Thursday, 3 January 2013

New Year, new post

Happy New Year!  As you can tell, one of my resolutions was to finally post on my blog which has been shamefully neglected over the last few weeks!

Christmas was spent with family and was peaceful and happy.  We had agreed not to give sibling presents and had asked Father Christmas not to overdo it and that worked very well.  It was all about spending time with loved ones, sharing meals etc - perfect!  I had made a Christmas cake with my own decorations for the family and was quite proud at how it came out.

 New Year's Eve was low key for us - until the dog got scared by the fireworks and we ended up staying up until 2am after all.  Luckily, he calmed down eventually, bless him.

I love the start of a new year!  It's a good time to put plans into action and whilst a lot of resolutions eventually fall by the wayside, I think they do help to focus the mind on what we'd like to achieve.  I want to continue making food from scratch and have already begun doing so - a large bread dough is currently rising and I have mixed my first-ever sourdough starter (he's called Sergei - might as well name him as he hopefully will be part of our lives for a long time). :-)  We have also continued with our quest not to waste food and I made some bubble & squeak cakes for lunch on 1st January - served with cold ham and lettuce it made for a very satisfying meal.  I guess food will again feature quite prominently on my blog this year...

I am looking forward to starting out veggie gardening again - after last year's dismal harvest, we are going to invest in a greenhouse.  That way I am hoping to keep the critters out and have my plants grow nicely.  Also, they are unlikely to drown!  The weather has been shocking in 2012 - apparently the wettest on record!  We were lucky enough not to experience any flooding (spare a thought for those who did!) but in terms of gardening and growing food it really wasn't great.  But, after the initial "I'll never bother growing anything ever again", with the new year out comes the ever optimistic veggie gardener who thinks that it cannot possibly be quite so bad again this year.  And so I am already planning what seeds to get, how to organise the greenhouse etc...

Other resolutions?  After successfully completing my knitted winter hat, I will try and make some more things.
 Featuring high on my wish list is a black corduroy skirt...note that I have never attempted to make a skirt, so it'll be interesting to see the outcome...  My lovely husband also gave me a taster wood turning course for Christmas as well as the chisel I have always wanted, so I will try my hand at making a bowl or platter.  I can't wait to get started on this new project but will have to be patient as the course won't be for at least another couple of months yet.

So, with all these resolutions and projects, I hope that 2013 will be a happy, fulfilling and healthy year and wish the same for everyone out there, wherever you are!

Pasta with Broad Beans

I have amended this dish to omit the cheese but add garlic and fresh mint, finished the dish off with a squeeze of lemon - delicious!

A very quick supper of delicate summer flavours. Enough for 4 as a light meal.

400g broad beans
250g pasta such as orecchiette or other medium-sized pasta
olive oil
200g ricotta
Drop 400g of broad beans into boiling, lightly salted water and cook for 7-8 minutes, depending on their size, then drain them in a colander. Cook 250g of orecchiette or other medium-sized pasta in deep, generously salted boiling water until al dente, about 9 minutes. While the pasta is cooking, squeeze the broad beans out of their grey skins. Discard the skins and toss the broad beans in a splash of olive oil.
Drain the pasta, tip into a large bowl, then add the broad beans. Stir a couple of tablespoons of olive oil into 200g of ricotta – there may be a little curdling – and season with black pepper. Drop large spoonfuls of the ricotta on top of the pasta and serve.

The twist

Chopped fresh tarragon, mint or chervil are the most appropriate herbs to add to this pasta dish. A scattering of grated parmesan, tiny nuggets of pecorino or shavings of aged ricotta will add a savoury hit. Shelled peas, mangetout or snow peas will bring more sweetness, just as sliced button mushrooms cooked in a little butter will introduce an earthy quality. The recipe is a gentle one, so it is not worth adding anything too robust or powerful.

1 comment:

  1. Happy New Year !!
    I have missed your blog, welcome back x