Jamie Oliver

Tomato soup, Guinness Lamb shanks and Cranachan

OCT 09 @ 16:47

by giselecutts

Hello dear bloggers and friends,

What a Monday!!!

"Monday, monday, can't trust that day
Monday, monday, sometimes it just turns out that way
Oh monday morning, there was no warnin of what was to be
Oh monday, monday, how could my boiler break on me?

Every other day (every other day), every other day
Every other day of the week is fine, yeah
But whenever monday comes, but whenever monday comes
A-you can find me crying all of the time."

That's the new lyrics of this classical song!!! Yesterday I had a planned dinner for 4 excluding David and myself. It was all ok, we went shopping, we bought all the ingredients for what I planned it would be the most elaborate dinner of them all. We invited Alan Will's parents plus their daughter Jackie and Gordon. I planned to cook what the title describes, a very ambitious menu that took me 6 hours to prepare, including the freshly home made bread.

That would have been all so lovely if it wasn't for the fact that David had scheduled the boiler to be replaced on that Monday and the job would take all day. How can anybody cook in a kitchen with 2 men working all day? The answer is: impossible.

I was starting to panic when I asked my dear mother in law if I could cook and serve dinner at her house and fortunately she came to the rescue. It was our salvation! We bought another lamb shank from the butcher (Luscombe again) and there I went to cook. It was before 2 pm when I started and 7:30 pm when I finished. Why did it take so long? It was a laborious process. I started cleaning the kitchen and the work surfaces and made room for all the things.

The first dish was Lamb shanks, as they take 3 hours to cook. I chopped the onions, weighed the ingredients, david picked fresh rosemary and mint from Kingsland's garden and I fried the shanks in lots of 3 and 4. In one pan there was the gravy being made with sultanas, currants, marmalade, red onions and Guinness, and in the frying pan I sealed the meat.

Then, I started the dessert: toasted oats, toasted almonds in honey and made the strawberry coulis.

Time to make the bread. As we left the bread flour home, David had to run to the supermarket to get some more. I made some white rolls with poppy seeds and also a big loaf. I absolutely love making bread, it is one of the most rewarding things on the planet and we simply cannot beat the taste of bread that has just come from the oven, crunchy and warm. This recipe is also a Jamie Oliver's recipe for bread.

It was time to finish off the tomato and basil soup, cook potatoes and parsnips for the mash (it was supposed to have been potato and celeriac mash but I couldn't find celeriac anywhere!) and preparing whipped cream, yoghurt, whisky and vanilla for the Cranachan.

Tomato soup was ready but I decided to pass it on a sieve to get rid of seeds and skin and make it more palatable. I forgot to mention that mint and spring onions were previously chopped for the minted peas.

Finally, it was waiting for the guests and dishing up the food, serving, eating, chatting, being amongst friends and family around the table. There can't be more happiness in the world than that!

This was the end of what I think was the best meal so far, I had a very generous donation and I am hugely grateful to my mother in law who made it possible and for people that came and contributed for the charity and to keep it going.

See you soon,


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