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-ninth week:
I used the stock made with the remains of the Christmas dinner goose for a supper of bacon and barley with lemon and parsley to eat with roast chicken and watercress– it was delicious, comforting and wholesome.
I roasted the bacon in the oven whilst cooking the chicken - I have been looking at economies in using fuel for cooking. Fuel economy in cookery was, in the distant past, something that was the norm. Nowadays it is not uncommon to see a recipe that needs at least three different methods of cooking – hob, oven and grill for example – not very economic or energy efficient.
A lovely (and I think mostly slow) lunch in a Sussex pub – it is good to see proper local cheese on the menu too. Most of our party had slow cooked lamb but I had a vegetarian meal of beans and Winter vegetables laced with parsley pesto – also freshly cooked kale which was the vegetable of the day. It was excellent. A quality vegetarian option illustrates to me that the restaurant pays attention to all its dishes – not all bother so much with the vegetarian option.
We have been given a very special bottle of maple syrup and I added a spoonful to a smooth soup of
carrots, ginger and thyme. It was simple but delicious. All the vegetables we are buying from the Farmer’s market are so full of flavour – they need very little added to them. I use far fewer ingredients in cooking since starting the Challenge.
I scrubbed the skins and roasted some very small parsnips whole in the oven with honey, thyme, a little bit of rapeseed oil and salt. It made me wonder why I peeled them in the past – I will simply scrub them clean in future as they look and taste very good in this more natural state.
The British cheese we have sampled this week is Beauvale Blue, which is made in Nottinghamshire. I used it as part of a salad (similar to one last week) of purple sprouting broccoli and walnuts as we still have lots. Our son drank the water in which the broccoli had been simmered– he says it’s full of nutrients – I am sure he is right.
The Cox’s apples are particularly good now and we are still enjoying them each day with breakfast.
In addition to walnuts we have cheese to use up so I used both to make some savoury shortbread biscuits. They were good albeit a bit crumbly, so I will try to improve the recipe next time. I used more walnuts with some Wigmore cheese, red onions and parsley for a puff pastry tart.
Other good things have been: roast partrige with redcurrant gravy and Winter cabbage, spiced beetroot dip with sourdough toast, rice pudding with nutmeg and a Sunday supper of two soft boiled eggs with rock salt, soda bread toast and raw butter.
Really looking forward to Christmas now.