There’s very little choice as I didn’t go shopping for the weekend. However, the Sage came in bearing a box of fine potatoes – I didn’t grow potatoes this year, but a couple of thrown-out sprouted spuds had grown and cropped and he’d dug them up from the compost heap. Then I’ve got half a bunch of carrots. A few shallots. That’s all the vegetables in the house, although I’ve some cavolo nero-type kale in the garden, some tomatoes, aubergines, peppers and chillis in the greenhouse and plenty of squashes. In the fridge, some cheddar, a small amount of Stilton and what looks like a tub of cream cheese but is actually garlic’n’herb flavoured tofu. The usual storecupboard stuff and, freshly made and still cooling, a big bowl of beef stock.
If I use only what’s in the house and mainly fresh ingredients, I could make risotto, using shallots, stock and some cheese with the rice. Or pommes boulangère, with potatoes, shallots, stock and some milk. I could do a couple of eggs with that – the chickens are a bit off lay but there are a few eggs. I could make soup with potato, shallot, carrot and the stock, and do cheese scones to go with it. Or I could simply bake a couple of potatoes and serve them with a hunk of cheese. Hm. More choice than I realised, especially since I’ve not taken into account extra possible ingredients which are there for the picking. I’m sort of inclined to focus on the potatoes, since anything newly harvested tastes particularly good.
Pommes boulangère it is, then.
Last night, I was chatting to the daughter of friends, who has just moved up this way from London. She’s about 30, tall and blonde, with two children of about 12 and 8. I asked how she liked living here, and she said they all love it and the children have settled down happily in their new schools. Her daughter, the older one, is finding it a great deal less stressful. Their father, who does not live with them any more, is black and she had been harried and sneered at for her appearance, which might seem unlikely in a London school where there is a wide variety of ethnic backgrounds. But here, she’s accepted for the person she is and no one cares what she looks like. “She loves not having to straighten her hair every morning” said her mother. “She was bullied if she went to school with curly hair in London”. I don’t know, maybe we’re over-protective, but that would be called a racist incident at my high school, logged and reported to governors, and the pupils responsible would be reprimanded. But actually, it would be most unlikely to happen.
Right. Time to start getting those potatoes ready if I want dinner to be cooked in an hour and a half.