With him left holding the lemon sole, I continued my shop, and bumped into Dave and Olwen, my old English teachers, looking tanned and healthy after a walking holiday in France. They looked healthier than I did, despite them having had the journey home just an hour or so before and being 20 years older. Sigh.
Brian is away looking for gold once again so we've played in the garden, read, chased each other and they all helped make the bread. It is a lovely day and I'm considering scooping them up and taking them to Massimos as it would be a nice walk there but the house is brimming with food and everyone seems quite happy and content so we shall see.
I spent £54 exactly and have enough meals for at least 10 days. The menu so far:
Children & Adults:
Garlic & Parsley, Rosemary & Thyme Hearthbreads with cold meats and cheeses.
Seasoned Sausage Ragout with Baby Jersey Royal Potatoes
Roast Beef & Yorkshire Pudding
Ciabbatta toasted with cheeses, tomato and basil
Hearthbread Pizza with homemade tomato sauce and fresh mozarella
Vegetable curry with Chick Peas and Rice
Afternoon Tea: Cucumber, Egg and Ham Sandwiches, Scones and Mini Pancakes
Lahmacun with green leaves and goats cheese
Lamb Meatballs with Rice
Chicken Noodle soup
Penne Pasta with tomato Sauce and Parmesan and garlic bread
Pan-fried Salmon with Tomato and Rocket Pesto Salad and crispy courgettes
Lamb Burgers served in a wholemeal bun with sweet potato fries
Carrot, honey & ginger soup
Spaghetti with Pesto, Goats Cheese & Pine Nuts with leftover Hearthbread
Bread & Butter Pudding
Danish Pastries inc. Almond
Fresh Gingerbread with lemon icing
Pastries, Fruit Loaf, Toast, Pancakes, Cereal, Porridge and Eggs.
I made the hearthbreads this afternoon and we had them with chorizo, salami, parma ham, thin slices of Parmesan, tomatoes with seal salt and basil, olives and olive oil for dipping. We will have some of the remainder tonight with ham, turkey and green salad.
Garlic & Parsley, Rosemary & Thyme Hearthbreads
This recipe is inspired by Nigella Lawson's Hearthbread recipe
Makes 2 baking sheet sized breads. You will roast your garlic before cooking any bread so set the oven to 190 degrees celsius/gas mark 5.
500g strong white flour (I used strong white bread flour)
1 sachet instant yeast (7g) or 15g fresh yeast
1 tbsp salt
300ml warm water
5 tbsp olive oil plus extra for the parsley mix and drizzling
1 head fresh garlic, top sliced, drizzled with oil, roasted in the oven in sealed foil for 45 minutes
Bunch of flat leaf parsley, most stalks removed (don't worry about this too much)
A small handful of chopped, fresh rosemary and thyme (dried would work though)
Maldon sea salt or other salt for sprinkling
2 small baking trays and parchment paper, lightly oiled
Combine flour, yeast, and salt in a large bowl and mix together in a jug the warm water and 5 tbsp olive oil. Stir wet mixture into the dry one and combine the two...use more water if you need but this should be plenty. Place dough onto a lightly floured working surface. Knead for around 10-15 minutes or until dough is supple, elastic and smooth. Knead using the balls of your hands, just below the thumb and push the dough away from you and then wrap it all up again, occasionally turning over the dough and adding a sprinkling of flour if required.
Clean your large bowl or, like me, use a different bowl and lightly oil it with olive oil. Place the bread inside and then turn over so that all the dough has some oil on it. Cover with clingfilm and leave in a warm place for around 1 hour until is has double in size. I placed mine inside the plate cupboard.
This is the point I roasted the garlic but you could do it beforehand. You want it to cool down and then you add it to the parsley which you have chopped in the food processor and blend. I add a little sea salt at this point. As it is slowly blending, add some olive oil, not too much. You don't want it too runny but more of a pesto consistency. Set aside. Put the oven up to 200 degrees celsius.
After your bread has risen, punch down dough and leave it for 10 minutes, then, divide into two. Place each dough onto the parchment paper and pull out with your fingers, pressing it into a rectangle or oval shape. Place dough, still sitting on parchment paper, onto baking tray. Cover with tea towels and leave for a further 25 minutes.
With your fingertips, poke all over the bread to dimple it, pushing it out a bit more in the process. Sprinkle the breads with a little sea salt and pour the garlic and parsley mixture over one of the breads and a liberal sprinkling of olive oil and the rosemary and thyme over the other.
Bake in the oven for 20 minutes, until the top is golden; if you tap it, it should sound hollow. Once they came out of the oven, I laid little slivers of butter on the rosemary bread and a good drizzle of olive oil on the parsley bread.
I served, the kids ripped it apart and we really, thoroughly enjoyed it. Never getting enough olive oil, I had a little drop in a bowl to dip the bread into. Delicious. Really delicious.