Feeling Greedy

I know that we do not participate in the annual greed and gluttony-fest that passes for Christmas in many households but if we did, I know what I would be asking for in my stocking: Plenty. I might even request Plenty More.

Yotam Ottolenghi has existed as an interesting cook on the periphery of my consciousness for some time although I had until now not found time to explore his work in any great detail.  Yesterday I found his web site and the recipes thereon.

I had googled because I suspected that many of Ottolenghi’s recipes might be suitable as Fast Day fare. I sat entranced all afternoon, pinning recipe after recipe. Oh, my. I want to make (and eat!)  everything!

So, now I want The Books. Not necessarily the autographed ones from the web site, more likely (offending the right-on crowd) a more cost-effective purchase from Amazon. (Go on, shoot me.)

As Santa doesn’t call here, I shall have to save up and buy my own copies. Or not; I sold four hand-knitted lace triangles recently, that should cover it.

There will be much that I cannot cook, though it is interesting to see that Yotam has a shop on his web site supplying some of the more esoteric ingredients, albeit at a price premium.  If more usual sources don’t turn up some of the rarer larder items, at least they can be sourced direct. No, it is the fresh ingredients that will tax me. We have so little up here that is properly fresh or even slightly interesting. I can’t wait for Mr L to fully retire so  that I can set him to work on a poly tunnel and I may swim in fresh leafy goodness.

Now, as for our own take on the gluttony season: I have added Yotam’s Champagne and saffron jelly with cardamom shortbread to the menu for our wedding anniversary dinner on New Year’s Eve. Mr L had shown interest when I recently suggested a wine jelly as a light dessert, so when I showed him this recipe yesterday he jumped at it. It won’t be champagne, but Prosecco should work and we have a couple of free bottles coming from Naked Wine.

I’m hungry now that my head is in recipe and cooking mode –  and today is a Fast Day. Lunch should be good however, and reasonably sturdy. 247 calories are coming from the Fire and Spice Veggie Casserole. A packet (!) of couscous (well, it was ready with the calorie count and saves me the effort) will supply 175 calories more. I think a heap of courgettes will go well with that, and add only 20 or so calories, so we are undershooting today. Mr L can top up with an apple this afternoon if he needs to.

Some over enthusiastic use of the treadmill yesterday leaves me a little stiff and sore today. I think no more than a peedie stroll this afternoon, I don’t want to be all weak and floppy when I go to Kirkwall tomorrow. The shopping list is monstrous – there will be much to carry.

Ah – I had a culinary idea overnight. I fancy stuffed marrow will make a good Fast Day meal. We love a bit of marrow. I got to thinking how it might be if I stuffed one with Haggis. The suggestion went down well. If it happens, I shall report back.

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