Time for a food post, I think, as I’ve not done one for a while. Back in March when lockdown was looking likely and food shortages were becoming evident, I added some items to my delivery that I wouldn’t have usually have chosen thinking that they’d come in handy. There was one in particular which I’d never give house room to again – tinned potatoes. Yuk! I hated them and decided that I’d rather go without. As it turned out, potatoes didn’t prove difficult to get hold of. Long life milk served a purpose but I’d only use it again if there was no other choice – it definitely tasted different. I’ve been freezing fresh milk for months now and it’s fine so long as you give it a shake once defrosted. It’s not that I couldn’t buy milk at the local shop, but I was minimising outings to anywhere for a while.
There were a couple of just-in-case buys that proved a pleasant surprise and have stayed on my shopping list. Although I enjoy baking, I’ve never been a decent pastry maker. I’ve used a fresh ready made version for years but when I was unable to get any I picked up a couple of pre-cooked savoury pastry cases and what a treat they proved to be! Slightly nutty tasting and crisp, they taste delicious. Recent fillings have included cheese and leek (with mozzarella) plus a few extra vegetable bits topped with feta. I also tried the sweet version and made Husband a custard tart which was declared a success.
I’ve also made more frequent use of part-baked bread rolls. I used to buy these occasionally but I now do so regularly as they go so well with a bowl of warming soup. We’ve both realised that we actually like them better than the doughy kind. Talking of soup, I made a tomato and yellow pepper one last week and it was yummy. There are a lot of onions in the veg box so this week’s varieties will include French onion (though it will have to be accompanied by cheddar as I have no Gruyere). And given that I accidentally ordered not one, but two bags of potatoes in last night’s delivery, I made vegetable soup (right) when I got home from work this afternoon. Time to revisit that great recipe site, Love Potatoes: https://www.lovepotatoes.co.uk/blog/potatoes-more-than-a-bit-on-the-side
Another item that I’ve bought again since lockdown is Branston beans with vegetarian sausage. Picking up a 4-pack of beans, I spotted these and threw them in the trolley but then I felt unsure about them and they sat in the cupboard for about three months. I don’t like baked beans as a vegetable with dinner but find them very acceptable on toast with a dash of Worcestershire sauce, and with the vegi -sausage they’re even better!
Fortunately I didn’t run out of baking ingredients during lockdown (thanks to gifts of eggs and flour from my brother and friend), though it came a bit close at times! Last week’s cake was a chocolate and salted caramel. The topping was melted Cadbury dark-milk with caramel pieces. I also made a cheesecake for a friend, a small lemon meringue pie and some apple and sultana buns. There are still half a dozen in the freezer – maybe a post-Slimming World treat this evening! (I’ll share honestly)!
When I used to visit the supermarket regularly I loved to look at what other people were buying and took a great interest in the contents of their trolleys. I’ve quite missed that over the past eighteen months or so since I started grocery shopping online, so I enjoy the fact that some other bloggers show the contents of their deliveries! If you think that’s weird, what can I say …we all have our strange little ways! You may be aware that Ocado recently ended their alliance with Waitrose in favour of Marks & Spencer which has extended its range to plug any gaps left by the departure of its predecessor. I used to buy quite a few food items in M&S when we had a local branch so it was nice to be able to order a few remembered treats. They sent a free bag of Percy Pig sweets which I’m saving to make pig-topped cakes for the grandchildren. Tomorrow’s Ocado delivery is quite a small one as I really don’t need all that much, but at the same time need it to last until the next in two weeks time. That one will be from Tesco which I use about every 4th shop as there are certain things that I can’t get from Ocado.
One of my favourite meals this week was fish cake with Slimming World chips (slice potatoes and spray with Fry-lite). I don’t par-boil them first, just straight in the oven. Husband likes them too. The fish cakes are from The Saucy Fish Company and have melted cheese in the middle.
We both love Little Black Bomber cheese. Although made by the Snowdonia Cheese Company, we first discovered this years ago when holidaying in the Lake District, and continued to buy it online direct from the producer, but nowadays it’s more readily available and discovering that Ocado sell it was a bonus. I especially like it with Tesco Cranberry, cashew and raisin bread. Truly, I could eat it every day, but I slice it up and freeze it so that I can remove one delicious piece at a time.
And how come I never knew that bagels taste so good toasted? I’d only ever tried them uncooked and wasn’t impressed. Trouble is that now I’ve tried them, I want more and my willpower is not great! If only they could be purchased singly instead of in bags of six! That said, I did lose 4lb at Slimming World last Monday (my first post-lockdown attendance). I was impressed with the excellent safety precautions in place and the members’ absolute adherence to social distancing. It probably helps that we are a somewhat mature group!