Friday, August 25, 2006

This Week

Not a hugely exciting week but it did have the pleasure of a heart of lasagne to ward offf the increasing chill in the air - even though it's still bloody August - we need more summer.

Saturday we went to Suffolk to visit the lovely boyfriend's parents who were also being visited by his sister and her two little kids. We had volunteered to make dinner and so we started with drinks in the garden in a moment of sunshine with nibbles of olives and cheese and very civilised it was too. Then we had LOTS of Ginger Pig sausages - chippolatas for the littlies - and roasted aubergine salad, potato salad, roasted red onion and beans, green salad and a big bowl of red and orange cherry tomatoes sitting jewel like in the middle. Philippa, the youngest of the party, had seen a picture of avocado and cress salad in a recipe book and proclaimed her desire to have some so her mother had been to Tesco to buy the necessary and, using this supermarket produce, I whipped it up as the final dish. It was very pretty to look at - and tasted of absolutely nothing. Bizarre. But then it's what you get if your produce is grown for appearance and not flavour.

Sunday we had lunch in the elegant surrounds of the conservatory at Ickworth House before the schlepp back to London and hot sausage sarnies for supper. Lovely.

Monday was cereals and coffee for breakfast - same all week. Lunch was cold sausages and salad and dinner was roast chicken with barley and herb stuffing and new potatoes and spinach. The chicken was the corn fed bird from Wyndham Poultry which I normally poach successfully. It was okay roasted but lacked the firm texture of a better reared chicken - cheaper but once again, you get what you pay for. It works better poached in much the same way that braising steak is not great fried but is lovely slow cooked in red wine and garlic.

Tuesday we had cold chicken and stuffing and salad for lunch, then a gloriously fabulous mushroom and asparagus lasagne for supper

Wednesday we had barley pots for lunch - I had made too much stuffing for the chicken so I cooked the overflow in little ramekins in a bain-marie. They went well with salad. Leftover lasagne - dinner in no time!

Thursday salads for lunch, then roasted duck legs (from the freezer) with potatoes roasted in the same pan to cook in the duck fat and a serving of spinach. This was a modified version of what I'd intended as a fairly ambitious supper of boulangere potatoes made with apple as well as onions and potatoes as a base underneath the roasting duck but I realised we wouldn't eat till about 9.30 by the time I conjured all that - so I abandoned that plan after going no further than tears over sliced onions. It was not as good as my original plan but we did eat long before falling asleep.

Friday my sweetheart had a cheese roll from the freezer with biscuits and fruit for his lunch and I had a boiled egg and salad - I'd forgotten how much I like boiled eggs - might become a regular lunch... Tonight it will be the last of the lasagne with a green salad and a glass of red to celebrate Bank Holiday weekend.

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