Anxious Dad created an absolute masterpiece of a nut roast for Christmas Eve dinner (chestnuts! cheese! artistic cabbage leaf wrapping!). I returned to Anxious Towers with a decent hunk of the remains, plus a handful of roast chestnuts. My vegetarian turkey roll and mince-pie lust* having been satiated over the Xmas period, I was in the mood for something comforting and hot, and this shepherd’s pie hit the spot whilst handily using up the leftovers. I bought the parsnip and carrot fresh, but those with leftover veg, or leftover cheese from a festive cheeseboard, might find a home for them in the recipe as well…..
*A mince-pie and a double vodka with coke is a perfectly acceptable Xmas breakfast, I’ll have you know. As is another mince-pie.
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Turns out that, with Mum gone, I’m the only person in the family who actually eats roast chestnuts with Xmas dinner. So the post-dinner clear-out of leftovers gave me a good 2/3rds of a tin of lovingly pre-roasted chestnuts to play with. Mixed with finely chopped mushrooms and a few other ingredients, these made a cracking nut roast, as I’m sure Scrat would agree…
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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 / Chestnut pesto