It wouldn’t be quite true to say that I spent all day in the kitchen but certainly the afternoon was kitchen focused. We’d invited friends round for dinner and there was also a big harvest of tomatoes that we needed to work on.
First off, was a trip to a couple of supermarkets – Lidl for most of what I needed and Sainsburys for a couple of things Lidl couldn’t provide. Neither had dried figs but I picked up some fresh ones from Sainsburys. Then, onto cooking.
First dish: pork fillet in cider with sage, onion and sliced potatoes. This was a slow cooker dish so was mainly an assembly job before leaving it to stew away in the background. It was quite tasty although could have done with a bit more body. However, I was trying to keep the fat and oil down so I’ll count that as a success.
Second dish: bustrengo. This is a kind of cake that I found out about from Jamie Oliver’s Italy book. I was able to use apples from the garden and it was what the dried figs were wanted for. I think that substitution worked okay but I also realised I’d neglected to put polenta, one of the main ingredients on the list. I did have a packet of an Indian steamed dessert, which I was trying to figure out how to steam with the equipment we have and which had ingredients like semolina. Yes, it did work although it wasn’t quite like any of my previous attempts at the recipe!
Third dish: tomato and vegetable relish. I got this one started but had to give it a rest over dinner and I’m giving it another rest overnight (all veg, a fair amount of vinegar and sugar and it will get another good boil before I put it in jars). I don’t know how I’ve ended up with so much of this. It may be due to the recipe giving weights for some ingredients, like the tomatoes, but assuming that things like courgettes and onions come in fixed sizes. I was expecting my 2kg of tomatoes to yield about 1.5kg of finished product but the maslin pan scale is suggesting that I’ve still got about 5l of the stuff. I think it will still be tasty but I feel a marginal note coming on!