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 fifty first week:
I have made a few more things in preparation for friends visiting us next month –lemon curd ice cream, lemon shortbread biscuits, bacon and onion stuffing and some cheese biscuits using Norfolk Dapple - our British cheese for this week– all now stashed in our freezer and more importantly I remembered to label each package properly.
We have loads of mint growing in our garden and so I have also made sweet mint vinegar in large quantity, which I plan to use in salad dressings, soups and stir-fries as well as with roast lamb.
All this may sound very time consuming but it honestly hasn’t been. I have enjoyed doing it but I have been pre occupied with many other things this week and making these simple foods has been rather light relief in comparison.
The courgette flowers bought on Saturday were simply griddled in a very hot, lightly oiled pan – and we ate them with some baked courgettes filled with some of the bacon and onion stuffing and added fresh mint which was very good.
I made a dressing using anchovies, rapeseed oil, garlic, a little sugar and sherryvinegar, to have with a salad of thinly sliced purple radishes, some lovely purple salad leaves, cauliflower florets and some small cubes of bread, which had been made crunchy by tossing them in oil and roasting them in the oven.
My husband still makes coleslaw each week and he is now adding spring cabbage to the carrots, onions, parsley, and parsnips with the dressing that can now be regarded as his own recipe I think.
We had a very good supper with friends at Terroirs choosing a number of small plates to share between us: charcuterie, snails on toast, asparagus with boiled egg and Parmesan, small artichokes with anchovies, oysters with shallot vinegar and, to drink, some delicious cloudy Prosecco.
Other good things this week: roast chicken and stuffing for a supper with our children; more rhubarb dessert cake; more asparagus this time with soft boiled eggs, sourdough toast soldiers and real butter; short rib of beef with new potatoes and green leaves with horseradish dressing; roast hake with rosemary, rock salt and garlic; quails eggs with rock salt and thyme.
One of our sons tells me he has been to the Westmoreland Motorway Services on the M6 recently. This family run service station sells locally sourced food reasonably priced and has the added bonus of some stunning views.