Optimistic Dinner

optimistic 7So after thinking Spring was in action we woke to a freezing bone chilling day! Now when it’s really cold there seems to be a huge comfort in eating foods that warm you from the inside.  This is all well and good but this winter’s warming food trend seems to have outstayed its welcome, not that we are wishing the time away but it would be nice to have one of those days where you thought – ‘ooo lets cook something slightly summery’. Alas this is not yet to be so we decided that today’s dinner needed to bring with it a little optimism, a promise of warmer days and lighter more summery food but still meet the brief of ‘winter food’.

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Those of you who paid close attention to this week’s lovely yet, somewhat disjointed shop will have noticed some that we purchased a gammon hock, some purple sprouting broccoli and some tomatoes. So when we lit the fire today we decided to put the gammon on top of the wood burner and cook it slowly. We roasted some tomatoes to go with the gammon and they complimented the salty gammon a treat. Served with this we steamed a little of the purple sprouting broccoli and just added a knob of butter and seasoned this fine beast of a seasonal vegetable. To go with this colourful ensemble we went off piste and made a lentil dish out of some very old pantry lurkers we found during our £25 week shopping! A colourful, warming diner but with a little optimism of more summery dinners to come.

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And for pudding? A lovely recipe from another fab book Granny and Grandpa Pugh bought Becksie (there’s a theme here – they chose good books and know Becksie very well).

optimistic 4This book is called ‘Farmers Market’ by Jacqueline Bellefontaine (great name or what?). The recipes are lovely and the best bit is the book shows the ingredients for either two or four people so saves Becksie putting her maths skills to the test.

optimistic 2This recipe is a variation of Eve’s pudding and its very good! We served ours with cream!

Ingredients for 2                                               Ingredients for 4

175g gooseberries                                             350g gooseberries

1 tbsp Demerara sugar                                       2 tbsp Demerara sugar

50grams Golden caster sugar                        100g golden caster sugar

50grams Butter                                                 100g Butter

1/4 tsp vanilla essence                                     1/2  tsp vanilla essence

1 egg, lightly beaten                                         2 eggs, lightly beaten

50grams self raising flour                              100g  self raising flour

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1. Preheat oven to 180c. Place the gooseberries in a lightly greased oven proof dish and sprinkle on the Demerara sugar.

2. Beat the caster sugar and butter together until light and fluffy and beat in the vanilla essence.

3. Gradually add the eggs, beating well after each addition. Fold in the flour.

4. Spoon over the fruit and spread until level. Bake in the oven for 25 – 30 mins (35 – 40 if your making it for 4) until risen and golden and a skewer comes out clean (usual cake baking drill)

5. Allow to stand for 10 – 15 minutes before serving.


6 thoughts on “Optimistic Dinner

  1. I’m definitely going to try that Gooseberry pudding. Though I may use other fruit. I figure the recipe will work with any kind of fruit you happen to have on hand.

  2. I’ve just discovered your blog after my husband heard you on radio 4. I’ve been on a mission to save money recently and eat healthily so I’ve really enjoyed reading your blog. I am a stay at home Mum with a toddler and another baby on the way. I am also a blogger so I’m impressed you manage to blog so often. I struggle these days to blog more than twice a week. You are very inspiring and I can’t wait to read your future posts. I live up in Inverness and there are a few farms but only a farmers market once a month and no green grocer so I think I’d struggle to avoid supermarkets but I’m going to look into it further. Many thanks!

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