Self isolation, week 6: masterful repetition

Although local shops are starting to stock things again, they are still quite unpredictable, plus going to them is really unnerving, what with people not respecting any distance or being considerate of others, etc. So we have been trying a bunch of different grocers that do home deliveries; the quality is also higher than what we get in the nearest shops, and we seem to be finding who our favourites are in terms of speed, quality and reliability.

It’s good to be able to establish some sort of predictability after all these weeks of uncertainty.

Mona, second edition

While I enjoyed the mona I made during Easter, it wasn’t perfect.

I knew it could be fluffier if I folded with better technique and gave better tension to the dough, I knew I had to leave it to proof for longer (ABP, Always Be Proving), and I also knew the temperature should be lower—so that it cooked to perfection. And since I have “a bit of time” in my hands these days, I wondered: why not?

So early on Monday, I started mixing things and preparing everything so I could keep folding and proving the dough during my breaks in the work day. When I finished work, I turned the oven on and a while after, the new beautiful monas were ready. And this time, they were perfect! 😎

Sesame + carrots salad, second edition (with omelette)

Another thing I really enjoyed from that week was the sesame and carrot salad. So I took the earliest opportunity to recreate it (sans the purple carrots; our carrots have gone back to the usual orange lately). It was so good, again.

Porridge with my first strawberries of the year in London

The surprise fruit and vegetable delivery of this week came with… strawberries! I was very excited about that, and enjoyed this porridge lots!

This reminded me of the fact that I bought some early strawberries the last time I was in Spain, in February. At the time I thought it was a bit of an expensive and extravagant luxury, but in retrospect, and given all that’s happened lately, I was very pleased with my past carpe diem moment!

All the meats

Devvers found a butcher that delivered good quality meats. And so we had a couple of “classics”, like…

Sausages & mash (with roasted carrot and parsnip)

Black pudding with egg (and mushrooms)

I think these were two “first times” in one: eating black pudding (as far as I can recall, I’d only had haggis before), AND cooking it (which seems to be slightly different from cooking a sausage, in that you need to look for different outcomes – crispy and crumbly vs. just ‘cooked’ for the sausage).

It was also interesting that it sort of vaguely resembled a Spanish morcilla, but not quite. Strange! I liked them, but they still confuse me.

Meatballs and salad

The meatballs were made with minced meat from the butchers. The salad loosely follows a recipe from the “Persiana” book by Sabrina Ghayour, which I’m intending to metabolise and assimilate until the sourness of pomegranate molasses becomes second nature to me and I dream of rose petal desserts 🤪

Feverish aspirations aside, this combination was very good!

Livers and roasted vegetables on rice

I had frozen a few livers and roasted vegetables a while ago. Once defrosted, I fried those with half of a can of tomatoes, and used it as sauce with white rice and a bit of butter. Easy and tasty!

Pastamania 🤪

The meat grocer delivery also brought some nice pasta: a loopy shaped one that we ate with some carrot and tomato sauce we cooked (and froze) a month ago, and then the biggest cappelletti I have ever seen, stuffed with pumpkin, and incredibly delicious.

Not sure if connected, but the night we ate the cappelletti I got the best night of sleep in a very long time. New remedy!

Leftover salads

We had a few boxes and bags with bits and pieces such as roasted root vegetables, peas… and my favourite way to finish things is to toss them into salads. Which is what we did!

Tempeh satay experiment

Devvers devised this new experiment using tempeh. The tempeh was boiled for a bit to remove the bitterness before dipping it in the sauce, but I’m still not entirely convinced… I think I enjoyed the greens more!

Tortas de aceite

These sweet brittle anise-flavoured crispbreads are a traditional Sevillian sweet.

They are much sought after by everyone in Spain. A great resource to torture your friends and family with when you send them these pictures! 😏

I’ve seen them at some M&S shops (the brand they stock is “Inés Rosales”), but making them at home is both very easy and a lot of fun!

I loosely followed a recipe from Ibán Yarza’s “100 recetas de pan de pueblo” book.

Pre-birthday gift

This beautiful chocolates box from Paul A. Young arrived earlier than expected… and we’re also wondering if it was Paul himself that brought the box? Stranger things have happened these days…

It also came with two bonus chocolate frogs! 🐸

Finally… growing continues

My spring onions keep growing, and the first seeds have sprouted: the fenugreek is the winner! I’m very curious to see how the plants look like…

We were joking that growing plants from seeds is a bit like developing a sourdough starter, only way slower!

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