Saturday, 14 December 2013

Coventry's First British Restaurant

I realise things have been a bit quiet round here lately: I've been very busy working on my dissertation.

I just thought I'd link to a post I did over at my history blog, all about the first British Restaurant in Coventry, as it has links with food too!

http://historystuffandthings.blogspot.co.uk/2013/12/coventrys-first-british-restaurant.html

BRITISH RESTAURANT BEFORE INTERIOR DECORATION: EATING OUT IN WARTIME BRITAIN, 1944  
BRITISH RESTAURANT BEFORE INTERIOR DECORATION: EATING OUT IN WARTIME BRITAIN, 1944© IWM (V 151)

I hope you like it!


Monday, 2 December 2013

Easy after-work recipes: Chicken, leek and mustard stew

This is a fabulously tasty and healthy winter warmer which I threw together recently, and I thought it would fit well with my 'easy after-work recipes' series (which I realise I've been a bit lax with lately). I used chicken breasts because that's what I had, but this would probably work even better with some diced boneless chicken thighs.

Chicken, leek and mustard stew
 Serves 2
Prep. Time - 15 minutes
Cooking time - 25 minutes
  
Ingredients
1 tsp rapeseed oil
1 onion, chopped
1 large carrot, chopped
1 large leek, chopped
2 chicken breasts, cut into chunks
1 tsp dried thyme
500ml chicken stock
1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
salt and pepper to season

Method
1. Cook the onion, carrot and leek in a large-ish pan over a low-medium heat until they are glistening and starting to soften. Add the dried thyme. Then add the chicken breast and cook until nicely browned.
2. Pour in the stock and wholegrain mustard. Season and stir.
3. Bring to the boil, then turn down to a simmer for about 15 minutes until the chicken is cooked through and the stock has reduced down a little.

Serve with lashings of mashed potato.

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Garden Update: a few Autumn jobs

Things have really slowed down with the garden now we are well into Autumn. I have also been very busy of late with other commitments, so have not had time to go and do any work in the garden for weeks. This was my first free weekend for a while, and I managed to get out in the garden for an hour after Christmas shopping this morning. 

It has also massively slowed down on the food front. I had a small crop of potatoes from a growbag, but I made a mistake and dug them up too early really, so they were a bit on the small side. My butternut squash plant never did too well in the end, only producing one very small squash - the plant got very attacked by slugs which I think were brought out by the wet weather - I didn't have much problems with slugs before the damp early Autumn weather arrived. I also wondered whether it got a little too wet for the plant, given that we didn't have much let up from the rain for a good few weeks. I've still had some leeks growing up until today, but that's about it. Next year, I'll perhaps try to plan to have more winter vegetables growing, such as Kale and maybe some parsnips.

Lack of free time meant I hadn't yet got round to planting my pea and broad bean seeds until today. I had meant to do this in November, but I'm hoping that 1st December is not too late. I've covered them with fleece, just in case, and also to keep the cats and birds away! My green manure is still growing well, so it's nice to have things growing even if I can't eat anything at the moment!