Tuesday, 3 April 2007

Traditions (and Roots)

Hubby's day off, so it passed in a blur of taking turns to hold the baby or get jobs done. He mowed the lawn and vacuumed the stairs. I tidied the bedrooms, put some laundry away, finally mended 3 of my skirts and made the Simnel Cake for Easter (using Nigella Lawson's recipe, from Feast, for the second year running). I really enjoy this kind of festive cooking and, while I don't get quite as excited about Easter as I do about Christmas, I love the way that every family forms little traditions of its own around the festivals that matter to them.

I love marzipan, so Simnel Cake is a real highlight of the culinary year for me. I know a lot of people like to have a rerun of Christmas dinner at Easter, but I prefer to make it different, keeping that very special meal to look forward to all year (I'm not joking, I really do). Living where we do, lamb is an obvious choice at this time of year, but nevertheless an excellent one. I've ordered a leg of lamb (Welsh, naturally) from Owain's, the butcher I use in Aberaeron. I'll cook it with garlic and rosemary, though I'm still hoping to persuade the hubster to let me use anchovies as well. Potatoes, of course, and lots of veg to go with, and then pudding. I like to serve something lemony after our roast lamb at Easter, so I've to decide on something along those lines before Sunday...

We had a nice, simple dinner of Pizza, Garlic Bread and Salad this evening. Later on, I finished making the batch of baby food I'd started while dinner was in the oven. James is still very much enjoying his food; making appreciative noises as he eats and even shouting if the next spoonful isn't quick enough to his mouth. This was one of Christopher's favourite meals when he was a baby:

Root Vegetable Medley

1 large potato, peeled and diced
1 parsnip, peeled and diced
2 carrots, peeled and sliced

¼ swede, peeled and diced

Place all the vegetables in a pan and just cover with water. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes or until very soft. Drain the vegetables, reserving the cooking liquid, and purée. Add as much of the reserved cooking liquid as you need to bring the purée to the desired consistency. Makes 10 portions.

The little boxes came from Lakeland and I can't praise them highly enough for freezing baby food in. I label them using my wonderful Dymo LetraTag which I adore, beyond all reason really. I accept that it might seem a little OTT to some (OK, to most) people, but it makes the freezer drawer very easy to keep tidy and it's a snap to select meals for the following day.

1 comment:

Martin Doyle said...

Hi Cath,

Just to say that I absolutely love the blog, although I am amazed at how much you manage to cook when looking after the boys!

I've already nicked a couple of your recipes from here and am planning on using them over the weekend when the in-laws visit - though may just try to dull the pain of it all with a couple of glasses of vino!


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