Write new blog
Clair Louise

River Cottage Veg - Home School 2

by Clair Louise published on

Dear all,

What an unfortunate start to my River Cottage Veg journey! BA and I fell ill and didn’t eat much of anything for a few days so you will forgive the length of this blog as it counts for one week plus a couple of days. 

Swede and potato pasties – 1st time for rough puff pastry for me and I doubted it would make much difference but I was wrong. This pastry is richer and certainly more special. BA took them to Westonbirt for packed lunch - sharing them with fellow tree men. The feedback was good.

Mushroom stoup – We used some mushrooms sent to us from a friend in Slovakia who collected them from the woods near her home and they not as dark as porcini but none the less flavourful.  We had mashed potatoes and roasted artichokes too and one should note here there is nothing attractive about licking ones masher! A joy to have the next day for packed lunch in the flask for BA.

Dhal and Stir fried sesame cauliflower – If you were thinking Asia meet Indian is not the way to go you would be right. On their own these dishes would be perfectly fine but together they didn’t marry. I would think this is a case of my conditioned palate here. This could also be been helped by adding the 2nd chili to the cauliflower dish that I was feeling a bit weak to add.

Kale and mushroom lasagne – We have been also treating the wooden kitchen worktops this week so I quickly began to run out of sides to ‘put to one side’ to. I am feeling quite proud again of my efforts. Taking the time to make béchamel sauce is not how we got used to cooking. I am also happy to report I used soya milk and it was still beautiful. Inspired by this success I also used wheat-free pasta sheets and here was the downfall. They didn’t seem to soak the moisture of the dish or taste very interesting either.  Will try this again at the end of the journey.

Brussel sprouts, apple and cheddar – This we had for supper after a special Company Christmas Lunch at the River Station. It was easy and quick and more filling than I imagined.

Beetroot with walnuts and cumin – My insides are energized and I have the sense of something good having happened just by eating this.  When we have this dish at this time of year again I will ensure the yoghurt is room temperature to add to the benefit.

Mexican tomato and bean soup – Surprisingly fresh and very easy to prepare.

Spinach and thyme pasties – I used grated hard goats cheese and still found these little pasties perfectly balanced in flavour. Lemon and nutmeg lifts the usual dense feeling I get from eating pastry and I am filled with smiles when I tell you we ate these together with our friends from the Czech Republic, listening to Krishna Das whilst visiting Stonehenge. And I can’t help but smile at how great my life is. Probably one of those times where food and memories meet and stay with you.

Twice backed potatoes – It’s not such an effort to take the reliable jacket potato and turn it into something pleasurable and even a little posh.

Pearl barley broth – Hearty and gentle at the same time. I was a little heavy handed with the pinching of cayenne assuming that being so small meant a regular size persons pinch would be bigger. Perfect return to food after being poorly.

What an excellent time I am having. I even prepare the kitchen, don an apron and get all the ingredients together as if somehow getting into the ‘zone’. We have bought our first bottle of Rapeseed Oil and are enjoying the reminder that herbs really do make all the difference.

Thank you for reading this, especially you JJ, you must be very proud right now.

See you next week.


3 replies
Replied on

Extremely proud of my big sis ! And now hankering for that Lasagne YUMMERS !!

Replied on

I am so suprised at the amount of enjoyment I am feeling as well a a satisfied belly of delicious new flavours of food..

the wanna be country girl
Replied on

I didn't know I was hungry until I read you blog. Sounds like you're off to a great start now that you're feeling better.

To leave a response to the post you will need to be a registered user. Sign-up here or Login here
  • RT @RiverCottageHQ: The ultimate rural retreat...allow us to present to you our Four Day Cookery Course! link…
  • Exciting! Look what's arrived in the office, hot off the press... #pigsandpork Congrats @GillMeller! link
  • RT @JamiesFoodTube: Who's that in the @rivercottage kitchen? Why it's @tesswardchef knocking up a storm! link…
  • . @samgorecomedian If you aspire to a career in comedy this does not reflect well. Neither, thanks to you, does our mirror.
  • RT @DeborahMeaden: “@bristolcanteen: Somebody told us @DeborahMeaden popped in for lunch. Hope you enjoyed it! #celebrityspotting in #Brist…
  • RT @RiverCottageHQ: Only 7 tickets left for our @martinharley gig in April. Don't miss out! link
  • A beautiful sunset over the valley tonight! link
  • RT @RCChefsSchool: Welcoming our first #Trainees to River Cottage - the first step of their 3 month work experience programme. link
  • Hey @nationaltrust still looking for lovely frosty pics? :o)
  • RT @RiverCottageHQ: Wrap up warm, it's frosty out there! link
  • RT @plymouthcanteen: Feeling hungry this lunch time... Visit @plymouthcanteen for 3 small plates for only £10! link
  • RT @RiverCottageHQ: Tickets just released for our @sohsteve gig on 22 May, which kick starts our #RCFoodFair weekend. Grab a ticket now! ht…
  • Make the most of your oven's energy, cook meals in bulk where poss. Reheating uses less energy. Top tip via @wwwfoecouk
  • . @johnmushroom looks like someone needs a #selfie stick!
  • RT @RiverCottageHQ: We have discounted tickets available for this Sunday's dining experience. Gather your loved ones + come on down! https:…
  • RT @RiverCottageHQ: The only thing blue about our Monday is the sky. #BlueMonday link
  • RT @RiverCottageHQ: Want to meet @GillMeller and hear about his forthcoming book #pigsandpork? Don't miss this! htt…
  • RT @RiverCottageHQ: Gain work-experience in our @RCChefsSchool – free traineeships starting 26 Jan – travel expenses paid. link
  • RT @RiverCottageHQ: How much cake is too much cake? The fruits of our labour from today's #cake course in our #cookeryschool...…
  • RT @RiverCottageHQ: Hooray! #pastrysuccess #choux link
  • RT @RiverCottageHQ: Oh dear #pastryfail link
  • RT @RiverCottageHQ: Time for our third breakfast of the day. It's a hard life at our #cookeryschool... link
  • RT @RiverCottageHQ: Time for a second breakfast at the #cookeryschool... Drop scones with runny honey. link
  • @anneHuscroft1 so lovely to hear, thanks Anne! Any plans to come back to the farm soon?
  • RT @Hartsturkeys: Great stuff @ChefTomKerridge @BBCFoodandDrink @rivercottage. The best 30mins of TV this week. Looking forward to @Corriga
  • RT @jiholland111: @rivercottage @BBCFoodandDrink Great show. Excellent banter with @ChefTomKerridge :)
  • @linsalad @BBCFoodandDrink glad to hear it :o)
  • Hope you are all enjoying Hugh on @BBCFoodandDrink right now, BBC2!
  • @CharlotteClare1 sorry, blame Hugh!
  • And of course we couldn't let Hugh go without a birthday cake #50yearsofHugh #AskHugh link
  • And if you'd like to buy the book, check it out here! #lightandeasy #askHugh link
  • Thank you, its been great chatting! Have to dash, making a birthday cake for a fellow 50-year-old. Chocolate + hazelnut, pg 374! #askHugh
  • .@Eco_Gite It spreads like mad so not in the veg patch, better in a big pot, but it does take nearly a year to produce good sized roots.
  • . @Lou_la_may Default topping is a sprinkling of soft brown sugar but a trickle of runny honey is also great. #askHugh
  • .@trishaocf Could be your choice of flour or that your sd starter needs a feed up, take a good tblsp, feed it for a few days & start again.
  • . @bookslinger always lovely to hear that people are cooking from my books and enjoying the results! #askHugh
  • .@harrycornwall Cider is a good choice, I would choose a fairly dry one as the onions are quite sweet #AskHugh
  • . @_DjTC_ soon! Early Feb is good, provided you can keep them frost-free. A sunny window is good. #askHugh
  • .@IantheCW I'm all over the roots right now, big trays of them roasted and finished with a sprinkling of toasted seeds and spices #AskHugh
  • . @ACoSfChildren but it's so flat! Actually I do have a soft spot for Norfolk and it's been a while so who knows. #askHugh
  • .@rojob1 Yes, series 3 coming your way very soon and as ever Paul champions the sustainable approach to fish, veg and meat #AskHugh
  • . @missaniela really sorry but I'm not around for that one. I will be here for the Spring Food Fair in May... #askHugh
  • .@pupspigspoulets We said goodbye to our Oxford Sandy & Blacks before Christmas, they were fab! We like ringing the changes though. #AskHugh
  • . @bookslinger It's always a treat to be given other people's goodies. Of course I try them! #askHugh
  • .@GrowandEat That's a tough one to comment on without knowing the whole picture.
  • . @MyrtlesGarden there's a lovely potato gnocchi recipe in RC Veg and you could swap a GF flour in for the wheat flour. #askHugh
  • .@pickleshlee A good way to deliver vitamins and fibre but not to be drunk by the gallon as they are often quite high in sugar #AskHugh
  • . @AmberLofts523 that's better than a birthday suit! #askHugh
  • . @NellieRBean once it's all mixed up you should keep in the fridge and eat within two days #askHugh
  • .@acornwoodcraft I like dual purpose varieties eg Light Sussex Dumpies & Road Island Reds, but Hubbards are good free range modern meat bird
Login or Sign-up

Login & Sign-up

Forgotten your password? Retrieve it here
Or connect via Facebook
Connect with Facebook
Join River Cottage
Shopping basket: 0 items £0.00