Well, in the last week I’ve made a few discoveries, good and bad, but first I’ll tell you about this lovely picture – much of the veg comes from Simon’s Sunday market stall and is all grown in Littleport near Ely and the rest is a present from Dave Fox, who runs Trumpington Allotments – he gave me the squash and the fir apple potatoes (as well as some other things), which couldn’t be much more local unless we had grown them ourselves. Thank you, Dave! The jam is home-made (and home-grown) blackberry and apple from Angie at Hawthorn Farm in Cottenham – the sugar is local, as we are the biggest sugar beet area in the country. The duck eggs are also from Cottenham – they have been having terrible problems with foxes recently, so haven’t as many as usual. The Hawthorn Farm honey is a present from Angie from their own bees.
Chicken feet, anyone?
I’ve been incredibly busy, with not much time for cooking, so Dave has been doing more of it in the evening. He made a delicious chicken soup using the stock from chicken necks and feet. (Angie kindly give us a bag of chicken feet for free, as her normal purchaser was away!) The stock (which also included one or two wings) was great, but I tried one of the feet and it wasn’t for me! Dave, however, loved them! Sometimes being busy meant I just had fried potatoes and a steamed veg, which is okay but not nearly as interesting as making a proper stew. That really is the thing about having to cook every thing from scratch, as I’ve said before – you need to be incredibly organised and do things in advance when you have the time
A new take on fast food!
Apart from microwaved baked potato, which is pretty fast, I’ve discovered a fast lunch in the form of farm-smoked pheasant from Brian at Hawthorn Farm! He and his friend shoot their own pheasants and then Brian smokes them – really yummy! And another ready-meal is Angie’s pickled eggs (not that it takes long to fry an egg!).
Tomatoes – a real treat!
I didn’t expect to have any tomatoes at all during this winter, but Ann brought me a present: cooking tomatoes which are grown in Wissington, Nofolk, using waste heat, water and CO2 from British Sugar’s processing plant! She will tell you where she got them, as I’m sure she didn’t go all the way to Wissington! I cooked them up with onion, garlic and marjoram and ate some just like that – so good! – and am going to add some to a veg stew to improve the flavour. I did also have some of the firmer ones in a salad yesterday (lettuce, spring onions and spicy salad leaves – all from Simon at the Sunday market) – such a treat!
Big disappointment – and a good replacement!
I have been telling everyone for ages how wonderful it is to get fresh ginger and turmeric from Simon’s stall. Well, it turns out that, although Simon’s stuff is nearly all home-grown, the ginger and turmeric aren’t, so I have to give up my delicious breakfast drink! Luckily for me, a friend gave me some dried lemon balm from her garden and I am now drinking that with honey as my breakfast drink – really good!
Posted by Bev