Is this just not the most exciting Christmas present ever?…. It is what is going to finally get me to grow edible, rather than look-atable, plants in the garden… All those wonderful spicy leaves that I have been getting in my Farm Direct deliveries from Cultivate London! (And if you do not yet have a cloche so cannot grow your own, I do thoroughly recommend leaves from both the above.)
And it looks so pretty! I wonder if its bow is rain proof….. Anyhow, once, if ever, the rain leaves off, I shall be out there and you can expect to be bored rigid by reports on my health-giving greens….
Meanwhile, I apologise to those looking for a little light blog reading over the last two weeks for the sad dearth of MBJ blogs… Attributable not only to Christmas festivities – although we did have 15 (staying) over Christmas and 23 on Boxing Day…, but to the blessed Virgin Media who upgraded our modem a few weeks ago thereby doing something very simple but virtually untraceable to the blog which remained happily up there in cyberspace but which firmly refused to let its owner (me) get into it. However, after some stern words from the Webmaster it was finally brought to heel – just in time for me to rave on about my cloche….
However, I hope that, in my absence, everyone has managed to negotiate the digestive and allergen-laden hazards of Christmas without too many ill effects. Alex, aka @HealthJourno, who now runs our Twitter accounts, tells me that our FreeFromRecipes Twitter account got loads of new followers over Christmas – with lots of RTs (retweets….) for our dairy-free brandy ‘butter – so I hope that you found several of the recipes useful. We will be leaving them up there until the next newsletter on January 5th as many of the dishes would be good at any time of year, not just Christmas – see here for more.
Whatever about what you ate, I do hope that you managed to avoid the dishwasher over the festive season….
I got an email yesterday from a long-time, allergic reader telling us how she had managed to get colour-free, liquid antibiotics for a gash on her leg caused by colliding with an open dishwasher. I was delighted to hear about the antibiotics (to which, at that point, she had not had any dodgy reactions) but it did cause me, yet again, to wonder why on earth people with dishwashers leave them open. Not only are they even more effective than Rosa Klebb’s shoes for gashing your leg but surely the whole point of having a dishwasher is to get all those dirty plates out of site and out of mind? Why, then, would you leave the wretched thing open, taking up most of the floor space in the kitchen, threatening life and limb of anyone trying to get past – and allowing all that nasty gunk to dry on the plates so that not even the most efficent dishwasher will be able whoosh it off?………
Enough already… Let us focus on something more useful!
I have just been brewing up the wonderful turkey soup which should form the main item of everyone’s diet for at least three days after every Christmas – and to my mind (oh shock and heresy) tastes far better than the turkey in its original state. It is really impossible to give any recipe for this concoction as it will depend on what you actually had for Christmas dinner. But my general theory is to put all remains – turkey, ham, sausages, veg, gravy, stuffing, maybe even the gluten-free bread sauce – into a very large pot, cover with water and a good slug of any wine left over from the festivities – and then to cook very long and very slow. The only boring bit is extracting the turkey bones – but the result is usually worth it.
However, while discussing this year’s brew, we also got onto my favourite winter soup-stew as one of our party suffers from a degenerative condition which makes eating a soft and flavoursome soup-stew a much more appealing prospect than battling with a knife and fork to get down something somewhat dryer which may well end up by choking her. As a result I spent some time yesterday evening setting out some guide ideas for a few of these delicacies and although they really do not class as recipes as such, I thought I would pop them in here to serve as ideas for other soup-stews – and maybe even inspire you all to come up with some new ones….
Which reminds me…. Sue Cane has just sent me an email about socca……… For another blog! Meanwhile……
Chicken and corn soup
Will reheat endlessly and if it ends up by being too thick, just add some more water/stock.
Lamb or beef soup-stew
Cover and simmer very gently for 2 – 3 hours. Add the greens and continue to cook for another 10 minutes or until they are done. Add more stock or water if you want it ‘soupier’. If you are using beef and want to include the olives, add them now too. Adjust seasoning to taste and eat!
Gammon and yellow split pea…….. approx measurements again.