(to the tune of Prince’s song)
This week some significant events happened:
- There was a lot of purple-coloured things to consume
- Devvers found raspberries! And spring onions! It was the first time I saw spring onions in like three weeks.
- We got a food delivery that brought us twenty four eggs (yes, 24), amongst other things.
EGGTOPIA, just in time!
We didn’t know what was more tasty, the cheese omelette, the toast from my mega bread from last week, or the purple sprouted broccoli that kept leaking purpleness all over the plate!
I was also excited to finally get my hands on the bag of yellow peas I bought from Hodmedod’s. I soaked them in water the day before and then I turned them into falafels following this recipe, but baked them in the oven because I couldn’t be bothered with the frying bit. Very yummy! (although now I’ve run out of my frozen coriander and I didn’t see any in the shop the last time I went).
I decided to celebrate the warmer weather and the re-appearance of raspberries in shops by concocting some overnight oats.
We made some quick and satisfying carbonara spaghetti for lunch, with some of the bacon we had been delivered the previous week.
To note, we don’t add cream to the pasta, and I think I much prefer this version.
Finishing off the falafels, using them as topping on a lentil salad where I was also finishing off the heritage green tomatoes from the previous week. Also with a touch of cranberry + Stilton cheese… it works well with the salty in the salad (yes, I’m not afraid of experimenting with my salads).
And on to Thursday, when EGGTOPIA manifested itself in our doorstep.
All other shops had been only allowing us to buy a maximum of 6 eggs, so we had been sort of rationing them. The fact that we got 24 at once actually on Thursday and ready for Easter was eggstremely significant and got me in a very good mood for the week-end—I even submitted myself to the indignity of queuing to buy a tub of ice cream! 😂
I love most things corn-based. Tortillas, quesadillas, tacos, corn on the hob, polenta, Bollos de Sant Blai… corn is fabulous, and I couldn’t eat popcorn for two years as I was going through my dental treatment. What an ordeal! So a bowl of popcorn is now my treat.
And thus I inaugurated the beginning of the holidays with a bowl of popcorn and a glass of vermouth 😋🍿🍸
Absurd? Yes, but what isn’t these days? At least it’s my own version of absurd.
This Easter weekend was like my ideal one (staying in London) but taken to an extreme: we only left the house for taking the rubbish out, and going for a little walk on Monday.
We had another oat-based breakfast, this time in porridge form. Which looks very similar to the overnight oats. I think overnight has a better flavour. Something very beneficial happens during soaking time.
I needed energy for preparing one of my favourite Spanish sweets: Mona de Pascua! It’s a sweet that is eaten to celebrate Easter, and has a very long-proving time, sort of similar to pannetone. I started preparing it in the morning, and had a break to have lunch while the dough was proofing for the first time.
And we had the result of team-work for lunch: eggs and avocado on toast! I made the bread, toasted and avocadoed the toast. And Devvers cooked truly astounding poached eggs.
I mean… just look at the nicely flowing yolk 😋
I finished this lunch with a bit of the ice-cream I got the day before. I was a bit frustrated that I couldn’t initiate the “ice-cream season” with my favourite coffee one from Waitrose because the closest Waitrose is closed and the online shop hates me, but in absence of anything else, this Oreo ice-cream I wouldn’t have got in normal conditions was quite satisfying and I enjoyed it!
Later, Devvers decided to make a chao fan in proper conditions, with actual bacon instead of pork belly, and spring onions! SPRING ONIONS! My long lost friends…!
Next morning was the big day—we were going to get our hands on the mona for breakfast!
I also made some hot chocolate with my special Spanish hot chocolate that I saved for a special occasion. Dipping the mona in it is essential, as is dipping buñuelos and churros. I felt like I was getting a part of the Fallas back!
Then we had a bit of chao fan that we could have for lunch, but what about combining it with a carrot salad? We had a lot of carrots to use, including some purple carrot! So Devvers grated everything, got the hands all purple, and then had the ultimate idea: seasoning it with sesame oil, a touch of sherry vinegar, and sesame seeds. That was so good and tasty and worked so well with the chao fan.
More pasta. I feel like we’ve eaten a lot of pasta this week, but this sauce was so good, “inspired” by Marcella Hazan’s principles. It also looks a lot like the spaghetti emoji 🍝
Sunday brought us a very slowly cooked lamb, and slow cooked foods are perfectly accompanied by aperitivi. Or like we say in Spanish, vermuts. Which we had with the last of my saladitos, and some more literal vermouth.
And then came The Food Event of the week: the lamb casserole that Devvers cooked! 😋😋😋😋😋
It was first cooked in the Dutch oven on the hob, then slow cooked in the oven-oven for two-plus hours.
Of course, because we were using purple carrots, the casserole came out quite purple! And how tasty it was…! Tasty to the point that you didn’t want to eat it at a reasonable speed, but rather make it last for as long as possible.
Dinner was another brilliant Devvers invention—the silkiest scrambled eggs I’ve seen in a long time… with spring onions! And some Kalamata olives which were so yummy and full of flavour.
To which I responded with… my freestyle apple and polenta cake. This was very loosely based on a recipe my sister shared with me, and she called it “Bizcocho de manzana… estilo hago lo que me da la gana” which sort of means “Apple cake… styled however I fancy” 😂
In practice, it means you read diagonally the recipe, and then do an interpretation of it, guided by your instinct, whichever ingredients you have handy and, above all, whatever you feel like doing.
The recipe called for normal flour—I used polenta.
It called for two apples—we put three.
Two cups of sugar—I went for just one.
Yeast—well, you guess it… I used sourdough starter 🤪
It was a good ending to these strange holidays!
On the other hand…
Things I’m missing
- Flat whites—we have good v60 coffee at home, but I sort of miss the frothiness 😭
- Going to a coffee shop and hearing the coffee machine noises and reading the entire Caffeine mag
- The cardamom buns from Fabrique, which is closed at the moment, and it’s going to force me to learn how to make them (oh, the ordeal)
Experiments that are happening
As if there hadn’t been enough experimentation above… we’ve been experimenting more.
- Devvers has produced a “Covid-Kraut” which just went into the fridge yesterday as its fermentation was deemed complete.
- I started a (hopefully) sourdough starter using the ends of two bottles of craft beer (which is where the yeast sediment is). I have been feeding it with water and flour as if it were a normal sourdough starter, and today after a couple of days I started seeing more signs of activity. Excitement!
- I’ve put a couple of spring onion “heads” in a jar with water to see if they’ll sprout back up like I’ve seen in “the internets”. We’ll see! 🤓