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 forty-second week:
As promised, my husband made more fresh pasta. Tagliatelli, this time with the aid of a pasta roller and cutter. We had some with leeks, which had been slowly cooked in butter – cooked this way they break down to form a sauce to which we added crisp bacon and thyme leaves. Later in the week we had some more, this time with our British cheese for this week, Blacksticks Blue (from Preston in Lancashire) which, together with some toasted walnuts and tiny pieces of purple sprouting broccoli, was delicious and meat free.
I have given up buying ready made packaged sandwiches – there are too many ingredients in the list that I don’t recognise as food – preferring to make my own. A favourite bread is spelt and sunflower seeds which is lovely with crab, green leaves and lemon zest, or hummus with leaves and lemon zest. Also this week we had some Wensum cheese in a sandwich with bacon and leaves.
Despite the cold weather, there are definitely some hopeful signs of Spring including the mint in our garden just beginning to make an appearance. At the Farmers market there were lovely pointed cabbages, young leeks and rhubarb amongst many other lovely things from Perry Court Farm where I buy most of our vegetables and land cress and rocket leaves (from Wild Country Organics), which are very welcome additions to our slow diet.
Other good things have been: a pub lunch of beef stew with horseradish dumplings; a pot roasted shoulder of lamb and potatoes with thyme; a salad of young leeks and rocket leaves; a casserole of flageolet beans and Old English sausages; more delicious British beers; James White organic beetroot juice with apple; eggs in an omelette, in a sandwich with land cress and real butter or poached – they are brilliant as “slow” convenience food.
The BBC British Food and Farming awards nominations were announced this week. It is brilliant to see the range of amazing things people are doing. I was particularly interested in “Gloucester Services” the motorway services on the M5 that has a café and also a food shop selling and serving local and seasonal foods – it sounds well worth a visit and I hope the idea will inspire others.
I bought a few extra Cox’s apples from a shop this week – they looked fine but their texture and flavour were not what we are used to from the Ringden Farm stall at our Farmers market in Barnes.