Squash and Virago

Oct 30, 2020

I made this stuffed squash about 10 years ago from a recipe in a Hugh Furnley Whittingstall book. See here It was tricky to judge the cooking time. The recipe said cook for about an hour and the squash were small. I put one back in the oven for 15 minutes to ensure the squash was soft. A success, I think – and seasonally right for a late autumn meal.

Maybe heavy on the leek stuffing?

The XJ6 motorbike is overdue an MOT. Since the unfortunate event and subsequent debate about the car rear brakes, I can only get an MOT in two weeks. So the XJ6 is off the road with a SORN. However, the Virago seems to be fixed!!!! There seems to be little appreciable battery drain with the battery connected, the battery tester comes up with good results for battery condition and charging. I think the problem with the Virago battery not recharging was due to a poor connection on one of the DC leads from the regulator rectifier to the battery. The voltmeter shows 13.5V DC to the battery when the engine is turning over – which is enough to keep the battery charged. I have reattached the small, digital, bike voltmeter to the battery so I can keep an eye on the recharging voltage. Attached to the voltmeter I get a USB 3A socket outlet – necessary for the bike GPS.

The bracket on the voltmeter/ USB outlet had cracked – bike plastics always go brittle. So I have tried to glue the bracket together with “fast” adhesive, backed up by epoxy resin. Amazingly I found another bracket by “rummaging” – which I have also reinforced using epoxy at the weak point- to try and prevent future breaking. There is so much epoxy on both brackets, I can’t now tell which was the one that broke!

Autumn beans

Sep 26, 2020

Still cropping.

Sea bass, rosemary, bay leaves, garlic, chilli, onions, tahini, tomatoes. Lots of flavour 🙂

My sister, in a heady act of generosity, gave me two jars of Tesco Katsu curry sauce. This sauce is based on coconut and apple – an interesting combination. I decided to make Thai green curry as the bitterness of the green paste would counter the sweetness of the Katsu.

Tesco and Sainsbury in perfect harmony.

The combination came out pretty well – even if a real cook would make it all from basic ingredients.

I am sure green beans are very nutritious and the small ones I picked from the garden were tasty. But the blackfly love them and when the beans get longer than a few inches they develop a “string”. The beans I cooked with Kung Po chicken about a week ago were stringless. This string is along the edge where the two parts of the pod meet. Now, is it any coincidence that British “cuisine” is the only one where the bean pods are eaten? Beans from other countries mean, the bean. The pod probably becomes cattle feed. When cooking green beans one needs to first “destring” so you end up with beans and “string”. What a tedious and fiddly job.

Trying to eat the string is unpleasant at best.

So as not to waste, I decided to make leek, spinach and bean soup – a slight variation of the provided recipe. Amazing it tasted good but still the bloody strings.

Not to be defeated, I am straining the soup through a colander that can “pass” soup and halt string.

Kung Po chicken. Delicious. Not too difficult – all in one pan cooking.

This dish used spices I had never used before, including: Nora Pepper and the opaquely named “Romesco Spices” – looking closely this is a mixture of paprika, smoked paprika and chilli pepper. The recipe calls for 2 tablespoons of olive oil at each step, which I reined in. But overall, very tasty. I would do again.

Roasted Parsnip soup

Jun 7, 2020

From BBC Good Food: https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/spicy-roasted-parsnip-soup

All the ingredients mixed
Vegetable stock added and all blended. The blackspots are peppercorns. I should have ground those before adding. Very tasty soup, though.

Lunch, Nuremberg

Mar 6, 2020

Germany. Sausages. Of course.

Kiddie portion


Feb 18, 2020

Carrot, swede, potato and fried leek mash with a bit of duck breast – deeelish.