This afternoon was spent at the GP clinic, as I had one of those wonderful women’s health examinations which make you wonder about the motivations of Mother Nature, what with the creation of a system of internal tubing that in any other situation would make a professional plumber whistle quietly and comment “Who the ‘ell put that stopcock there?! Bloody cowboys! That’ll cost yer £300 plus VAT ‘cos you can’t get the parts these days, KEV! get the largest sink plunger from the van would yer?”.

But I’ve found that in situations like this (or opticians/dentists/chiropodists etc), it’s actually a good idea to inform the healthcare provider upfront that you suffer from anxiety attacks, because generally they’re fairly sympathetic and will work with you in managing the situation so that the procedure can go ahead with minimum grief to either side. Establishing that extra bit of control often is enough to prevent the anxiety spiralling upwards into a full-blown attack. Plus, it also acts as a good screening process for arseholes, in that if the reaction is one of why should I care / you’re being stupid / these exams don’t hurt, you know not to proceed with the procedure as you will quite likely find yourself being completely disempowered, and therefore you can politely make your excuses and leave / ask for another healthcare provider / throw yourself out via the nearest window in a spectacular crash of glass fragments, like they do in the movies.

After all this, something comforting for dinner seemed like a good idea. Fortunately I’d found a tin of chestnut puree on offer for a mere 34p at Big Supermarket Chain, due to the tin being badly dented, and this richest of nutmeats was just the luxurious touch that this evening needed (well that, and a quadruple vodka).


Chestnut & Peanut Nut Roast
One medium onion, finely chopped
One medium carrot, likewise
2 medium cloves of garlic, also
Big handful peanuts, crushed
Two thirds of a can of pureed chestnuts
Thyme, tarragon, parsley
Tablespoon of marmite
1 egg
Salt and black pepper

Gently fry the onion and carrot for five minutes, then add the garlic and mushrooms and fry for another five.
Take the pan off the heat and mix in the rest of the ingredients. Mix thoroughly.
Pour into a well-greased baking tray, bake in the oven at 180degrees for 30 minutes.

Serve hot with gravy or cold with mayo and salad.

Its my first time trying this recipe, and I suspect that there is the potential to spice it up quite nicely with some extra paprika or chili powder. I’ll keep any eye out for more cheap chestnut puree, if you beat me to it let me know how it goes 😉


Chestnut pesto
The other third of the can of chestnut puree
Handful crushed walnuts
Lemon juice equivalent to one freshly-squeezed lemon
Black pepper
One large clove garlic, minced
Olive oil

Mix all of the above thoroughly. Drizzle with olive oil and black pepper.

I have some wholemeal pasta, cherry tomatoes and courgette. I can see these things all mixing quite well with the above. For some reason the asparagus spears I have have in the fridge are also looking like a potential match, may have to try it and report back….


EDIT: had a go at the asparagus spears. Coated with the pesto and drizzled with olive oil, then baked in the oven at 180degrees for 7.5 minutes. Result: not bad. Needs melted cheese.



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