green beans and pasta

I reviewed the contents of the veg drawer last night – to my shame, there were two small turnips going mouldy, so they had to go. A wide assortment of carrots was hurled into the slow cooker for carrot and coriander soup for lunch today. And there were a lot of green beans.

We like green beans, but we tend to do the same sort of stuff with them every time, and I
wanted to try something different, so this is what I did. It was lovely – perfect summer food.

Topped and tailed the beans, and then cut them into chunks of about 2cm. Set them to simmer for about seven minutes, I guess.

Put on some pasta quills to boil.

Got Pete to grate a lot of parmesan, rummaged for the tired half lemon in the fridge, and went and cut some fennel fronds from the garden, which I chopped up small.

Combined beans, pasta, parmesan, black pepper, lemon juice, fennel and some cream, and scoffed from bowls.

Followed it with local strawberries and a home made brownie. Lovely.

Originally posted at Reactive Cooking.

this week's veg box

From Box Bush Farm, £15 bought us:

  • 1 bag potatoes
  • 1 bag carrots
  • 1 bag rather nice pale green beans
  • 1 bag small chestnut-y mushrooms
  • 1 bag rocket
  • 1 lettuce
  • 1 bag spinach
  • 2 small cabbages
  • 1 bunch asparagus
  • apples, oranges, bunch of bananas

Difficult week, as we have people round for Eurovision tonight (cooking Indian, details later), and are away for a few days from Friday morning.

Must use up asparagus, spinach, rocket first. Will ponder. Suggestions welcome.

As I mentioned, there was a bit of a soup crisis yesterday, occasioning me to fetch the chicken carcass out of the freezer and bung it in the slow cooker to make stock.

This morning, Pete nobly stripped the meat off it, and there was enough for at least one more meal!

Read more at a href=”″>Reactive Cooking.

soup fail

I forgot to put the soup in the fridge on Friday (which I normally do, as we don’t normally eat it at the weekend). Given the temperature, and remembering that both P and I were quite ill after eating some shoop that had gone over, we have reluctantly poured it into the compost bin.

Thankfully, I had a chicken carcass in the freezer, so I lobbed that in the slow cooker and set it going, so there’ll be some stock to make some more in the morning.

:: slaps self upside the head

Originally posted at Reactive Cooking.

this week's veg box

First one from Box Bush Farm. £15 quid bought us:

  • 4 fat tomatoes
  • 1 hispi cabbage
  • 1 cauliflower
  • 2 small swedes
  • 1 lettuce (hate ’em – must get them added to our "do not ship"
  • bunch of asparagus
  • 6 apples
  • 4 oranges
  • bunch of bananas
  • 1 cucumber
  • new potatoes
  • carrots
  • 3 red onions

The asparagus is going to go with a chicken pie tomorrow, with the last of last week’s roast chickie!. Tonight will be sossidge with a bubble and squeak made with one swede, potatoes and cabbage. – the other swede can go in the chicken pie filling, with carrots and red onion. Cauliflower cheese and roast potatoes one night, Indian cabbage another.

Problem this week is I’m out three nights on the trot – two which can’t be ducked (School Governors’ meeting and Parish Plan meeting), and one social which I don’t want to miss. Food is always difficult on meeting nights – the school one runs from 6 p.m. till about 8.30; too early to eat before I go, too late afterwards to cook.

;; ponders

plum and apple porridgy crumble

 We had some plums going scrotal in the fruit bowl, so I cut them in to quarters and destoned them, and put them in an ovenproof dish.  They didn’t look enough, somehow, so I got a Bramley out of the fridge and peeled and chopped it, and into the dish it went.


Added a drizzle of honey (I much prefer fruit cooked with honey to sugar), a couple of star anise, a decent grating of fresh ginger, and about 1/2" of water, and zapped it in the microwave for 4 minutes to kick start the cooking.


Made a crumble topping of 6oz plain flour, 2oz porridge oats, 3oz demerara sugar and 3.5oz of margarine, blitzed to crumbs in the Magimix.  Patted it down on top oF the fruit, and baked at gas 4 for 45 minutes.


Needless to say, I got all the bits of star anise in my portion, but it was worth it.  Trust me.

Originally posted at Reactive Cooking.

an English dinner

We had an early start yesterday, helping to set up a stall for the local LibDems at the North Somerset Agricultural Show.

I knew we wouldn’t want to spend much time cooking when we got home, so I hurtled up to the local farm shop on Saturday and picked up a few things.

When we got back from the Show at about 3.30, we stuck the oven on to warm up, and removed a free range chickie! from the fridge (and removed the giblets from it>. I generally roast chicken in a Nigel Slater stylee, and this was no exception: cut a lemon in half, and put half inside the bird, squeeze the other half over it, and leave the juiceless bit in the pan. Put a cut bulb of garlic in there too, drizzle some olive oil over the breast, and season well. I generally put an old butter wrapper on top for the first hour – it keeps it moist, and also stopped the bird from browning too quickly.

As the cooking time came to an end, I put some Cornish new potatoes on to boil, with a bunch of English asparagus in the steamer on top. When the chicken went to rest, I poured most of the juices into a jug for later souping, then made a gravy with an organic chicken stock cube, some cornflour and water, a splash of rice wine, and some vegetable water.

Dished it up, ladled (admittedly French) butter over the veg, consumed. Perfect, simple, food.

Followed with a plum crumble, recipe to follow shortly.

Originally posted on Dreamwidth, via Reactive Cooking.