I can’t believe I’m nearly a quarter of the way through this challenge already! So far, I’ve bought two of my permitted 5 tins of tomatoes, used up one packet of pasta, one container each of rice and couscous, two containers of legumes (split peas and haricot), a tub of tomato paste and three small jars of tinned fruit. We’ve also used up my (mostly finished) bottle of plain olive oil, and one jar of jam.
There’s still quite a bit in there – looking at this from the perspective of one week in, I don’t think we’re going to be running out of pantry staples before the end of the month.
Today started with more fruit toast, this time served with a little honey, just to see if it worked (it did).
Lunch was leftover split pea soup with spiced cauliflower, though the soup had more or less turned into dal in the fridge. Still yummy though. Did I remember to photograph it? Of course not!
Dinner was our regular fortnightly dinner party with friends, which got out of hand early when I forgot (yet again) that my friend can’t eat onions. I don’t understand why I can’t remember that he is allergic to onions. My head is basically this huge database of things my various friends and acquaintances can and can’t eat, but onions, I can’t remember. Usually, I get as far as buying all the ingredients before remembering that I have to remove the onions from the recipe. This time, I actually finished making the stuffing for the lamb before I remembered that it had onions in it…
So instead of the fairly sensible lamb shoulder stuffed with a breadcrumb, pancetta and onion stuffing, served with beans and spinach and apple allioli, the stuffing went into a lot of peppers which got roasted, and I made a new stuffing for the lamb from the contents of the fridge – more breadcrumbs, pine nuts, preserved lemon, roasted peppers and green olives. Rather nice, actually, though not really belonging with the allioli.
Which was my excuse for roasting a lot of potatoes and sweet potatoes with paprika and other spices, to co-ordinate.
And then I had to make a vegetable dish that my friend could eat, so I made a random carrot salad, too. And added some cardoons to the roasted veg.
And then we got a message saying that our numbers were fewer than anticipated.
And then we got another message saying that they were at the vet and were running late, and by the time they were done, it turned out to be most practical to just grab everything out of the oven, pack it up, and carry it over to their place (because they didn’t want to leave a sick dog alone with an aggressive younger dog, and we didn’t think our cats would handle a sick dog in their territory with equanimity).
This made me happy, because I wasn’t at all sure the lamb was cooked through, or that anything else really worked or went well together, so now I could use the fact that it had all had to travel as an excuse if it didn’t work out well! Perfect!
But, actually, it went together almost as if I’d intended it that way; even the lamb (which had rested in the car on the way over) was perfect, and the vegetables were still hot. But of course, with all that, I forgot about photography until we were mostly done…
Oh, and there was cake for dessert – a chocolate and red wine cake (using cocoa, red wine, sugar and cocoa, as well as icing sugar in the mascarpone icing) that was ridiculously rich and dense. It’s a very tasty recipe (I especially liked the way the whole house smelled of red wine while it was cooking – you could just about get drunk on the fumes), but far too dense for my liking. I need to rework it to make it lighter and, ideally, vegan. Probably gluten-free, too – those flavours are intense enough to cover any odd flours…
And so – somewhat drunkenly after that cake – to bed! Tomorrow is a quiet day at home, followed by opera!