Saturday, 19 November 2011

November 19th - frugal food and fudge

Dear Nigel,
my apologies for calling you a top chef. ( I think you would rather be referred to as a good cook). There are far too many men in checked trousers out there on the tele, anyway. I want someone who will get me out of my armchair to make something because my life will be the richer for it and it's suddenly become something i can't bear to live a moment more without.
Today, i see you've been shopping in Chinatown, for pak choi and lychees and other delights that only townies and those in the more plummy provinces seem to have the option of foraging for. It always seems an irony to me that choice in the country in comparison is still so limited.
I could eat the slow-cooked duck with star anise and ginger you tucked into, right now, though i should be heading off to bed. I took the children to a switching on of twinkly lights in the little Peak District village of Castleton. Trooping round the village we tucked into bars of the most mouth-melting fudge from the real fudge shop.And, though i'm not usually a huge fan of the stuff, their triple chocolate layer made with Green and Black's finest had me polishing the lot off. Consequently, i wasn't feeling too peckish when we returned so we dined on bread and soup.
The soup was one i made a couple of days ago in large quantity. I like to keep one nestling on the back of the stove ready for any of my grown-up fledgelings to heat-and-eat on their way to somewhere else. This time it was creamy parsnip, leek and lemon  - another success from the New Covent Garden Soup Company people, whose recipes i seem to have systematically worked through. Counting the cost of a pressing Christmas with seven children descending makes any sort of little economies a blessing.
The little children don't eat the soup.
I don't suppose you have this problem? Guests who turn up and refuse to eat what you put on the table, or say,"Yuk , 'gusting." 'Gusting was one of my five year old's first words. Everything i provided was 'gusting for a long time. No doubt she would take one look at the pieces of plump, tender duck nestling on their little mounds of fluffy rice and declare "'Gusting",whilst pulling a strangulated face. Me, on the other hand, would be quietly licking the sticky juices off the plate with my finger.
Sweet dreams on an empty stomach,

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