No, it was super to be doing another on-line cook-in this week https://youtu.be/4lkmaV_8Yx0 -mainly people from Hampshire but also drop-ins from India and Holland.
We were doing the excellent ginger biscuits which seemed to work for most people but one thought there was too much spice. Another had probably got the proportions a bit awry and ended up with rather a sticky mix and enormous biscuits (more like brandy snaps). Hopefully, we will be doing some more sessions in the future.
Yes, there were too many cooks a little later as I started on the washing -up: good squeeze of Fairy and hot water pouring in only to discover that the sous-chef had already filled the bowl with spinach leaves for lunch! It took a lot of rinses to remove the lingering lemon fragrance and bubbles – one way of making sure that the Covid virus hadn’t strayed in!
We’ve been counting how many different plant foods we eat after hearing Professor Tim Spector on the radio (The Spark on BBC R4 29 January for those using BBC Sounds https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000rlpz ). He’s a whizz on gut flora and fauna: the basis of good health, diet and weight-loss. Thirty different plant-based foods a week sounds a lot until you count garlic, herbs, rice and more. Yesterday, we gleefully achieved 30 in one day, thanks to simple roast vegetables (and feel so much better and virtuous for doing so).
Hard vegetables: all peeled and chopped.
2 onions, peeled and diced.
3 tomatoes, quartered.
A handful of dried tomatoes, chopped and soaked in a little water.
4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped.
3 sticks celery, peeled and chopped.
3 peppers, de-seeded and chopped.
1 bulb fennel, chopped.
1 butternut squash, peeled, de-seeded and chopped.
1 heaped tablespoon thyme leaves.
1 heaped tablespoon chopped rosemary leaves.
Salt and pepper.
Cut the vegetables to about fork-size – not tiny pieces nor great lumps!
Put the peeled hard vegetables in a pan, just covered in cold water, and simmer for about 5 minutes. Drain.
Meanwhile, line a deep roasting tin with foil (to save on washing up) and mix in all the softer prepared vegetables with a tablespoon or so of oil, herbs and a good seasoning of salt and pepper.
Mix the parboiled vegetables and place on top of the roasting pan, seasoning again.
Drizzle over with a little more olive oil.
Cook Gas 4/180 C for about 45 minutes before mixing again and returning to the oven for about 30 minutes.
Cooking times are flexible as it depends on the size of the pieces– test them with a knife.
By my reckoning this would give you about half the different plant foods you need a week in one dish so some greens on other days plus fruit should about meet the target. Freeze portions of the roast veg for future weeks so they are half done too! You can vary the herbs and vegetables according to season and to ring the changes.