The Box of Meat from Keevil&Keevil, Smithfield butchers, has already provided the wherewithal for roast duck, and pork chops with apples, leeks and onions and a blast of cider (chop an onion and an apple and a leek which I happened to have, but you don't need and a clove or two of garlic if you like; fry the pork chops in a frying pan until brown, set aside, fry the onion in oil, add the apple, leek and garlic, blast with a slug of cider and boil furiously for about a minute. Add some stock/ plus a little cream if you're feeling extravagant and cook for a minute or two. Put the chops in an oven-proof dish pour over the apple and onion sauce and put in a pre-heated (170/180c) for 25-30mins until the chops are cooked. Eat with mash).
Tonight it's given us shepherds pie (recipe below) made in honour of the return, for one night, of the ex-lodger and the departure of the son back to university. The twenty-somethings sit about the table swapping hilarious stories about their respective up-bringings, the texting abilities of mothers (why do mothers always seem to txt in CAP LETTERS, apparently there's a whole website devoted to this - GARDEN CENTRE OK DON'T FORGET SUPPER PICK UP CLOTHES MUM or ITS ME IS KEY IN SHED WHEN YOU GOING MUM) and the note (also in CAPS but not written by a mother), retrieved from doormat which reads:
I AM WORKING IN THE AREA AND I NOTICED ON YOUR FRONT MAIN ROOF YOU HAVE SOME MISSING SLATES WHAT AS COME OUT IF YOU WOULD LIKE A FREE ESTIMATE TO REPAIR THEM CONTACT NUMBERS ON FRONT
have passed that on to the resident builders.
500g beef mince
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
a little flour
Lea & Perrins sauce
2-3 carrots, chopped
handful fresh parsley, chopped
4-5 largeish potatoes, boiled and mashed
Preheat the oven to 180c. Heat some olive oil in a large pan. Add the mince, fry for ten minutes. Add the onion and garlic and continue to fry. Sprinkle over a little flour and add a dash or two of Lea & Perrins. Stir and add the wine and cook for a couple of minutes before adding the stock until you have a nice soupy stewy, but not too watery, consistency. Add the carrots and two-thirds of the parsley and cook for another 10 minutes or so, adding more stock if necessary. Put the mince into an oven proof dish, sprinkle over the rest of the parsley and top with the mashed potato. Cook for 40 minutes or until the top is brown and crispy
what's in the post today...
A brilliant autobiographical duo or the beginnings of a celeb big brother wish list - Is it really Too Much to Ask? by Jeremy Clarkson (from Milliband to the volcanic ash cloud via the Olympics, man flu and Piers Morgan. Yes, it is too much. Michael Joseph £20) and Mary Berry's Recipe for Life (childhood, family life, career path, fame - 'To My astonishment and considerable relief, the editor of Housewife seemed pleased with my article' notes Berry on p113. Much more of the same follows until the moment when Great British Bake Off wins a BAFTA. 'I was too stunned to move' Berry tells us. Michael Joseph £20)
a jar of chorizo jam, a 'cult condiment' made with air dried chorizo, balsamic vinegar, apple juice and brown sugar (£3.49 from Tesco)
1. a study undertaken by Sacla reveals that:
BRITISH STUDENTS ARE CLUELESS IN THE KITCHEN
ITALIAN MOTHERS COME TO THE RESCUE
Italian mothers in university cities across the UK open up their own homes to teach students the basics of nutritious cooking to get them through their studies
57% of the British students surveyed admitted that they do not know how to cook vegetables, with half (50%) unsure of how to make mashed potato, and 49% unable to slice a pepper. Three quarters (75%) confessed that they couldn’t roast a chicken whilst eight in ten (80%) were clueless on how to make a white sauce and 45% were left scratching their heads when asked how to make spaghetti bolognese.
Four in ten university students (40%) consider their diet to be unhealthy, while a third (33%) are spending over £25 per week on booze, leading a quarter (26%) to believe that their lifestyle is having an adverse effect on their grades.
2. The Special Sing-a-longa Afternoon Tea at the Marriott Hotel County Hall. Tea, sandwiches, scones and cake, plus song sheets and a chance to perform included in the price - £38 pp
Available Mondays in October: 7th at 4pm, 14th & 21st October at 5pm in the Library
Telephone 020 7902 8000 to make a reservation
3. Brogdale apple festival 19-20 October at the National Fruit Collection
After discovering a favourite apple, visitors can take home a tree grafting from the collection.
Brogdale Farm • Brogdale Road • Faversham • Kent • ME13 8XZ
T 01795 536250 F 01795 534860 E firstname.lastname@example.org