There may be a flurry of posts today (all hands brace for impact!), as I’m having a bit of a cook-a-thon. After that it might be radio silence for a bit, as the information from doctors is that my mother’s cancer has reoccurred and now spread to her liver, and as such my focus may be elsewhere.
In the meantime I would like to introduce you to some new members of the family; joining Spike the Lucky Bamboo plant and Steve the basil plant, are these charming young Cayenne pepper seedlings. I found a box of seeds for 99p in the 99p Shop (naturally) and although the packet was a year out of date, and the peppers normally need to be planted between February and June, I like a challenge. So does the cayenne pepper plant it seems, and I now have four healthy seedlings that I transferred to their own pots yesterday.
I’d also like to introduce you to another Jack Monroe recipe, this time for bean chilli with dark chocolate, a smooth, tasty and somewhat luxurious take on yer bog-standard chilli con carne…
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I have, criminally, only just discovered asparagus. So I have 8 spears now roasting away in the oven, doused liberally with olive oil and salt. A little freshly-squeezed lemon juice when they come out (mind the pips), and then to eat, dribbling vegetable juice and oil. Because I’m in that kind of mood. Plus the pre-sparagus appetizers were feta-and-spinach parcels and a generous handful of black olives.
I’m doing Friday night in style, if I do say so myself.
You may remember a beetroot and walnut hummus I posted a while back? My sister went one better, and found a recipe for beetroot and walnut chocolate brownies. They are rich, moist, delicious and absolutely to die for. They are, I venture to suggest, worth not only dying for, but worth being reincarnated as a beetle and working your way back up the Karmic Chain for a thousand years to status Homo Sapiens again, just for another slice. Those that like to bake uber-chocolatey things – you have no excuse, here is your next project.
Having my own space again has revitalised things somewhat. So I’ve made the decision to go back and tackle some of the ingredients that have defeated me in the past. The legume that wouldn’t cook to edibility, even if you lowered a pan of it directly into a nuclear reactor. The vegetable that salting/soaking/roasting/baking/a-right-kicking couldn’t convert into something other than chewy semi-cellulose. The cost and frustration of two hours preparing and cooking, then discreetly dumping the results in the bin, and ordering a chinese takeaway instead (the herb ‘dill’ – I am looking at you).
Those recipes that, *gulp*, even our heroes EWK* or EWM** couldn’t save.
First up – yellow split peas
Yellow Split Pea and Tomato Soup