I do like having the time on a weekday morning to make porridge. Today is the extra bank holiday we have to celebrate the Queen’s Jubilee. I did briefly consider going up to London to wave a flag at the procession but decided to be at home instead. So porridge it was, made with half water and half soya milk, with blueberries, a couple of strawberries and a tbsp peanut butter.
I had forgotten how good melty nut butter in porridge tastes 🙂
Lunch was an attempt to get James, who has been lurking under a blanket for most of the weekend with man flu, to eat lots of vegetables and get some nutrition. He does like parsnips so I roasted some with purple carrots. I brushed a tiny amount of oil over them and put the tray in the oven for about 45 minutes at 180 º C.
I also made a sweetcorn risotto which was really tasty and will definitely be made again. It was a spur of the moment decision to add the sweetcorn as I really enjoy sweetcorn with chicken and we were having some chicken too. The risotto was surprisingly delicious.
Ingredients (serves 4)
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 300 g arborio rice
- 100 ml sauvignon blanc
- 1 litre chicken (or vegetable) stock
- 1 corn cob, with the kernels scrapped off the cob
- Heat the oil in a large sauce pan and fry the onion for 5 minutes.
- Add the garlic and fry for another 2 – 3 minutes.
- Add the butter and allow it to melt.
- Add the rice and stir well so all the grains are coated in the butter and oil.
- Cook for approximately 2 – 3 minutes.
- Turn the heat to high, add the wine and boil vigorously.
- Gradually add the stock, stirring almost continuously.
- When half the stock has been added, place the sweetcorn in the pan.
- Continue adding stock until all absorbed by the rice.
- Season to taste.
The sweet roasted chewy roots went really well with the soft risotto and the corn retained a slight crunch which was a good contrast.
The chicken and beans were cooked in a sweet and spicy sauce. A Mary Berry one I believe and it worked well. I heated up a small amount of water in the wok, added the beans and let them boil for about 5 minutes, by which time the water had virtually evaporated. I added a little sesame oil and then the chicken which I fried on high for a few minutes followed by a good slug of the sweet and spicy sauce. I cooked the lot together for another couple of minutes and served.
A very tasty lunch and everyone ate all the vegetables – a complete result 🙂
I was tempted to wander in to Cranbrook for the afternoon as the High Street was closed for a street party but I felt I had celebrated the Jubilee quite a lot already and I had some little seedlings in the greenhouse desperate to get outside.
The marigolds were put at the end of 2 of the raised beds. Marigolds are companion plants and apparently discourage many insects and kill unwanted nematodes in the soil.
Just in time really. The roots were in need of spreading and some of the plants are about to flower!
If any of you like a quick result, then plant these French breakfast radishes. I sowed the seeds about a month ago and now they are ready. I intend to harvest some this week and eat the red radish and also the leaves. Then I will plant some more in their place.
I also planted some climbing French beans alongside the sweet peas. I am hoping they will clamber up the same bamboo wigwams together which I have stuck in the ground behind the raised beds.
I spent ages hoeing the main vegetable bed and then clearing a huge area of stinging nettles. Having cleared and dug over the area, I planted several rows of flowers I had grown from seed – cosmos and nicotiana. No photos as by then it was raining so hard I didn’t want to get the camera outside. It is not much fun gardening in the rain but it is good for the seedlings to be watered in well.
In the evening Harvey and I went to Cranbrook to listen to the live bands and have a drink with friends. It was still raining 😦 . Such a shame as instead of listening to the music and having a drink outside, people tended to stay in the pubs and coffee shops with only a few hardy souls outside supporting the bands who played on regardless. It was good to see some of my lovely local friends but we bailed much earlier than we intended due to the cold and rain.
So that is that. The end of a wonderful weekend of diamond jubilee celebrations. I am knackered – how on earth does our 86 year old Queen keep going?