Sunday, November 5, 2017

In my kitchen


I came home from holiday with a car load of squashes and pumpkins. Forget shoes and handbags - that’s the kind of shopping I like.  They’ve made a very attractive and instagrammable autumn display, but they will be used.

I still cook everyday. I was worried, now it is just James and I in the house, that it would be very easy to slip into a frozen pizza, toast and tea kind of existence. And there is definitely some of that.  But more often than not, I am still there, trying out something different, cooking from scratch, getting excited about a recipe. 
One Sunday afternoon I found myself in the kitchen, making a 3 course dinner for the two of us. I remember pausing briefly and asking myself why I was doing this - still going to all this trouble. I didn’t have to. But - I wanted to. It’s the process I enjoy, as well as the end result. It’s part of who I am. So I keep doing it. Nothing elaborate - good simple nourishing food. I just need to get better at the portion control. Also it helps that James likes chillies now. 

So what’s been appearing on my table these days.

Well - squash soup in a squash bowl! How cute is that? 
I used Jamie’s recipe just as it is,for the soup and served it in the hollowed out squash shells.

Another thing we brought back from holiday was chicken pox. James came down with it last week. True to his generation, he researched it on YouTube and came upon a video of recipes specifically for chicken pox sufferers. 
We made the banana, oatmeal and honey smoothie- very nice and soothing for the invalid. He is over it now and feeling a lot better.

Peanut butter and jam toast always hits the spot.

A Sunday breakfast of Molly Orangette’s* buckwheat pancakes and Nigel Slater’s fried apples with advocaat. How amazing was that? Answer - extremely.

Spiced banana muffins - nothing special but works every time - that’s all that needs saying there..

Home grown red cabbage braised with apples - perfect autumnal dish Recipe here.

I’m still picking cherry tomatoes from the polycrub, and I’ve also bottled a few jars of passata. Once the preserving was over, I froze the leftover tomato bits to use as a soup base. 
I simmered some in water for 10-20 minutes, strained it and then made soup with some whole cherry tomatoes, spring onion, soup pasta and basil. It was very light and tomatoey- completely delicious. 

Cook some bacon, onion and apples together with some sage. Wrap it in puff pastry and bake until golden. How can it fail?

Today we are making inroads into that pumpkin stash to accompany a sticky spicy masala roast chicken. Thank you Delicious magazine.
(The recipe is in the magazine, and not online)

What’s cooking in your kitchen these days? xx

*link is to cookwithoutakitchen blog


  1. This all looks and sounds delicious!

  2. I love the idea of serving soup in a pumpkin. I have mostly managed to cook from scratch for the three of us but found eating a meal around the table very difficult for a long while but easier this year. Just wish my girls would eat chilli.

    1. I have to say chilli has expanded my range quite a bit.
      We do eat in front of the TV quite a lot still, but I insist on the table for Sunday now. That took a while too xxx

  3. I'm so delighted that you are back blogging again. I think and pray for you and Jamie often. I'm so impressed by your courage and so pleased that you've been about to go back to your beloved home and start to make more memories for your son to look back on when he's grown up.
    I've just made a large batch of cottage pies to put in the freezer ready for when I don't feel like cooking or when I know things are going to be hectic.
    Another batch I do often is to buy a lot of chicken breasts, slice them to insert a price of lemon or a sage leaf in then wrap round with a couple of rashers of lean bacon and then cook them. These are delicious hot or frozen then, when defrosted, sliced quite thinly. Sue

  4. Hi Sue. Thank you for your kind words. What fantastic ideas. I do freeze stuff, but I’m definitely adding your chicken idea to my repertoire xxx


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