Cabbage Patch

Cabbage Patched with Pork

Banana gingerbread

I first made French cabbage soup (The Soup Book recipe) in October 2012 and on checking my blog entry I see that I was not impressed with it. I made it again last week but this time I served it with fried slices of pork steak which I had coated with sun-dried tomato paste. It was a good combination: the tomato paste helped to disguise the blandness of the soup.

Medley of Gingerbread, Muffins and Chocolate Slice

Baking is still my favourite activity. I recently made Paul Flynn's banana gingerbread - a favourite in this house for many years. Sometimes I make things because I have an ingredient I want to use up before its expiry date. For example, a packet of muesli has been languishing in a cupboard so I made muffins with it. They weren't too sweet and were well received both at home and at work.

Muesli muffins
Next I was under orders from a colleague to make something nice for her before she gave up goodies for Lent. I made deliciously sturdy white chocolate fruit and nut slices, which disappeared quite quickly at the two locations where it was offered around. The recipe is from Jennifer Donovan's Big Book of Chocolate

White chocolate fruit and nut slice

Sumptuous Sausages

Another project of mine is to try out recipes from Fiona Beckett's Sausage and Mash. I bought this book many years ago while staying with an old school-friend in England. There's even a recipe for sausage soup in the book! Recipes I have tried include rigatoni with sausage, red wine and rosemary sauce, sausage pizza, sausage risotto with tomato and basil, Rick Stein's spicy sausage and prawn jambalaya (very good), and sausage chilli (also very good). Today I'm making spicy toad. The batter is made up of plain and gram flour, egg, milk, turmeric and chilli powder; Just before you pour the batter into the baking tin, you add crushed coriander and cumin seeds. I'm looking forward to it. 

Bees in Books

I still look out for bee references in books. Just this morning I finished reading A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles. One of the chapters is entitled An Actress, an Apparition, an Apiary. In the extract below, the hero Count Alexander Rostov has just encountered a handyman on the roof of the hotel where he is living. The handyman has offered him a slice of bread and honey which comes from a hive on the roof. 
"What is that flavour ...?" asked the Count almost to himself.
"The lilacs," the old man replied. Without turning, he pointed with his thumb back in the direction of the Alexander Gardens. ...
"How extraordinary," the Count said with an appreciative shake of his head.
"It is and it isn't," said the old man. "When the lilacs are in bloom, the bees'll buzz to the Alexander Gardens and the honey'll taste like the lilacs. But in a week or so, they'll be buzzing to the Garden Ring, and then you'll be tasting the cherry trees."
So, that's it for now. 
Until next time. 



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