I was going to say that there hasn't been any boat-related activity today, but that would be wrong, because Jim cleaned out the back cabin. Now that Chertsey's cloths are in place, a lot of the stuff that was being stored in the back cabin has been transferred to the hold. So tomorrow I will try and get some decent pictures of the interior.
But for now, more vegetables. For a while it looked as if we weren't going to find a substitute for Geoff 'n' Col, purveyors of fine vegetables at Newhaven market. Supermarket veg is expensive and often unripe; things like tomatoes and avocadoes that are bred and stored for a long shelf life seem never to ripen, and supermarkets dare not keep ripe fruit and veg for fear of it going past its best and losing them money. There is a 'fine food' shop in Brewood which carries a few vegetables, but only a few and again, they are expensive.
But never fear, for in the wondrous cornucopia that is Cannock, we finally found Jessicas Fresh Foods, a greengrocers more like a market stall (and a sandwich shop attached, which we have never tried but which comes highly recommended by Blossom and dawn). The loveliest oranges, five for a pound. Last week, limes at 5p each (full of juice too); ripe baby plum tomatoes the like of which you would never find in a supermarket; fennel at a third of the price in Brewood. Marvellous crisp and tasty apples, better even than any we had down south.
So I am going to share another dinner with you, as it was a great hit. The tomatoes in particular were wonderful, full of intense flavour. I took two bulbs of fennel and a red onion (peeled) and cut them into slivers, which were tossed in olive oil in a baking tin. I halved the baby plum tomatoes and laid them cut side up on an oiled baking tray (there were enough to cover the surface). The fennel and onion went on the top shelf and the tomatoes the next shelf down in the oven at mark 6, for about an hour and a quarter. Turn the fennel over from time to time but leave the tomatoes alone. When they're done (slightly browned for the fennel; looking dry for the tomatoes) cook some wholemeal pasta shapes. When they're done add a drained tin of canellini beans to warm through (this is the protein). Drain thoroughly then tip everything into the biggest tin/pot and mix it all together. That's it. Though some goats cheese is a nice addition to this sort of thing.
Life on the down slope
1 week ago