Despite “Totally” failing to write anything for my blog over the past few days, I did take some pictures and from these images I will attempt to delve back in time to reconstruct the Totally Locally experience.
Last Thursday I seem to have been making a curry of sweet potatoes to serve with the smoked tofu kedgeree. On the side a fresh salsa of green tomatoes purchased from the bargain counter at GVG. In fact if memory serves, I returned for more of these beauties.
Friday’s shop was down to Lisa and Syd, purchasing items for the Brownies day trip to Blackpool zoo, hence the appearance of biscuits in the purchases! As if my dentally challenging fig rolls weren’t suitable. In fact as a travelling food, my fig rolls are excellent, nutritious, comforting and indestructible.
On Saturday I did a spot of shopping. In fact I remember Evan meeting me after the afternoon Babes in the Wood session to take some of the equipment home while I lugged various bags of shopping up the hill!
I appear to have impulse bought a large pale and extremely dense pumpkin which was roasted with its own seeds and a bit of thyme then got my pizza head on. The dough was a bit… lively but made enough pizza for us all to gorge on, me to snack on with a couple of bottles of Empires finest and to have as lunch the next day. I can heartily recommend the special pizza flour at GVG. Add to this a liberal coating of the “supercirio” tomato puree and you don’t need anything else. Apart from some delicious sweet basil. And maybe a drizzle of olive oil.
Gratuitous picture of a scoop carved at Babes in the Wood session by way of reminding everyone that there is one place left on Sunday’s spoon carving course J”
Total spend at GVG £ completely lost track-ish
Sunday’s cooking looks a bit odd in hindsight. There was the breakfast pie, a sort of pizza topped sweet cobbler of counter top nectarines, rescued and loved into a state of butterscotch coated loveliness. Then there was lunch for one, artisan fettuccine with mushroom tomato sauce and a brace of clay owls, cooked up for Monday’s session in Salford. As can be seen from one of the pictures, Sydney has attached a sheet of paper to the salad spinner possibly in the hope of hypnotising me into giving her larger portions of food.
Monday was another big shop in preparation for my mother’s birthday lunch on Wednesday. We sourced some presents at GVG and chose select squash for stuffing with leeks and baking in the oven. I also experimented with making falafel from scratch which we had for lunch with panzanella and tabouleh, as delicious as it was virtuous.
Evening meal combined two of Sydney’s favourite things, pastry and cauliflower cheese. Lisa almost took time off work to help out with the cooking but in the end gave in to multi tasking.
Please note the general tidiness of my workstation and the cluttered mayhem of Lisa’s. I would like to point out that glasses of wine were drunk at her suggestion and I only had a glass to stop her looking like a lush in the photos.
Today was another lunch time salad-fest with everyone joining in. (With the eating at least). Though big plans were afoot for the evening meal.. I decided to clean the oven. This became a mammoth undertaking as I removed the doors and anything else that would unscrew. The beast was pulled away from the wall for the first time in Sydney’s living memory. Obviously we were horrified at what we found there but managed to console ourselves with the absence of any rodent droppings!
At 5.30 this evening, I was still up to my elbows in Mr Muscle and soda crystals and it looked like the squash pilaf was a no goer. So fortified with local chips and mushy peas I returned the cooker to (almost) factory condition and fired up the unblocked wok ring with a roar akin to a Formula 1 racing car!
In an atmosphere of cleanliness and calmness I prepared the dough for tomorrows Fataya read and the za’atar mix to go on top. (Using real Thyme as oppose to the marjoram my mother is currently passing off as such!)
This week has been as much about the space in which we make food as the food itself. The frenzied attack on the cooker was part of a general recapturing of the kitchen for its purpose. Unfortunately Lisa has to use the kitchen for work but over the years unnecessary clutter has gathered in every cupboard and corner stifling any creativity or desire to use the space.
It will never be the perfect kitchen that I would like to cook in but it is the one we have got and with a little care and attention, it can be more than fit for purpose.