Friday, 19 January 2018

An easy lunch ...

The Christmas goodies have all been eaten and we are craving simple, easy to prepare food here at fenland lottie.

This variation of shakshuka was just perfect for lunch the other day.

Shakshuka is a middle eastern dish of eggs lightly cooked in a spiced tomato and pepper sauce.
It's an easy and adaptable recipe. The sort of recipe to use up oddments from the fridge.
This was my version with lightly fried mushrooms instead of red peppers.

To softened onions and garlic, add a tin of chopped tomatoes and a teaspoon of smoked paprika (the mild, not really hot version). Simmer until slightly reduced, then add the lightly sauted mushrooms. 
Make an indentation in the sauce and carefully drop in an egg.
At this point, I put the dish into the oven until the egg was cooked.
However, this resulted in a yolk that was slightly overcooked.
I think a better method would be to cover the pan and continue cooking on the hob until the white is set and the yolk creamy.

Today has been a bright, sunny and cold day, so I seized the opportunity to go down to the allotment to check it over.
The sunny weather inspired me and within a few minutes I had seized a spade and dug up the raspberry canes!
I had been contemplating removing them for a while. They had turned into a thicket which was difficult to tame and were spreading into other parts of the plot.
So the deed is done!
 I may use part of the space to grow dahlias!


Saturday, 6 January 2018

January thoughts

January -
 is a much maligned month, so often dismissed as dismal, dreary; a month to be endured.
A month of anti-climax after the Christmas festivities.
But there are treasures to be found in January:

A brisk winter walk, to admire Nature laid bare.

The promise held within a bulb,

 maybe the fragile beauty of Paperwhite Narcissus or the dainty delight that is tete a tete,
or the heady scent of hyacinths.

January is an opportunity also to make plans for the garden and allotment.
A small brown envelope arrived this morning containing treasure in the form of seeds from The Real Seed Catalogue.
I am going to try a new ( to me) variety of winter squash Hokkaido, a summer squash Crookneck (instead of the ubiquitous courgette) and the beautifully named Cherokee Trail of Tears climbing bean.

In addition, January is my birthday month and also marks the start of an exciting new venture for me - but more of that in a week or two.

So lots to celebrate.
Hoping January and 2018 brings good things for you too.
Here's to a cheerful January!