I used to eat Bircher Muesli a lot and am not sure why I stopped as it is nutritious and delicious. It is named after the Swiss physician Maximillan Bircher-Brenner, who , in about 1900, gave it to his patients in hospital who were following a diet rich in fruits and vegetables. The muesli is soaked overnight to soften the grains which makes them easier to digest. Typically you would add a grated apple, nuts and seeds.
Last night I soaked 50g oats and 1 tbsp pumpkin seeds in 140ml of soya milk. I didn’t fancy an apple this morning as I had lots of strawberries and blueberries so I had those instead. The soaked muesli tasted cleaner and fresher than porridge and the fruits were lovely.
Breakfast was 8 WW points.
Today I am chauffeuring Harvey around. First to a swimming lesson, then to his friend Sebbie’s for a play date. While he was out I made a chicken stock for tonight’s risotto. Sometimes I make the stock immediately after I have used the chicken but sometimes I don’t have time or can’t be bothered so I pop the carcasses in to the freezer until I have the time and inclination. Chicken stock is so useful and homemade is so much better than a stock cube.
I use cooked or raw carcasses to make stock. I virtually never throw them away and have even been known to take them away from friends houses!
Chicken Stock – to make 2 litres of stock.
2 Chicken carcasses
Large leek, cut in to chunks
2 onions, skin left on, quartered (the skin helps colour the stock brown)
3 large carrots, quartered lengthwise
3 bay leaves
About 10 peppercorns
Water to cover carcasses
Put all ingredients in a pot, cover with water, bring to boil, cover with lid and simmer for about 2 hours.
Leave to cool in pot.
Strain and remove all solid pieces to leave a delicious stock, to which I add salt when I use the stock in subsequent cooking. I don’t add any salt to the stock in case I use the stock to make something like a ham risotto which is salty enough without adding more salt to the stock.
Tonight I am making a chicken risotto and so I picked off every piece of chicken. The easiest way is to do this when the stock is still warm and use your fingers. It is amazing how much meat you can pick off. I then leave the stock to cool completely. If you are needing a very low-fat stock, you can remove the fat that settles on the top as it cools. But this is the tastiest bit so I leave it and add WW points accordingly.
My chauffering duties continued. I was due to collect Harvey and 3 friends and take them to Teddy’s cricket party in Udimore, which is near Rye. I only had 5 minutes for lunch (where did the morning go?) and decided a peach and some Brie de Meaux would do. I had a fancy for a chunk of cheese. However, the peach was a big disappointment. It was dry and a bit floury. I had one mouthful of peach and then witnessed something unpleasant which turned my stomach and I completely lost my appetite. Enough said and I had to go get those boys!
I dropped the boys off at their cricket party and had 3 hours to myself. It seemed silly to drive home so I went to Rye which was nearby. Rye is full of 14th and 15th Century buildings, quaint cobbled streets, charming tea shops, antique shops and many art galleries. A very easy place to while away a few hours.
However, I soon realised how hungry I felt and decided to treat myself to lunch in one of the cafes. I fancied a toasted cheese sandwich and my favourite types of cafe are not the ubiquitous High St. chain stores but independent cafes. I fancied sitting in a large comfortable leather chair, reading a paper while I munched my lunch. And I found the perfect place.
The Apothecary Cafe was so perfect I sat there for nearly 2 hours. Peace and quiet. No one saying “Mummy”. No charging around trying to complete endless work and chores. Just sitting, eating and reading. Bliss.
I had Welsh Rarebit with coleslaw and salad. It was calorific but so delicious it was worth it.
Arranged over the counter were numerous amazing looking homemade cakes and I succumbed to a large slice of lemon drizzle with a pot of tea. I didn’t take a photo alas.
Delicious as lunch was, it was very point heavy. I find it difficult calculating points from this type of meal and would rather over-estimate than under-estimate. I am estimating that lunch was a whopping 35 WW points so I have used up some of my weekly spare points.
I made a chicken risotto for supper which everyone ate but me. I just wasn’t hungry so my supper was a glass of water and some grapes. I seem to have left my appetite in Rye.