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Meal plan #16

When I started this blog I promised myself that I wouldn’t post proud photographs of my daughter doing stuff kids do. Well, I’ve lasted about four months without doing such a thing and then she delighted me (and herself) by mastering the art of feeding herself from a bowl using a spoon. “Well, it’s on topic at least!” I cried, grabbing my camera. I just couldn’t resist sharing these pictures of her enjoying Greek yoghurt and honey, a classic combo worth mastering a new skill for.

But that’s enough of that. I bet you want to know how we got on with last week’s menu. Well. On Saturday I intended to cook up a vat of Jamaican curry goat from this recipe on Peckham resident Helen Graves’ brilliant Food Stories blog, but much like my absconded veg box, the mutton my man ordered at the butcher never arrived. Now before you say mutton is not goat, unlike horse meat for beef, mutton is a known and accepted substitute for goat in Caribbean cooking. Mutton is supposedly a lot easier to get hold of than goat in the UK, although my local butcher doesn’t stock it because demand is so low. This sucks. If we are going to eat meat, we should eat a variety of cuts. I dread to think how much mutton and hogget is farmed but wasted as meat because people want to eat the same old roast every week.

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The missing mutton did not prove a disaster however. I thought it was a bit extravagant to buy a whole chicken on top of the ‘goat’, and in fact the chicken I bought and cooked on Saturday stretched to three meals. I made Lebonese poached chicken with freekeh and herbs from Sam and Sam Clarke’s recipe in the Moro Cookbook, substituting freekeh for common bulgar wheat, which I love. I haven’t eaten tabbouleh for a while, often opting for cous cous instead, but this bulgar wheat cooked in spiced chicken stock with plenty of fresh mint and parsley is delicious. I also made some fresh harissa to use as a condiment and in some homemade hummus. I won’t be buying jars of harissa at the supermarket again.

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On Wednesday night I cooked what has become a new ‘old faithful’: Nigel Slater’s herby artichoke casserole. I served it with this scrummy sourdough that I picked up at Grocer & Grain in Brighton, a shop so lovely that it deserves a post all of its own. This veg stew is a brilliant standby dish, all you need remember to stow away is a tin each of flageolet beans and artichoke hearts. I usually always rinse tinned beans before using but I must admit that the consistency of the sauce is improved if you add the gelatinous water from the tinned beans as well. Don’t ask me why.

So, on to the next. Two things to inspire me: British Pie Week, it’s just marketing gumph from Jus-Rol but I do like pie, and International Women’s Day, which as I wrote about in this post, I have had some trouble finding a recipe for…

In the box
Broccoli, carrots, celeriac, vine tomatoes, mushrooms, potatoes, chard, curly lettuce

In the fridge
Feta, thyme, celery heart, ginger, chillies, spring onions

Meat and fish
1/2 lamb shoulder, fresh mackerel x 2

Thursday
Dinner: tinned veggie stew with fried egg, brown rice and a feta and red onion salad. Tinned ratatouille is not a patch on home-cooked but it does make a cheap and quick meal when beefed up with a few chickpeas and topped with a fried egg.

Friday
Lunch: spicy chickpeas with greens
Dinner: out

Saturday
Lunch: celeriac soup and bread
Dinner: Hommity pie and salad, for recipes see River Cottage, Hairy Bikers’ and Cranks (thank you to Create it Sam for the Cranks tip)
Extras: Winifred’s ginger biscuits, I have rolled my International Women’s Day celebratory biscuits onto Saturday because I don’t think I’ll have time for baking on Friday, after all that.

Sunday
Lunch: Mother’s Day croque madame
Dinner: roast lamb shoulder and trimmings
Extras: rice pudding with cardamom, recipe from Farm Fresh Recipes from the Missing Goat Farm

Monday
Dinner: leftover lamb curry, rice and Chilli Pickle spiced lassi

Tuesday
Dinner: home-baked Turkish pizza

Wednesday
Dinner: chargrilled mackerel with chips and pickles (like this one perhaps?)

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I had to squeeze a photo of my veg box in somewhere, even though Abel & Cole are in the doghouse.

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About Chloe King

I'm a freelance writer, designer and webby type. I live with my husband and daughter in the south of England. I like to cook and can throw a good party.

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