What a Monday!!!
"Monday, monday, can't trust that day
Monday, monday, sometimes it just turns out that way
Oh monday morning, there was no warnin of what was to be
Oh monday, monday, how could my boiler break on me?
Every other day (every other day), every other day
Every other day of the week is fine, yeah
But whenever monday comes, but whenever monday comes
A-you can find me crying all of the time."
That's the new lyrics of this classical song!!! Yesterday I had a planned dinner for 4 excluding David and myself. It was all ok, we went shopping, we bought all the ingredients for what I planned it would be the most elaborate dinner of them all. We invited Alan Will's parents plus their daughter Jackie and Gordon. I planned to cook what the title describes, a very ambitious menu that took me 6 hours to prepare, including the freshly home made bread.
That would have been all so lovely if it wasn't for the fact that David had scheduled the boiler to be replaced on that Monday and the job would take all day. How can anybody cook in a kitchen with 2 men working all day? The answer is: impossible.
I was starting to panic when I asked my dear mother in law if I could cook and serve dinner at her house and fortunately she came to the rescue. It was our salvation! We bought another lamb shank from the butcher (Luscombe again) and there I went to cook. It was before 2 pm when I started and 7:30 pm when I finished. Why did it take so long? It was a laborious process. I started cleaning the kitchen and the work surfaces and made room for all the things.
The first dish was Lamb shanks, as they take 3 hours to cook. I chopped the onions, weighed the ingredients, david picked fresh rosemary and mint from Kingsland's garden and I fried the shanks in lots of 3 and 4. In one pan there was the gravy being made with sultanas, currants, marmalade, red onions and Guinness, and in the frying pan I sealed the meat.
|© David Loftus|
serves: 6 to 8
ingredients• 2 carrots
• 2 sticks of celery
• 2 medium onions
• 2 cloves of garlic
• olive oil
• 2 chicken or vegetable stock cubes, preferably organic
• 1x 400g tins of plum tomatoes
• 3 large ripe tomatoes
• a small bunch of fresh basil
• sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
methodI bet you didn't know it was so easy to make your own tomato soup – this basic recipe won’t take more than 45 minutes, depending on how fast you chop so it’s a great one to have up your sleeve. Give it your own twist by adding some of your favourite herbs and spices; try making it thick or thin, chunky or smooth – the possibilities are endless…
To make your soup:
1. Peel and roughly slice the carrots. Slice the celery. Peel and roughly chop the onions. Peel and slice the garlic. Put a large pan on a medium heat and a couple lugs of olive oil. Add all your chopped and sliced ingredients and mix together with a wooden spoon.
2. Cook for around 10 to 15 minutes with the lid askew, until the carrots have softened but are still holding their shape, and the onion is lightly golden.
3. Put the stock cubes into a jug or pan and pour in 1.5 litres of boiling water from the kettle. Stir until the stock cubes are dissolved, then add to the pan your tinned and fresh whole tomatoes, including the green stalks that may still be attached to some of them (these give an amazing flavour – trust me!) Give it a good stir and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes with the lid on. Meanwhile, pick your basil leaves
To serve your soup:
4. Remove the pan from the heat. Season with salt and pepper and add the basil leaves. Using a hand blender or liquidizer, pulse the soup until smooth. Season again before dividing between your serving bowls.
• from Ministry of Food