Yesterday was a beautiful autumnal day today. The sun shone all day long, and my wee chickens scrubbled about out in their yard chuntering away to one another. I discovered that my few remaining plants in the greenhouse were all beginning to get covered and smothered in greenfly, so I took a couple of pots of greenfly-ridden chilli plants out to the chooks for them to nibble at. Minutes later the leaves were stripped off and gobbled up by my happy girls.
So, with chooks happy in the garden, it seemed like a good day to spend in the kitchen, preparing this and that to make the meals easier through the week when I get home from work each night.
So meatballs are cooked and in the freezer, with a tomatoey sauce in a separate pot.
There’s a big old pot of lentil soup for lunches, made with a smoked ham hock and a wee smidgin of curry spices.
There is of course a lovely sourdough loaf (wholemeal) and the bread machine also made a half and half (granary/white) loaf. The meat from the ham hock has been cut up into wee cubes to be added to a frittata or omelette later in the week.
I made a big tub of granola with nuts and oats and fruit – mixed with apple juice, a wee bit of syrup and some ginger and cinnamon.
In between times I made some delicious cinnamon squirlies. I blame delicious magazine – they featured them on their facebook page and I just caved and had to make them. They were totally worth it, really easy to make and absolutely scrumptious, especially warm with icecream.
And as if that wasn’t enough, I had already decided that for supper we were having roast pork with all the trimmings. The trimmings on this occasion included roasted apples, curly kale, a beetroot and potato gratin and roasted beetroots and caramelised onions, all brought together with a jus made with juices from the roast pork dish and apple juice reduced down till it was concentrated flavoursome perfection.
I don’t cook roasts too often, but after this success I may do it more often. And there were delicious leftovers for through the week: we’ll have sliced pork and chutney sandwiches for lunch and this evening we had the rest of the beetroot and potato gratin, served with spicy roast butternut squash and chicken wrapped in smoky bacon.
I think my focus in the next few weeks will be on how to make really good meals quickly on weekday evenings – some will be from scratch, others will involve some prep the weekend before. Watch this space.