this way and there is no risk of sogginess but I am going to boil those for our Christmas dinner in the usual way – I am not inclined to make such a change to our traditions in this respect.
Other good things have been some purple sprouting broccoli, briefly boiled and eaten warm with walnuts, crumbled Stilton cheese and a dressing of rapeseed oil white wine vinegar and a teaspoon of Borage honey which I bought this week.
A trip to Norfolk and made time to visit P. J. Kew the butcher in East Rudham to buy some bacon, “Banquet” sausages and excellent roast ham and Howell’s the butcher for partridges which were £2 each. The partridges were used for a stew flavoured with some of the recurrant jelly made in week 10. The bacon and sausages were destined for the boxes of “slow” foods we have assembled to give to our children for Christmas presents.
We held our family Christmas dinner on Saturday.
Fresh crab with watercress,
wholemeal bread and raw butter
Roast Goose, giblet gravy, bacon, sage and onion stuffing
apple sauce spiked with cinnamon
Roast Potatoes (Wilja variety)
Lemon curd ice cream with lemon and thyme shortbreads
Montgomery’s cheddar, Wigmore and Colston Bassett Stilton cheeses
marinated figs and soda bread
The delicious feast and family occasion was much enjoyed by all and the food boxes were hugely appreciated and admired!
On Sunday we made Bubble and Squeak with the leftover roast potatoes and Brussels sprouts, which we ate with the delicious roast ham and onion and raisin chutney. We also have a small amount of the goose meat left which I will make into a traditional “L
eftover Christmas Dinner Sandwich” together with some apple sauce, gravy and stuffing. The remains of the goose was used for stock.
I made lots of the things for our Christmas dinner in advance – the stuffing, soda bread, apple sauce, ice cream and shortbreads were all made “slowly” several weeks ago and frozen. I made the giblet stock for the gravy the night before the dinner and my husband prepared the potatoes, parsnips and Brussels sprouts in the morning. I am glad we did it this way – we really enjoyed the whole process.