There is a tipping point before going on holiday. On Thursday of this week, I could feel myself teetering on the brink. On the one side is a headlong rush to get things sorted, pinned down, handed over, squared away before leaving. A feeling that if it isn’t done now, you might not remember what you were in the middle of when you get back. Or that others will be missing some vital piece of information without you around. This mainly goes for work, but also for all those little jobs around the house that suddenly seem so urgent when you are about to leave. I always feel the need to clear out the vegetable drawer, even if I’m going away for a week (I often leave things languishing in there for more than a week at a time anyway).
On the other side is the blissful freedom of dropping it all where you stand and walking out the door. Knowing that you don’t have to deal with any of it for at least a week, and actually, nothing much will happen in the interim.
Once I’m over the line, I find it hard to go back, even if I then discover things that I should have completed before the deadline. I am now fully over the line, and very thankful for (accidentally) planning a sequence that allowed a day off from work, then a day to pack and do the first stretch of travel, followed by two more days off, and then the final leg of travel to Cornwall.
Partly due to pre-holiday busyness and preparations, and partly because I was parenting solo for some of the week, this has been largely a no-recipe week of patched together meals. I leaned heavily on ready meals or pre-made ingredients, including those old toddler staples, sausages and fish fingers 🙂
- Justin Gellatly Sourdough (from Bread, Cake, Doughnut, Pudding)
- Foccacia for an Italian potluck lunch at work – from James Morton’s Brilliant Bread
Without a recipe:
- Fish pie / fish fingers with peas and sweetcorn
- Oven bake of mushrooms, quartered tomatoes, a tin of cannellini beans and sausages
- Lasagne leftovers
- A somewhat dodgy combination of the leftovers from the two things above, mixed with tomato sauce and some leftover ham, and baked with breadcrumbs and cheese on top. Possibly not complying with all health and safety regulations, but definitely winning points for clearing out the fridge. And very tasty!
- M&S fish cakes with sweetcorn
- Pizza with asparagus and sweetcorn – using a frozen pre-baked crust – pretty good, if a little soggy on the top surface.
- Christopher Kimball is moving on from America’s Test Kitchen. One of the most distinctive voices in American food is starting a new venture. He sounds like he still has incredible energy to start something new.
- Some lovely recipes from Guardian Cook this week, full of herbs and elderflowers: Anna Jones’ herb pesto and spring stew with artichokes and peas; Rachel Roddy’s lamb chops with potatoes, green beans and pesto; a gorgeous looking reader recipe for Cranachan ice-cream.
- Dan Doherty’s nostalgic last meal is his mum’s Sunday roast – ahh. I love that he specifies the ratios to make it perfect: “These are my rules for a roast lunch for two: potatoes for six, meat for four and everything else (vegetables) for two. You just have to accept that the potatoes take centre stage! … Oh, and I always do gravy for 20. A roast dinner should be a quarter gravy.”
- Food in books makes coconut raspberry cakes inspired by The Essex Serpent. I’ve just started the book, but really looking forward to it as holiday reading.
- Joanna Blythman goes through all the ways that official food guidelines are misleading, and sometimes plain wrong.